Crocodile Island 2020 Giant mutated crocodile with its jaws open and tongue showing

Chopped in Half: Best Crocodile Movies

We are continuing our exploration of natural horror and after shark movies, it’s time to check out some crocodile movies! However, crocodiles will not be the only animals that will tear flesh and bone here because we’re including alligator movies as well. It’s not like you’ll be looking down those jaws of death and thinking I wonder if this is a croc or a gator? Btw, the difference is in the snout shape. Crocodiles have a narrower, V-shaped snout while alligators have wider, U-shaped snout. Now you can scream correctly while they’re eating you. Hey honey, it’s not a croc, it’s a gator that’s eating me! Get a picture, will ya’?

After watching so many Australian crocodile movies I seem to have adopted their sense of humor. It’s like you can hear Jim Jefferies or Ozzy Man Reviews talking in your head with that distinct accent. Still not as funny as New Zeeeland accent. Ahh, guys I love you so much. The land down under is definitely one the most prolific countries for crocodile movie productions, but we’ll go around the world here and check out movies from Thailand, China, England, Italy and USA. Crocodiles and alligator movies sure are popular. And they narrowly escaped the SyFy hyperproduction menace, unlike shark movies, with only a couple of these monstrosities released.

All in all, this list of crocodile and alligator movies contains all 37 titles that have been released so far. And fair amount of them feature the beasts casually chomping down some innocent kids. A testament to a different time in film-making. Also, let’s see how many death metal song references can we get in the titles of these natural horror lists. Obituary’s classic was a must here.

Crocodile facts

To better enjoy these movies, here are a couple of intersting facts about our reptilian friends. Almost driven to extinction because of poaching and hunting practices of the 17th, 18th and 19th century, they are now farmed for their skin and meat. During the olden times all the largest specimens were hunted and killed. This is the reason why there are no large crocodiles alive now. Correction, no large crocodiles have been sighted. Crocodiles can grow and live indefinitely, with largest and oldest specimens reaching a ripe old age of 120 years and length of over 6.17 m (20 ft 3 in). There are reports of an 8.6 m (28 ft 2 in) crocodile shot in 1954 in Australia, but these are unconfirmed. We can only imagine what beasts roamed the nature a couple of centuries ago.

One of the interesting facts about crocodiles are the so-called rogue crocodiles. One of the movies on this list is actually Rogue from 2007 that features a similar croc. Rogue crocodiles are crocodiles who tasted human flesh and liked it. Humans are relatively easy to hunt and capture so they decided to eat them exclusively. In Primeval, also from 2007, we’re following a group of journalist in search of exactly such beast. Beast that really existed, a gigantic crocodile called Gustave by the natives, suspected of killing and eating over as many as 300 people in Burundi. And finally I will leave you with this: Saltwater crocodiles have the strongest bite of any living animal.

Crocodile movies

Crocodile movies vastly outnumber alligator movies and the reason for that is simple: crocodiles are much bigger and therefore scarier. In this case, size did matter. Although alligators are just as dangerous. When it comes to genres, we have a standard mixture of action, comedy and horror. Believe it or not, but the first movie about crocodiles was released in 1972 in Cambodia during the bloody Cambodian Civil War! Crocodile Man is based on an old Thai legend Krai Thong and it follows the adventures of Kraithong who’s hunting a giant crocodile. Followed by two Thai movies Agowa gongpo (1978) and Chorakhe (1979), it shows just how strong is the connection between humans and crocodiles in these regions.

Speaking of connections, in ancient Egypt they worshiped Sobek (mentioned in Lake Placid), a deity associated with the Nile crocodile or the West African crocodile. They even had a spell in their Book of the Dead for protection against crocodile attacks. Which brings me to an absolute shredder and one of the songs with longest titles Nile’s Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserve its Possessor Against Attacks from He Who is in the Water. It’s so great when things you like connect in the most unusual ways. You can just imagine Nile full of these giant, prehistoric apex predators, preying upon the populace feeding off the great river. This could be a great movie…

Here’s a list of all crocodile movies that were left out for various reasons :

Crocodile Fury [1988] – Directed by none other than the infamous Godfrey Ho (Ninja Terminator), it features vampires, crocodiles and all kinds of oddities. It was very close to being honorably mentioned, but in the end it was just too much of a mess. IMDb Link

Krocodylus [2000] – Also known as Blood Surf, I was really excited about this one. Preposterous script, released at the same time as some of the favorites and popularity all pointed towards a great B movie. However, I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. It has a lot of nudity though. IMDb Link

