What Hollywood is really missing right now are some decent Alligator and Crocodile movies. It has been years since the likes of Primeval hit the screen, and apart from a few terrible SyFy movies, these reptilian killers have laid pretty low in the past decade. With this year being the year of the shark (Deep Blue Sea 2, Meg) maybe 2019 can be the year of the Alligator/Crocodile with a reboot of this classic. To make my case I figured it would be best to review the original which is a lot better than people probably remember.
This movie is quintessentially ’80s for better or for worse. In an age where it is a hot-button issue, I would be remiss not to mention that misogyny runs rampant in this movie. While it is mostly laughable, it is also not subtle in any way. If you are able to look past that you will wade through another ten layers of ’80s stereotypes.
The film stars Robert Forster who I think is criminally underappreciated for his work in both TV and Movies. He plays a cop named David with a questionable past which makes his claim of a Giant alligator in the sewers seem suspect. He is surrounded by a cast of actors that have long been forgotten but were pretty big character actors at that time. All of this amounts to some middle of the road acting, but a lot better than some of the garbage acting they force down our throats in today’s creature features.
The aptly named film is about an Alligator that is flushed down the toilet after an opening scene that can only be described as confusing and hilarious. Instead of meeting the fate that you would think would befall and animal flushed down the toilet, the alligator survives and ends up eating a steady diet of chemically tampered with dogs which makes it grow to an enormous size. It is then up to David to prove he is not crazy and save the city of New York from a modern day dinosaur.
Look, this was the early 1980’s so it is not like there was a lot to work within the special effects department. While the alligator would not pass as real to any eye, they didn’t do the worst job for the few times it was on the screen. There is one scene in particular that is important to the plot, but also a weakness of the film because our titular reptile spends too much time out in the open looking like a kid’s bath toy. I can’t knock the movie too much for this though because I’m sure they didn’t have the biggest budget and it seems they did pretty good with what they had.
This is one of my favorite classic creature features for a lot of reasons. I love how awesomely bad it is, but it is still charming in so many ways. Lions Gate owns the rights to this film so it wouldn’t be impossible to see a reboot in the future, but I am not going to hold my breath. For now, I will have to continue to rewatch this one every few months when the need arises.