FEARNET Movie Review: 'Croczilla'


croczillaKnown in its native China as Million Dollar Crocodile, and (unwisely) repackaged as a horror flick called Croczilla for the schlock enthusiasts of America... this is nobody's idea of a good movie.

What a bizarre film. It's a comedy about a truly obnoxious woman who has her life savings swallowed up by a giant crocodile, so she goes to the police to complain. Still with me? The policeman's son is actually old friends with the giant crocodile, who once ate his report card (I think), and then there's also this gang of crocodile-eating thugs who cause all sorts of trouble for the policeman, the kid, the annoying woman, and a wise old man who knows a secret about the giant crocodile. Did I not mention the magical old man? Yeah, Croczilla has one of those too.
I've seen enough "foreign" horror films to know that there's a difference between "culture shock" (as in, maybe I don't fully "get" Chinese humor) and plain old stupid filmmaking, and Croczilla most definitely falls into the latter category. As a comedy, it's a woefully generic and silly affair. (One that also, for some bizarre reason, has a sequence of buck-naked little boys swimming in croc-infested water.) As a horror flick about a giant crocodile... it's even worse. Aside from a few sequences of chomping that involve the aforementioned criminal imbeciles, this croc doesn't DO anything. Horror fans may appreciate the few stray moments of suspense and carnage, but they're all promptly undone by the film's garish sense of humor and irritatingly simplistic plot. (That woman really wants her money back from this crocodile's belly, BELIEVE ME.)
To put it in terms a young, American horror fan may understand more easily: Croczilla is sort of like two scenes from Lake Placid 4 jammed into a really bad Nickelodeon sitcom about a wacky crocodile who loves to eat money and swim around near naked little boys without actually eating them. Frankly, Croczilla sometimes feels like two unfinished movies that were jammed into one ungainly whole.
Lord knows you'll find some great monster movies that come from China, but Croczilla is more aptly described as an endurance test than anything resembling an appealing little monster movie.