Dinocroc [2004] – Produced by Roger Corman, Dinocroc kickstarted a series of cheap SyFy movies revolving around bringing back to life extinct prehistoric monsters. Made before they switched their business model to pumping out dozens of these movies, it has a certain, shlocky charm. IMDb Link

Khoht Phetchakhaat [2005] – Also known as Brutal River, this Thai creature feature looks pretty bad. The production values hugely influenced the final look of the movie making it ultimately unwatchable. At least for me. However, if you’re on a binger, it might provide a refreshing take on a subject. IMDb Link

Zwei zum Fressen gern [2006] – Did you really think that Germans would be left out of this animal attack movies? You can expect a standard-issue German made-for-television movie that looks pretty decent but is pretty hard to find. Much like Hai-Alarm auf Mallorca, their shark attack tv-movie. IMDb Link

Croc [2007] – Starring Michael Madsen, Croc is the sixth installment in SyFy’s Maneater series. Shot in Thailand, it features exotic scenary and decent, live crocodile footage. However, the story, acting and almost everything else is pretty bad. IMDb Link

Supercroc [2007] – One of many crocodile movies released in 2007 tried to cash-in on the Primeval popularity. It looks really bad, like it was shot on a camcorder. And it also sounds really bad, like they had just one, faulty mic. If you’re into this sort of thing, might wanna give it a look. IMDb Link

Dinocroc vs. Supergator [2010] – A movie that sounds like a dream come true for most of the crocodile and alligator movie fans is just another SyFy stock release. Starring David Carradine, it’s intentionally campy and we expected nothing less from a Roger Corman movie. IMDb Link

Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus [2010] – Continuing our Mega Shark adventures, we follow it into the depths of the ocean as it fights Crocosaurus awoken from its slumber deep in the Congo mines. It’s exactly what you expect it to be, a movie with two giant monsters fighting each other and causing a lot of CGI destruction. IMDb Link

Alligator Movies

Native only to United States and China, it’s no wonder that the first movie about alligators is The Alligator People from 1959. Set in the in the heart of Louisiana swamp country, it follows a wife searching for her missing husband. She soon finds out that he turned into a half-alligator half-human after a failed medical procedure. Holy Sobek, the fifties were something else. Next up we have weird exploitation movie Eaten Alive from 1976, directed by none other than Tobe Hooper, two years after his hit The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I’m really surprised that there aren’t that many alligator movies.

On our list we have a couple, with the latest being Alexandre Aja’s Crawl from 2019. Although the story and dialogue were pretty ludicrous, the atmosphere and special effects were top-notch! When it comes to alligator movies we here at Rabbit Reviews (and when I say we I mean me) skipped, here’s the list:

Supergator [2007] – Another Roger Corman shlocky D movie with horrible CGI and atrocious dialogue. If you’re really hungry for some gator action, check it out. It’s got that so bad it’s good vibe. IMDb Link

Mega Python vs. Gatoroid [2011] – Produced by the infamous The Asylum, this is a standard-issue SyFy movie. Genetically enhanced pythons fight mutated alligators. Alligators mutated by eating steroid-injected chickens. ’nuff said. IMDb Link

Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators [2013] – I’m really surprised that this one of two redneck alligator movies.. I mean, the setting is just perfect for these silly action comedies and characters write themselves. Here, rednecks must unite against the common enemy: giant mutated gators! IMDb Link

Alligator X [2014] – Also known as Xtinction: Predator X and starring Lochlyn Munro, I had high hopes for this one. However, it turned out to be just another generic C-grade SyFy produced atrocity. Predictable, visually repulsive and ultimately boring, watch in extreme desperation. IMDb Link

Freshwater [2016] – Starring Zoë Bell, this is the only non-SyFy movie here. That fact doesn’t change much because it’s just as crappy as the rest of them. With no story, bad dialogue and laughable CGI, watch only if you’re addicted to these movies. IMDb Link

Honorable Mentions

What we got here are crocodile movies that were close to making it. They were either movies so bad that they are good or contained just a few scenes with crocodiles. However, they were still better than all the movies we have left out. Also, our Chinese trilogy is only here because I think we’re all too familiar with SyFy releases.

21. Crocodile Dundee [1986]

I vividly remember watching this movie when I was a kid. Funny that the only thing I remembered was that huge knife. Crocodile Dundee took the world by storm featuring our lovable Aussie tough-man Michael J. ‘Crocodile’ Dundee. Played by Paul Hogan, who was an established name in the world of comedy in the land down under, the character led to the boom of tourism in Australia. Paul also wrote the script.

