Thursday, July 9, 2015

Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake - 1981

Also known as "Croaked: Frog Monster from Hell"

Two Troma movies almost in a row, what am I thinking?!  Well, I'm not really thinking, and this was perhaps a mistake, but whatever dude.  It was worth it.  I watched the big chunk of this one at work, so I just got paid by the hour to watch Troma.  Yeah dude.

Rana was just distributed by them, they didn't make it.  In fact, this was directed by cult director Bill Rebane who did such wonderful films as Monster a-Go Go and The Giant Spider Invasion.  If you are not a MST3K person, honestly you don't know what you're doing with your life.  You should not be reading about cult movies if you don't watch MST3K.  That's like, criteria.  So they riffed those movies, that's what I'm trying to say here.

Coincidentally, a woman who lives in my apartment building is also named Rana.

Rana / Croaked starts with some lame backwoods retards in a cabin, the girl trades sex for backstory.  You know, back before I ever had sex I used to think that was unrealistic.  But since I've been married, I've literally had my wife trade clothes or whatever for sex.  I buy her something nice, I get laid.  It's even like, planned out that way, it's not just a reward.  It's a very clear barter.  Maybe my relationship is fucked, who knows.  But I'm just saying, she wants to know his backstory, he wants dat ass.  So, she gives him dat ass in trade for backstory.

His backstory is when he was a kid, and there were some killings at a rural community.  In connection with these killings there are mysterious bubbles coming out of a lake, an eerie feeling felt by everyone, and strange frogs that are acting weird and confrontational. That and the local crazy hillbilly claims there's something going on and that people need to be scared.  Hm.

This movie was cheap, sure.  Bad, yes.  So bad it's good, yes.  It's close, it walks the line between just bad and so bad it's good .  I couldn't decide whether it was done with the intention or not, that was hard to judge in this case.  One thing is for sure, that this movie would not be enjoyable to everyone.  The music is good, the acting is ok, and it did have some minor surprising moments.

The main problem with this movie is the pacing.  Far too long between each kill, waaaaay too much unnecessary dialogue.  The monster sometimes looked okay, and sometimes looked way too awful to be taken seriously.  Those things combined with the fact the movie was cheaply made...it all adds up to the classic bad movie experience, except this one was just so fucking slow.

Croaked being a bad movie was not that surprising, I can't say I expected a lot.  It'd be good to drink or smoke to, it'd be good to put on and then get distracted by something else for a while and only look up at the interesting parts.  The child actor in it was pretty good and a strong character.  I like to see movies where children are put through reckless endangerment, and that happens a lot. Also, he is made to look strong even compared to adults, which was cool.

For trying, walking a thin line, and keeping me slightly interested I guess it gets 2 stars.

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