I recently reviewed the Chinese creature feature Crocodile Island. It was an enjoyable enough film, so when I found another film about giant crocs on an island, Mega Crocodile (巨鳄 in the original Chinese), I had to check it out.
There’s the obligatory prologue showing survivors of a shipwreck washing ashore on an island only to find it’s infested with oversized crocodiles. And one gigantic one. We then cut to a fishing village where a young boy has just been attacked by a giant saltwater crocodile. The villagers get the local expert on such matters Luo (Li Guangbin). This involves waking him from a drunken stupor. He proclaims it’s from Hell Island before passing out again.
However, this has caught the attention of Kong Mingzhu (Guo Xiwen) an ultra-rich businesswoman whose brother was on the ship we saw wrecked. It turns out Luo is a renowned biologist and Indiana Jones style explorer. He crawled into a bottle after his fiancé died on an expedition he led to Hell Island. After the usual “I’m not for sale” dialogue he takes her offer.
They, along with her cowardly comic relief assistant and a couple of disposable mercs head to the island. Once there, they find crocodiles, flesh-eating plants and talking bugs. They also find the remains of a biological research facility. One that had been experimenting on crocodiles.
Mega Crocodile is another CGI driven monster movie. Unfortunately, the effects here are all bad. The crocodiles actually look like somebody animated those rubber ones you get at the dollar store. The man-eating plants are positively cartoonish. It looks like something you would have seen on basic cable around the turn of the millennium.
The script is full of ridiculous situations. They get to the island via cargo plane full of livestock. It doesn’t land, they jump. They don’t parachute, they simply jump from the plane into the ocean and swim. In street clothes, carrying all their supplies. With all the money she’s throwing around couldn’t Mingzhu have hired a boat and a chopper? Especially since one turns up later in the film.
But despite this Mega Crocodile is actually entertaining in an odd sort of way. With subtitles that are stilted and full of typos, it’s one of those films that’s just so messed up that it’s fun. I’ll certainly take more like this over preachy epics like The Wandering Earth.