“Well, if I couldn’t get myself killed chasing it, what fun would it be?”
While investigating a series of mysterious disappearances, a Chicago police detective (Robert Forster) discovers the presence of an enormous mutant alligator (“Ramon”) living in the city’s sewers.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Detectives and Private Eyes
- Mutant Monsters
Response to Peary’s Review:
This low-budget sci-fi thriller effectively plays upon the fears generated by “rumors of alligators roaming around urban sewer systems” after tourists return from Florida with live gator babies they no longer want. Screenwriter John Sayles cleverly exploits the unexpected dangers of illicit scientific experimentation (Ramon has grown to astronomical proportions from eating the hormone-riddled corpses of dumped lab animals) while addressing the age-old suspicion about what may happen if you flush live animals down the toilet. The movie’s limited budget shows through occasionally (particularly, as Peary notes, when Ramon emerges onto the city streets), and Sayles’s script is unduly formulaic at times — but for the most part Alligator remains consistently amusing, and just freaky enough to keep you on your toes.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Plenty of enjoyable humor
- John Sayles’s clever script
No, but it’s a fun, surprisingly literate “mutant monster” flick.