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Alligator (1980)


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Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
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Movie Info

Lewis Teague directed this sly horror-comedy from a script by John Sayles, which plays off the old urban legend about the dangers of flushing one's pet alligator down the toilet. One such unlucky reptile is "Ramon," who survives in the subterranean cesspool by feeding on the steroid-saturated carcasses of dogs dumped there by chemical company researchers and eventually bulks up to the size of a Winnebago. When assorted sewage workers start disappearing into Ramon's massive maw, hard-boiled cop


Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror

John Sayles

Sep 18, 2007

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (3) | DVD (9)

Lewis Teague is only too willing to hand over the entire project to Sayles's hunger for allegorical subplots.

November 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

Pretty good, as far as these gigantic Alligator things go.

February 5, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

John Sayles' screenplay mixes monster flick mayhem with a whole lot of wit.

July 27, 2002

Audience Reviews for Alligator

Before he launched an art-house directing career, John Sayles wrote a plethora of wiseacre, cunning horror-comedies for Roger Corman such as 'Piranha' and this gruesomely funny gem. Robert Forster is street-wise and unerringly charismatic as the detective who is investigating the string of sewer-based slayings and in a self-deprecating lack of seriousness, Forster's receding hairline is the subject of multifarious jabs. Sayles upends the old adage about flushing an alligator down the toilet and transforms it into a darkly humorous cautionary tale. For the most part, the alligator skulks through the shadows but once it is unveiled, the combination of animatronics and an alligator on a scale model, is an impressive feat. Perhaps the most pungent contribution of Sayles' screenplay is that if one were to extract the alligator scenes entirely, 'Alligator' would still be a exceedingly frolicsome satire of the New York lifestyle (Forster casually disarms a perpetrator with a makeshift "bomb" strapped to his chest as if it is a matter-of-fact occurrence). Teague rachets up the palpable suspense in many of the subterranean scenes (without a musical stinger to accompany it, the alligator can seen in the underground backdrop like a subliminal image). Henry Silva materializes midway through as a big-game hunter and his scenery-chewing hamminess is a joy to behold. Unlike the sublethal piranha, "Ramon" (as he dubbed earlier in the film) constitutes a baleful threat. Of the 'Jaws' imitators in the late 70's and early 80's, 'Alligator' is a wonderfully facetious addition that doesn't skimp on the offbeat humor or referential jokes (graffiti stating that "Harry Lime Lives" is spray-painted on a wall).
October 15, 2013
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

I love nature gone wild horror flicks. There's a certain appeal to killer animal films that just makes that genre of horror so memorable. Director Lewis Teague has made one of the classic gator flicks, years before films like Rogue and Lake Placid took to the screens. Alligator is fun monster horror flick about a killer alligator that terrorizes a town. This is a very good film that is pretty underrated. If you enjoy good old' fashioned cheesy monster films, then this is the perfect film to watch. As far as killer creature films are concerned, this is the most entertaining since 1976's Grizzly. There's plenty of good gruesome moments in this film to appeal to horror fans. If you love creature features, then check this one out. The cast do a good job and there's plenty of effective suspenseful moments to thrill you. This is a terrific B movie. it's a very enjoying film from start to finish. It's a well written, well directed from Lewis Teague, who also directed Cujo. It's very entertaining, and is a film that should get more exposure. Alligator is underrated and is a must see for fans who enjoy a good killer creature flick. Although nothing original, Alligator is nonetheless a solid entertaining film that delivers a thrilling viewing experience. The film is very tongue in cheek, and I think that's what makes this film so good, add to that an ample body count, and you have a horror film worth watching.
March 31, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This movie reminds me of Humanoids from the Deep, in the way that it takes sci-fi/horror conventions of the 50s, in this case the giant insect/animal sub-genre, and updates it to 80s standards. But this movie has a lot less gore than Humanoids did. Overall it's an okay movie, but it could be a lot scarier.
October 21, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Marisa Kendall: I'm not a kid.
    2. David Madison: Anyone younger'n me's a kid.
    – Submitted by Jayne L (22 months ago)
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