Exploding Egg

B Horror Bonanza: Lake Placid

A dark, mysterious and deadly force is lurking at a lake deep in the Maine woods. It terrifies wildlife, preys on visitors and loves nothing more than mayhem.

Betty White in Lake Placid

I speak, of course, of Betty White — and her role as a crusty Maine native in the film Lake Placid.

If you’ve ever wondered what we New Englanders are like when left in each others company, then consider the non-stop dissing and sarcastic commentary by the characters in this film as your first lesson.

Lake Placid, the real one, actually has nothing to do with this movie. It takes place on Black Lake in Maine, named so because “we wanted to call it Lake Placid, but somebody said that name was taken,” the local sheriff, played by Brendan Gleeson, explains.

The film, one of my favorites in the funny horror flick genre, kicks off with the action fairly early on, when the sheriff and a Fish and Game official spend an afternoon out on the lake with the aim of tagging beaver.

Unfortunately for the Fish and Game guy, though, while he’s diving in the murk he comes across an unseen force in the water — could it be Betty White? — and he gets munched in half before the sheriff can rescue him.

In response, the sheriff brings in another Fish and Game guy, Jack Wells (played by Bill Pullman) to help him investigate the attack. But Wells is skeptical that any sort of water borne creature could be responsible.

Maybe he thinks it’s Betty White, too.

“Bear attacks?” Wells asks the sheriff when they meet.
“Bears don’t attack under water,” the sheriff tells him.
“Probably a beaver then,” Wells replies.

This gets an eyeroll as the sheriff mumbles “whole sentence sarchastic,” describing Wells’ personality.

Soon, our duo is also joined by Kelly Scott (played by Bridget Fonda), a paleontologist from a New York museum sent there to check out a tooth found in the victim.

Scott, who’s never been in the woods before, is apparently a paleontologist that doesn’t do field work and is afraid of bugs.

Uh, yeah.

Our sheriff’s take on her? “Rude sarcastic.”

Typical New Yorker.

Not quite sure why she’s been sent to help them, the sheriff turns to Wells and adds “We’re saved. The Museum of New York just sent us some additional backup.”

Fonda, Pullman and Gleeson in Lake Placid

Before heading out to the lake to look for dangerous predators, though, the intrepid adventurers first go to pay a visit to Mrs. Delores Bickerman (played by White), who is the only person that actually lives on the lake.

Expecting to meet her there with her husband, the group learns that the husband has died — although the sheriff tells her the nearby town has no record of that.

“Incomplete records haunt me so,” Bickerman responds.

When asked what happened to him, she tells the group he was chronically ill, so “I hit him on the head with a skillet and then buried him under the bulkhead.”

See, I told you she was dangerous.

The group shrugs her off as a harmless eccentric and doesn’t question her story much, despite her admitting to murder. Instead they head off to the lake, where they run into Hector Cyr (played by Oliver Platt), a “rich kook mythology professor who treks the world looking for crocodiles.”

The group decides to let him stay and join in the hunt, because he has expensive tools and a helicopter — just what every monster hunting expedition needs.

And after a bumpy canoe ride and possible crocodile encounter while searching the lake, the group comes back to the camp site, where they find more of the original Fish and Game guy — his big toe, specifically.

Oliver Platt in Lake Placid

Cyr, holding the toe up to the sheriff, hopes the sheriff can identify the toe “Is this the man who was killed?”

“He seemed taller,” the sheriff replies.

It’s tempting to go through all the dialogue in this movie, because it’s just so damned funny. But I won’t spoil it. Needless to say, there are many many lines that will have you rolling around laughing as the group tries to hunt down the mysterious deadly creature in the lake.

And there’s nothing like watching White say things like “if I had a dick this is where I’d tell you to suck it” to law enforcement officials.

White has a few choice words for our intrepid monster hunters

And now, the drinking game:

First: Take a small sip anytime anybody hits you with a sarcastic one-liner. This, alone, should get you good and lit by the end of the show.
Second: Drink when you see any decomposing part of a dead animal or person.
Third: Drink every time the sheriff calls Platt’s character “a mental” or when Betty White swears.
Fourth: Chug a whole drink when anybody gets caught in a crocodile trap.
And Fifth and Finally: Finish your drink whenever Fonda’s character is hit by a severed head.

You can find the DVD Lake Placid at Netflix here.



April 14, 2010 - Posted by | B Horror Bonanza, Reviews | , , ,


  1. I love this movie. Totally a guilty pleasure. The big bonus is Betty White, but I’d probably love it anyway. 🙂

    Comment by tamarashope | April 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. Yeah it’s one of my favorites — there’s nothing like seeing Betty White curse up a blue streak, lol 🙂

    Comment by SueVo | April 15, 2010 | Reply

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