Alligator - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Alligator Reviews

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½ May 20, 2017
Jaws on a lower budget, the actors were really the only thing holding this movie together.
April 25, 2017
When it comes to these creature features, they're pretty much a dime a dozen. I found Alligator to be quite special for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was made by competent filmmakers who put their own spin on things without losing sight of the main narrative. Second, Robert Forster, Perry Lang and Henry Silva are in it. The lovely Robin Riker is also in it, and one must experience Michael Vincente Gazzo's performance which is amazingly bad! Third, not only does it reference The Third Man in a very nice way, it's also been referenced and lifted from for everything from movies to video games. There are supposed to be some extended and deleted scenes from a TV version of the movie out there that I would like to have seen included on the side of the disc I watched, but the movie itself is quite entertaining. It's constantly giving us new information without becoming boring, and I like that a lot. It's also nice to see a leading guy who's not all that great. Not that Robert Forster isn't great, but the way he portrays his character makes him seem like a douche bag. It's great that he isn't the usual heroic type, yet still manages to come through in the end.
½ March 12, 2017
awesome effects and story is decent.
½ March 23, 2016
A pet alligator is flushed into the Chicago sewers and mutates to a giant size due to chemicals being flushed into the sewer. Cop Robert Forster has to hunt down and defeat the reptile with the help of a sexy reptile expert before it eats more people. A pretty fantastic creature feature featuring a great script by John Sayles, solid direction by Lewis Teague, and an amazing supporting cast that includes Michael V. Gazzo as the police chief, Dean Jagger as the chief villain, Sydney Lassick as a sleazy vet and Henry Silva as the great white hunter brought in to take the beast down. "Jaws" rip-offs don't get better than this.
February 25, 2016
Funny (and scary) monster-on-the-loose film. After a baby alligator is flushed threw the sewers, it grows massive in size, and then terrorizes the city of Chicago. Underrated horror sleeper successfully combines offbeat humor with effective scares.
½ February 1, 2016
Glorious '80s trash. I really enjoyed it. Robert Forster is a pleasure to watch, as usual.
November 27, 2015
The cheesy low -budgetness of this movie gives it a good thrilling and atmospheric touch to the flick. The acting is good and it's one of the older essential killer alligator movies to see. It isn't to gory though, but it has a lot of entertainment value to it. Recommended !!
August 23, 2015
Hardened cop battles giant and hungry alligator living in the sewers of Chicago. Another fine script with the right touch of humour from John Sayles and performance by underrated Robert Forster. Noteworthy effort also by Henry Silva, who is quite funny as the great hunter. Definitely worth a look.
August 20, 2015
[8/20/15]: I remember watching this movie with my brother whenever it was on TV, which hasn't happened recently now that I think about it. "Alligator" is an underrated classic even though it basically steals elements from "Jaws." The main character is reminiscent of Martin Brody, who-like Brody-is also a cop; the music at times often goes for a 'thump-thump' sound, again, similar to the motif for the shark in "Jaws;" hell, there's even a scene where the police try to lure the alligator out of a lake by releasing dynamite from their boats. But, what "Alligator" loses in originality, it makes up for in its special effects and its creative sense of fun (intentional or not). The reptile itself looks damn good for a movie that was made with less than two million dollars. The close ups will make you think that they used a real alligator for some of the scenes, but, the most impressive shot is the one where you see the full alligator devour a guy and I have absolutely NO idea how they filmed that. Granted, the alligator does not always look THAT impressive but for the most part, it holds up. When the movie ended, I thought: "they should remake this," then I paused, shook my head, and said to myself: "they'd just CGI the fuck out of this and make it PG-13. No thanks!" But the best part about this movie are the scenes (and there's quite a few of them) that take place in the sewers; I'm not sure why I like them so much, maybe it has to do with my weird fascination with running water [creeks, waterfalls, rivers, etc]. Plus, the sewer scenes provide a great deal of suspense that actually function, I mean, if "Alligator" came out in 2015 it would be all cheap jump scares with a barely visible alligator. The DVD is currently expensive [possibly out of print] so if you want a copy (that's CHEAP) then you'll have to get the Korean version on eBay, which is what I did [it's English and the Korean subtitles can be turned off]. I would do anything-ANYthing-to get Lionsgate (or whoever owns the film) to re-release it on blu-ray or, fuck it, even DVD!!! Someone get a petition started, "Alligator" is among the best of the monster creature flicks.
July 16, 2015
A very likable film that despite its many many weak points is simply fun & entertaining. The story of a pet alligator being thrown down the sewer & with the consumption of chemicals becomes mega.

The film is silly but fun at the same time, the actors are clearing having a lot of fun in the film. The relationship between the main detective & Scientist is awkward but hilarious.

As soon as the Alligator attacks they laughs start rolling in. It's trashy it's 80's & it's a monster movie what's not too like.
½ September 28, 2014
Killer animal movies became all the rage after the overwhelming success of "Jaws," but few were as entertaining as "Alligator", one of the biggest guilty pleasures the genre has ever seen. Everything about the film, from the title on down, is as simple as it could be but it's nevertheless immensely enjoyable and gloriously silly with a wonderful assortment of oddballs in the cast.

Robert Forster is actually quite good in the lead role, a position he found himself in only on rare occasions, and Michael V. Gazzo is a hoot as his boss. The guy always seems to be on the verge of a heart attack. Things get even more fun when Henry Silva shows up in a typically whacked-out performance as a big game hunter. It's a brief appearance, but he really livens things up.

