The Great Alligator (1979)

THE GREAT ALLIGATOR (1979)
aka Big Alligator River, Il Fiume del grande caimano
Article 2312 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-25-2007
Posting Date: 12-11-2007
Directed by Sergio Martino
Featuring Barbara Bach, Claudio Cassinelli, Mel Ferrer

A tourist resort runs into trouble when local natives unleash their god; a giant alligator.

At the one hour mark in this movie, I was ready to write it off. It was your standard Italian JAWS rip-off with a couple of familiar names in the cast (Barbara Bach, Mel Ferrer), poor special effects (anything having to do with the alligator in particular), annoying editing (ditto on the last comment), bad dialogue and crummy music (whenever they played this generic funk while the natives were engaged in their tribal rituals, I kept looking for which native was playing the synth). To its credit, the movie does come to life a little bit towards the end, thanks in part to the fact that the alligator attacks are also augmented by native attacks; as a result, there is a real sense of hopelessness during the scene where a group of tourists are trapped in a fenced-off swimming area, they can’t stay because the giant alligator is breaking through the defenses, but they can’t go ashore because the natives will pick them off one by one if they do. A scene where our heroes are trapped in the bottom of the river in a flooded van is also fairly exciting, Other than these two scenes, this one is pretty forgettable.

 

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