Alligator (1980): Collector’s Edition [4K UHD/Blu-Ray]

After Spielberg’s “Jaws” took the world by storm, every studio took it upon themselves to create their own facsimile of the killer shark film. They hoped to cash in on the film’s momentum, and from that a whole sub-genre was created. And from “Alligator” there was the sub-sub-genre of Killer Croc and Alligator movies. For that you can attribute to the classic urban legend of sewers being a virtual haven for massive killer crocodiles, thanks to hapless tourists bringing home gators for pets. Writer John Sayles has no shortage of scenes involving the alligator lurking in the sewers and waiting for victims to enter its domain.

A family returning from Florida decides their pet baby alligator is too much to handle and flushes him down the toilet. Meanwhile, Slade Laboratories is conducting secret experiments with animals and disposing of them in the sewer. The alligator, fending for itself, begins to feed on the dead animals, and grows. Now, twelve years later, after several mysterious murders, David Madison (Robert Forster) is on the case to find out who or what is killing people.

“Alligator” is one of the OG’s of the whole shebang, a movie that’s considerably silly, but has some good ideas in its corner. It also sports a spirited performance by Robert Forster who dives in to the circumstances head first and makes it his mission to destroy this gigantic beast. “Alligator” suffers from trying to be a lot of things, most of all a commentary about animal cruelty and its potential fall out. But when it stops to just be a schlocky giant monster movie, it works pretty well.

For the most part, “Alligator” is at least character focused, exploring the relationships between our two heroes, and amping the tension to stop the alligator as it makes its away across the country. There is some damn good and gory alligator carnage staged with a failed assassination attempt by local police on a river. There’s also a great climactic rampage where the alligator massacres an upper crest wedding party and feasts on everyone it can snare in to its massive jaws.. The special effects and creature effects are still very good considering the period in which the film was produced.

Director Lewis Teague rarely shows all of the monster for the audience; he mostly zeroes in on the more threatening parts, including/g the mouth. Teague just loves to film scenes of victims being devoured by the Alligator’s massive jaws and insatiable appetite.

The newly restored released comes with three discs, one of which is available on 4K UHD. Disc One includes the theatrical version of “Alligator” on 4K UHD, with a new 4K scan from the original camera negative. There’s also an Audio Commentary With Director Lewis Teague and Actor Robert Forster. Disc Two is the Blu-Ray including the theatrical version of “Alligator” with a new 4K Scan. There’s the new Everybody In The Pool – An Interview With Actress Robin Riker, the new Wild In The Streets – An Interview With Director Lewis Teague, the new It Walks Among Us – An Interview With Screenwriter John Sayles, the new Luck Of The Gator – An Interview With Special Makeup Effects Artist Robert Short.

There’s the new Gator Guts, The Great River, And Bob – An Interview With Production Assistant, Now Famous Actor/Director/Producer, Bryan Cranston. There’s an Audio Commentary With Director Lewis Teague And Actor Robert Forster, Alligator Author – An Interview With Screenwriter John Sayles, Additional Scenes From The TV Version, The New 2K Scan of the original Teaser Trailer, the new 2K scan of the original Theatrical Trailer. There’s Trailers From Hell – Filmmaker Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body) On ALLIGATOR. There are new 2K scanned TV Spots, the Alligator Game Television Commersial, a new Newspaper Ad Still Gallery By Drive-In Asylum, and a full Still Gallery featuring Movie Stills, Movie Posters, Lobby Cards, And Behind-The-Scenes Photos.

Last but certainly not least, Disc Three on Blu-Ray features the Extended TV Version of “Alligator” in HD For The First Time with a brand new 4K Scan From The Original Camera Negative, along With Additional Footage Scanned From An Internegative.