Horror Movie Review: Alligator (1980)

An enormous alligator, flushed down the toilet many years before emerges from the sewers to wreck havoc in downtown Chicago & it’s up to one police officer & a reptile expert to try & stop it.

The 80’s were a golden time for horror & Alligator is a classic monster movie that still holds up almost 26 years later.

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While on holiday in Florida, a family witness an alligator show go wrong but it does nothing to deter the teenage daughter from buying a baby one to take home. Back in Chicago, her father flushes Ramon (the alligator) down the toilet where he ends up in the sewers.

Ramon survives in the sewers by eating the dead bodies of discarded pets; pets that had been experimented on secretly with a growth formula (see where this is going?). 12 years later & Ramon is not so small anymore & his appetite is only increasing. After a few sewer workers turn up eaten the police get involved, in particular David Madison, a gruff man who lost a partner a few years before & hasn’t been the same since.

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While investigating the sewers David & a rookie police officer run into Ramon who kills the rookie. David escapes & ends up in a hospital but no-one believes that a huge alligator is roaming the sewers.

His colleagues mock him & his reputation as a bad partner increases. David meets Marisa (the reptile expert) & the two fall for each other over time, it’s only when a nosey reporter snaps some up close photos of the alligator that everyone realises what lurks in the sewers… but is it too late?

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Alligator is a huge amount of fun, with great acting, awesome reptile visuals, gore and a tongue in cheek approach to clichés. The film knows exactly how this goes…bodies pile up, the hero finds out what’s causing it, no-one believes him, he meets an expert & they don’t get along at first before falling in love & porking, the creature in question finally gets noticed, they think they’ve killed it, it returns with a vengeance, our hero finishes the job after puting his life in peril…and they kiss.

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Oh and there is a sequel bait ending normally showing eggs or a mate or something…here it’s a baby alligator being flushed down into the sewers again.

Almost all monster movies follow this pattern because it works; there is nothing wrong with that & Alligator sees that so has some fun with it.

It’s also brave enough to kill off a kiddie and that makes the movie a winner in my eyes! The build towards the final alligator rampage is great with it taking place at the mayoral shin-dig (of course it does). For a 30 foot ‘gator it sure can move fast & the people enjoying a garden party don’t stand a chance!

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More ‘gator death!

  • The Final Score - 8/10
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