If it wasn’t apparent already, I’m a sucker for monster movies, especially ones involving oversized crocodilians. The vast majority of them are absolutely horrible (like tomorrow’s movie of the week, Supercroc), but next month (Nov. 8) a more promising feature from the director of Wolf Creek will be coming out. The film is called Rogue, and while it follows the basic killer croc formula (come on, how many original story lines about giant man-eating suchians can you come up with?) it seems like it’s actually going to be scary and enjoyable, unlike the cheese-fest that was Primeval.
In fact, Rogue is a welcome change from many other of the killer croc movies in that it puts the animals back in their natural setting rather than trying to come up with some thin backstory as to how they got to be so big and why they are in the wrong part of the world (i.e. Tobe Hooper’s Crocodile), even if the behavior of the animal is not exactly accurate. Rogue is not the only Aussie croc-flick to be coming out, though, as November will also see the release of Black Water (THREE killer croc movies in one year? Talk about saturating the market…). Although Black Water differs in that the directors wanted to use real crocodiles instead of special effects like Rogue does, it follows a similar story line of a group of people being trapped by a large, man-eating reptile somewhere in Australia. Here’s the trailer;
Black Water appears to be a cross between Rogue and Open Water, the isolation in an unfamiliar habitat being just as important (if not moreso) than the imminent threat of being eaten alive. Also, just to clarify what the trailer means by “Based on a True Story,” crocodile attacks where the victim initially escapes into a tree occur every now and then, crocodiles often sticking around near the base of the tree in such cases. Being that they don’t need to feed as often as we do, crocodiles can afford to be patient where our own species can only last so long without water and food. The specific case that gave inspiration to the creators of Black Water occurred in 2003, when a young man was killed by a large crocodile and his two friends were treed for 22 hours by the reptile just south of Darwin, Australia. Such a situation is more frightening than any film, and even though they may be occasional movie monsters, large crocodiles do pose a very real threat to humans that enter their habitat.
I should probably note that I do not revel in the true stories of crocodile attacks that appear in newspapers; I like monster movies, but actual attacks are gruesome and terrifying on a level that is difficult to fully convey. While not dealing with crocodiles, for a short time I volunteered cataloging and organizing shark attack data as part of an attempt to understand why they happen, why attacks differ, what can be done to prevent them, and what can be done if you find yourself being attacked. Some of the photographs and accounts I poured over were too graphic for me to describe here, but as horrific as such evidence they can be I think they do merit scientific study and should not simply be relegated to sensational newspaper headlines. There is no joy or pleasure in undertaking such studies, but if tragic encounters can tell us something that can help protect people then I think such studies can produce a valuable outcome.