Alligator (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Alligator is a 1980 comedy horror film film, directed by Lewis Teague with a screenplay by John Sayles. It stars Robert Forster, Robin Riker, and Michael V. Gazzo. It follows the attempts of a police officer named David Madison and a reptile expert named Marisa Kendall to stop a deadly giant alligator that is killing humans in the sewers of Chicago.

The film received praise from critics for its intentional humor and, in 1991, an apparent sequel was released, titled Alligator II: The Mutation. Despite the title, this film shared no characters or actors with the original, and the plot was essentially a retread of the first film.

Plot

A teenage girl purchases a baby American alligator while on vacation with her family at a tourist trap in Florida. After the family returns home to Chicago, the alligator, named Ramón by the girl, is promptly flushed down the family's toilet by her surly, animal-phobic father and ends up in the city's sewers.

12 years later, the alligator survives by feeding on covertly discarded pet carcasses. These animals had been used as test subjects for an experimental growth formula intended to increase agricultural livestock meat production. However, the project was abandoned due to the formula's side effect of massively increasing the animal's metabolism, which caused it to have an insatiable appetite. During the years, the baby alligator accumulated concentrated amounts of this formula from feeding on these carcasses, causing it to mutate, growing into a Template:Convert monster resembling a Deinosuchus or Purussaurus, as well as having an almost-impenetrable hide.

The alligator begins ambushing and devouring sewer workers it encounters in the sewer, and the resulting flow of body parts draws in world-weary police officer David Madison (Robert Forster) who, after a horribly botched case in St. Louis, has gained a reputation for being lethally unlucky for his assigned partners. As David works on this new case, his boss Chief Clark (Michael Gazzo) brings him into contact with reptiles expert Marisa Kendall (Robin Riker), the woman who, as a teenager, bought the alligator years earlier (and has no idea that this alligator is her former pet). The two of them edge into a prickly romantic relationship, and during a visit to Marisa's house, David bonds with her motor-mouthed mother.

David's reputation as a partner-killer is confirmed when the alligator snags a young cop, Kelly (Perry Lang), who accompanies David into the sewer searching for clues. No one believes David's story, due to a lack of a body, and partly because of Slade (Dean Jagger), the influential local tycoon who sponsored the illegal growth experiments and therefore does not want the truth to come out. This changes when obnoxious tabloid reporter Thomas Kemp (Bart Braverman), one of the banes of David's existence, goes snooping in the sewers and supplies graphic and indisputable photographic evidence of the beast at the cost of his own life. The story quickly garners public attention, and a citywide hunt for the monster is called for.

An attempt by the police to flush out the alligator comes up empty and David is put on suspension. The alligator escapes from the sewers and comes to the surface, first killing a police officer and later a young boy who, during a party, is tossed into a swimming pool in which the alligator is residing.

The ensuing hunt continues, including the hiring of pompous big-game hunter Colonel Brock (Henry Silva) to track the animal. Once again, the effort fails: Brock is killed, the police trip over each other in confusion, and the alligator goes on a rampage through a high-society wedding party hosted at Slade's mansion; among its victims are Slade himself, the Mayor, and Slade's chief scientist for the hormone experiments and intended son-in-law. Marisa and David finally lure the alligator into the sewers before setting off explosives on the alligator, killing it. As the film ends with David and Marisa walking away after the explosion, a drain in the sewer spits out another baby alligator that is unseen by anyone, thus potentially repeating the cycle all over again.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alligator (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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