If it wasn't apparent already, I'm a sucker for monster movies, especially ones involving oversized crocodilians. The vast majority of them are absolutely horrible (like tomorrow's movie of the week, Supercroc), but next month (Nov. 8) a more promising feature from the director of Wolf Creek will be coming out. The film is called Rogue, and while it follows the basic killer croc formula (come on, how many original story lines about giant man-eating suchians can you come up with?) it seems like it's actually going to be scary and enjoyable, unlike the cheese-fest that was Primeval.
In fact, Rogue is a welcome change from many other of the killer croc movies in that it puts the animals back in their natural setting rather than trying to come up with some thin backstory as to how they got to be so big and why they are in the wrong part of the world (i.e. Tobe Hooper's Crocodile), even if the behavior of the animal is not exactly accurate. Rogue is not the only Aussie croc-flick to be coming out, though, as November will also see the release of Black Water (THREE killer croc movies in one year? Talk about saturating the market...). Although Black Water differs in that the directors wanted to use real crocodiles instead of special effects like Rogue does, it follows a similar story line of a group of people being trapped by a large, man-eating reptile somewhere in Australia. Here's the trailer;
Black Water appears to be a cross between Rogue and Open Water, the isolation in an unfamiliar habitat being just as important (if not moreso) than the imminent threat of being eaten alive. Also, just to clarify what the trailer means by "Based on a True Story," crocodile attacks where the victim initially escapes into a tree occur every now and then, crocodiles often sticking around near the base of the tree in such cases. Being that they don't need to feed as often as we do, crocodiles can afford to be patient where our own species can only last so long without water and food. The specific case that gave inspiration to the creators of Black Water occurred in 2003, when a young man was killed by a large crocodile and his two friends were treed for 22 hours by the reptile just south of Darwin, Australia. Such a situation is more frightening than any film, and even though they may be occasional movie monsters, large crocodiles do pose a very real threat to humans that enter their habitat.
I should probably note that I do not revel in the true stories of crocodile attacks that appear in newspapers; I like monster movies, but actual attacks are gruesome and terrifying on a level that is difficult to fully convey. While not dealing with crocodiles, for a short time I volunteered cataloging and organizing shark attack data as part of an attempt to understand why they happen, why attacks differ, what can be done to prevent them, and what can be done if you find yourself being attacked. Some of the photographs and accounts I poured over were too graphic for me to describe here, but as horrific as such evidence they can be I think they do merit scientific study and should not simply be relegated to sensational newspaper headlines. There is no joy or pleasure in undertaking such studies, but if tragic encounters can tell us something that can help protect people then I think such studies can produce a valuable outcome.
Just discovered Scienceblogs, and as of such yours this week. Awesome stuff.
I'm a huge fan of monster movies too. My studies have taken me to New Zealand where we're cut off from anything remotely new media wise. I hadn't heard of either of these new aussie based Crocidile movies, but they do sound good.
I'll have to catch them once I return to the Northren Hemisphere.
If you're looking for a solid good (be a bit cheesy) monster movie inspired TV show the British series Primeval (NOT to be mixed up with the croc movie you mention) is a blast. The effects are by the walking with dinosaur people, and make the somewhat sterotypical storylines come to life on a Harryhousen scale.
I mention it cause I misinterupted your jab at the croc movie of the same title as a jab at this show which is pretty good (though a little cliche, but how many original ways can you get scienctists fighting dinos really?).
Anyways I look forward to your future movie reviews (and I also have old ones to look forward to... still catching up on your older posts)
Interesting story: My folks have been to Africa a few times. The first time they went, they visited a zoo (I believe it was Zimbabwe), where one of the largest crocs in captivity was held. It was an old, mean bugger, and the croc keeper was an idiot who would poke the croc with a long stick to get it to...I dunno...do stuff when people would come by.
Well, a few days after my folks had gotten home, dad heard from his hunting friend that the big mean croc had torn the arm off its annoying keeper. As far as we know, the croc was not destroyed (thank Bokonan), but I think the keeper deserved it. You don't perpetually annoy an incredibly dangerous animal!
Just a minor note on the TV series Primeval (i.e., not the film) - one of the things that makes it worthy of note is that none of the featured creatures were dinosaurs. To their credit, the studio (Impossible Pictures) included such novel creatures as a gorgonopsian, pareiasaur, giant arthropods and flightless future bat. Pterosaurs, mosasaurs, dodos and Coelurosauravus also featured. Because - outside of the UK - the name Primeval was already associated with another project (viz, the croc movie), there was some discussion about coming up with another title for the American DVD release, but I don't know what came of this.
Darren is right, Primeval (the series) featured no non-avian dinosaurs. The only dinosaurs of sorts were the dodos.
There were some unfeathered (??!) Hesperornis as well...
Thanks for the comments, everyone!
Zach; I think I did hear something of that incident (or something similar). Croc keepers don't always seem to have glowing dispositions, and I've seen footage of one "trainer" having his arm torn off after teasing a croc during a show in Indonesia.
I actually was able to watch all but the last episode of the show Primeval (which did not work) online. The special effects were especially impressive, and it was good to see some more diversity in terms of ancient critters on the screen (especially the gorgonopsian). I have to admit the show is a bit cheesy, although not to the extreme many of the movies I've covered and as Traumador noted there are only so many ways to get people in the same time/place as extinct organisms.
There was at least one real groaner that I still haven't entirely forgiven the show for, though; I think it was in the first episode where a human skeleton was sexed based upon the number of ribs it had. *smacks forehead*
Darren; I have been trying to keep up as to whether there is going to be a U.S. DVD or TV release, but I haven't heard anything. I figured I'd have to wait for it, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was some name change so that the show was not confused with the croc film (it would have been easier, I'm sure, if the makers of the movie Primeval called it Gustave as originally planned). Maybe they're waiting until the second season is over in the UK and have some more material for the US release (if such a release is planned), although I have the feeling it'd go straight to the SciFi channel rather than CBS, NBC, ABC, etc. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
Yeah sorry I shouldn't have worded it Dinos... it's just much easier than typing extinct critters (as I'm lazy ;p )
Season two will have Deinonychus playing "Velociraptors" in it though!!! So soon my statement will be correct for a small fraction of the series ;p
Also crazy on that grumpy croc! I lived with a zookeeper in training during uni, and they treated their Florida Alligators like they were saltwater crocs safetywise at the reptile house (granted they the gators were the biggest reptiles on display they had at the time)
Oops, I forgot *Hesperornis*. Thank you, Hai ~ Ren!