I saw the original Lake Placid in a movie theater with the son of a friend of mine and we had a rather good time that afternoon. There was humor, a giant crocodile, and fun characters played by Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, and Betty White. It wasn’t Jaws; it wasn’t a cult classic; but it was far more fun than we had expected and we both left the theater glad we’d caught the film before it disappeared.

I recently had a chance to view the follow up, Lake Placid 2.

Aroostook Sheriff Riley (John Schneider) goes out on the lake after one of the locals brings in the arm and leg of his partner, who had been attacked while they were fishing. Emma (Sarah Lafleur) from Fish & Game accompanies them. When they discover the head of the dead fisherman, they stop by Sadie Bickerman’s (Cloris Leachman) place, sister of the Betty White character from the first movie. Sadie and her sister have a reputation for feeding the crocodiles in the lake.

Meanwhile, the bodies start to add up. There are the two bare-breasted beauties frolicking in the lake. There’s the town’s reporter who is essentially offered up for lunch by Sadie. Sheriff Riley’s visiting teenage son meets some local teens who quickly place themselves in harm’s way, etc.

Next, rich industrialist and great white hunter, Struthers (Sam McMurray), shows up with his assistant, Ahmad (Joe Holt), and the line-up from the first movie is all in place. You’ve got Schneider playing the Pullman role, Lafleur playing the Fonda role, McMurray playing the Platt role, and Leachman playing the Betty White role.

Except that the relationships aren’t as interesting as the film’s predecessor. If you loved Lake Placid … rent it again. If you just have to see more … rent them both. While I prefer the first film, Lake Placid 2 is still an entertaining experience.

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