A lot of people watched last night’s Lake Placid 3, the Syfy channel’s latest new junk horror film, as a Saturday night time-waster and good excuse to make derisive jokes. It featured one of Syfy’s signature stars, Colin Ferguson from Eureka, as a zoologist who makes the mistake of bringing his family to a lake infested with chomping crocodiles.

LP3 followed the standard pattern for movies like this. Four minutes into the film, a swimming couple is dragged down into lake as the water around them turns crimson with their blood. Fifteen minutes in, gators come up onto solid land after a little boy foolishly feeds them meat. After 21 minutes, you got your grisly moose-head-decapitated-by-monster-animals shot. And before the first half-hour had gone by, a cute little doggy had been thoroughly chewed over.

It really didn’t matter who was playing the hero, for the purposes of the cheap scares and special effects of LP3, but Eureka‘s Ferguson did his job as well as possible under the circumstances. Yancy Butler, who started her career as a starlet with acting chops and has settled into the middle part of her work-life as a gravelly voiced woman-of-action, played a tough-talking hunter-guide who helped up the camp quotient with her snappy insults and general disdain for the wimpy young men whom she had to protect.

The original Lake Placid is perhaps best known for helping to launch the latterday image of Betty White as a salty old broad. White wasn’t in this sequel, but in a nice coincidence, she did win an Emmy award last night for her SNL hosting gig, as I predicted here.

Don’t forget that the Syfy junkorama we’ve been looking forward to all summer — Sharktopus, starring Eric Roberts — will premiere Sept. 25.

Did you watch Lake Placid 3? What did you think?