Although it features just one scene with a crocodile, it paved the way for many other that followed just by having the word crocodile in the title. And being a romantic comedy without anyone realizing it. The script is filled with great dialogue and jokes, not to mention the two leads that later got married in real life. There are also two sequels of variable quality.

20. Croczilla [2012]

China is a very secretive and strange country. Under the rule of their Chinese Communist Party, nothing escapes the careful eye of the state. I SEE YOUUUU! Including movies and other forms of art. So, it’s always interesting to check out what’s happening over there. Especially since the cultural differences and governmental influence is so obvious that it’s funny. This was the first Chinese crocodile movie and it’s followed by two more recent ones. Although the special effects are not that good, these movies are really entertaining as movies so bad that they are good. This one’s about a 36-foot crocodile called Amao who’s sold from a crocodile sanctuary to local criminals who intend to serve him up as food.

It’s so fun to see how the crocodile movies evolve and change across different countries. And what are the similarities between them. And there are plenty of them. From the choice to feature crocodiles that were captured in Thailand and not native alligators to role model characters and sense of humor, almost everything in Croczilla is funny and entertaining. Starring Barbie Hsu, a very popular singer in China, acting was pretty good. Also known as Million Dollar Crocodile, although the only connection to this title is the fact that poor croc ate 100.000 euros, you can watch this movie for free on YouTube thanks to FrightPix.

19. Mega Crocodile [2019]

Next up we have a Chinese version of a Hollywood action movie complete with a team of commandos, wealthy entrepreneurs and troubled experts drinking excessively. It’s a mixture of The Meg and Kong: Skull Island, a movie that apparently made a huge impact in China. After an unseen shipwreck our crew of unlucky seaman find themselves ashore of a strange island. They are immediately attacked by crocodiles only to be saved by a giant crocodile that appears out of nowhere. It turns out that one of the crew members is a brother of a wealthy “chairwoman”, so she organizes a team of experts in order to rescue him from the Hell Island, as the locals are calling this island.

Unlike two other Chinese crocodile movies, this one’s least preachy when it comes to values and desired behavior. It’s a straight-up no-nonsense action adventure movie with a crazy story, even crazier dialogue and incredibly crazy scenes. Combine this with horrible English accents and you got yourself one hell of a movie. From jumping out of a plane without parachutes to man eating plants, you will be constantly surprised with the twists. The CGI is expectantly bad with only a handful of scenes that look somewhat acceptable. The Mega Crocodile looks like an animated rubber crocodile and the smaller ones are standard cheap looking ones. This movie also is available on YouTube, and you can stream Mega Crocodile here.

18. Crocodile Island [2020]

The third and final movie in our Chinese giant crocodile trilogy is a direct rip-off of one of the best “giant monsters” movies 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. Even the title of the movie is reminiscent of the 2017 hit. And while Skull Island featured some of the best special effects involving giant monsters, Crocodile Island is more similar to a bad SyFy movie. This was China’s first web movie and apparently it was a huge hit on the streaming services.

The only reason I have included these three movies are their unique stories. You will learn something about Chinese people in each of them and here, the propaganda is the heaviest. After a plane crash that leaves surviving passengers stranded on an island inhabited by giant crocodile, a young man must prove his worth to the father of his girlfriend. Some of the scenes are so funny and on the nose that you can’t help but laugh.

17. The Hatching [2016]

After China, we’re moving to England with this independent horror-comedy. Obviously made on a budget it features only a few scenes with crocodiles but it has a great small-town atmosphere. Just think Hot Fuzz but with a much smaller budget and revolving around a crocodile. And with a lot of missed opportunities. After his father died, Tim Webber returned to his home town for the first time since a horrible accident that happened many years ago. In this small and sleepy town nothing happens and everybody knows everybody. So there’s nothing left to do but get drunk, high and have sex. And try to find out what’s killing all those people near the lake.

There are some truly crazy scenes here like the one where one of the guys starts eating a whole onion topping it off with a block of cheese. While a snake wriggles around his neck. Director Michael Anderson took advantage of that whole “don’t take us too seriously” vibe and created a cute little flick. The pacing was really great and I liked the sudden changes that took The Hatching from a fun comedy to pretty fucked up horror in no time. A perfect tongue-in-cheek experience.

