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 »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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:

It's 36 feet long, weighs 2000 pounds, lives 50 feet below the city. Nobody knows it's down there except the people it eats. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is not only a Jaws (1975) clone for involving a deadly creature larger than usual, but the three main characters are similar: Robert Forster is a cop and the hero of the movie, like Roy Scheider's Chief Brody; Robin Riker is a scientific expert like Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper; and Henry Silva is a tough and experienced hunter, like Robert Shaw's Quint. Also similar is Perry Lang as a naive rookie cop like Jeffrey Kramer's Hendricks, and Murray Hamilton's Mayor is a cross between this film's mayor Jack Carter and villain/instigator Dean Jagger (who shares attributes with Joseph Mascolo in Jaws 2 (1978)). 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

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

The UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to heavily edit scenes of gore, including shots of legs being bitten off, a car being destroyed by the alligator and victims being eaten alive during the garden party attack, and to remove one instance of the word 'fuck' in order for the film to receive an 'A' (PG) certificate. The cuts were waived in 1991 when the certificate was raised to a 15, and all subsequent releases are fully uncut. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Little Shop of Horrors (1986) See more »

User Reviews

 
Alligator is punk rock
31 March 2001 | by Yukster_ukSee all my reviews

This film has a superbly paced story and much style. It is great entertainment matched with wry comment from writer John Sayles: witness the rich old man who locks his posh car, allows his friend to get eaten and is then pounded flat by the monster. This could so easily have been boring and run-of-the-mill. Although accomplished on a low budget, the film makers put in much effort and created something unique.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alligator See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alligator See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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