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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chief Clark (as Michael Gazzo)
Gutchel (as Sidney Lassick)
John Lisbon Wood ...
Mad Bomber
James Ingersoll ...
Robert Doyle ...
Patti Jerome ...
ABC Newswoman


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


A FRIGHTENING movie with a sense of FUN! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aligator  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


As in the shooting of this film's main inspiration, Jaws (1975), the mechanical, giant alligator was often malfunctioning. In a few scenes, Lewis Teague either shot around the alligator to build suspense or shot a regular alligator in miniature sets (which is plainly obvious in some shots). See more »


In the first shot of the alligators eye, the whole crew is reflected in it. See more »


Gutchel: How about cats? I got plenty of cats. I also got a parrot I'd like to get rid of.
See more »


Featured in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Later, Gator... ;=8)
14 July 2000 | by (Mooport Moos, VA) – See all my reviews

Ahhh, one of the classic 80's Guilty Pleasure flicks, right up there with "Humanoids From the Deep", and "C.H.U.D.". Ramon, the cute little baby gator who gets flushed into the sewers of Chi-town eats some dead dogs on super-steroids, and becomes a giant, ravenous walking handbag with teeth. Chicago is terrorized, and only a handful of veteran B-moovie actors can save the day! Robert Forster("The Black Hole", "Delta Force", "Satan's Princess") is our balding, square-jawed hero; Robin Riker("Buffy the Vampire Slayer" tv series, "Dead Badge")plays the snuggly herpatologist; Henry Silva("Chained Heat", "Megaforce", "Amazon Women on the Moon") plays a surly big-game hunter; Michael Gazzo("The Godfather II", "Sudden Impact") is the over-worked police chief; Dean Jagger("Twelve O'Clock High", "X: The Unknown", "Game of Death")is the evil corporate bigwig who gets smooshed in his own limo; Sydney Lassick("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Shakes the Clown", "Fast Walking")is a twisted pooch purveyor who gets pulverized. In fact, LOTS of people get chomped, stomped, and crushed by the mad gator, but it's all done with wit and enough sense not to take its self too seriously. Udders cowplain that "Alligator" is merely anudder "Jaws" rip-off, but fail to appreciate the film's tongue-in-cheek humor & fun. Penultimate scene of the hungry gator running amok at a garden party is an all-time classic! Cud have been really stupid, but the film benefits from a smart script by John Sayles(w. "The Howling", "Matewan", "Eight Men Out"), and solid direction by Lewis Teague(d."The Lady in Red", "Cujo", "Navy SEALS"). Pretty good fx further cowplimant the moovie. Not a perfect film, by any means, but a great choice to pop in on a dull Saturday night with a greasy pizza & some moo juice! Stop flushing those baby gators down the john!! The MooCow says rent "Alligator" today! ;=8)

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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