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I had been on the lookout for ALLIGATOR II for some years now. I just had to see it. I mean, the first one is just so much fun - and really one of the few older killer-croc type of films done right - and this sequel carrying the MUTATION subtitle, plus starring both Steve Railsback and Richard Lynch, I mean... Can it honestly be that bad?
Straight up, I can't really call it a bad movie. It's not badly put together, and further more, it has all the necessary elements to even make it a B-movie "in the tradition of JAWS" type of flick. We got a killer alligator loose in some city pond, eating people left and right who are unknowingly invading its territory (which extends to the sewers again). There's the protagonist detective (Joseph Bologna, a rather forgettable actor) running around, aware of the problem but believed by no-one. Dee Wallace (yipii!) plays his wife, and even with her supporting role she proves again that she's the best actress in the whole film. We have Railsback playing a greedy, corrupt man with power who plans a carnival near the pond which he refuses to cancel. And when he's informed of the alligator problem, he tries to deal with it in a hush-hush way, calling in Richard Lynch as a bounty hunter, together with Kane Hodder as his brother, no less. And finally, our killer alligator, who sadly enough doesn't look "mutated" at all, but at least it kind of looks the same as the one in the first film.
So what went wrong with this film? All the ingredients really are present. The script even tries to inject some of the same type of black humor the first one had, so at least the filmmakers tried to make a sequel in the same spirit. It even has something that looks like a decent climax (involving the pond and a helicopter and all). But the problem is: None of it works. This film supposedly has everything, and even tries pretty hard, but it all just doesn't feel right. It just doesn't come together and click like the first film did. Hard to explain it, really. Plus, the alligator gets a fair amount of screen time, but it never does anything you want to see it do. People should be getting munched or at least ripped to shreds, but I can't recall any memorable death scenes. I remember Kane Hodder getting stuck in its mouth, but that's about it.
When compared to the first ALLIGATOR from 1980, this sequel really is "subpar", for reasons I can't even pinpoint exactly. But as a stand-alone (as it has little ties with the first one, aside some minor bits of alligator footage being re-used) killer-alligator flick (from the 90's - and we all know what that means), it's just about moderately entertaining. Watch it if you can't resist it, just like I did. Otherwise, skip it and save yourself the inevitable disappointment.
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