Movie sequels -- love them or hate them, they are a fact of life. They’ve been around almost since the birth of cinema. In the past sequels usually weren’t so obvious about it. The Thin Man series of movies, all the Universal Studios monster flicks that followed their hits (think Bride of Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, etc.). Even the James Bond films are just sequels. Then in the 70s someone realized you don’t have to come up with a new name for every time you want a sequel. It was The Godfather Part 2 that started it, but soon enough if you made a sequel you wanted to make sure everyone knew it. So, is it any surprise that when Fabrizio De Angelis was filming Killer Crocodile, the idea for a sequel might hit him? Maybe not, but what is surprising is that he figured “Hey we built this crocodile prop and we’ve paid to fly everyone to the Dominican Republic, so why don’t we make the sequel at the same time?”. Yes, not only is Killer Crocodile 2 a thing, but they shot it back-to-back with the first one.
This time the story is radically different. The environmentalists from the first film were mostly eaten so instead of them looking for toxic waste in the unnamed river, we’ll have a journalist named Liza (Debra Karr) do the snooping. Oh, but wait. The killer crocodile from the first film died at the end, didn’t it? Well, yeah, but a quick flashback to the end of the first film with an insert of a baby crocodile hatching and we’re good to go.
Astute viewers of both films may note that the evil toxic waste polluters from the first film were also eaten. So who could be poisoning the river now? Well, this time it’s evil land developers who want to put a resort on the river. Oh and just to make it more implausible, they aren’t even dumping waste. They just didn’t want to remove the 10 or so 55-gallon drums from the first movie.
Anyway, there was a killer crocodile in this movie right? Yep, and the film decides to make up for the lack of plot with a high body count. Right out of the gate, we have the crocodile stop by the ocean to eat a windsurfer and his girlfriend. Viewers probably won’t mind the girlfriend’s death though since her dialogue included the line “The trouble is without my bathing suit I feel naked.” Yes, the crocodile went into the ocean just to kill her for saying that.
Later, the killer croc comes across a couple of boats full of orphans led by a pair of nuns. Wait, are they going to have the killer crocodile eat a boat full of kids and a nun? You bet. Fortunately, our heroine Liza is on the way. She arrives and hires a boat to take her out to find the toxic waste. Her boss is worried about her though so he hires Kevin (Anthony Crenna). Apparently, his street rep for being the only survivor from the band of roving environmentalists from the first film is enough that he gets this kind of gig now. It doesn’t hurt that Kevin and Liza have a history together, yeah they know each other through overly some overly simplified plot convenience, just accept it.
Meanwhile, Liza has to fend off a sexual assault from the guy driving her boat. Why? Well eating a boat full of orphans and nuns wasn’t low enough; they needed to add a bit of attempted rape to keep things classy. In all fairness though, Liza has a moment of unexpected bad-assdom and pulls a knife on the guy trying to rape her. She kicks him out of the boat and of course, the killer croc appears to have a bit of a rapist snack. The croc must’ve still been full from all the orphans though because it lets Liza getaway to the shore.
Kevin arrives in unnamed town looking for Liza only to discover she’s missing. He uses his plot convenience senses to determine not only that Liza is still alive, but that there must be another killer crocodile on the loose. What is he going to do? Go see Joe (Ennio Girolami aka low-rent Lee van Cleef) of course. Being half-eaten by the killer crocodile in the first movie must be therapeutic because Joe is looking healthy, whole and completely unscarred, which is good because now the croc-killing duo has to hunt the new killer croc. They’d better hurry. Liza only has so many pairs of weird lingerie she can show off while lost in the jungle.
Killer Crocodile 2 was directed by Giannetto De Ross, not Fabrizio De Angelis the writer of both Killer Crocodile films and the director of the first one. If you’re wondering why a new director came on board, you may be asking the wrong question. The correct question might be “Why did they have the guy who did the make-up for Killer Crocodile direct the sequel?” That’s a good question. The world may never know the answer to that, but what we do know is that Killer Crocodile, while not a great movie, had a lot of b-movie monster fun about it. The film also had enough of a plot to hold all the crocodile attacks together in a mostly coherent fashion. Killer Crocodile 2…well the best thing I can say about this one is that if you like horror movies with a high body count, this one blows the first one out of the water. The producers also made sure that this film would have a bit more sex appeal in it. Liza and Kevin decide that the shared horror of being in a sequel to Killer Crocodile means it’s ok to have awkward looking sex. The film makes no bones about riding on the back of better movies. They kept the same almost copyright infringing ‘Jaws meets Godzilla’ music from the first film. They use many of the same b-roll shots that appear in the first one and they continue to try and make you think of better films while you watch this one – Kevin even says “We’re gonna need a bigger boat”. Yep, it’s that kind of film.
So if you liked the first film and have a hankering to see the prop croc eat a bunch of orphans while actress Debra Karr goes swimming in what looks like sexy Mormon underwear, then check out Killer Crocodile 2. It’s not a great film, but if you take a shot every time you spot a plot hole, or they use a shot from the first film, it makes a hell of a good drinking game.