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The Great Alligator (1979) - Blu-ray Review

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The Great Alligator (1979) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersIt’s with a bit more political bite than expected that The Great Alligator lands in this b-movie fanatic’s Code Red collection.  JAWS, while far more successful of a film, never got this provocative with its social commentary.  Gobble, gobble, gobble, munch, munch, jingle, jangle, scrunch, scrunch, CRUNCH.  That’s the sound of white-bred greed and privilege getting eaten and this bad bitch’s bite scores a mouthful of political ass.    

Alongside composer’s Stelvio Cipriani greasy bass notes, the toothy beast at the center of this waterlogged monster flick is propelled ever onward with an undeniable funky-ass groove.  The prosperous people coming to this remote island are only looking for a good time while on vacation in Southeast Asia.  The local Kuma villagers; however, have something else mind.  And it rhymes with spilling.  As in guts.  As in all over the place.  As in fuck the elderly, eat them first.

This b-movie could have been called Death to the Vacationing 1% because, honestly, that’s the message that I am going to take with me.  Sure, the big ass alligator at the center if the flick is the main attraction.  I’ll grant that.  The message, though, is so damn clear that you almost feel sorry for the engorged gator when the movie concludes and he’s flipped up on his back with his guts hanging out.  Choke back the tears and go treasure diving, fools.    

One chomp here and one chomp there.  The big ol’ crocodile responsible for the carnage collected in this flick is more than just a monster.  He’s a god and he’s not about to go without a meal.  Neither is he going to miss a chance to get fresh and funky with all these funny looking humans with their jangly necklaces.  And so the funky two-not swivel thumps along as he, big and sickly greenish yellow in color, traverses the underside of what the spoiled types above party upon.  

Filmed in Sri Lanka and stuffed with enough stock footage to add to the beer buzz required to hike through this low budgeted jungle adventure, The Great Alligator certainly wants to make its 90 minutes worth your while with a philosophical bent that is, at times, damn successful in its bluntness.  The local tribe worships the tooth-gnashing beast as if a God is being summoned but the unavoidable truth is far more supernatural.  It’s a DEMON and they want freedom from its punishment for not pushing back against the tide of the white invaders!  Cue Iron Maiden! 

From alligator-sculpted rocks to an ancient longhaired prophet living in a cave upon the island, The Great Alligator has enough gamey flesh on its bones to be successfully fattened for the later kill.  And maybe it would be more celebrated by the masses if it weren’t for some pretty cagey effects as a toy gator smashes mouth-first into a plastic boat before chomping through another random villager.         

Starring Barbara Bach (The Unseen) as a hotel manager with a degree in anthropology, Sergio Martino’s The Great Alligator, like King Kong before it, presents a great god defending his territory from the white man and his $3,000,000 project retreat.  A photographer named Daniel (Claudio Cassinelli) tries his best to warn others that a sleeping giant of the river has been brought out of retirement on a mission of revenge but it is too late.  The owner of the resort just wants his people to have a good time at the Paradise House.  Co-starring Mel Ferrer, Richard Johnson, Bobby Rhodes, Romano Puppo and child actress Sylvia Collatina, The Great Alligator has a meaty cast to nibble upon.

The Kuma, who wind up capturing Allie (Bach), just want the great gator to eat the rich honkies and leave them alone.  Her sacrifice will insure their survival and so she is set afloat to lure the creature away from them and toward the rich honkies on the other end of the island.  With her legs spread wide open.  Enter here, Alligator. 

The climax of The Great Alligator is one for the record books.  So much death.  It is so entirely therapeutic to watch as one rich white person after another gets their ass dumped into the river and then eaten and spread apart by this slow chomping beast.  Either by spear or by mouth, there’s little room for survivors in this tale as the once conquered become conqueror again.     

Come on in, brothers and sisters.  The water is fine.  It’s what lies beneath the waves you need be weary of.  The Great Alligator is awoken!

The Great Alligator (1979) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
89 mins
: Sergio Martino
George Eastman
Cast: Barbara Bach, Claudio Cassinelli, Mel Ferrer
: Horror
it is not an animal. It is a demon.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Did a crocodile do this?"
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 29, 2017
Synopsis: Meaner than Jaws... More bloodthirsty than Piranha... Here comes The Great Alligator, a blood-soaked tale of jungle greed and just desserts from cult director Sergio Martino (Torso). Barbara Bach (The Unseen, The Spy Who Loved Me) and Claudio Cassinelli (Screamers, Slave of the Cannibal God, Hands of Steel) head into the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia where construction for an exclusive resort is treading onto territory that the Kuma natives hold sacred... and their alligator god Kroona takes personally.

The Great Alligator (1979) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Code Red/Diabolik DVD
Available on Blu-ray
- August 29, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The new HD scan of The Great Alligator is done with extensive color corrections.  The result is a crackling and consistent image of beauty and leafy goodness that is presented with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1.  The Asian jungle can practically be smelled through the screen.  This is the film’s first remaster from the original camera negatives and the impact is striking.  Colors are strong.  Reds are glorious ripe as evidenced by the great ass-shaking shot of the woman leaning over the railing.  Black levels are strong, too.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 is appropriate enough to carry both the funk and the furry of the flick.



  • None

Special Features:

Code Red presents The Great Alligator with a NEW interview involving Gianlorenzo Battaglia.  There are also new interviews with Claudio Morabito and a glorious round table discussion with Paolo Ricci, Giancarlo Ferrado and Anton Geleg.  Rounding out the release is an interview with Sergio Martino and Geleg.  The film’s original trailer is also included.

  • 3 Friends and an Alligator" (16 min)
  • Alligator Rock (20 min)
  • Shooting Underwater (7 min)
  • In the Crocodile's Nest (35 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Great Alligator (1979) - Blu-ray Review

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