In another bit of weirdness, the screenplay was written by John Sayles and for the most part, it transcends the material. As a writer, Sayles always has a way to make even the silliest plots credible and amusing. The other bright spot of the film are the better-then-average special effects, made at a time before computers were used for everything. It took quite a team of people to put this together, but the end result was worth it. The creature effects are quite convincing, and there are some truly amazing shots of the animal roaming the streets of Chicago.

"Alligator" was always one of my favorite films growing up, and it holds up remarkably well today. It's a ridiculous film with a goofy charm all its own, and in my book, that never goes out of style.
½ September 1, 2014
A teenage girl purchases a baby American alligator while on vacation with her family at a tourist trap in Florida. After the family returns home to Chicago, the alligator, named Ramón by the girl, is promptly flushed down the family's toilet by her surly, animal-phobic father and ends up in the city's sewers. Twelve years go by, during which the alligator survives by feeding on covertly discarded pet carcasses. These animals had been used as test subjects for an experimental growth formula intended to increase agricultural livestock meat production. However the project was abandoned due to the formula's side effect of massively increasing the animal's metabolism, which caused it to have an insatiable appetite. This meant too much money had to be spent feeding an animal treated with this formula, making it economically unviable. For 12 years, the baby alligator accumulated concentrated amounts of this formula from feeding on these carcasses. This caused it to mutate, growing far larger than even the largest saltwater crocodile: a 36-foot (11 m) behemoth, with the same insatiable appetite of the animal test subjects, as well as an almost impenetrable hide. The alligator begins ambushing and devouring sewer workers it encounters in the sewer, and the resulting flow of body parts draws in world-weary police officer David Madison (Robert Forster) who, after a horribly botched case in St. Louis, has gained a reputation for being lethally unlucky for his assigned partners. As David works on this new case, his boss Chief Clark (Michael Gazzo) brings him into contact with reptile expert Marisa Kendall (Robin Riker), the girl who bought the alligator years earlier. David's reputation as a partner-killer is "confirmed" when the gator snags a young cop Kelly (Perry Lang) who accompanies David into the sewer searching for clues. No one believes David's story, partly due to a lack of a body, and partly because of Slade (Dean Jagger), the influential local tycoon who sponsored the illegal growth experiments and therefore does not want the truth to come out. This changes when obnoxious tabloid reporter Thomas Kemp (Bart Braverman) goes snooping in the sewers and supplies graphic and indisputable photographic evidence of the beast at the cost of his own life. The story quickly garners public attention, and a city-wide hunt for the monster is called for...

Been wanting to see this monster movie since it came out in 1980. I reckon back then "Alligator" seemed cool for a eight year old, but in 2014 and at the age of forty-two it´s a bit different. This is a B-monster movie with "Jaws" as the role model, but there´s still tongue-in-cheek humour and it doesn´t try to be something else from what it is, meaning it doesn´t take itself too seriously. Robert Forster is pretty ok as David Madison and it´s always a treat to see the over the top and underrated Henry Silva in this case as Col. Brock. Hardly as good as "Jaws", but still entertaining in a simple way.
May 4, 2014
Among the trashiest 80s b-film I stumble upon on the Internet, Alligator serves as a piece trash that will grow in your heart. Based on the legend that alligators live in the sewer, Alligator provides the wit and cliches of an animal monster film. When body parts appear in the sewers, police detective David Madison (Robert Forster) goes on to investigate the mysterious circumstances and eventually runs into a giant alligator. Written by John Sayles (Piranha), you can expect humor and violence entertaining those of the lowest denominators.
½ February 18, 2014
This was one of the greatest animal-on-the-loose films of the time and still ranks as one of the better ones anyway. What makes it work is the fact that there's just so much fun to be had from this one, from the blistering pace that generates tons of quality from the creatures' ambush attacks, the growing discovery of what's in the sewers and the eventual escape and ensuing rampages are all awesome action set-pieces that generate a great deal of fun with several scenes being quite exciting including the main attack on the mansion, the SWAT team stalking in the sewers and the ambush in the canal that leads to the finale, which has even more fun here. It's quite suspenseful at times with some impressive stalking sequences, a creepy location and effective lighting to make it pretty chilling when mixed with the high-quality action, gruesome deaths and absolutely fantastic animatronics work for the gator. While there's some shoddy work at the end with the real gator in miniature sets, it's not enough to hold this down and become quite fun.
December 25, 2013
actually pretty damn scary....
½ November 28, 2013
Far, far better than it needed to be to succeed. The John Sayles script has more wit and even a bit more depth than usual for a cheap monster flick and the performances match it with more nuance and style than normally found in the B-movie gutters (or, in this case, sewers).
½ October 23, 2013
True creature feature of the early 80s that probably won't appeal to many nowadays, but this one was a fun watch start to finish with a young Robert Forster to boot. How was that man not a huge Oscar contender his whole career or get roles that would have merited that. Thank god for Quentin Tarantino
½ October 19, 2013
certainly one of those rare enjoyable creature-features that plays off the urban legend of flushing animals down the toilet
oh when will we learn to not flush our pet alligators down the sewers? maybe because they'll mutate into flesh-eating killing machines
this monster flick really like to play off of the myth so much that the script is almost ridiculously laughable yet in this case it can be considered realistic
a young Robert Forster plays a pretty cool deadbeat cop with a troubled past now having to confront this monstrous reptilian
the animatronic effects for the alligator are truly convincing, you can almost tell it's not an effect half the time
there's some real character development to be had in here too
as far as creature features go this is one of the better ones
Super Reviewer
½ October 15, 2013
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).
July 17, 2013
A Masterpiece...yes...a MASTERPIECE!
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