Soggy Sequels

As the old saying goes: if you have a successful movie, the first thing you need to do is make a bad sequel. And crocodile and alligator movies are no exception.

16. Alligator II: The Mutation [1991]

We’re starting our list with an insanely strange movie. And you thought that nothing’s going to top those Chinese crocodile movies. Basically a remake of the original Alligator, it features almost the exactly same story and characters. Only played by different actors. Released over ten years after the original, this is an obvious attempt to milk some quick cash from a semi-familiar flick. After a small alligator living in the sewers munches down some chemicals from Future Chemicals Corporation, that’s been dumping toxic waste there, it starts to grow. And terrorize the city. Only one police detective, his young apprentice, apprentice’s girlfriend and detective’s wife can stop him.

In this process of stopping him they will use all kinds of weapons from knifes, over pistols and dynamite to fucking bazookas! It’s so silly and generic that you can’t help but laugh. Intentionally campy, Alligator II is an entertaining nineties extravaganza complete with greedy developers, gangs and racist cops. I kept expecting for cocaine to make an entrance but I guess they were out. Joseph Bologna with his charisma carried this movie through some murky waters helped by always fun Richard Lynch and super-cute Holly Gagnier. This is another one of those movies so bad that it’s good. Although if you spent enough time in the genre you might get addicted to these movies.

15. Killer Crocodile 2 [1990]

After the environmentalist who found the source of the pollution in the original, we are now following a sexy female journalist who’s doing the same thing. And guess who shows up again? So, our blond Apollo hero must save the day again sporting a boat that needs to be seen to be believed. This is all a part of that B movie charm that makes Killer Crocodile 2 such a pleasant experience. Our crew isn’t afraid to show their huge paper mache crocodile eating people or the rubber one they use for water scenes. They just get on with it. Released in 1990, it looks much older but it features the same great cinematography from the original. And the same underlying messages of corruption, pollution and this time brave journalists fighting for justice.

Our handsome couple provided a sexual dynamic that wasn’t present in the original. Debra Karr, a Cara Delevingne lookalike and Richard Anthony Crenna had great chemistry on the set and it shows throughout the movie. Shot at the same time as the original, Killer Crocodile 2 is more of a variation of the original than a sequel, so it fits perfectly in our soggy sequels category. It has some awkwardly bad scenes like when the croc attacks Joe and music melodramatically swells. That scene ended with Kevin shouting nooooo at the sky. Just pure B movie gold. The dubbing is another hilarious element of the movie. At least it’s understanble here, unlike in our next movie. So, if you’re looking for some cheesy fun and wondering what’s Kevin and Joe from the original are doing check out Killer Crocodile 2.

14. Lake Placid 2 [2007]

Shot eight years after one of the best crocodile movies out there, this sequel is exactly what you think it is. A pretty shabby and cheap knock-off that copied all the story elements from the first movie and tried to make a quick buck. A huge crocodile appears again at the infamous Black Lake in Maine and now it’s up to our group of heroes to kill it. It has some redeeming qualities though. For starters, this is the first crocodile movie where we have nudity, something that I found quite surprising. The body count is surprisingly high with some pretty gnarly kills. The only reason why it’s not in the honorable mentions section is because it’s a sequel.

The CGI is pretty bad with one particularly crazy plane landing that seems like something out of cheap educational videos. Acting is wooden and the script cringe-inducingly tries to copy the humor from the original. All of these are ingredients for hilariously bad movie and this is what Lake Placid 2 is. Although shot in 2007 it looks at least five years older, so it’s a nice throwback to that time. This is an early SyFy movie, back when they were not printing out a gazzilion movies per month. That fact, however, means nothing when it comes to the quality. So, if you’re up for some cheap and sleazy fun with crocs check out Lake Placid 2.

13. Black Water: Abyss

I was so pumped for this movie. Are we still using pumped? I don’t want to be left behind, as I’m containing myself not to reference Slipknot and their song of the same name. This is a sequel to Black Water, possibly the scariest and most realistic crocodile movie on this list. I waited and waited for its release and when I finally saw it I was immensely disappointed. I expected so much more and what we got is another generic sequel coasting on the fame of its predecessor. This time our gang of two couples and their obnoxious outdoorsy friend get lost in a cave system and end up being hunted by a crocodile. It is so cliched that it’s ridicules. From the I left my inhaler there gimmick to the “don’t move a muscle” line, it’s full of scenes and character that we’ve seen a thousand times before.

