5.9/10
9,486
113 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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,134 ( 2,522)

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:

Beneath Those Manholes, A Man-Eater Is Waiting ... 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 Inc. 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

Robert Forster was recovering from a case of spinal meningitis when principle filming began. See more »

Goofs

When the alligator attacks Slade's limousine and the camera is on Slade, the car is continually rocking as if being hit. When the scene shifts to the limo driver, the car is still. 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 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 Supercroc (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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