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Sam McMurray Is Losing His Head in 'Lake Placid 2'

26 Jan, 2008 By: Billy Gil

John Schneider and Sam McMurray in Lake Placid 2

Remember Lake Placid? The 1999 film starring Bill Paxton and Bridget Fonda as people fighting a man-eating crocodile was panned by critics and posted a modest box office figure. But a strange thing has happened since the film's release: According to actor Sam McMurray, the film made huge numbers every time it aired on TV.

“There's always room for that kind of ‘black whimsy,’ McMurray said of the comedic horror film.

McMurray, a veteran actor of countless films, TV shows and stage plays, stars as a big-game hunter in Lake Placid 2, the made-for-TV sequel that aired on Sci Fi Channel last May. The film will hit DVD Jan. 29, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, at $26.98.

Lake Placid 2 aims to preserve the fun of the original with CG-animated crocs taking bloody bites out of unsuspecting victims. McMurray said that they even ad libbed a bit while filming in Bulgaria, adding quirks such as his character's Irish background.

For the sequel, Joe Holt, John Schneider and Sarah Lafleur round out the rest of the team, who are now trying to stop multiple prehistoric crocodiles from eating everyone in sight. Oscar and five-time Emmy winner Cloris Leachman also makes an appearance as an eccentric croc lover.

“My mom and Cloris actually worked together,” said McMurray, whose parents were actors Jane Hoffman and Richard McMurray. “Cloris … has a real intensity when she works. … John is very funny and droll.”

The actors' antics can be seen on the campy behind-the-scenes featurette “Sex, Guns and Croc-n-Roll.” Another featurette advises on “Surviving a Crocodile Attack,” while the “Gnawed Up” featurette is a nine-minute version of the film taking you straight to the nudity and kills.

Spotlight: Sam McMurray

“All actors are character actors,” Sam McMurray said when questioned about his “character” status. But McMurray also said he's thankful for the 30-plus year career he's had as a “where have I seen him before?” actor. Here's where you might have:

  • A Christmas Too Many. Lionsgate. 2007. Starring Mickey Rooney.
  • Stealing Sinatra. Showtime. 2004. Starring David Arquette.
  • Sunshine State. Sony Pictures. 2002. Starring Edie Falco.
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition, released in 2003). Warner. 1989. Starring Chevy Chase.
  • Raising Arizona (released in 2006 as part of the Coen Brothers Gift Set). Fox/MGM. 1987. Starring Nicolas Cage.

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