As the movie progressed I hoped that it’s turning into The Descent. Then The Cave. Until I finally realized that this is just a really bad episode of Star Trek TOS (although there is no such a thing). How could this movie be directed by the same guy who created The Reef and Black Water is beyond me. To pass the time waiting for something to happen you can always play a game who dies first and how. I failed at the last person, hope you’ll have better luck. On the positive side, crocodile CGI isn’t half bad although he’s rarely seen. And the acting was pretty good. In the end, I don’t blame the crew of Black Abyss for wanting a bit of financial stability in these uncertain times. With that stability comes SyFy reputation, but I’m still excited to see what will Andrew Traucki’s next project will be.

Best Crocodile and Alligator Movies

When it comes to special effects, for all you crocodile fans out there, I should mention two movies featuring great scenes with out heroes. First one is Rampage from 2018 starring The Rock and featuring a huge crocodile attacking cities, helicopters and all kinds of other shit. The second one is Jurassic World from 2015 with some epic scenes featuring a huge Mosasaurus trapped in a pool.

12. The Great Alligator [1979]

Also known as Il Fiume del Grande Caimano, this Italian crocodile movie is trying to ride the Jaws wave of giant animal attacks. It can be considered a bad movie but I found it so endearing and cute that I had to move it to the best section. Directed by Sergio Martino, one of the more prolific exploration and giallo directors, it’s a shamelessly hilarious B movie from the good old times. It has a soul and great, adventurous atmosphere. It actually steered me off course and I ended up watching a couple of old Italian exploitation adventure movies. Nothing fucked up as Cannibal Holocaust or Cannibal Ferox but more palatable, still raunchy and crazy movies like The Mountain of the Cannibal God starring Ursula Andress and Stacy Keach. And just to be clear, The Great Alligator features almost no nudity and gore.

It follows a famous photographer and a model promoting a new resort in Africa. The resort is unfortunately located dangerously near a place that the indigenous population considers a holy place where an alligator-like god Kroona resides. Beautiful cinematography and Italian eye for detail set this movie apart from others. One scene starts with a shot of lush jungle and then focuses on a cigarette being smoked by an exotic and beautiful black goddess. It doesn’t get more exciting or sleazy than that. The crocodile itself looks pretty rubbery and stiff but you don’t watch these movies for the special effects. Competently edited and shot, it’s a great intro to our grand crocodile adventure.

11. Killer Crocodile [1989]

Ten years after an Italian alligator movie it was time for an Italian crocodile movie. This time we are following a group of environmentalist looking for toxic waste being dumped in the tropical delta. They just packed their shit in a boat and went looking for it. What they found was toxic waste alright but also a giant crocodile. Now they must enlist the help of a grizzled hunter living alone in the jungle in order to take down the beast. Excitingly charming and with a lot of crazy and melodramatic scenes, Killer Crocodile is fun and entertaining movie.

Fast-paced and with a lot of unintentionally hilarious scenes it’s one of those heartwarming blasts from the past that you will come back to. I urge you to watch it with original, Italian audio without any dubbing. If you didn’t know crocodile in Italian is coccodrillo, and the way they say it is just so damn cute. CoCoDrillllloo!!! Shooting took place in the Dominican Republic so you can expect some beautiful and lush settings. As I already mentioned, the cinematography was top-notch, so the movie looks much better than some shot even thirty years later.

Working on a small budget, you can forgive all the flaws of giant latex and fiberglass crocodile and lack of sets. Our poor macho environmentalist leader Richard Anthony Crenna had to provide his own wardrobe for this movie and even contracted dysentery during filming. I laughed so hard at some sections of this movie. Like when one guy tried to take a picture of the cocodrillo and the other guys tried to stop him like he’s gonna attack it with a camera. Which he eventually does. This Jaws rip-off is a very entertaining and hilarious crocodile, pardon me, coccodrillo movie, so be sure to check it out.

10. The Pool [2018]

And right from the eighties we’re jumping into one of two most recent crocodile movies. The Pool is coming to us from Thailand, a country that made several older and low-budget movies about the crocs. And it’s not a comedy or a cute action flick like some of the entries on this list but a full-blooded thriller! Granted, it also features some pretty unbelievable scenes mixed with generic storyline where you can guess what’s going to happen a mile away. After he finished shooting a commercial in a huge pool, Day decides to spend the rest of his day floating on a inflatable raft. Unfortunately, he falls asleep not realizing that the water from the pool started running out and that soon he will be trapped in it. However, this is just the beginning of his troubles.

