The DVD has proof. Lake Placid was originally meant to be a thriller/horror movie. Watch all the previews on the disc. They are all trying to promote a suspenseful, intense film. After the film was released, the distributors realized that it was as intense as The Love Bug and they started billing it as a comedy. When it was released on video this tagline was added “You’ll spend as much time laughing as you will screaming.” Well, at least they are aware that this failed miserably as a thriller.
While Lake Placid was running in the theaters, the promoters used a unusual part of a review as a tagline. I kid you not, the quote they used to promote the film was “Lake Placid is this year’s Anaconda”. What were they thinking? That’s like trying to impress a job interviewer by submitting a resume that says “I have only been fired from two jobs for assaulting fellow employees with a stapler”.
There is no end to what is wrong with this movie. For one thing, Betty White is a main character. Betty White! I don’t know who comes to your mind when you think thriller/horror movies, but Betty White should not be one of them. Granted, Golden Girls was an experience in horror but that was unintentional, I’m sure.
The worst thing about this movie was the dialogue. Everyone spoke as if they were thirteen year olds fighting with their parents. Between a paleontologist, a professor, a sheriff, and a BLM representative you might expect one or two worthwhile conversations. But not one exchange showed the least bit of professionalism or intelligence. They spent the entire time arguing and name-calling. Some of this might be amusing in small doses, but an entire movie full of it is intolerable, especially if you are trying to build tension. Oh, wait! This is a comedy, I forgot.
Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda), was one of the most irritable movie characters ever conceived. She had more buttons than John McEnroe on crank. In real life, someone like this would have been buried in a hole in the desert a long time ago. Lake Placid also has a more-than-ample supply of oversights and nonsense. Example: the official murder investigation camp included a giant party tent with liquor, blenders, generators and a very loud stereo that played Tom Jones. Okaaay…
As bad as Lake Placid is, I have one good thing to say about it. It is 75 minutes long. This may be a monument in incompetent filmmaking, but at least the torture does not last too long.
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