Sunday, 20 December 2009

Alligator II: The Mutation (1990)

The poster above for this film makes it seem awesome doesn’t it? They say never judge a book by its cover, well never EVER, judge a film by its cover no matter how insanely cool it may be. Alligator II: The Mutation is awful. The first Alligator film from 1980 was great little flick, very entertaining with good special effects. Ten years later, some lunatic decides it’s a good idea to make a sequel, copying the premise of original film yet sucking everything that was good in the first one out. From the minute the opening credits rolled I could tell that this film sucked ass. You know, they use that really basic white text and cheap, cheesy music whilst the camera is already travelling over some misty water - setting the scene. It all looks made-for-TV (Sci-Fi channel anyone?) right from the off.

Once again, some local people are getting eaten, this time in a lake and officer David Hodges (Joseph Bologna) is on the case to find out what the hell’s going on. So, after consulting his long suffering wife (Dee Wallace Stone), who happens to work in a lab, he finds out that it’s a large alligator that’s been chewing everybody to bits. Oh and it's his birthday too (Hodges', not the alligator)...
David Hodges is yet another detective suffering from male pattern baldness. But where Madison from the first film took it like a man, Hodges combs his wispy locks back to deceive the audience. Plus, he has the face of a dog awaiting its next beating and he also walks like he’s got two broken legs…

We then meet Vinnie Brown, a conniving, yuppie prick developer who’s planning to build some houses or something (I wasn’t paying attention) and force some Mexicans out their homes. He’s got the mayor in his pocket and fancies his chances with the dude’s daughter too. Here’s where all our characters get introduced and the movie binds this all together thinking it has a decent plot. It all speeds along from scene to scene too fast, but with a lot of painful chit-chat. Then there’s some wrestling going on at some club (bad wrestling at that). Hodges goes there to talk to the mayor about stopping the re-development plans and gala that Vinnie Brown has set up, due to the gator. Brown doesn’t like this and gets the mayor to arrest Hodges (I have no idea how or why)? A rookie cop cuffs him, but Hodges tricks the other cop by taking him into a toilet cubicle and showing him his penis or something….Hodges goes off on his merry way to do more gator hunting and the rookie is left to be saved my the mayor's daughter – She turns up at the club as she seems to disprove of her father being in places where there’s wrestling going on!? The mayor’s daughter then flirts with the rookie cop, a saxophone plays some jazzy music, suddenly they’re talking in a bar and then they’re in love – this is all conveyed in the space of one minute – romantic sub-plot is now established.

The main thing that is instantly noticeable about this film is that the dialogue is really, really fucking horrible! It's all pointless bullshit and bad jokes. Plus, why on earth do they keep saying there’s an alligator in the sewer? I haven’t seen anything even resembling a sewer for the last 45mins - It’s a fucking lake! Then, at 45mins in we’re finally presented with the legendary Richard Lynch! Hooray! But, why have I had to wait so long through all this agony for the only decent actor in this pile of crap! ...And then he opens his mouth! The movie has decided to torture me even more, as Lynch’s character, Hawkins, is some goofy hick game hunter with a bad southern accent! He’s been hired by Vinnie Brown to kill the gator, but he ends up teaming with Hodges and rookie cop, of course this is after Hodges sneaks into rookie cop’s apartment – apparently anticipating that he would return home to have sex with the mayor’s daughter!?
So, Hodges and rookie cop go into the sewer at night to find the “large” gator. They get scared first by……complete darkness?? Then the gator appears – and it’s fucking tiny….what!? It smashes through a wall, squawks like a parrot and Hodges throws a grenade at it, bringing down the ceiling but it doesn’t phase the puny gator. Hodges and rookie cop climb out of the sewer in daylight - again…..what?! – How long were they down there for!?
Then it’s time for Richard Lynch and his slack jawed brothers to investigate the “sewer”, which look more like a swampland full of reeds at night. The gator attacks with Hawkins suddenly turning chicken and pleading with the reptile not to tail-whip his fellow hunters, finally relying on Hodges to save him. The alligator during these scenes looks like a big slimy carpet. It also changes size between shots. They used a real alligator but didn’t bother to film it within smaller sets!

Meanwhile, the gala for the new development is taking place, but no one has turned up. This angers Brown and he goes to talk to the mayor about Hodges. Brown then shoots the mayor in the gut on a Ferris wheel? and he dies within one second, you know, as people do. All of a sudden there are lots of people around and then the gator shows up to spoil the party further. I must ask: why do large crowds of people have so much trouble running from an alligator that moves at about 2mph? I’m baffled by it quite frankly….Anyway, Vinnie Brown gets chased to the waterfront by a gang called the crazy boys (that’s probably a PC term for Mexican youths) with Hodges and Hawkins (Hodges now referring to him simply as “Hawk”) in toe. There’s a skirmish and Vinnie falls in the water becoming another of the gator’s victims – and at last some fucking blood!

Again the film rips-off Jaws and its predecessor for its finale by blowing up the offending animal (with a shotgun!?), but instead of Brody’s “Smile you son of a bitch” we have Hodges “Come to daddy”. He fires a rocket at the gator and bam! That’s it, all over cue hugs from the wife, a wimpy keyboard score, more horrid dialogue and the credits. Thank Fuck.

Best Quote: “Otis was my friend. He didn’t deserve to be a toothpick.”


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