I’ve decided to subject myself to 31 days of horror films for the month of October. It will be a mix of rewatching stuff I haven’t seen in a while and brand new things. Day 27:

ALLIGATOR (1980) – dir. Lewis Teague

This is a film I’d been waiting awhile to see as it was heavily hyped when I lived in Los Angeles. All the regulars at my revival theater talked about how great it was (I missed it when traveling abroad) and how I had to seek it out. I can say their hype was deserved and I had a fun time watching this film.

Premise is simple as a little girl in Chicago gets a pet baby alligator. Her father comes home drunk one day and decides he must flush it down the toilet. The gator survives and the film flashes to 12 years later. The gator has been living in the sewers but has started to feed on the corpses of dead dogs being used for illegal animal growth experiments from a production plant. So now the alligator is a huge beast who has acquired a taste for human blood. Human body parts are popping up in random parts of town so the police have to investigate.

What makes this movie fun is the cop investigating the string of alligator murders is Robert Forster giving it his all in this little B movie. He sees the gator almost immediately as it eats his partner and then has to make everyone believe him. In a good twist for the genre, people only doubt him for like 10 minutes as a photograph of the creature shows up and the it pops up in the middle of downtown Chicago to go on a murderous rampage.  It attacks cops, kids, and breaks up a wedding!

The script, written by John Sayles (!) is pretty tight and a good mix of humor and commentary on capitalism. I thoroughly enjoyed myself so if you’re in the mood for a fun little creature movie this is a good one for ya.