5.9/10
9,299
110 user 86 critic

Alligator (1980)

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.

Director:

Lewis Teague

Writers:

John Sayles (screenplay), John Sayles (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A giant alligator runs riot in a small town with a lake connected to a sewer/drainage system. Typical plot; nobody believes the sightings until lots of people have been killed.

Director: Jon Hess
Stars: Joseph Bologna, Dee Wallace, Richard Lynch
Grizzly (1976)
Adventure | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An eighteen-foot-tall grizzly bear terrorizes a state park, leaving it up to a Park Ranger to save the day.

Director: William Girdler
Stars: Christopher George, Andrew Prine, Richard Jaeckel
Piranha (1978)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies-Urich, Kevin McCarthy
Prophecy (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A log company's waste mutates the environment, creating a giant killer bear-monster.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Talia Shire, Robert Foxworth, Armand Assante
Crocodile (Video 2000)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A group of college friends are attacked by a giant, man-eating crocodile while on spring break.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Mark McLachlan, Caitlin Martin, Chris Solari
Orca (1977)
Adventure | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A hunter squares off against a killer whale seeking vengeance for the death of its mate.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson
Black Water (2007)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A terrifying tale of survival in the mangrove swamps of Northern Australia

Directors: David Nerlich, Andrew Traucki
Stars: Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody, Andy Rodoreda
Razorback (1984)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child's granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr
Rogue (2007)
Action | Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An American journalist on assignment in the Australian outback encounters a man-eating crocodile while trapped on a rapidly flooding mud island.

Director: Greg McLean
Stars: Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Scientific experiments backfire and produce horrific mutations: half man, half fish, which terrorize a small fishing village by killing the men and raping the women.

Directors: Barbara Peeters, Jimmy T. Murakami
Stars: Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, Vic Morrow
Lake Placid (1999)
Action | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Three people attempt to stop a gigantic crocodile, who is terrorizing residents in Black Lake, Maine.

Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt
Tentacles (1977)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A mutated giant octopus wreaks havoc on a California seaside community.

Director: Ovidio G. Assonitis
Stars: John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Forster ... David
Robin Riker ... Marisa
Michael V. Gazzo ... Chief Clark (as Michael Gazzo)
Dean Jagger ... Slade
Sydney Lassick ... Gutchel (as Sidney Lassick)
Jack Carter ... Mayor
Perry Lang ... Kelly
Henry Silva ... Brock
Bart Braverman ... Kemp
John Lisbon Wood John Lisbon Wood ... Mad Bomber
James Ingersoll James Ingersoll ... Helms
Robert Doyle Robert Doyle ... Bill
Patti Jerome Patti Jerome ... Madeline
Angel Tompkins ... Newswoman
Sue Lyon ... ABC Newswoman
Edit

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 »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cocodrilo mortal See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alligator Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Bryan Cranston worked on the movie as a production assistant for the Special effects department. See more »

Goofs

When Henry Silva and the gang member head into the alley, they see the shadow of the alligator against a wall, as it backs down into another alley. A moment later, when Silva investigates, the alligator bursts forth from under a mountain of trash bags. No explanation is given for how the alligator backed down the alley and covered itself with a mountain of garbage bags. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The Catalina Home Video version cuts out the blood floating to the top of the water in the pool scene and the line "I'm gonna kick it's ass" is changed to "I'm gonna kick its tail" and "pain in the ass" is changed to just "pain" See more »

Connections

References The Honeymooners (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great movie. A creature-feature done right.
28 February 2002 | by billybrown41See 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.


20 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 110 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed