Monday, July 13, 2015

Alligator II: The Mutation (1991)

Remember last year when I started this whole thing? Yeah, me neither. But what I do remember is a little movie called Alligator which was about...well, a giant alligator. Yes, it was the story of a giant alligator loose in the city and you don't want to fuck with alligators normally, so you know you want to avoid one that literally breaks through the street.

Sorta like a much more horrifying version of whack-a-mole where you end up getting eaten.

Honestly, it's one of my favourite reviews I've cranked out, so I just knew I had to follow it up properly this year. But how does one follow up Alligator? Do I take about Dinocroc? Maybe Lake Placid? No, you big goofs who clearly don't read titles! I follow it up with the sequel that features no returning characters and really has nothing to do with the original film. But it does have a giant alligator, so at least they both have that in common, right? It's always good to have at least one thing in common with the movie prior to it. That thing may as well be a big hungry alligator, yes?

So long as it isn't one that sings.
This movie features a new alligator, as the last one ended up in many pieces after blowing up so it can't really come back for the sequel. Much as last time, this alligator is also living in the sewers but it has a perfectly logical reason for getting giant-sized. It feeds on lab animals that have been injected with growth hormones while also living in the sewer where dickheads are dumping chemicals, which causes the large lizard to evolve to its final form. With that form comes a matching desire for more food and dead lab animals aren't going to cut it forever. I wonder what he's going to eat now?

How about a conveniently placed idiot in a diving mask?
Yeah, it seems that fishing at night next to where chemicals are illegally dumped might just get you eaten, as both night fishermen get munched on and we're left wondering if there will be a plot beyond "chemicals are bad and this is why". The next day we see our hero, a grizzled cop who is waking up as he hears something shatter downstairs. Going to check it out he finds out it was all a recording as there's a cake waiting to celebrate his birthday with "Solo Lobo" written on it, thus confirming he's the lone wolf rogue grizzled badass cop who is just too damn old for this shit. That sentence just made me dizzy. He also finds a video tape which has a message from his wife and son who are there to guilt trip about smoking and working late. Ah well, it's better than the video tape a girl gave me for my birthday one year.

I don't care how kinky the sex was, she got water everywhere.

We're then introduced to our favourite villain cliche: rich people are evil. Yes, the mayor and some rich douchebags are only out to make money and clearly are responsible for the giant alligator. And if that's not enough, our hero is friends with the daughter of one of the guys who got ate (the other was her uncle). Solo Lobo here makes another asshole cop look more like an asshole and tries to help her find them, thus giving us our in for his involvement with a giant alligator. He finds out a boot with foot still inside washed up on shore earlier in the day, which makes his cop sense tingle. Either that or he is just a big fan of staring intently at other cops.

"What conditioner do you use? I'm not getting the results I want out of mine."
After the young guy attempts to come with Detective Badass and gets ignored, he goes to check out the piece of leg where the coroner informs him that there's saliva on it from whatever cleaved to foot off. His wife tells them they need to test the lake, as she's a sciencey lady at the university who got the sample as well. The coroner tells him about some missing derelicts too and points out the seedy goings on with the water and power companies, leading to him thinking that the lake should be checked out. We see more evil guys in suits being evil guys in suits while a small kid sees the giant alligator eat an innocent beachball.

Who will protect our poor vulnerable fragile balls?
They rush to the kid to see what is wrong, but the kid doesn't really mention a giant alligator munched his ball. He just keeps screaming about the ball being in the water. Afterwards, Lobo does find the ripped up ball in the water, examining it and surely rushing off to important police business. Steak. Horribly burned steak. Oh lord, this breaks my heart seeing a ruined steak. He shows the coroner's report to his wife, where she says he's right about it being a large animal. Like say an alligator, for example. So he asks her to figure out how a sewer alligator could get big enough to make mincemeat out of a couple of hapless night fishermen, then he goes out to talk to his superior who promptly delivers a similar speech as what was given in Jaws about how the city needs to be put on the map and how they can't interupt the oncoming festivities for said reason.

"Dammit, I know I'm the cliche superior officer who makes bad calls, but I' not gonna tolerate this nonsense even if it does get people killed! Parties are more important!"
He points out to the boss man that waiting around is a stupid idea and tells him he's going to investigate it anyway and we get some banter clearly showing they're really buddies, because that's a new idea for two old cops in a movie, right? He then interrupts the mayor's viewing of a wrestling match to inform him of the giant man-eating gator and that the big party should be cancelled. Mr. Rich Asshole says "no go" and the mayor takes his side, because he's a gutless worm who does what the Rich Asshole says. Mr. Moneybags tells his man to hire some alligator hunters to go hunting a giant alligator. Meanwhile our hero tries to escape custody, as he was arrested for trying to stop people from being eaten, via bringing the cop into the bathroom stall with him while telling him he's got a very appealing smile. He gives him the keys and we see some hot man-on-man action.

Oh myyyyy...
Lobo here, of course, ends up handcuffing the younger cop to the toilet and leaves to go save the city from a giant reptile. Them because we need to fill a hot woman quotient, the mayor's attractive daughter shows up and dresses down her dad for hanging out with Moneybags when she knows he's better than that. She plans to make him feel how she feels by hanging out with the rich dick and we see him living up to his stereotype as they watch the fixed wrestling match, because wrestling is totally real outside of this film. But enough of this political crap, where's the giant mosnter who eats people?

