Looking forward to the remake of Robocop? Forget it! The original doesn’t need to be re-made. Try Robocroc instead!
Directed by Arthur Sinclair for UFO International Productions, Robocroc is the next monster crocodile/alligator flick off the ranks, following in a tradition begun (post-Jaws) by the excellent Alligator (US-1980; dir. Lewis Teague). They include Dark Age (Aust-1987; dir. Arch Nicholson), Killer Crocodile [aka Murder Alligator] (Italy-1989; dir. Fabrizio De Angelis), Alligator II: The Mutation (US-1991; dir. Jon Hess), Crocodile Fury (HK-1991; dir. Tomas Tang as Ted Kingsbrook), Lake Placid (Canada/US-1999; dir. Steve Miner) and its increasingly lame sequels, Crocodile [aka Flat Dog] (US-2000; dir. Tobe Hooper), Krocodylus [aka Blood Surf; Crocodile] (US-2000; dir. James D.R. Hickox), Krai Thong [aka The Legend of the Crocodile] (Thailand-2001; dir. Suthat Intaranupakorn), Crocodile 2: Death Swamp (US-2002; dir. Gary Jones), Black Water (Australia-2007; dir. David Nerlich and Andrew Traucki), Croc (US-2007; dir. Stewart Raffil), Primeval (US-2007; dir. Michael Katleman), and Rogue (Aust-2007; dir. Greg Mclean) — not to forget all those films that super-size the concept, such as Dinocroc (US-2004; dir. Kevin O’Neill), Supercroc (US-2007; dir. Scott Harper), Dinocroc vs Supergator (US-2009; dir. Jim Wynorski/Rob Robertson), and Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus (US-2010; dir. Christopher Ray).
Robocroc not only hybridises the concept but provides the monster with technological enhancements.
When a top-secret unmanned spacecraft disintegrates on re-entry, its mysterious military payload crash-lands in the crocodile habitat of a place called Adventure Land, a combination water park, amusement land and world-famous crocodile exhibit. Following its pre-programmed instructions, the payload – a next-generation nanotech-based combat drone – finds a host in the form of the park’s prize twenty-foot Australian Saltwater crocodile, Stella. She is the largest saltwater croc in captivity. Immediately upon infecting its host, the drone payload’s nanobots begin to transform Stella from an organic, living creature into a lethal killing machine with only a single directive: survival! Before Chief Zoo-keeper Tim Duffy and reptile biologist Jane Spencer are able to figure out what’s going on, they find the park taken over by the government team responsible for the secret project. As the crocodile continues to transform, it escapes the crocodile exhibit and enters the water park, running amok, killing dozens of patrons. But that’s just the beginning…
Comparisons can be made with films in the various sub-genres inspired by Jaws. In this tradition, filmmakers mix-and-match the titular monsters, not just monster crocs, but natural hazards such as giant and genetically enhanced sharks, giant snakes and mutant piranha. In most cases, the monstrous creatures find their way into human habitats and create havoc — generally places where there are likely to be bikini-clad models. From the following trailer, Robocroc is no exception.
Robocroc sports an interesting cast, including Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, The Stand mini-series, Beverley Hills 90210, Stargate SG-1, Supernatural, Mansquito, Sand Sharks, Dragon Wasps), Lisa McCallister (Dream Team, Sea of Souls, Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes, The Dark Knight, Sherlock), Steven Hartley (EastEnders, The Bill, Doctors) and Atanas M. Srebrev (Messengers 2: The Scarecrow, Infestation, Wicked Little Things, Spiders 3D, Abominable Snowman, Rage of the Yeti and endless other creature features). Also in attendance is veteran Dee Wallace, most famous for her role in Spielberg’s iconic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, but also many genre classics such as the original The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, Cujo, Critters, The Frighteners, and much else besides, right through to the present.
Source: Avery Guerra. UFO International Productions website.