Qt3 Movie Podcast: Crawl

Title Qt3 Movie Podcast: Crawl
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Movie podcasts
When July 23, 2019

Come for the epic Schwarzenegger/Costner showdown. Stay for the killer alligator discussion..

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Next: 3x3: sandwiches



“Don’t give him the stick!”

I predict that in ten years I will see Crawl mentioned in some kind of “top 10 animal terror movies” list and I won’t be completely sure if I’ve seen it or not.

I was hoping you’d podcast Crawl. I haven’t seen the movie yet.

I usually have the same problem with animal horror movies. Most of them don’t ask the question “Ok, how can we make this interesting given the nature and behaviour of this animal?” Instead, the solution is typically “let’s create a monster that looks like this animal”. In other words, it’s a one-note creature that exists only to kill. Ironically the creatures in Alien and The Thing tend to have more depth and characterisation than most actual animals in these horror movies. For that reason I find them disconnecting to watch because I’m constantly distracted by this bizarre thing that looks like an alligator (say) but doesn’t actually behave like one. I find unrealistic human behaviour similarly distracting; a person acting out of character or unrealistically is usually on drugs, under some kind of psychotic or alien influence, or a zombie.

Of course, if alligators were portrayed realistically in Crawl, it would - like you said - be over in 5 minutes! But that’s the fault of the script not trying hard enough.

Fun fact: I was actually asked to work on Rogue because they were toying with the idea of using a real crocodile, but they went with CGI once they realised it would be impossible to get a real croc to “act” out the behaviour portrayed in the script and make it look convincing. Black Water took the opposite approach, they actually changed the script to incorporate realistic behaviour and motivations of the crocodile (and boy did I cringe every time Tom described it as an “alligator”!). Ok, there were a few concessions made to story (its appetite for a start!) but ultimately it’s what made it so much more interesting… and, like you said, it was more of a character piece, a situation that perhaps we could all relate to: being trapped, and the Jaws-like fear of what’s under the surface. Lake Placid for all its flaws had its moments where it got this too.

And no, the body stashing scene is definitely pure fantasy.

Anyway, that was a fun podcast to listen to. I also have fond memories of that great LA trip @ChristienMurawski. Maybe we’ll do it again someday!

Not sure if you’ve heard, but they are making a sequel to Black Water called… Black Water: Abyss. Yes, I am again playing the off-screen role of Zoologist and Crocodile Specialist. :) The script is… well, I can’t say anything without being garroted, but it takes a few more liberties with croc behaviour, while still maintaining the overall approach that Black Water took. I’m hoping it turns out well! Anyway, this one features Smaug as the main antagonist, so clearly that elevates it already. (Smaug was briefly in Black Water; he was I believe the croc that rises up behind the two girls). I really should get him his own IMDB page.

How did we do the scene shooting the croc with the arm in the jaws? I can’t find my copy of the movie so I can’t check how they covered the actual gunshot (which we did not do), but the immediate aftermath was a real croc with a prosthetic arm, fake blood and jelly on its head sinking into the water. It looked unnerving.

We did a lot less set-up with Abyss. Every shot of Smaug is him doing his thing. There are a couple of shots in the script that they may have to do other ways, but we wanted to keep the actual moment-to-moment behaviour looking as real as possible.

LOL. No joke, I was cringing as well, imagining you listening to Tom and cringing.

What can I say, I have alligators on the brain? Tomato, tomatoe! Really, it’s all Alexander Aja’s fault.

Adam, I love the way you put it about animals behaving unrealistically being like people behaving unrealistically. That’s a great analogy for how it must feel for you. Fortunately, most of us don’t have that issue, because movies are playing off our dumb stereotypes and fears of various animals. Of course a shark will jump up on a boat!

I didn’t realize the Black Water sequel was so far along. I even thought it was one of those things that might never happen. Unfortunately – I hope this isn’t crass to say – Andrew Traucki’s track record since Black Water doesn’t instill me with much confidence for a Black Water sequel that lives up to the original. :(


Of his other movies I’ve only seen The Reef, and it didn’t work for me either. I’ve so far avoided asking him about it. ;) With Black Water the characters were all stuck in one place, up a tree, with no immediate threat as long as they stayed out of reach. There was plenty of time for interaction, character building, personal moments etc. The Reef had the actors in more direct danger from what I remember, there were less personal moments from what I recall. Maybe I just didn’t like the group dynamic as much, but once they were in the water I didn’t really care what happened to them.

I can’t make any promises about Black Water: Abyss other than the fact the crocodile sequences will be great. :) It was a bit touch and go there for a while, but it’s definitely happening. We’ve done all the croc filming, I believe the principle shooting has been done or mostly done, due for release next year.



I am just happy to be on the same credits page as Weta Digital!

I am going to see if I can get Andrew to put Smaug into the credits somehow. I’ve seen dog actors get credits before, why not croc actors!

I believe the industry term is croctors.


Is this a roguelike?

Spectacular! That might be the best thing you have ever posted.


I’m going to kick myself for not thinking of that, but that made me laugh.

Incidentally, the director of BWA has just confirmed that yes, Smaug will indeed be included in the credits. I’d better polish up his showreel for the Best Supporting Croctor at the Academy Awards.

I watched Crawl yesterday. It’s kinda hard to find much to say about it. I knows what it wants to be, executes on its premise with no extra frills, and gets in and out in less than ninety minutes.

Basically the only questions are: are the leads and director good enough to keep you engaged for the runtime, and yeah, they definitely are, so I enjoyed it a lot.


I find it unbelievable that Kaya Scodelario is a champion swimmer. She is a willowy actress with no muscle to speak of.

Otherwise this movie does not instill additional hate or fear of alligator in me. I’ve played enough Red Dead Redemption 2 to hate and fear them.

Def. worth a rental.

Think I am gonna watch this later today, trailer sold me on it, and its free on Prime.