COLUMN: A Life Changing Experience
Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 00:02
Once in a generation, a film comes along that captivates the hearts and minds of its audience in ways previously unimaginable. I had planned on writing this column on some important global issue or current event, but instead I am repurposing it to announce to the world that this past weekend I had the good fortune of seeing this generation’s cinematic masterpiece. Equal parts drama, comedy, action, romance, and thriller—this movie left me both wholly satisfied yet simultaneously aching for more. I am speaking, of course, of the Syfy original movie Dinocroc vs Supergator.
The movie stars David Carradine in the last acting appearance of his career along with several relatively unknown actors. Given their performances however, it’s only a matter of time before this instant classic catapults each and every one of them into superstardom. Co-directed by the genius minds of Jim Wynorski and Rob Robertson, it is 87 minutes of art in its purest form.
At the outset of the movie, we see both Dinocroc and Supergator separately escaping from the secret Hawaiian research laboratory of the evil Jason Drake (Carradine). As each breaks free from its captivity, they gobble up fleeing scientists, showing no regard for human life. One thing is clear: the entire island is under threat, and only one band of rag-tag citizens can stop them.
This group is made up of a fish and game hunter known as "the Cajun" (who dresses in all black and literally hunts with a crossbow and exploding arrows), a government official who had previously been investigating Drake’s sinister activities, and the hot blonde daughter of the town’s Sheriff who also happens to be a police officer, yet somehow gets away with wearing booty-shorts while in uniform the entire movie. The story of these characters is one of failure and triumph, love and heartbreak. As they find themselves falling deeper and deeper into Drake’s world of lies and deception, they slowly begin to realize that it is up to them to rid the island of these genetically mutated monsters.
As they repeatedly encounter the animals throughout the film, their biggest obstacle seems to be a complete inability to shoot giant animals from less than 10 feet away. During one chase scene, the cop is in the back of a Jeep speeding away from Dinocroc. She shoots what must have been at least 15 rounds from a small revolver-style gun, yet misses every single shot. Let me reinforce the point that this is a trained police officer from 10 feet away, with a gun that should only hold six bullets.
Meanwhile, as both animals are loose on the island, they wreck havoc on unsuspecting tour groups and hotel patrons. By far the most heart-pounding scene occurs as a sweet-talking playboy is in a private resort hot tub with two attractive ladies, only to be snatched up in an instant by Dinocroc. The beast is shown taking two bites, and in those two bites somehow manages to swallow three fully-grown people whole, with nothing left but a hot tub full of blood.
As the movie approaches its climax, our three heroes hatch a plan to lure Dinocroc into the same valley in which Supergator has been lurking and bait the two into a fight. During one heart-wrenching scene, the Sheriff sacrifices himself for his daughter by holding off Dinocroc just long enough for the crew to escape. The fact that the father-daughter pair are able to go through an emotional goodbye as they stand directly in front the animal for several moments can only be attributed to the politeness of Dinocroc as it waits to tear the father limb from limb.
The daughter, in a remarkable feat of civic duty, transitions in an instant from sobbing daughter to determined police officer as she lures the beast to their destination. Once there, the epic battle scene between Dinocroc and Supergator finally takes place. Ladies and gentlemen, the ferociousness and utter suspense in this scene cannot be overstated so I will decline to even attempt to do it justice.
This movie has taught me everything I need to know about life and more. In sum, it was an 87-minute journey, complete with witty one-liners, tragic loss, and romantic make-outs in the face of imminent danger. And you owe it to yourself and all those you love to go along for the ride.
Editor’s Note: The views presented in this column are those of the author alone and do not represent the views of The Heights.