The Pool is a high-concept mid-execution flick featuring two actors, one croc and one huge pool. With such a simple setup it’s pretty amazing what this inexperienced crew managed to come up with. The movie is pretty intense and with a really good pacing, so there’s hardly a dull moment in it. When it comes to crocodile footage, forget those dimly lit or murky waters scenes, here the crocodile attacks in broad daylight. The CGI is relatively good, depending on what are your standards. The character development is something you will either find funny or engaging, again depending on what your standards are. In the end, The Pool is the perfect addition for our list, featuring some pretty interesting ideas and refreshing take on the crocodile movie genre.

9. Alligator [1980]

Nothing beats old fashioned eighties Jaws rip-off movies. And this one even ripped-off the characters complete with alternate versions of Brody and Quint. You start with some nice jams and pretty intense scenes with real alligators attacking humans, to add some punch to the whole thing. And then continue with huge alligator roaming the streets of Chicago. However, Alligator is a fun and cheesy movie fully aware of its crazy premise. It features one of the most popular myths when it comes to these fearsome animals: after they were flushed down the toilet, they start living in the sewers.

Fuck me, even I as a kid have heard this one. Starring young Robert Forster and Michael V. Gazzo, it has one of the funniest dialogue out of all the movies on this list, on par with Lake Placid. Forster improvised some of the lines that he later repeated some 27 years later in Tarantino’s classic Jackie Brown.

This is also the only movie where you can witness an alligator in an urban environment. These scenes seem almost unreal but somehow appropriate because the movie has this entertaining setup. I mean, our heroes go into sewers armed with bazookas and grenades, so it’s not strange to see a giant alligator eating people in the streets or crashing weddings. I hate to use the same term over and over again but I have to say that this is another B movie gold. Very charming and fast-paced, Alligator eventually became a cult classic, a definition of a guilty pleasure. They even made a A tabletop game based on the film!

8. Crocodile [2000]

Aptly and simply titled Crocodile, this action/comedy/horror is directed by none other than Tobe Hooper! It makes perfect sense since he already done alligators in his 1976 classic Eaten Alive. However, all those classics were made in the eighties and we were missing that turn-of-the-century crocodile fun. As a millennial who’s probably the same age as our protagonists in this movie, I can’t help but be subjective here. Man, if you were going out and drinking during this time you recognize everything down to the haircuts and music. And the whole setup of the movie with eight collage guys and girls hoping to spend their spring break drinking and doing drugs only to be chased by a giant croc is also perfect.

I don’t know why people can appreciate these cheap B movies from the eighties but are having such a hard time with the nineties and early two-thousands. I mean, I’m the same way when it comes to those horrible SyFy movies, but I can list a lot of reasons why. When I set on this crocodile adventure this is what I expected it to be, you get an ass shot in the first five minutes followed by mindless party vibe. Until a giant crocodile appears and shit hits the fan.

Characters are somewhat developed, although they are all stereotypical college kids. They have same issues and desires as you would expect them and you’re not too sad when they get eaten. Animatronic crocodile prop looks phenomenal and really menacing while the CGI one just acceptable. Here, you can see the experience of Tobe Hooper at work. He knew the limits of his budget and constructed the movie around them to get the best special effects possible. And the budget was limited, let’s not kid ourselves here.

7. Crocodile 2: Death Swamp [2002]

This sequel has nothing to do with the original movie and that is a good thing. Written by the same crew, it has one of the best setups on this list and it’s a shame that it’s just another straight-to-video release. It starts with a bank robbery and ends up in the Mexican swamps filled with crocodiles. I just loved how the story seamlessly transitioned from one subplot to another and progressed with ease. Crocodile 2 is a rather serious movie with only of handful of snappy comebacks and a bit of humor, at least intentional one. It tries to keep its atmosphere intense and foreboding despite messy dialogue.

However, this is still another B movie featuring crocodile eating people so don’t expect some Oscar-worthy performances or setups here. Characters are pretty funny complete with a Morpheus lookalike sporting a WWII sub-machine gun and Natural Born Killers lookalike acting all crazy. Crocodiles sparked a killer animal obsession for the writer Boaz Davidson. After the original, he wrote Spiders, Octopus, Octopus 2: River of Fear, Rats, Mansquito and many other creature features.

