Sunday, February 24, 2013

Croaked: Frog Monster from Hell

aka Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake
Director - Bill Rebane (Blood Harvest, The Capture of Bigfoot)
Starring - Glenn Scherer (King Frat, Cocoon: The Return), Brad Ellingson, and Karen McDiarmid
Release Date - 1975
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Something's wrong beneath shadow lake... dead wrong"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Toxie's Top Ten)

Rating (out of 5):
     As a film collector I often buy movies without watching them.  I'll remove the packaging and put them on my shelf to sit for months or even years.  When I finally watch it and discover that the movie sucks I do not feel bad for buying it.  I'm a collector and sometimes that happens.  The Toxie's Top Ten collector's tin is one of those sets.  Most of the movies in this set are hardly worth watching aside from a few others.  However, I am proud to own this box set and do not view it as a bad investment.  Now as for the film.  The poster artwork reminded me of the film Frogs and I assumed this movie was in the same fashion.  It was not until I actually set down to watch the movie that I noticed the aka on the cover and did a little digging.  When I found the alternative name on a VHS cover I quickly realized what this movie was.  
     The film opens with a young man and his lady visiting his father's cabin isolated on an island.  He then begins to tell the young lady a story about what happened here 20 years prior.  One day he found some fossils and a scientist was sent in to look over the lake surrounding the small island for more fossils.  There is also another group of guys there looking around the same lake for gold that has gone missing.  As the young boy's father and the scientist search for more archeological finds, the group of men is wiped out by an unknown creature.  A local trapper, who is also senile, tells the young boy about Rana, the water god.  The old trapper feeds Rana livestock daily to keep it at bay but now the trapper is dying because one of the guys shot him.  Rana is now butchering everyone on the island until it is stopped.
     After the first five minutes I thought I would really enjoy this movie.  The film looked and felt like The Legend of Boggy Creek.  However, it was far from it.  The film was a rip off of Creature from the Black Lagoon, one of the most successful horror films, and still failed to deliver anything worth watching.  The acting is surprisingly very well done and probably the best I have seen with the Troma logo attached to it.  However, the praise ends there.  The story is taken straight from CftBL.  An amphibious humanoid rising from the deep to attack humans.  Simple as that.  Finally, the special effects are non-existent.  We only get small glimpses of the beast which is disappointing.  Could you imagine watching Godzilla and not seeing the beast at all?  Pretty shitty if you ask me.  Overall, this is a poor effort at creating a monster film.  The film is barely watchable at times and I would recommend watching something else from the Troma library over this one.  

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