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Alligator (1980)

R | | Horror | 2 July 1980 (USA)
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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Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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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
...
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:

A FRIGHTENING movie with a sense of FUN! 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:

Aligator  »

Filming Locations:


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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Sayles read Frank Ray Perilli's script for the film once and then totally scrapped it. Sayles said it was set in Milwaukee and explained that the alligator grew gigantic because of beer from a beer factory going into the sewers. See more »

Goofs

When David and Marisa arrive at the wedding, the two men working on the gate seem totally oblivious to what has just happened there. When the alligator was wrecking havoc, how could they have not heard the terrified wedding guests screaming, or saw them running for their lives towards the gate to get away? See more »

Quotes

Callan: [David, Marisa and Callan are walking through the sewer system] What the hell we looking for?
David: Anything that looks like it doesn't belong here.
Marisa: Uh, evidence of alligator nesting.
Callan: I see, like shoes, handbags, luggage...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Great movie. A creature-feature done right.
28 February 2002 | by (Kimberling City, MO.) – See all my reviews

What a classic. I will admit that the main reason I watch so many horror movies is mainly because I can make fun of them. I bought Alligator from a video store that was going out of business. I vaguely remembered the scene where the alligator crashes the birthday party from when I was a little kid. Anyway, I remembered enough to pick it up, so I was expecting another movie that I could sit there and trash, but once I saw John Sayles's name in the writing credits, I assumed that I would be in for something more. Instead of getting a movie that I could laugh at, I got one that laughs at itself for being a horror movie (about 16 years before that was cool). The script is super-sharp, with witty lines and the direction is tight. We also get a great, charismatic Robert Forster playing the role of the burn-out cop and Henry Silva makes a HILARIOUS cameo as a hunter. I don't know if his performance was intentionally bad or if he was just trying to be that bad, but either way, it worked. I loved his character and the funny noises that he makes. I'm sure it had to be intentional.

John Sayles has done some great horror scripts. Just check out Piranah and The Howling (the first one). He scores another knockout with Alligator and it put Lake Placid to shame. What that movie seemed to try so hard at (making a "parody" of sorts) Alligator pulls off with ease. The special-effects (of course they're dated by now) are actually really well-done for the time and, in many ways, a helluva lot more convincing than most of the CGI crap that we're force-fed today.

If you can find this movie, I highly reccommend it. No, it's not scary, but it is very entertaining and a good time all the way through.


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