It’s funny how some actors get stuck in certain roles and that guy from Karate Kid is one of them. Whenever you see him you go hey I know this guy, who the fuck is he? Oh yeah, that’s that guy from Karate Kid. Cobra Kai motherfuckers! Martin Kove is his name and he’s been in over 200 movies and television shows. Crocodile 2: Death Swamp is a fun romp and a pretty entertaining movie, so get your beer and popcorn ready and dive straight in. I think that by the time I was watching this movie I was completely into the crocodile movies so I cannot be certain that you’ll have the same experience I did.

6. Dark Age [1987]

As you would expect as we’re nearing the top of our list the Austrailian crocodile movies will keep popping up. Arguably the first full-blooded crocodile movie, Dark Age continues the journey through the Australian outback that we only glimpsed in Crocodile Dundee. It’s based on a novel Grahame Webb and revolves around Aborigine legend of a giant crocodile called Numanwari. Starring Aussie legend John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) it’s a perfect choice for the start of your crocodile movie journey. It explores some of the themes we have only touched in previous movies like conservation efforts, poaching and harmony between animals and humans. The relationship between native Aborigines and white settlers is also an important subject here. You can clearly feel the effort put in towards reconciliation and harmony despite the actions of dumb individuals.

Dark Age looks phenomenally good with impeccable cinematography showcasing the vastness and beauty of the Australian nature. This adds an additional layer of authenticity to the movie because you know this is not the set but the real thing. It has a totally different, unpretentious vibe than all the rest of the crocodile movies. This doesn’t mean that there’s no gore because there’s plenty of it. The crocodile looks amazing with a lot of shots of real, live crocodiles swimming and frolicking in the wild. It’s considered one of the Aussie exploitation classics and it comes recommended by Mr. Quentin Tarantino. If you’re looking to switch up animals and stay in the land down under, I recommend you check out Razorback that has similar vibe to this one.

5. Primeval [2007]

This is the movie that all the other action/horror/comedy movies were trying to be. With a perfect blend of all these genres plus a couple of other things it’s both visually good and engaging. This is the first movie on this list that has a believable CGI in almost all situations. The story of Primeval revolves around a real giant crocodile called Gustave that lived and hunted people in Burundi. This being a third-world country, the reports of over 300 deaths went almost unnoticed. Oh yeah, and it’s in a middle of a horrendous civil war.

We follow a news crew determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. Starring Mr. Everyday-is-neckday Dominic Purcell and Jürgen Prochnow, it features pretty one-dimensional characters and a lot of cliches. I mean, Dominic’s contract stated that he must at all times have three to four of buttons of his shirt unbuttoned at all times no matter what situation they were in. Also some situations are laughably obvious like the scene where decide to camp near the river. At least this is not a shark movie so they have a bit more to work with.

Primeval is also the first crocodile movie set in Africa so it was nice to change the scenery. The kills look really good and juicy, just the way I like them. Being loosely based on things that really happened it has a lot of credibility. At least when it comes to the Gustave itself. For example, the capture attempt with the goat really happened in real-life, leaving explorers puzzled. In case you’re wondering what’s happened with Gustave, in 2009 he reappeared in Ruzizi River near Lake Tanganyika. And that’s the last time anyone has seen him although there are some unconfirmed reports from 2019 that Gustave has been killed. If you want to know more I recommend PBS’s documentary Capturing the Killer Croc from 2004. And if you would like to stay in Africa with another killer animal movie I recommend The Ghost and the Darkness about a killer lion.

4. Black Water [2007]

One of the most impactful and intense crocodile movies on this list is based on true events. You can read the initial, shorter Australian Daily Mail news report and The Guardians lengthy article The night of the hunter, but I recommend you do this only after you watched the movie. This way the intensity and sheer terror of what’s going to happen next will be much more pronounced. This was a directorial debut for Andrew Traucki who went on to direct one of the most powerful and scary shark movies The Reef, also based on true events.

Black Water follows a group of friends who decided to go fishing in mangrove swamps of Northern Australia. As you can probably guess, this fishing adventure soon turned into fight for survival. Comparisons to, in my opinion, pretty bad shark movie Open Water can only be made in a sense that the both movies were low-budget successes. However, Black Water is infinitely more engaging and professionally done. Almost all the footage of the crocodiles in this movie is real. They used ten live crocodiles with one of them, a 12-footer even chasing director Traucki on land. He also ate a $20.000 camera.

