Alligator (1980)

USA, 1980
35mm film, colour, 1.85:1
mono, English
Reviewed at The EOFFTV Review

An American horror film directed by Lewis Teague.

Plot Summary

Something nasty is lurking in the sewers beneath Los Angeles and bits of bodies – animal and human – are turning up to worry sanitation workers. L.A. cop Madison is sent in to investigate and, with the help of herpetology expert Marisa discovers a monstrous alligator, grown to enormous proportions thanks to its diet of chemicals illegally dumped by an unscrupulous corporation. While Madison and Marisa (who as a young child had her pet alligator flushed down the toilet by her irate father) attempt to alert the sceptical authorities, the giant ‘gator goes on the rampage, stalking its victims in the back streets and swimming pools of Los Angeles.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Lewis Teague
© Alligator Associates MCMLXXX [1980]
Brandon Chase & Robert S. Bremson present. Group 1 *
Executive Producer: Robert S. Bremson
Produced by: Brandon Chase
Associate Producer: Tom Jacobson
Screenplay by: John Sayles
From a Story by: John Sayles and Frank Ray Perilli
Director of Photography: Joseph Mangine
Editors: Larry Block, Ronald Medico
Original Music Composed by: Craig Hundley
Production Sound: Arthur Names
Special Effects Make-up: Robert Short
Original Alligator Created by: The Stansbury Co.
Special Effects: William F. Shourt, Pete Gerard, David Beasley, David Bartholomew, John Ramsey
Art Director: Michael Erler

Robert Forster ([Detective] David [Madison])
Robin Riker (Marisa [Kendall])
Michael Gazzo (Chief Clark)
Dean Jagger (Slade)
Sidney Lassick ([Lou] Gutchel)
Jack Carter (Mayor [Ledoux])
Perry Lang ([Officer Jim] Kelly)
Bart Braverman ([Thomas] Kemp)
Henry Silva as Col. Brock
John Lisbon Wood (mad bomber)
James Ingersoll ([Arthur] Helms)
Robert Doyle (Bill [Kendall])
Patti Jerome (Madeline [Kendall])
Angel Tomkins (newswoman)
Sue Lyon (ABC newswomen)
Leslie Brown (young Marisa)
Buckley Norris (Bob)
Royce D. Applegate (Callan)
Tom Kindle (announcer)
Jim Brockett ([Bobby Purcell] gator wrestler)

Alternative Titles

Alligaattori – Finnish title
Aligator – Polish title
La bestia bajo el asfalto – Spanish title
The Deadly Menace – working title
Der Horror-Alligator – German title

Alligator II: The Mutation (1991)

See also
Biohazard 2 (1998)
From the Deep (1996)
Jaws (1975)
Unleashing the Beast: Making The Howling (2003)

Extracts included in
Terror in the Aisles (1984)



  • Cinefantastique vol.10 no.3 (Winter 1980) p.47 – preview
  • Cinefantastique vol.10 no.4 (Spring 1981) p.47 – review
  • Daily Variety vol.176 no.30 (18 July 1977) p.6 – note (Film and TV casting news)
  • Filme no.10 July – August 1981 p.47 – review
  • Films October 1983 p.49 – credits, review
  • Films and Filming no.330 (March 1982) pp.28-29 – review
  • Halls of Horror no.30 p.12 – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.49 no.578 (March 1982) p.39 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Scream no.49 (July/August 2018) pp.6-15 – illustrated article, interviews with John Sayles, Robert Forster and Robin Riker (Alligator by Lee Gambin)
  • Screen International no.70 (15 January 1977) p.10 – illustrated note (Sophisticated Alligator)
  • Screen International no.332 (27 February 1982) p.20 – credits, review
  • Screen International no.341 (1-8 May 1982) p.15 – note (TV & Video Screen: News in brief…)
  • Sight & Sound December 1991 p.58 – review
  • Starburst no.45 pp.18-19 – review
  • TV Times 25-31 May 1985 pp.33, 54 – review, credits
  • Variety 19 November 1980 pp.18, 20 – credits, review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed.) pp.365-366 – illustrated credits, review
  • Elliot’s Guide to Films on Video by John Elliot p.18 – credits, review
  • Film Review 1982-1983 by F. Maurice Speed (ed.) p.140 – credits, review
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.10 – credits, synopsis
  • Hoffman’s Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.20 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.6 – credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.8 – credits
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.56-60 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Illustrated Dinosaur Movie Guide by Stephen Jones p.112 – credits, review
  • The Science Fiction Film Source Book by David Wingrove p.24 – credits
  • Virgin Film Yearbook 1983 by Al Clark (ed.) p.7 – credits, review