Actress Yancy Butler returns to battle giant man-eating crocodiles in Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012). Having survived the ordeal of her previous encounter at the infamous lake, Reba (Butler) is now settled with Sheriff Giove (Elisabeth Rohm) with the protection of her town by barricading the growing population of crocodiles from the rest of the world with an electric fence. Reba would rather just kill them all but it seems that they are now an endangered species and protected from being hunted. This does not stop big game hunter Jim Bickerman (Robert England) or his group of men who plan to break into the barricaded area in order to steal the valuable eggs of the crocodiles. When Bickerman’s men accidentally leave the gate to the quarantined area open an school bus of lost and unsuspecting teenagers find their way to the beach where they are the meal of the day for a swarm of crocodiles starving for food.
It’s great to see Butler back as Reba as she has grown into the roll with her no nonsense attitude towards her job of both protecting the endangered crocodiles and wanting to kill them all. She has a lot of fun in the roll and every time she’s on the screen she cracks and sizzles. Rohm is the more subdued of the two and isn’t given as much room to have any fun but she does play the typical mother whose daughter is one of the bus load of teenagers trapped behind enemy lines. It is England who truly outshines them all as Bickerman a relative of Betty White’s Delores Bickerman from the original 1999 film (so a nice nod there). He is given free rein to have as much fun as he can in a film that saddled with mediocre CGI crocodile VFX.
The film is written by David Reed (who also wrote Part 3) and directed by Don Michael Paul. This is a film that knows it’s the fourth film in an ever going franchise of diminishing results (and for those of you counting there is a Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda film on the horizon for this year). This is not meant to be a good film but I give it points for bringing in some impressive stars and letting them have fun with the mediocre material because if they’re having fun we’re all having fun (and if you make it into a drinking game it’s even more fun).