chief: "Now look, why don't you give it up? It's one of your nightmares."
Madison: "Nightmare, your ass. There's something down there."
release year: 1980
genre: giant monster horror
viewing setting: home DVD 10/31/20 and 3/19/18 and 1/22/13 and home VHS 11/29/98
synopsis: An enormous alligator is living in the sewers, eating anyone unfortunate enough to encounter it.
impressions: This was a top-notch not-entirely-serious monster movie. I mean, how could it go wrong? It had many great elements: evil scientists, an evil businessman, an evil mayor in cahoots with the evil businessman, a nosy and stupid reporter, a burned-out cop, a cute and competent female lead, an evil dog-catcher, a jackass big-game hunter, and of course, a gigantic alligator that no one believes exists until it literally bursts out of the sewers and into the streets. Did I mention that all of the bad guys meet well-deserved ends? Hah. The pacing was dead-on: we don't have to wait long for the first death (12 minutes) and in fact, after that there's a death at least every 10 minutes. What more could you ask for? Well, there's the alligator in the kids' birthday pool-party...the alligator breaking out of the sewers...the alligator swimming around in the lake full of boats...and my all-time favorite, the alligator wreaking havoc at the snobby rich peoples' wedding. This is good stuff. Be sure to listen for the subtle humorous lines spoken with dry wit by the lead character.
activation point: 12:00 - this is when it becomes apparent that there's a huge alligator down there
people who got chewed up by the alligator: 10 (plus 2 more who were crushed do death in their car)
something this movie has that no other movie has: a gigantic alligator crashing a wedding
acting: Passable. Robert Forster knows that this movie is supposed to be fun, and does his best to make it so. Robin Riker is the reptile expert who helps out. Henry Silva is irritating as the Great White Hunter, but thankfully, he goes after the alligator in a dark alley and then we don't have to listen to him any more.
final word: Well-done scary and humorous giant monster movie.
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