Enlarged Crocogator

The Great Alligator

There’s several things should know about 1979’s Italian-made The Great Alligator. First is that the alligator, while not quite great, is actually a crocodile. Secondly, the movie has been released by many nom de plumes, like Il fiume del grande caimano, Alligators, Caiman, Big Alligator River and The Big Caimano River. And third, the great CROCODILE has more body count credits to its resume than just about any other oversized marauding reptile this side of Godzilla. 

The Great Alligator

So stop me if you’ve heard this before: a rich entrepreneur is opening a tourist resort on a river-fed African lagoon. The subsequent tourists p*ss off the neighboring low-tech Kuma tribe that dresses up in leaves and backward, bamboo alligator head masks, and worships the island’s big boy croc that makes them consistently stain their leaves. A nighttime booze cruise with the tourists on Tarzan’s Raft (not making that up) and a relentless attack by “The Great God Kruna,” aka the title character. This “all you can eat buffet” has a quickly escalating scorecard: Croc: 46, tourists: zero.

The Great Alligator

A photo journalist and a supermodel (later kidnapped and tied to a bamboo barge as a sacrifice to Kruna) try to warn everyone, etc. No one listens until they become Cheese-Nips™ for the crocodile. (When he bites you underwater, you can hear the crunching sounds. That’s oddly satisfying.)

The Great Alligator

A missionary, who years earlier came to the island to force his religious beliefs on those godless natives, lives in a cave, fearful of leaving should he end up meeting their god instead. Beyond that, the ensuing  tourist slaughter rodeo is impressive if the plot is not: the tribe attacks the surviving tourists jumping off the flaming Tarzan Raft booze cruise and as yet not taken out of the win column by the crocodile. Bodies are shot with flaming arrows and spears, hung, stabbed, and pretty much made unable to get a vacation refund.

The Great Alligator

A bridge collapses. A van turns into a submarine. More regional burning arrows. Some dynamite, a wide open croc yap and a big ka-BOOM later, and it’s gator burgers for tonight’s luau. In all, despite the cheesy effects, The Great Alligator is a laughable, dubbed waste of time.

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