5.9/10
9,598
115 user 88 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 »

On Disc

at Amazon

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:

At first, no one believed. But now, no one will ever forget! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alligator See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is not only a Jaws 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 Cheif 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 is a naive rookie cop like Jeffrey Kramer's Hendricks. 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

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

Alternate Versions

The Catalina version not only cuts the blood in the pool scene and all the profanity, it also cuts a second in the the scene where Brock is exploring the alley with the Cheif. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dog Days: The Making of 'Cujo' (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Once Upon A Time In (Under) Chicago
25 November 2004 | by RetroRogerSee all my reviews

The best Corman monster flick Roger never made.

This great B-movie unspools like a Sergio Leone revenge tale. Big mean Daddy flushes daughter's baby gator, Ramon, down the toilet. Sixteen years later, Ramon has grown up to be a 36-foot mutated maneater stalking the mean sewers of the Windy City. Daughter has grown up to become a 5'-4" herpetologist for the Chicago Zoo. You can just hear the haunting whistle of an Ennio Morricone soundtrack as the showdown looms.

This monster flick's pedigree is a purebred B, written by Corman alumnus John Sayles (fresh from 1978's 'Piranha', on his way to 1981's 'The Howling') and directed by veteran Lewis Teague, who cut his directing and editing teeth on such Corman classics as 'The Lady In Red', 'Cockfighter', 'Crazy Mama', and the immortal 'Death Race 2000'.

Casting for 'Alligator' was made in Cult Heaven, with Tarantino-fave Robert Forster as the bad-luck cop who gets between the girl and her gator. Future 'Stepmonster' Robin Riker makes her movie debut as the reptile expert. '50s sci-fi veteran Dean Jagger (looking, swear-to-God, like the dancing octogenarian in the Six Flags commercials) plays the dastardly industrialist who kills puppies and inadvertently creates the monster. Henry Silva seems to have fun skewering his cinema psycho persona. Even Hollywood tough-guy Mike Mazurki makes a cameo as the villain's gatekeeper.

Injokes abound, with winks and nudges to infamous sewer rats Harry Lime and Ed Norton. Romantic foreplay includes heartfelt talks about male pattern baldness. The gator seems to have a Jones for men in blue. And Chicago can only be saved by the time-honored, foolproof solution of trapping oneself in an enclosed space with the monster and a timebomb.

After 24 years, we rabid fans are still waiting for the obvious sewer creature clash, 'Ramon vs. C.H.U.D.' Keep dreaming ...


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