The Great Alligator title

AKA : Il Fiume del grande caimano, Alligators, Big Alligator River, Big Caimano River, Great Alligator River

The Great AlligatorA wealthy hotel developer (played by US TV actor Mel Ferrer) has just opened a new Holiday resort out in the middle of the jungle. Eager to publicise his new venture, he flies in photographer Daniel Nessel (Claudio Casselini) to take some photos of the hotel and its surroundings.

However, no sooner does he arrive than the trouble starts. First of all his female assistant goes missing, then several of the local native helpers mysteriously vanish and their canoes are later found smashed up. Then somebody destroys the hotel's radio antenna, severing their only means of communication and then the hotel's helicopter is mysteriously pulled into the river.

The local natives believe it's the return of their Alligator god Kruna. But of course Mr Joshua the hotel owner is very dismissive of this and eager not to start a panic, with his first guests having only just arrived, blames the events on a small group of disgruntled natives who have objected to their territory being invaded.

Forging ahead with the resorts opening celebrations, they subsequently discover that the old stories about the giant alligator were in-fact true, as it upturns the hotel's pleasure boat and proceeds to start devouring the guests. If that wasn't enough, it seems that the hotel owner was also correct about the disgruntled natives as they attack the hotel and make off with the owners lovely assistant Alice Brandt (played by Barbara Bach). Leaving Claudio Casselini's character to go charging off John Wayne style through the hordes of rampaging natives and attempt to rescue her.

Directed by Sergio Martine, the man who gave us "Mountain of the Cannibal God", this is a solid low budget jungle adventure film. Pity about the rubber looking croc mind, but what it lacks in budget it makes up for in blood and gore during the end. Look out for Richard Johnson (from Zombie Flesh-Eaters) who makes a brief appearance as a crazed old missionary living in the mountains.

Overall Marks : 5.5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Director Sergio Martino also directed "Island of the Fishmen", "2019 : After the fall of New York", "Mountain of the Cannibal God".

  • Barbara Bach had previously starred in "The Spy who Loved Me" and "Force 10 from Navarone". She also starred in Sergio Martino's "Island of the Fishmen" with Claudio Cassalini. She's currently married to former Beatle Ringo Starr, whom she met on the set of the film "Cave Man".

  • The late Claudio Cassalini was a regular in Italian B-movies, and starred in Sergio Martino's "Mountain of the Cannibal God" and "Island of the Fishmen". He sadly died in 1985 in a helicopter crash in Arizona.

  • The original story that formed the basis for the screenplay was written by George Eastman who played the beast in Joe D'Amato's "Anthropophagus" (AKA Grim Reaper) and the killer in Absurd.

  • Mel Ferrer is probably best known for his roles in US TV shows, such as "Falcon Crest". Great Alligator is one of the many films he made during a brief period acting in Italian films. His other credits include Umberto Lenzi's "Eaten Alive" (Mangiati Vivi) and "Nightmare City".

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