Last week, friend and fellow blogger Richard (of I Liked That Film) produced a DVD from his bag and passed it to me. He told me to watch it and said it’s rubbish. Over the last year or so, a succession of films has passed between the two of us with each attempting to increase the other’s cineliteracy. This time though, I thought he was taking the piss as the film he presented me with was called Dinocroc vs. Supergator. I was briefly told about one or two terrible scenes and like you do when you receive socks for Christmas, I smiled politely, said thank you and tucked the film into my own bag. Despite having just bought Rome Open City and Breathless the day before, it was this that found its way into my DVD player first. Perhaps it was curiosity or maybe it was similar to how you eat the vegetables before saving the steak until last but I watched it first. And it’s awful. I’ve seen some bad films before but this is up there with the worst.
The plot is very simple. An unscrupulous biotech company is developing super crops on a Hawaiian Island. Secretly they are also using the methods they’ve discovered to grow animals. For some reason a Dinocroc and Supergator escape and eat most of the scientists. Then they eat random idiots on various parts of the island before being contained and forced to fight each other by a ramshackle group of local heroes and assorted hangers on.
There have been a lot of similarly titled B-Movies in recent years with titles such as Sharknado and Pihranaconda jumping out for their combining of dangerous sounding things. I don’t know if they’re popular and I doubt they’re very good but they keep getting made. This film is released as ‘Roger Corman Presents’ with the veteran B-Movie director giving the Syfy channel the initial idea. Fortunately for Corman’s reputation, that’s where his input ended. Unfortunately another veteran whose career is held in high regard didn’t manage to escape this film. David Carradine who himself starred in the Corman produced, Scorsese directed Boxcar Bertha in 1972, stars in a role that made me feel sorry for him. Why he took it, I don’t know but it joined the long list of shameful productions he appeared in post Kill Bill in the years before his embarrassing death.
The production values shift between competent and laughable. At times I could see the skill of the director or camera operator but mostly it was just very poor. Early heli-cam shots are juddery and the movie on the whole makes Hawaii look bland and dull. The locations seem to be chosen largely for their beauty but the pretty landscapes aren’t allowed to shine through the camera and look like someone’s poorly framed, poorly lit holiday video. The GCI is dreadful from start to finish. It has a cheap shine to it and nothing has any weight. Not even a twenty tonne dinocroc (whatever one of those are) impacts on its environment. The effects are simply plastered on to the location footage. No attempt is even made to create a sense of the beasts pushing aside water as they swim. It’s difficult to find an accurate budget for the movie but it appears to have been somewhere around $500,000. I realise that you probably couldn’t run Michael Bay’s computers on that figure but I always site Gareth Evans’ Monsters which created beautiful special effects in 2010 on a similar budget.
Dinocroc vs. Supergator is one of those films which stretches out a premise to breaking point and its ninety or so minutes felt like hours. After just 27 minutes last night, my girlfriend asked if we could turn it off. I thought it must be nearly over but it had barely begun. There’s lots going on but nothing seems to happen. There are also so many characters. Each person that gets attacked is given five minutes of boring back story and then just gobbled up. What’s the point? I don’t care about a horror film director who wants the best suite in the hotel and chats up wannabe starlets when I know that he will be eaten in a few moments. There seems to be hundreds of speaking parts and what makes it worse is that some of the actors appear to find speaking a really difficult thing to do.
Occasionally I’ll watch a major film and think “Gosh, his/her acting wasn’t very good” but then I watched Dinocroc vs. Supergator. The actors aren’t so much acting as standing in front of a camera. Screams of terror look fake and sound ridiculous and the dramatic stuff is so forced and awkward that I wanted to curl up under the sofa and cry. It’s all so wooden and stilted. Of course the actors might be hampered by some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard. Words and phrases which would sound bad in The Room are splurted from the faces of the bemused and befuddled actors as they attempt to wade through a thick soup of discarded dignity. The script doesn’t even appear to have its tongue in cheek and takes itself far too seriously, diluting any sense of fun that a film like this might have otherwise contained.
In addition to all of the above, the costumes and props look ridiculous. In one scene, a group of sort of military experts or something arrive on the island in silly looking helicopters. They are dressed as though they just grabbed the last uniform at a cheap fancy dress shop. The central cast’s costumes are equally as stupid. From the strange leather waistcoat of the hunky guy to the flowery shirt of the main hero to the overly revealing clothes of every female character, it all looked crass and cheap. The props are equally as bad. Towards the end, a character throws a stick of C4 which is really obviously just a bottle of water! It’s so poorly done. What I don’t understand is that in the scene before, he had the C4 in his hand so why substitute it for a bottle? No attempt is made to hide it either. Six bullet guns are fired fifteen times and there are continuity errors all over the place. And don’t even get me started as to how or why a crocodile will grow into a dinosaur. The film doesn’t attempt to make any sense.
Despite all of the problems with Dinocroc vs. Supergator, its biggest flaw is that it isn’t fun. You can sometimes forgive shoddy work if the movie is exciting, interesting or funny but there’s none of that here. Instead what you get is a ridiculous 95 minutes of dull action, unrealistic creatures and uninspiring characters. The movie is a series of vignettes in which a giant animal eats someone’s head and then walks off before a boring final fight. That isn’t fun. Even if you like the idea of the movie, just avoid it. There are far sillier, far better low budget films out there. I’m struggling to think of one reason to give the film more than 1/10 and honestly can’t think of one. Actually, Amy Rasimas wears a strangely chosen coloured lipstick which amused me. Also, her name sounds funny so I’ll go for…
- Rib Hillis is also a funny sounding name.
- The opening heli-cam shots were filmed in just a couple of hours. It shows.
- The Director broke his arm when he fell out of a helicopter. This must have been much more exciting than anything in his movie.