Alligator (1980) - IMDb
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Alligator (1980)

2:22 | Trailer
A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.


Lewis Teague


John Sayles (screenplay), John Sayles (story) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Forster ... David
Robin Riker ... Marisa
Michael V. Gazzo ... Chief Clark (as Michael Gazzo)
Dean Jagger ... Slade
Sydney Lassick ... Gutchel (as Sidney Lassick)
Jack Carter ... Mayor
Perry Lang ... Kelly
Henry Silva ... Brock
Bart Braverman ... Kemp
John Lisbon Wood John Lisbon Wood ... Mad Bomber
James Ingersoll James Ingersoll ... Helms
Robert Doyle Robert Doyle ... Bill
Patti Jerome Patti Jerome ... Madeline
Angel Tompkins ... Newswoman
Sue Lyon ... ABC Newswoman


Ramon the alligator is flushed down the toilet as a baby and grows into a gargantuan monster by eating the corpses of laboratory animals who have undergone dubious hormone experiments, thus providing all the ecological and social subtext that one could possibly wish for, even if one doesn't normally go for films about giant alligators eating people left, right, and center--which is the inevitable and tragic result of Ramon's decision that the outside world looks rather more interesting than the sewers.... Written by Michael Brooke <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's up from the sewers and nobody's safe ... See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Bryan Cranston worked on the movie as a production assistant for the Special Effects department. See more »


In the first shot of the alligators eye, the whole crew is reflected in it. See more »


Callan: [David, Marisa and Callan are walking through the sewer system] What the hell we looking for?
David: Anything that looks like it doesn't belong here.
Marisa: Uh, evidence of alligator nesting.
Callan: I see, like shoes, handbags, luggage...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Catalina Home Video version cuts out the blood floating to the top of the water in the pool scene and the line "I'm gonna kick it's ass" is changed to "I'm gonna kick its tail" and "pain in the ass" is changed to just "pain" See more »


Referenced in The A-Team: Where Is the Monster When You Need Him? (1985) See more »

User Reviews

Surprisingly enjoyable monster B-movie
16 December 2014 | by bowmanblueSee all my reviews

Alligator is one of those films that people will either love or hate. I doubt it was supposed to be very 'A-grade' when it was released back in 1980. Now, well over thirty years old, I was hesitant to see how well it's stood up to the test of time.

I was pleased to say the answer is: pretty well.

If you can excuse the seventies haircuts (in an eighties movie!) then you'll find quite a tight little monster-munching movie. Lake Placid may have better effects, but Alligator still has its own special charm - think 'Jaws,' but with an alligator instead of a shark (oh, and in Chicago, rather than the sea, obviously).

Basically, what little plot there is revolves around a little girl having her per alligator flushed down the toilet when it was still young. Once in the sewers, over a period of twelve years, it mutates, getting much, much bigger and basically comes back for revenge. Yes, revenge. It seems to have a natural instinct as to whose fault it was, but, hey, just suspend your disbelief and enjoy it.

Alligator is played out on that fine line between 'tongue in cheek' and 'straight.' It has a foot in both camps and somehow it manages to pull both off.

If you're a fan of general animatronics monsters eating man, woman and child (yes, child - you wait and see!) then give Alligator a go. It's just a shame that with a solid movie like this, the alligator himself didn't move on to better things. He was certainly the star and I was hoping to find him in a nice indie flick or even a romantic comedy. Well... maybe.

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Release Date:

14 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alligator See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alligator See more »
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Technical Specs


| (theatrical cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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