- Rev Horror
Dir. John Hess (1992)
People keep flushing their gottdamn alligators down the toilets, and this time it is greedy land developers that have to pay the price.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
You know how a lot of times, in a classic horror franchise, it will have random stars that ended up making it big after the movie? Every single franchise seems to have a Kevin Bacon or Johnny Depp, someone whose star far eclipses the shitty horror movie they starred in when they were younger. Well, rest assured: the Alligator series absolutely does not have that, unless you count Kane Hodder (who is in both films and apparently starred as The Alligator in the first one???) Instead, what we get is a convoluted movie that wants to build off of the success of the first film, though it happens to be made 11 years later and has an entirely different plot except for the alligator.
Even the alligator looks embarrassed to be a part of this.
As ridiculous as the first film was, it had Robert Forster and a generally good cast to balance out the absurdity. I’m assuming that Forster’s character quit the force after having to put up with the bullshit from the first film, and that he ran off into the sunset with his herpetologist girlfriend who was waaaaay too young for him, a fact that the movie never even slightly addressed. The acting in this film is not nearly as good, though it does have the quality of a standard, early 90’s B-movie, which I guess is all you can really ask. It recycles a lot of footage from the first film, as subpar sequels tend to do, and there’s not nearly enough scenes involving the alligator to hold most folks’ interest.
The alligator kills two dudes who are fishing, and the police officer/main character is determined to shut down the rich folks’ party because the alligator is going to cause carnage. He wants to shut the city down because an alligator killed a couple of people. Hey, don’t get me wrong, that was absolutely the right approach in the first film, but there were a half dozen victims by this point in the first film and the alligator was running rampant through the streets of the city. In the sequel, there is literally no reason why you would want to cause untold economic damage to the city, as well as instill fear in the populace, because two dudes hanging too close to the water got eaten by the local wildlife. As I said above, the whole thing feels forced, and like the audience is supposed to respect the choices made by the main characters because we know it’s a giant alligator that caused so many problems in the first film. There’s zero reason to expect that anybody in this film would have any reason to believe the same.
The dumbest scene in the film (and, mind you, this is a film where the alligator eats a bomb that doesn’t explode and becomes Alligator Bomb™) is the one in which the rich people, led by a gangster-type played by perennial shitty-movie star Richard Lynch, are enjoying a live wrestling show, because that’s absolutely something rich people do. I remember last time I went to a WWE match having to fight my way past the Bentleys parked in front of the arena. The film tells us how bad the character, named Hawk Hawkins, is because he’s fixing the wrestling match. But… it’s a wrestling match. It’s not boxing. It’s not prize fighting or mixed martial arts (which barely existed then anyway). It’s fucking wrestling. Wrestling is fixed. Nobody in their right mind would bet on wrestling, because anyone who bets on sports knows its fixed. And for some reason, these rich folks who are watching the event include the mob, the mayor, and the mayor’s daughter. Because those are exactly the types of people to be at an “underground wrestling match,” which, of course, is a thing that exists.
This film also features the greatest pickup line of all time, which I am immediately going to try on The Morrigan. I will report back how it works. One of the police officers asks the mayor’s daughter, “Hey, are those pants tight enough?” She replies, “What?”, because obviously that’s a terribly rude question. He then completes the line: “Hasn’t anybody ever told you you’ve got a great backyard?” Sadly, this is indicative of the writing in the rest of the film. It does, at times, get into the “so bad it’s good” territory, but for the most part, the film is just that first part.
Why yes, I am a police officer who’s married to a medical examiner/herpetologist and happens to be starring in a movie about a giant crocodile. Why do you ask?
Who this movie is for: Rabid fans of the first film, Creature feature completionists, People who know the difference between alligators and crocodiles
Bottom line: A disappointing sequel, but also one that probably didn’t need to be made. Alligator was alright, and was worth watching for folks who love creature features or animal attack films. This one is relatively boring with a poor plot, and much more of a B-movie than the original. There’s also way too little of the actual alligator to be even worth a watch. This would be one where you could hit the highlights in about five minutes and avoid watching the rest of the film. On a side note, if you do happen to watch the film, I highly recommend doing so with the subtitles on. At one point, for our deaf friends, the close captions actually say (Civilians scream) (Alligator growls) (Feet patter), and that’s amazing.