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Alligator (1980)

 -  Horror  -  2 July 1980 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 6,513 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 81 critic

A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded lab rats, injected with growth hormones. The small animal grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Alligator (1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Chief Clark (as Michael Gazzo)
...
Slade
...
Gutchel (as Sidney Lassick)
...
Mayor
...
Kelly
...
Brock
...
Kemp
John Lisbon Wood ...
Mad Bomber
James Ingersoll ...
Helms
Robert Doyle ...
Bill
Patti Jerome ...
Madeline
Angel Tompkins ...
Newswoman
...
ABC Newswoman
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Storyline

Ramon the alligator is flushed down the toilet as a baby and grows into a gargantuan monster by eating the corpses of laboratory animals who have undergone dubious hormone experiments, thus providing all the ecological and social subtext that one could possibly wish for, even if one doesn't normally go for films about giant alligators eating people left, right, and center--which is the inevitable and tragic result of Ramon's decision that the outside world looks rather more interesting than the sewers.... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beneath Those Manholes, A Man-Eater Is Waiting ... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alligator  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Forster improvised the jokes in regard to his receding hairline, which a delighted John Sayles wrote into the script during shooting for the other characters. See more »

Goofs

When Madison enters the manhole cover at the films climax, he is wearing Adidas trainers; when he lands in the sewer he is wearing boots; when he re-appears from the manhole he is wearing trainers again. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jackie Brown (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Once Upon A Time In (Under) Chicago
25 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The best Corman monster flick Roger never made.

This great B-movie unspools like a Sergio Leone revenge tale. Big mean Daddy flushes daughter's baby gator, Ramon, down the toilet. Sixteen years later, Ramon has grown up to be a 36-foot mutated maneater stalking the mean sewers of the Windy City. Daughter has grown up to become a 5'-4" herpetologist for the Chicago Zoo. You can just hear the haunting whistle of an Ennio Morricone soundtrack as the showdown looms.

This monster flick's pedigree is a purebred B, written by Corman alumnus John Sayles (fresh from 1978's 'Piranha', on his way to 1981's 'The Howling') and directed by veteran Lewis Teague, who cut his directing and editing teeth on such Corman classics as 'The Lady In Red', 'Cockfighter', 'Crazy Mama', and the immortal 'Death Race 2000'.

Casting for 'Alligator' was made in Cult Heaven, with Tarantino-fave Robert Forster as the bad-luck cop who gets between the girl and her gator. Future 'Stepmonster' Robin Riker makes her movie debut as the reptile expert. '50s sci-fi veteran Dean Jagger (looking, swear-to-God, like the dancing octogenarian in the Six Flags commercials) plays the dastardly industrialist who kills puppies and inadvertently creates the monster. Henry Silva seems to have fun skewering his cinema psycho persona. Even Hollywood tough-guy Mike Mazurki makes a cameo as the villain's gatekeeper.

Injokes abound, with winks and nudges to infamous sewer rats Harry Lime and Ed Norton. Romantic foreplay includes heartfelt talks about male pattern baldness. The gator seems to have a Jones for men in blue. And Chicago can only be saved by the time-honored, foolproof solution of trapping oneself in an enclosed space with the monster and a timebomb.

After 24 years, we rabid fans are still waiting for the obvious sewer creature clash, 'Ramon vs. C.H.U.D.' Keep dreaming ...


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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