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Croc! Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by Jagged Edge Productions

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Written and directed by Paul W. Franklin
2022, 80 minutes, Not Yet Rated
FrightFest UK Premiere on 25th August 2022

Starring:
Sian Altman as Lisa King
Mark Haldor as Dylan 'Bruiser' King
George Nettleton as Charlie
Antonia Whillans as Amy

Review:

To give this B-movie creature feature the credit it deserves, at no point does writer and director Paul W. Franklin shy away from asking the big questions. Questions like ‘Where was God when a crocodile started to kill everyone?’, ‘What is a man-eating crocodile doing in rural Hampshire?’ and ‘Can a crocodile climb stairs?’
 
When the crocodile in question crashes a wedding on a remote country estate, chaos immediately erupts. Again, to Croc’s credit (there's an exclamation mark too, but we won't butcher the punctuation by mixing apostrophes and exclamation marks) the film doesn’t waste time nor beat around the bush. Man-eating crocodile action is promised, and man-eating crocodile action is delivered, in spades.
 
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Under siege from the rampaging beast, the wedding party hole up inside the Tudor mansion hotel as it roams the grounds, feeding on stragglers and would-be escapees. But with a crocodile that seems to specialize in opening doors and (yes) climbing stairs, for how long can they keep the creature at bay? Thankfully, the survivors have an ace up their sleeve in the shape of the bride’s dad (Mark Haldor) – professional croc wrangler and brick shithouse. Can Britain's answer to Crocodile Dundee use his expertise to save the day, or is he too busy flirting with the bridesmaids?
 
Given the lack of budget and extremely cheap-looking CGI, one might have expected Croc! to keep its monster hidden as much as possible. Surprisingly, Croc! does not do that, giving its shonky-looking crocodile ample screentime to stomp, slather and chomp all over the film. Much of it is variations on the same shot – the croc closing in on a screaming victim, its jaw wide and tongue flopping about. And, with the humans’ propensity for tripping right into the thing’s mouth, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
 
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While the bad CGI and wooden performances put Croc! deep in Syfy special territory – rather than that of bona fide cult classics like Lake Placid or Black Water – it is thoroughly effective on its own terms. Featuring the crocodile equivalent of Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, it keeps the deaths coming thick, fast and gory. The internal logic – that of a crocodile slasher film – is sound. 
 
True, the finale is disappointingly tame, and yes, some of those kills get quite repetitive. But, at a sleek 80 minutes, the film never outstays its welcome. With its tongue planted firmly in cheek, even the stiff acting and weird dialogue (taking in theological theory alongside all that croc-talk) is kind of fun.
 
To come back to those questions: what is a man-eating crocodile doing in rural Hampshire? As it turns out, none of that really matters. This isn’t Croc, or Crocodile - it’s Croc! with a fully-loaded exclamation mark.
 

Grades:

Movie: 2.5 Star Rating Cover
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About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer - UK
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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