As far as chintzy Jaws ripoffs goes, Alligator is in the top tier. I’d hold it up there with Piranha, even. It’s the old urban legend about flushing alligators down the toilet and them growing giant in the sewer. The film stars Robert Forster as a police detective trying to track down and kill a giant alligator loose in a city.
The movie boasts a fairly solid story, some great special effects, and a sort of casual humorous tone that makes the movie breeze on by. It’s a really good b-movie.
Alligator left the door open for a sequel but this movie has nothing to do with that. We’re in a different city with entirely different characers, the events of the original film aren’t even eluded to. Our hero, Joseph Bologna, is a detective looking to save a lake community from a giant alligator. Standing in his way is a greedy land developer played by Steven Railsback.
Bologna’s character teams up with a rookie cop (Woody Brown) and a cajun gator hunter (Richard Lynch) to kill the creature. The three men have no trouble getting hold of heavy weaponry and bombs, they make large explosions in underground tunnels without consequence, and the finale involves men skulking aroudn a sewer tunnel with bazookas.
Does It Hold Up?
Definitely, it’s on par with the first film though a tad bit goofier. Railsback plays a great slimy villain, Richard Lynch has never looked like he was enjoying himself more, and the film just has a kooky snese of dark humor. The gator itself looks quite a bit more fake and the movie even resorts to using gator footage from the first film at one point.
Joseph Bologna is a great leading man and I’m dissappointed that this was his only real genre work, he outdoes Forster in the original. Dee Wallace Stone is beautiful and charming. Steve Railsback is chewing up more scenery than the gator here, I really wish he were still in a lot of things. I’m not sure if it’s rights related or just disinterest but it’s a shame that there’s no blu-ray of this or the first one.
Watch, Toss, Or Buy?
I’d say buy, but you can’t so just think about it really hard.
Where Can I Find It?
VHS or a very out-of-print region two DVD. It’s on Youtube.