If you want to know more about how they shot this movie read his interview on MovieWeb, it’s awesome! Apart from the visuals, the sound design was also top-notch. You keep hearing this ambient noise of the swamp that feels like one live and very threatening entity. In Black Water there are no giant mutated crocodiles, just plain old ordinary ones and this makes the movie even more terrifying. The grittiness of it is hard to describe in words, it needs to be witnessed. It’s not like any other crocodile movie as it focuses on the pure survival drama without any other distractions.

3. Crawl [2019]

And speaking of winding down, here comes a perfect movie for that. Director Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Horns), almost ten years earlier directed Piranha 3D, so he’s no stranger to creature features. And when you consider the fact that the producer is no other than Sam Raimi, you know that Crawl is going to be a great movie. It’s a fun and visually stunning thrill-ride set in one location during a category 5 hurricane. The special effects are jaw-dropping and arguably the best ones you’re going to see out of all the movies on this list. To accomplish that on a $13 million budget is a great achievement. Aja, known as horror hound, did not shy away from gore here. You’ll witness a lot of people getting eaten by hungry gators in their full CGI glory.

After all this praise, it’s time to talk about the negatives. The story is pretty preposterous and characters cringe-worthy. The initial setup promised a lot in terms of reality but soon that went out of the window. What we got here is an entertaining action movie with alligators that’s perfect for your drinking/getting high nights. You can trash it and be amazed at the visuals at the same time. And since crocodile and alligator movies are a rare breed, any flick with updated visuals and concepts is a sight for sore eyes. If you want to know more about the movie you can read our much longer Rabbits Reviews article.

2. Lake Placid [1999]

With so many great characters involved in this movie, it’s no wonder it became a timeless hit. I mean, the cast alone is just pure perfection from our president Bill Pullman, over charismatic Brendan Gleeson to amazing Bridget Fonda. God, was I in love with her in the nineties or what! And I didn’t even mention Oliver Platt. Written by David E. Kelley, whose name you’ll probably recognize from the intros of so many television shows he worked on, Lake Placid has a perfectly toned script. Seamlessly flowing and full of great dialogue it’s a true work of art.

The very fact that you’re able to watch this movie so many times and still laugh at same jokes is a testament to that. Our list of big names we’re finishing with none other than Stan motherfucking Winston who was responsible for creature effects. In case you’re wondering who that is, he’s the man who worked on The Terminator, Aliens, Predator and Jurassic Park just to name a few. This guarantees that the croc is going to look great.

Lake Placid is the crocodile movie with the largest budget ($35 million) so it’s no wonder that it looks great. Cinematography was perfect and there was a lot great underwater and helicopter shots. Black Lake, Maine is one of those peaceful places where life’s just a bit slower and more enjoyable. A couple of disappearances prompt our local Fish and Game officer, Jack Wells to investigate further as he discovers that he might be dealing with an unknown beast. And beast it was. The constant back-and-forth between all of our characters generated a really positive and friendly atmosphere without coming off as pretentious. Under this barrage of funny one-liners you couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Extremely entertaining and fast-paced, Lake Placid is a must-see and an example of how a good horror/comedy can be a mainstream success.

1. Rogue [2007]

We finally reached the top of our list with the movie that has everything. It’s a perfect mixture of horror and action with great special effects. Of course, this is an Australian movie directed by Greg McLean of his Wolf Creek fame. Rogue is inspired by Sweetheart, a giant 5.1 m (17 ft) saltwater crocodile known for attacking boats between 1974 and 1979 in Australia. The first thing you notice about this movie is almost magical cinematography. Shots of equally magical Australian outback, a mysterious and wild place, are just breathtaking. That beauty is ominously interrupted by a brutal crocodile attack, showing us that this is going to be THAT movie. A group of tourists get more than they bargained for when signing up for a crocodile watching tour in Kakadu National Park of Australia’s Northern Territory.

Boat tour is such an elegant solution to the problem of diverse characters. If you’ve been on any kind of a tour, you know what I’m talking about. And this imideitly creates this lively and vibrant atmosphere. Rogue is also the movie with the most crocodile footage. And that footage is gooooood. I don’t know how they did it but they fucking did it. The croc is a lively bastard and this won’t be one of those murky-waters-dwelling motherfucker but a huge monster intent on killing. Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington and John Jarratt whom you might remember from Dark Age, all gave incredible performances. McLean paced the movie perfectly, slowly increasing tension and drip-feeding us crocodile footage until the extravagant finale. Not as humorous as most of the movies on this list are, Rogue is a different beast and in my opinion the best crocodile movie so far.