horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

Flashback Review: May 16th, 2014 Movie – Alligator II: The Mutation

alligator 2

So, you might be wondering why I had been reviewing movies that start with the letter B, then suddenly go to the letter A. Well, the original purpose for my watching all of my movies was a) to see how long it would take, and b) to check and see if any needed to be replaced. Well when I watched Alligator back at the beginning of my endeavor, my disk was scratched up and would skip throughout the movie. Now replacing this was going to be a bit of a problem because the DVD had become out of print and any copy I tried to find online was for way more than I was willing to pay. Then, I suddenly found a pot of gold in my search for a replacement. I located an all-region Blu-Ray disk that featured not just the movie I wanted, but the direct to video sequel that came out a decade later, and the best part was it was cheap. So I bought it and happily enjoyed twice as many killer alligator movies. That is how I came to own Alligator II: The Mutation.

The plot: In the outskirts of Reagan Park, business owner Vincent “Vinnie” Brown hires some men to take the toxic waste one of his companies, Future Chemical Companies, produces and dispose of it in the sewers. Meanwhile, two local men are fishing in the nearby lake when they are suddenly attacked and killed by an unseen animal. The next day, Detective David Hodges heads to the police station and learns about the men’s disappearance and starts looking into the matter, ignoring rookie officer Rich Harmon when he offers to help. Learning that a severed foot was found in the lake, he questions the medical examiner about what he knows. Learning that some biological samples were sent to his wife Christine, Hodges calls her to find out what she learned, and is reminded about their dinner plans for his birthday that night. After hanging up on her, the medical examiner tells him that some derelicts had gone missing in the last several days and suggests something might be travelling through the sewers between where the derelicts were killed and the lake where the recent attacks occurred. As Hodges looks around the lake area, he notices one of Vinnie’s salesmen attempting to convince some of the local to sell their homes, as Vinnie is trying to buy them out so he can develop high end apartments in their place. Hodges arrives home late, much to his wife’s displeasure, and as he attempts to make it up to her by eating his ruined meal, he shows her some pictures that the medical examiner had taken of the wounds and she says that they look like the result of an alligator or crocodile attack. Hodges calls Chief Clarence Speed, while asking Christine to see how big of an animal they are dealing with, and discusses his theory with him. Speed tells that there isn’t enough proof to support his theory or to shut down Vinnie’s proposed lake party the next day, so Hodges decides to go see Vinnie himself. Heading to the arena where Vinnie is watching a wrestling match with Mayor Anderson and motions for Anderson to step aside with him. Heading backstage, Hodges tells Anderson about the alligator and that they should cancel the lake party but Vinnie joins them and says that they will not be cancelling the party and convinces Anderson to get rid of Hodges. Anderson reluctantly tells Harmon, who is his police detail protection for the evening, to place Hodges under house arrest and as they leave, Anderson warns Vinnie that he won’t be able to push Hodges or Speed around but Vinnie tells him to use his position to influence Speed. Hodges manages to trick Harmon and ends up locking him to a toilet stall, allowing him to get away. AS he leaves the arena, the mayor’s daughter, Sheri Anderson, arrives to try and convince her father not to get involved with Vinnie but when he refuses, she decides to try and speak with Vinnie herself and ends up punching him. As she is leaving with the police VIP escort, they hear Harmon asking for help and as the officers tease Harmon, Sheri decides to help him only to be filmed by the press doing so. Meanwhile, the alligator attacks some more derelicts, killing one and injuring the other one. At the lake, Hodges is approched by Reuben and his gang and Rueben tells him about Vinnie forcing people out of their homes and rumors of killing people and Hodges tries to explain that it is an alligator but Reuben won’t believe him. At the station, Anderson has Internal Affairs suspend both Hodges and Harmon and Speed tries to talk him out of it. When Hodges calls Speed and tells him about the latest attack and asks for help, Speed volunteers Harmon to help him, though Harmon is not happy about the situation. When Harmon leaves the station, Sheri, who had gone to talk to Speed on Harmon’s behalf, catches up to him and as they talk, Harmon starts flirting with her and they end up going out for drinks. They return to Harmon’s apartment only to find Hodges waiting inside for Harmon and after confronting Harmon over his drinking, Hodges has him take a quick shower so they can head out and Sheri decides to go with them to help. The three meet up with Christine, who had been analyzing the saliva from the alligator attacks says she found growth hormones and adrenaline mixed in with it and says it probably came from Future Chemicals. Meanwhile, Vinnie has hired Hawk Hawkins and his group of alligator hunters to track down and kill the alligator