I decided that I would watch Alligator after watching The Wolf of Snow Hollow as well as talking about Robert Forster with my dad. I had seen part of the movie on TV before but that was well over twenty years ago. I remembered nothing about it other than my dad talking about what the movie was. Watching it now I can understand why my dad remembered it because this a fantastic movie. I wasn’t prepared for exactly how hard this movie would go.
John Sayles and Lewis Teague were able to get some surprising stuff in this movie. Sayles not only wrote the script but also came up with the story with Frank Ray Perilli. I have no idea how much was changed between the story process and the script stage, but I do feel like the basic story was improved upon greatly. Teague’s translation of the script is masterful. That also goes with the cast.
Robert Forster does a lot in his role of David Madison. He was given a lot to work with from Sayles’s script and he makes the most out of playing the complicated character. Both Robin Riker and Michael V. Gazzo get to share the screen with him the most. There are so many people in this cast that you’ll recognize from classic TV. The story goes to some pretty wild places, including even killing a kid.
The giant alligator FX are pretty great. The use of miniature sets with a full-size alligator goes a long way to make you feel like there’s a giant alligator menacing Chicago. The FX for the giant alligator interacting with humans look great even over thirty years later. The stunt people in this movie did some amazing falls and stunts, especially during the last big action scene. The music by Craig Hundley is fantastic. The score helps sell the menace throughout the entire movie.
Alligator is a fantastic monster movie that should be talked about more. I think I’ll watch the sequel next, even though it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with this movie. I can only hope that it is at least a fun movie because I have a feeling that it won’t match the quality of this movie. You can currently stream Alligator on Shudder. I give Alligator 9.5 giant alligators out of 10.