Alligator (1980)

Posted: July 15, 2012 in Movie Review
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Alligator (1980)


Directed By: Lewis Teague

Starring: Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Michael V. Gazzo, Dean Jagger, Sydney Lassick, Jack Carter, Henry Silva

Subgenre: Creature Feature

Synopsis: When a baby alligator that was flushed down the toilet feasts on chemically enhanced animal carcasses in the sewer, it grows to monstrous proportions and wreaks havoc on the city.

Thoughts: Every horror fan I know has a list of movies that they love that most fans don’t share the same sentiment for.  Alligator is very high up on that list for me.  It’s a really fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously but yet still delivers some pretty suspenseful scenes.  Alligator offers up some tongue in cheek humor, but not at a level where the movie becomes campy.

The lighting and cinematography stand out for a B level production as well although I wasn’t a huge fan of the shots where we see the ‘gator’s perspective. I preferred the scenes where you saw a glimpse of the gators eye when a flashlight crossed over it, and thought the scene where the pool light came on was great.

B movie actor extraordinaire Robert Forster plays the cop who takes it upon himself to destroy the gator that ate his partner. He teams up with (and beds down) an attractive reptile expert that his half his age, played by Robin Riker.  In many ways this is tougher to believe than the 40 foot alligator running through the sewer.  There are a few other character actors you may recognize in the roles of the Police Chief (Michael Gazzo) and the professional hunter (Henry Silva).  All in all, this is a pretty good cast.

Director Lewis Teague isn’t a name known to a lot of fans, but he has brought us some pretty good flicks.  He followed up Alligator with Cujo and Cat’s Eye before moving on to more action fare in The Jewel of the Nile and another personal favorite of mine, Navy SEALs.

It’s pretty obvious that Alligator is a derivative of the success of Jaws, along with quite a few of the animal attack movies of this era, but it is one of my favorites.  If you’ve missed it, track it down and give it a shot, but beware the sewers!


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