discretely so that it won’t ruin his planned party. Hodges and Harmon head into the sewers and when they encounter the alligator, they realize how large it is and quickly run for it. Making their way into a side tunnel, they use some dynamite to try and kill it but it has no effect on the giant alligator. Hearing Christine and Sheri calling out to them, Hodges and Harmon quickly escape the sewers and when they find out about the hunters, they head over to try and warn them while Christine attempts to find some drugs that might kill the monster. In another part of the sewer, Hawk and his crew find the alligator’s nest, as well as barrels of waste from Future Chemicals. When Hodges radios down there to warn them, Hawk thinks he is nervous that he might upstage him and taunts Hodges but says they are coming up to talk about the waste they discovered. When they are attacked by the alligator. One of Hawk’s crew manages to escape and Hodges manages to rescue Hawk but the alligator kills the rest of Hawk’s crew, including his brother. Hawk apologizes to Hodges and convinces him to let him help kill the alligator and when Hodges accuses Vinnie of creating the monster with his polluting, Hawk says he can confirm that. Hodges talks with Speed about closing down the lake carnival and asks if he was able to get through to the National Guard but Speed tells him he wasn’t able to, then tells Hodges to make sure the alligator doesn’t get out of the sewers until he can clear the place. Speed takes off but Vinnie, with Mayor Anderson accompanying him, follows him and has his driver cause Speed to crash, much to the mayor’s horror. Meanwhile, Hawk tells Hodges that the alligator will be searching for a new lair since it’s home was invaded and Hodges says they need to find a way to kill it before it reaches the lake. They make another bomb and hang it in a tunnel that the alligator is most likely to go through to the lake but the alligator simply swallows the bomb. Christine and Sheri show up with a syringe gun filled with a poison that might kill the alligator but she says she doesn’t know if it will set off the bomb. Hodges tells her and Sheri to go clear out the lake if it hasn’t been cleared already while he, Harmon, and Hawk chase after the alligator. At the carnival, Vinnie is upset to see that the place is practically empty and that Reuben and his gang have kept people from selling their homes. Mayor Anderson speaks with Vinnie on the ferris wheel, saying he regrets their partnership and is going to end it but Vinnie kills him. When the alligator shows up and attacks the carnival, Vinnie grabs the signed contracts and goes to escape but is confronted by Reuben and his gang. When Hodges steps in to keep anymore bloodshed from happening, Vinnie goes to shoot Hodges but Hodges avoids the shot while Reuben and his gang shove Vinnie into the lake, where the alligator kills him. Hodges, Harmon, and Hawk head out in a boat after the alligator but as a helicopter arrives to help with the search, the alligator attacks their boat and knocks them into the water. Harmon is rescued by the helicopter while Hawk ends up getting killed. Hodges goes back to the boat to get the syringe gun and manages to stab it into the alligator when it swims over him but the alligator doesn’t die. Harmon has the helicopter head back to pick up Hodges before the alligator eats him and as it makes it’s way back into the sewers, Hodges and Harmon head back to finish it off, taking a bazooka that the helicopter had picked up from the armory with them. As they enter the sewers and head to it’s lair, they see the alligator heading towards them and Hodges manages to kill it with the bazooka. As Hodges and Harmon leave the sewers, they hear the crowd chanting Hodges nickname, “Solo Lobo”, as they embrace Christine and Sheri respectively. Harmon tells Hodges he will see him around and Hodges acknowledges Harmon as his new partner. As Hodges and Christine leave, Reuben yells out that Vinnie is dead and the crowd works to remove all of his banners from around the park.

When it comes to horror movies, I realize that sometimes, a sequel can seem pretty similar to the original but this was almost exactly like the original. Even with that going for it, this was still about as average of a movie as you could get. The acting was ok, with Joseph Bologna doing a pretty good job as Hodges. I also liked Ruchard Lynch (Hawk), Dee Wallace (Christine), and Brock Peters (Speed) but I thought that Steve Railsback’s portrayal of Vinnie was honestly too stereotypical in his actions to generate any real emotions towards him. The basic plot was almost exactly the same as the first movie: alligator ends up in the sewers, has a lifetime of chemical hormones dumped on it, causing it to grow to enormous sizes. A police detective is one of the first people to realize what’s going on and a hunter is brought in to kill the alligator but ends up being killed himself. Even the┬áman that inadvertently created the alligator being killed by the alligator in a sort of karmic death was the same. The only real differences was the location to be honest, and the fact that the young police officer that partners with the older detective lives this time. The special effects were honestly not the greatest, as there were a lot of times that the alligator looked like a plastic model. An ok movie to watch but a real let down as a sequel.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Standard