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Alligator (a movie review)

You might remember me talking (actually writing) about the time I haven’t had the access to movies. Yep, VHS players and tapes in communist Czechoslovakia were only for a few chosen ones, usually rich enough and with good connections. But people were talking about movies and I knew the stories and plots of not a few of them from people’s storytelling. What pleasant times.

And to this day I remember one of them was the movie about giant alligator eating people. You’re right, we’re gonna talk about 1980 movie Alligator, directed by Lewis Teague.

I’ve chosen this movie for my movie night yesterday and I am not sure if I haven’t seen it before. For although I do remember it, it still might be just a memory of what I’ve been told 30 years ago. Unbelievable, what can you remember from your youth, when some stuff’s got impressed into your subconscious memories (I can still tell you most of The Neverending Story by heart).

Anyway, giant, human eating reptile thingy in Chicago. I was surprised how fresh it looked like, even 39 years after being filmed. Damn, 39 years ago! The plot is quite simple, but effective. Young Marisa (played by Leslie Brown in her one and only movie appearance) is fascinated by reptiles and her family got her one small alligator as a pet.

Has anyone said, free pizza?

Well, for reasons not clear to me her father got pissed off one day and flushed the little reptile down the toilet. Boy, you can’t ask for more trouble.

Young Marisa grew up to adult Marisa (played by beautiful Robin Riker) and became a herpetologist (don’t think I knew it, I’ve googled the stuff). And the little alligator grew up into a fucking huge beast thanks to the biological waste from nearby pharma factory and start eating the unfortunate ones getting into his domain. One day mangled pieces of human bodies start to turn up, so it’s up to detective David Madison (cool as hell Robert Foster) to solve the mystery.

Dental check, no cavities.

And he did, what did you expect, hm? Of course, not without some nice body count, and Henry Silva’s showed up as well, kids!

Our hero team David Madison (Robert Forster) and Marisa (Robin Riker)

Of course, the premise of the movie is quite ridiculous (and it’s hinted by Marisa), but it’s a movie, so don’t analyze it. All the cliches are here – the detective is kinda blamed for some stuff (no spoiler alert), nobody believes him, he’s forced out of the police, teames up with a beautiful expert whom he falls in love with…you know the drill. Obviously, some scenes are little laughable, but the scene in the sewers with Madison and Kelly and the alligator behind them is just fucking fantastic.

I’m sure the alligator is somewhere around here…Madison and Kelly in sewers. With the alligator

I admit, I have a fling for creature features and Alligator belongs to the favorite ones, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t think many people haven’t seen it, but if you haven’t, please, do. You’re in for a treat from the past.

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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