I’m so kidding. However, it appears to pick up from where LP3 left off — I haven’t seen it — with crocodile hunter Reba (Yancy Butler, Shark Week) surviving a tussle with a giant croc … only to have it not be as dead as she first thought. “You again? You really wanna do this?” she says, and the statement could apply to the idea of the movie as well: Between this and the Wrong Turn movies, which straight-to-horror sequel machine is the least called-for?
This go-round finds Reba, whose salty voice sounds like Roseanne Barr, aiding Sheriff Theresa (Elisabeth Röhm, TV’s Law & Order) in ridding her small town of another set of crocs. Theresa’s a single mom of a bookish daughter (Poppy Lee Friar) whose high school class conveniently and concurrently takes a field trip to the park where the man-eating reptiles are running around. It’s a place that looks to have ordered its electric fence right out of the Jurassic Park catalog, and around whose campfire a tale is told of Betty White’s character from 1999’s original Lake Placid.
Such self-referential material goes a long way, with director Don Michael Paul (Half Past Dead seeming to have taken influence from the Piranha 3D pair to liven up the proceedings. (And if you’ve seen LP2, you know that was sorely needed.) Robert Englund is eager to help, tearing into his role of redneck poacher with noticeable glee; I would, too, to keep from doing from dogs like Strippers vs. Werewolves.
Knowing, tongue-in-cheek humor rises LP:TFC well above the level of the same ol’ Syfy CGI crap, but not so high that its generic nature can be overlooked. It’s wise to keep your expectations in check. To quote another line from Butler: “Whoa. That ain’t great.” —Rod Lott