Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Enjoy the apparent tropical weather in "Lake Placid"

Hello all!

I'm not sure what made me think of this movie... but regardless, I'm going to focus on "Lake Placid." And no, I don't mean the popular New York ski destination, but the horror movie.

The Movie
The story takes place in the fictional town of Black Lake, Maine, where there is a mysterious monster that is attacking people in the water. A team of scientists team up with the town police department, and together they discover that the creature is in fact a crocodile. A 50-ft long crocodile in fact. So, for the rest of the movie, the cast tries to capture and/or kill this giant predator.

Best part of the movie: Betty White. She's the closest thing to a villain in this movie, aside from the crocodile.

What Doesn't Make Sense
Ok, so for those who don't know, Crocodiles live in the tropical areas of North America (such as Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas) in fresh water ponds, lakes, rivers and creeks... as well as storm drains, swimming pools and sewers. There are Saltwater Crocodiles, but they are native to Australia and South Asia. They are the largest reptiles, and like all other reptiles, they are cold-blooded (ectothermy) and therefore need sunshine and heat to survive. They eat fish, birds, mammals, and even other smaller crocodiles. The largest recorded size of a crocodile is 20ft long, and weighed around 2,600 lbs.

Lake Placid and movies like Anaconda appeared to have started a trend of seemingly ridiculous and illogical movie plots involving either larger-than-life creatures, or said creature is living somewhere that doesn't make sense. Examples include Piranha, Shark Night, Red Water, Megalodon, Deep Blue Sea, and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Of course makes sense that Lake Placid has both plot elements, as it's one of the first movies in this category.

As you can see in this photo, this is one big croc!

The crocodile in this movie is said to be 50ft long and weighs enough that he can pull a helicopter out of the air and into the water. Now, a crocodile could possibly grow to that size because he is being fed cows and other large mammals (not to mention occasional humans), thus giving him the diet to get that large. Not to mention because they can live for so long (an estimated average of 70 years) they could have the time to get to that size. And yes, crocodiles are very strong; their bite has up to 5,000 lbs per square inch. It is possible that a creature this big could pull a helicopter out of the air and into the water.

I think it is totally possible for a a crocodile to get to the size described. In the right environment and with the right diet, crocodiles can grow to massive lengths. In fact, I can think of a crocodile that lived near my house in Tampa Bay. He lived in a storm drain between McDonald's and a grocery store. He had lots of food available via the dumpsters lining either side of the storm drain, so he actually grew to a size of 16 feet long. So, I don't think it's impossible that a crocodile can grow to that size.

What I do doubt is that a crocodile could live in Maine. Seeing as Maine is in the north-eastern corner of the United States, it experiences all four seasons, including a winter season cold enough to support snow. And as I previously mentioned, crocodiles are cold-blooded, and need warmth and sunshine to moderate their temperature, and therefore live. So, there is no way that a crocodile, even that size, can live in such a cold climate.

I understand that a movie like this plays off the horror that something so unlikely could potentially happen. What else scares an audience more than taking their sense of security and adding even the tiniest shred of doubt. I know that when I was younger, I thought twice about swimming in a lake after seeing this movie. But now that I'm older, I think that movies like this are just stupid. Plus, there must always be some strange circumstance surrounding their survival, and that just makes it worse for me.

So I guess this movie is another one for the "That Would Never Happen!" collection.

Until next time!


  1. Ya but some people just love to be terrified. Why would any one want to watch these movies otherwise.

  2. Your blog is interesting but your arguments seem difficult to stand behind. When a movie is set in an obviously fictional environment with situations and threats that could not exist it seems that the logistics need to be set aside and accepted. What would be interesting would be if you took a documentary or "true story" and exposed the fallacies beneath it.

  3. I agree with you Alex, when you say that some movies are stupid.But if that "illogical aspect" is entertaining, that's OK. Also, it all depends on the demographics.