When one happens to share a planet with another species, one has to know that eventually, those two species are going to come into conflict. Man versus nature, are always at odds and in the case of this movie, as the title bluntly tells the audience, the nature featured within is a crocodile and a killer at that.
When it comes to killer animal films, Killer Crocodile is fairly par for the course and one could even say uninspired as it holds so much in common with so many others like Them!, Night of the Lepus and so forth. That is not to say that it is a bad movie, it simply lacks anything original storywise so if one is looking for something in this department that does something a little different, one will not find it here. All of that being said, it is fairly enjoyable as Fabrizio De Angelis who directs this picture does a decent job of it, making it suspenseful enough and packing it full of action sequences where the crocodile kills those who have encroached on its territory.
The horror of the creature was a little muted as the practical effects were not quite as good as they should have been. If they had kept the creature out of sight for most of the picture, or at least its head, it might have made a bigger impact but as it was, it was okay at best. The real horror came from the barrel dumping of radioactive material in the swamp. How careless and cruel that man can be can never be underestimated which the villain of the picture, as played by Van Johnson, finally realizes. Of course, when it all ends, it does so with the heroes thinking they are heroes not knowing that the threat they thought they had just eliminated is still present.
It was a little surprising to see Van Johnson in this picture given its subject matter, not to mention that he became an old man somehow but given that, everyone does so and it never meant that the man stopped acting, the roles offered were simply different. Also starring would be Richard Anthony Crenna, John Harper, Sherrie Rose and Julian Hampton, all of whom would do a fine job of making the most of the material by injecting some excitement and horror into the proceedings. As good as most of them were, it was really quite interesting to see Van Johnson play the bad guy and he more than anyone was who the audience would most likely remember when it was all said and done.
Killer Crocodile would not be the first movie to star a crocodile or an alligator nor would it be the last and in terms of quality, it sits somewhere in the middle. All things considered, it was a fun enough time and worth an afternoon watch when nothing else is available.
3 out of 5