Really Awful Movies: Ep 251 – Killer Crocodile

A Killer Crocodile creature feature, that’s Italian to boot? No need to say that twice. We’re there. As straightforward a concept as you could possibly devise, this one is about…you guessed it…a killer crocodile (lest you thought this was a rom-com about a shy teacher who meets a beau in fin-du-siècle Paris).

In an undisclosed location (wherever was cheapest to film in 1989) Killer Crocodile was directed by the multi-named Fabrizio De Angelis (sometimes rendered as Larry Ludman), an oft-collaborator with Italian genre legends, Umberto Lenzi, Lucio Fulci, etc.

An amorous twosome is on a beach. The guy breaks  out a classical guitar and woos his lady friend with song. But Leonard Cohen he is not, and she doffs her top and runs into the water. Bad move. There’s a…well…killer crocodile about.

Radioactive waste is discovered in a swamp: in barrels marked “toxic waste,” so there can be no confusion whatsoever. Ecologists are floating down the river Joseph Conrad-style, collecting samples of river water. And when the body count begins to rise, they surmise that the radioactivity created a monster-sized croc. What a croc!

The film stars Richard Anthony Crenna (son of actor, Richard Crenna) and was followed by an unheralded sequel, Killer Crocodile II, in 1990.

There’s atonal weirdness lost in translation, gobs of bal-peen hammer exposition, a croc that looks like it was constructed as an after-thought for a soap box derby, and a wildly unhinged investigative journalist. In other words, extraordinarily fun.

So, how does this one fare as compared with Lake Placid, Alligator, or Rogue? That’s where you come in, dear listener.

On the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we absolutely love nature run amok movies, aka natural horror flicks. They’re so wonderful, even if they unabashedly rip off the Top Dog of the genre, Jaws.

Send us suggestions for animal attack movies we should cover!

Really Awful Movies: Ep 250 – Heavyweights

A Disney movie where Ben Stiller runs a fat camp? What’s this movie called, “Box Office Poison”? (to quote an infamous Norm MacDonald appearance on Conan O’Brien).

It’s hard to believe someone actually green-lit Heavyweights (or Heavy Weights as it’s sometimes known). This 90s-era comedy came and went with little fanfare.

Like many flicks that are not successful theatrically, the film has since garnered a cult following, probably because of the involvement of co-writer Judd Apatow along with Stiller.

Ben Stiller plays fitness guru Tony Perkis, an excitable send-up of infomercial gym hucksters. He’s also a yoga aficionado as well as an up-with-people peddler of lifestyle trends

As a new owner of a fat camp (which he has purchased from a kindly, if ineffectual elderly duo), Tony Perkis is tasked with whipping a bunch of teen boys into shape.

The boys (who include among their ranks, Fat Albert and Saturday Night Live standout Kenan Thompson) are none too happy about this and decide to stage a coup along with camp counselor and co-conspirator, Pat (played by Frasier’s Tom McGowan).

This is a movie that is being pulled in opposing directions. As a New York Times critic put it, “One…is a no-holds-barred spoof of a Tony Little- or Susan Powter-style fitness merchant […] The other …a conventional family comedy that pokes lighthearted fun at the chubby young campers.”

It’s tonally very odd, but it’s also an interesting look at the comedy star Ben Stiller would soon become. Perkis’ is a fantastically over-the-the-top workshopping of a character. When Heavyweights focuses on him, the film comes to life, otherwise, it sags.

Still, there is surprisingly enough to recommend it even if it falls into the trappings of other summer camp-type movies, Meatballs, etc.

Join us on this unique episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast!