Natural horror films became a talking point all over the world soon after the release of Steven Spielberg‘s iconic film ‘Jaws‘ in 1975. The movie helped create the concept of the summer blockbuster and broke many records at the box office in the process. Since the release of ‘Jaws’, many filmmakers have tried to come up with their own natural horror movies involving other creatures. Among them, one of the most popular creatures that has come up time and again in this genre is the crocodile.
Crocodiles and alligators, just like sharks, are out-and-out predators with a fearsome set of teeth which can very naturally induce a sense of dread within anyone. And thus filmmakers quite naturally took an interest in them as the deadly predators that can attack a group of unassuming folks and terrorize them deeply. With all that said now, here’s the list of the top crocodile and alligator movies of all time:
13. Eaten Alive (1977)
‘Eaten Alive’ is a story of a deranged man more than it is about crocodiles attacking innocent victims. The central character of the film is a man called Judd. He runs a small dilapidated motel in rural Texas. He is as deranged as Norman Bates of ‘Psycho’. When a prostitute comes asking for a room in the middle of the night, Judd attacks her with a pitchfork and throws her into the lake surrounding the motel where he keeps a Nile crocodile as a pet. Judd gets somewhat obsessed by his killing process and keeps feeding people to his crocodile until the authorities finally take notice. It must be mentioned here that despite being badly done, the film stands out with its unique concept of blending elements of the serial killer and the crocodile movies in one.
12. Black Water (2007)
Australia is a land full of reptiles of various forms, and thus it is only advisable to be more careful when you’re out in the wild in the country. A horrible fate befalls Grace, her husband Adam and her sister Lee when they go on a trip to the Australian mangrove swamps and fall prey to a giant crocodile. The three of them are on a boat, and the crocodile constantly attacks the structure hoping that any one of them would fall into the water. The suspense created in this film using merely three characters is something to be appreciated. The graphics, something which is very important in such movies, are also impressive.
11. Alligator (1980)
Though the plot of this 1980 film is rather far-fetched, it is still quite entertaining. The film tells the story of an alligator which grows up in the sewers after being flushed down the toilet when it was a baby. The creature then grows up to become a killing monster with an appetite for destruction, unlike anything we have seen before. When a detective and a herpetologist try to find this massive alligator, they obviously face life-threatening challenges. ‘Alligator’s plot is too ridiculous for us to take it seriously, but the movie does have a campy quality to it that you might enjoy.
10. Lake Placid (1999)
You might have heard about man-eating tigers, but did you ever hear about the man-eating crocodile that terrorizes the Black Lake area of Maine, United States? ‘Lake Placid’ is the story of this very fictional saltwater crocodile and its encounter with Sheriff Hank Keough, Fish and Game officer Jack Wells, and American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Kelly Scott. From grenade launchers to tranquilizer guns, these experts need all sorts of weapons to tackle these monsters and restore normalcy to the area once again. The film is not that great in itself, failing to induce any form of horror. However, the concept of the man-eating crocodile is quite fascinating.
9. Lake Placid 2 (2007)
If you thought ‘Lake Placid’ was the worse things could get, you simply couldn’t have been more mistaken. The makers just had to make it more ridiculous by bringing out an even campier B-grade sequel. The film follows a researcher and his friends as they try to collect samples from the Black Lake area. However, the lake is now infested with two male and one female crocodile, all of which are very protective of their habitat and will kill anyone they might consider a threat. One thing the makers did right is that they made this film into a horror-comedy wherein their ridiculous graphics and the half-baked story fit in perfectly.
8. The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002)
This film features the man most associated with crocodiles – the late great Steve Irwin, in his first-ever feature film role. The story of the film centers around two CIA agents who come looking for a crocodile which has accidentally swallowed a tracking drone. However, the conservationist Steve Irwin believes them to be poachers and thus is determined to stop them at any cost. It is only when they explain the matter to him in detail that Irwin joins their purpose in catching the crocodile and retrieving the device from the deadly reptile. The film more or less portrays Irwin in his natural world, where he goes around taking care of the animals, but is then suddenly thrust into this adventure.
7. Killer Crocodile (1989)
From Hollywood now we move on to Italian cinema, where B-movies have always been produced extensively. ‘Killer Crocodile’ is one such B-movie with campy graphics and a simplistic storyline. The film centers around a group of friends who visit a swampland to investigate the dumping of toxic wastes in the area which has become a huge problem for its ecological sustenance. What they do not know is that a crocodile living in the same region has grown to a gigantic size owing to the toxic waste, and has become much more aggressive than a regular crocodile. The camera work in this movie is rather shoddy, and the crocodile which we see onscreen is equally laughable. But it must be said that ‘Killer Crocodile’ is a terrific entertainer — it never bores and always manages to keep the audience at the edge of their seats.
Read More: Best Gambling Movies of All Time
6. Blood Surf (2000)
The 2000 crocodile movie ‘Blood Surf’ is centered around a filmmaking group which has come to a coastal region with a rather unique plan. They want to capture some thrilling footage in the ocean by making surfers surf around when sharks are busy eating bloody carcasses that they throw into the sea. However, this group is hardly aware of the fact that the place they are shooting at is infested by a giant 30-foot prehistoric saltwater crocodile. ‘Blood Surf’, besides offering the thrills such monster movies generally offer, is also a strong statement against using nature just for our pleasures and personal gains. If nature strikes back in any form, the results can truly be devastating.
Read More: Best 9/11 Movies of All Time
5. The Hatching (2016)
‘The Hatching’ is another film which directly deals with the negative effects of man distorting the natural habitats of animals for his own pleasure. The central character of the film is a character called Tim Webber. He returns to the village where he was born to discover that a killer crocodile has been terrorizing the area, having already taken the lives of quite a number of people. Webber soon realizes that it is due to one of his actions that the people of his village are suffering. A long time ago, Webber and two of his friends had stolen a couple of crocodile eggs, only to dispose of them somewhere near his village. Those two eggs ended up hatching, and now the villagers have to deal with their killing spree. It is the message of ecological sustenance and respect for an animal’s natural habitat which can be the only takeaway from this otherwise generic crocodile film.
Read More: Best Civil War Movies of All Time
4. Freshwater (2016)
Zoe Bell, the stuntwoman-actress who became famous after Quentin Tarantino gave her a starring role in his 2007 film, ‘Death Proof’ is the lead actor of this 2016 crocodile film. Bell’s character, Brenda, is among a group of friends who have gone to their idyllic lake house located on an island in the middle of Lake Charles to spend some days in in peace. However, their experience ends up being exactly the opposite when the group realizes that a deadly killer crocodile is roaming the waters and has already claimed the life of one of their friends. The plot of the film is quite similar to that of ‘Shark Night’, but that should not deter you from enjoying a battle between helpless humans and a monstrous killing machine.
Read More: Best Street Racing Movies of All Time
3. Xtinction: Predator X (2010)
This 2010 film deals with a pliosaurus, a prehistoric version of what we now call the crocodile. The central character of the film is a woman called Laura who comes to her home in the wetlands to look for her missing father. There, she finds out that her former husband Charles is planning to buy the wetland which belongs to Laura’s family. Laura refuses to sell the land to him and drives Charles away. However, Charles is not someone to give up that easily, and we see him kidnapping his former wife and two of her guests, all of whom he plans to feed to the deadly pliosaurus. Another one of the campy crocodile flicks, ‘Xtinction: Predator X’ does not have much to offer in terms of originality, but it sure does pack a punch when it comes to sheer entertainment.
Read More: Best Shark Movies of All Time
2. The Brutal River (2005)
Alright, so let us now turn our attention to the east. ‘Brutal River’ is a 2005 Thai film set in a small, otherwise peaceful province called Chumporn. However, the tranquility is shattered when a carcass is discovered on the banks of a river which flows by the province. Moreover, some of the villagers also start disappearing without any trace whatsoever. Observing some footprints found across the riverbank, the villagers come to the conclusion that there is a large water beast stalking this area. It must be mentioned here that the plotline of this film is much more interesting than the regular campy crocodile flicks we see in Hollywood.
Read More: Best Volcano Movies of All Time
1. Crawl (2019)
‘Crawl‘ interestingly merges the tropes of the disaster and the horror film genres. The film tells the story of a young girl called Haley who is searching for her missing father when a hurricane hits their town in Florida. She finally discovers him at their home, but by the time the two of them are ready to leave, the entire area has been flooded and there are alligators teeming all around, ready to pounce on them at the very first chance. The film boasts of some rather thrilling moments, and does well in holding on to its fast pace throughout its running time. Besides telling a story of man vs nature, ‘Crawl’ also spends adequate time tackling the nuances of a father-daughter relationship.
Read More: Best Tornado Movies of All Time