the net guide for creative
DOWSE Guide to the
by Tony Lee editor of
91 minutes (18) 1980
Director: Lewis Teague
review by Steven Hampton
"I'm gonna go out, find it, and kick its ass," says Robert Forster's cop to Robin
Riker's biologist in this enjoyable monster movie, scripted by John Sayles.
There's a gigantic reptile living in the city's sewers, the result of illicit
animal experiments. It surfaces at intervals to snack on humans when its down-below
source of food can no longer sustain a beast of its tremendous size and appetite for
Unlike the straightforward monsterama video fodder of the late seventies and
early eighties, this horror has a keen satirical edge. The plot may be perfunctory
but the dialogue is energetic and there are scenes of gallows humour among the genre
cliches. So, when driven from its unnatural habitat by hordes of foolish cops (and
Henry Silva's charismatic, but obviously doomed, big-game hunter) the monster crashes
a garden party and chomps on high society guests, including the film's bad-guys.
It's hard to explain exactly why I like this movie. It's often predictable, but
at least Alligator offers a sense of fun that's sadly missing from many
Alligator 2: The Mutation
90 minutes (15) 1990 Braveworld
review by Carl Meewezen
Subtitled "The Mutation", this sequel lacks the zipalong pace and biting (sorry!)
humour of the 1980 original by Lewis Teague, though it closely follows the John
Sayles plot and is really as much a remake as it is a follow on.
Oily property developer Vincent Brown (Steve Railsback in his usual non-acting
mode) plans to clinch a big money deal which will put a little US town on the map.
Naturally, he's throwing a party to celebrate, but the venue is by the very lake
that's home to a monstrous mutoid gator. Said beastie interrupts the carnival in
search of humans - who fortunately come in bite-size portions, and on special offer
this ninety minutes.
In the other corner are a bunch af wily Cajun hunters led by one Rabbit Hawkins
(Richard Lynch getting all the best lines again), but when it proves more than they
can handle, it's 1eft to local police detective Hodges (Joeseph Bologna, looking
thoroughly bemused), assisted by a cocksure young rookie, and his scientist wife (Dee
Wallace-Stcne). As before, the alligator is a giant that's been feeding on dumped
chemicals. It's mean, hungry (even dynamite goes down well!), and a successful
gatecrasher. But it's also rather rubbery and rarely convinces - blame Bob McKee's
A standard gator movie, routinely directed by Jon Hess - maker of Watchers.
originally published in Strange Adventures #33 (Autumn 1991)
to Movies on Dowse index.