Unreal Movie Review: Alligator (1980)

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I was just a little kid when my dad let me watch the movie Alligator.  The movie changed my life.  The gore and killing and terror of a gigantic alligator eating people didn’t shock or traumatize me, but rather, it made me want to be an alligator.

I was infatuated with every single aspect of this movie, especially the killings.  Alligator embraces its status as a B-movie, masterfully delivering a dark, tongue-in-cheek humor and still conveying that the danger of a giant killer alligator was very real.

Read my review of this classic after the jump:

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The movie actually starts off with a man trying to wrestle an alligator for an audience at some type of theme park, the camera zoomed in on the reptile’s haunting eye before panning back to reveal its scaly body.  The man stumbles, the alligator bites him (but unfortunately does not kill him), there’s a lot of blood, and the tone of the movie is set.  Not even five minutes in, and we’ve got blood.  Nice.  The rest of the story is pretty straightforward: a girl at the event gets a baby alligator, her father flips the eff out, and then flushes the little guy down the toilet.  Fortunately for our alligator, though, a pharmaceutical company has been experimenting on dogs, giving them growth hormones and then dumping the bodies in the sewer.  The alligator feasts on the hormone-filled bodies, growing to an enormous size.  It’s up to Detective David Madison (played by Robert Forster) to figure out what’s going on once people start disappearing.

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Forster is brilliant as Madison, helping to ground the movie, much like George Clooney did in From Dusk Till Dawn.  Of course, nobody believes Madison that a giant alligator is responsible for the recent disappearances of several people (including a fellow officer), and it’s not until the alligator breaks out from the sewers and wreaks havoc on the city that people finally buy his story.  Along the way, Madison teams up with scientist Marissa Kendall (played by the gorgeous Robin Riker).  He bangs her, naturally, and that’s the one part of the movie where I wanted to be Madison and not the alligator.  Ok, now, let’s get to the violence!

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Pictured above is a scene that occurs just moments after the alligator breaks out from beneath the ground.  Everyone scatters, but this one pig cop tries his hardest to get into his car.  He takes a little too long and gets his legs bitten off by the alligator, left lying on the ground screaming in agony.  Maybe he should have tried harder in high school when he was undoubtedly a bully and picked on people like me who worked hard and got a college education so they wouldn’t have to be cops, but end up being bullied by the same pricks that bullied them in high school because now those bullies can hide behind the authority of a stupid little badge and take out their frustrations resulting from their crappy lives on those people like me who did something with theirs.  Not that I have anything against cops.

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Later in the movie, we get two pretty sweet attacks.  One takes place at a kids’ party, where two bullies (who will probably grow up to be cops) force a third kid named Donald to “walk the plank” into the dark swimming pool.  Just before Donald jumps in, someone turns on the pool lights to reveal the hungry, smiling alligator!  Perfect timing!  And that’s what I love about this flick – most movies just kill off capable adults.  Not Alligator, though.  Even kids can get their S effed up.  The other great attack, which is equally if not more enjoyable than Donald’s demise, comes when an officer hunting the alligator falls out of his boat and into the water.  He struggles and squeals and thrashes around while blood fills the water below him, and when he’s finally pulled onto the boat, we’re treated to an awesome display of flailing stumps.

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Up to this point, I’m sure you’re as impressed as I am with the alligator’s ruthlessness.  But did you know that he has a way with the ladies, too?  Check out this pic from a scene toward the end of a movie when the alligator seduces a waitress at a wedding and munches on her box for a bit.  From the way she was shrieking and waving her arms around, I am guessing the gator knew where the little man in the canoe was:

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So, of course, at the end of the movie, Detective Madison takes a bunch of dynamite and blows up the alligator, living happily ever after with Marissa.  And really, the only way to appropriately end this movie is with a ridiculous explosion.  I recommend you stop whatever you are doing right now and go see this movie.  If you’re at work, tell your boss to eat a dick.  You’ll thank me later.  I will leave you with one last pic, however.  I still obsess with alligators and like to dress up as them from time to time.  Here’s a pic of me in my homemade alligator costume, and I have no recollection of posing for this photo.  I had a lot of absinthe the day this was taken and ended up crapping myself and staining my tail.  I love alligators!

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