Ask and ye shall receive!
It attacks a couple of helpless bums and then we're back to the political shit, because why focus on the giant monster in a movie about a giant monster? It goes like this:

"I know why you're here, because I'm evil and stuff. Bleh."
"Well, I'm young and pretty and have opinions on things!"

That then leads to her freeing the young cop, meaning the two of them will likely get together because they're totes made for one another. Back in the real plot, Lobo is doing some detective work and consults with some locals who talk about the problems with the lake ever since Moneybags moved in. back at the precinct the upper brass is trying to take both Lobo and  young cop's badges, but the boss man isn't a fan of this. The hero tries to tell the young local about the giant alligator, who doesn't buy it and thinks he's on the take too, which means bad things could potentially happen if he goes swimming. He ends up following a call which leads to the bums, one of who is stil lalive and tells him about the giant alligator.

Don't worry, after he recovers he'll start hanging out in safer places like bars in Adam Sandler movies.
The boss man tells him over the phone that him and the young cop have to work together, because he has to have some reason for existing in this film. Young cop then flirts with the mayor's daughter over some drinks before the two cops go alligator hunting. But first his wife tells him that the rich guy's been dumping chemicals in the sewers, which is why the scaley man-eater is so large. I guess that means my initial theory that it just drank a whole lot of milk is completely out the window now. Then a dose of whimsical music begins as we are introduced to the fearless alligator hunters! And do you remember the guy I was sure was a Nazi in the first movie? Well, it turns out that an actor who actually did play a Nazi is in this one! Richard Lynch, here to remind us that he's one of those go-to actors when it comes to B-movies.

Whether it be barbarians, aliens, puppets, or flannel, Lynch will take on any task for a paycheck.
I joke though as Lynch is actually my favourite thing about this movie, being one of those character actors who you can't help but know the face of. It's too bad that doesn't translate into him getting cast in better roles though. He's the leader of the alligator hunters and he has a name so 80s that it's shocking this was released in 1991. That name? Hawk. He then proceeds to show off his cool factor by throwing a knife at the tree next to one of Moneybags' henchmen and the boss cop has to break it up before things get out of hand. They're given the sewer maps and are sent on their way to the sewers where our cop duo are already hunting. They run afoul of the alligator and find it doesn't exactly react to gunfire, which leads to them both fleeing. Topside, they reconnoiter with their ladies and find out that the gator hunters are down in the sewer, pretty much meaning they're living on borrowed time and need to be helped out. To hammer this home, the hunters are shocked to find what appears to be the Everglades in the sewer.

"No one told us this was a Florida sewer."
They find chemical drums and the hero tries to tell them that the alligator is too big for them. So what happens? Most of them get eaten by the giant monster because they went in unprepared for what they were actually facing, of course. One hunter escapes the slaughter but Lobo goes down to save Hawk though, as he has the only other cool nickname and he feels a link to him because of that. They decide to work together to go after the monster and Hawk figures it'll head to the lake to stake out new territory, as they invaded its home. You know, the lake that the big party is happening at. While on the way to shut down the party to keep the people safe, Moneybags wrecks the boss cop before he can do that, because evil. Our heroes return to the sewers while Moneybags tries to get more people to come to his party, even though he knows a giant alligator could show up any time and start eating folks. And many people do show up too, including a very special guest who is ready to party all night!

"I heard you were giving out free food so I thought I'd just stop by."
The mayor finally shows backbone against Moneybags just prior to our guest of honour showing up, but is given a bullet for his having a conscience, and then all hell breaks loose as the gator makes itself know in a big way. The young locals confront Moneybags and Lobo tells him to back off before things get worse for him as he's already fucked for everything leading up to this. He tries to shoot him then but gets knocked into the lake instead. Do you know what happens to people who come into the lake in a movie about a man-eating alligator of immense size? They end up in a less than happy situation involving teeth.

It makes hungry giant alligators happy though, I'll tell you that much.
Nobody really seems to care about Moneybags getting eaten though, except for Hawk lamenting that he didn't get paid, and our heroes then get in a boat to chase down the monster. They end up getting knocked into the water where the gator grabs Hawk as a helicopter tries to rescue them. Hawk puts up a valiant effort, stabbing it repeatedly, but ends up being taken down as our other heroes end up in the helicopter where they decide to take a bazooka as they go hunting one final time. Lobo corners it and blows it up, leading to our cops exiting the sewers to uproarious celebration of their victory over the corrupt rich dickhead and the giant alligator he accidentally created. Every gets to be happy. Well, everyone but the shot mayor, dead chief, and poor partially digested Hawk. That's our movie.

"Why are we together again? Plot convenience? Right, right."
After watching it I have to say that it's a fun, albeit very cliche, little slice of Jaws rip-off. But the big problem is that it's already a sequel to a movie that did that and did it in a much better manner too. That just leaves me feeling like this movie was kinda redundant in the end and I hate that, as Lobo and Hawk were entertaining characters and I did enjoy seeing the alligator puppet with that big grin on its face just before it ate the villain. While I did enjoy it, I'm not sure it's really something worth going out of your way to see when the original did it so well and other movies do it in more original ways (that sometimes involve Betty White). See it if you're a fan of this type of thing, just don't expect to be wowed. So, until Hawk is revealed to have survived and he gets his own spin-off where he pilots a giant flannel shirt wearing robot who battle alligator kaiju, I'll be here digging up the past for your amusement (and my own). Later days, bleeders!

Hawk and his boys could probably kick the Duck Dynasty gang's collective ass...if they weren't dead.



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