NOVEMBER 18, 2012
If there was any justice in the world, Alligator X (aka Xtinction: Predator X, which is much stupider) would be the 9th sequel to the 1980 film Alligator, and would be set in space, possibly with the 3rd act revolving around a half robot "Uber-Alligator". But alas, it's unrelated to that and any other film, and instead of space it's just the 59056th horror movie shot in Louisiana in the past 5 years, because that is the only state in the Union, I guess. Also, the goddamn alligator barely appears; the film's REAL primary villains are a couple of redneck assholes who rack up about as many kills and at least twice the screentime.
Worse, it looks like ass when we do see it. You'd think with so few shots to worry about, director Amir Valinia would use his 2.5 million budget wisely and deliver at least on the level of Syfy originals, but NO! This is sub-PS1 cut-scene level shit, which is unforgivable when it appears so infrequently. It's one thing if he's in every scene and thus their budget was spread too thin, but come on! With less than 5 minutes to worry about you can't get any better than this? You suck.
It also changes size depending on the scene, a huge pet peeve of mine. I can see how it would happen, and can forgive a shot or two, but it happens over and over, so much that I wasn't actually sure which one was the "correct" size. I swear, he's practically Godzilla-sized in the big showdown, even though moments before he was only slightly bigger than a regular gator in comparison to the human victim he just bit in half.
But even if the FX were Oscar-worthy, it wouldn't help the fact that this is a very dull, painfully generic film, where our hero is a cop that's trying to woo the troubled local gal that first stumbles across the gator (during her swamp tour), and there's a human villain that wants to use the thing for research and other exploitative means without caring about the humans that will die along the way, and the supporting cast includes a dimwit deputy and some local fishermen... you have seen this movie 1200 times, just usually at least marginally better.
It also fails to give Mark Sheppard an interesting character to play. He's a fun character actor (with an AMAZING voice), but he's playing stock horror/sci-fi human villain #23 here, without any of the shades of gray that can make him memorable. Hell, on Supernatural he plays the goddamn Devil (more or less), and even there there are more sides to him and even a slight bit of humanity (depending on the episode, though it seems to be pretty much gone at this point) than he's given here. Hope the paycheck was good. Also, nothing against the guy, but why do I see Lochlyn Munro playing so many cops? He's not exactly the most imposing or authoritative looking guy in the world, you know?
I know this is short for me, but honestly I can't think of anything else to say. It's a bad film, made by people who either don't care (or aren't competent enough) to make a good one. Had I known that it was from the same director as Lockjaw I wouldn't even have bothered, because this didn't promise a random ripoff of Pumpkinhead OR its top-billed star (DMX) giving most of his screentime over to a stunt double. Plus, any further effort from me would guarantee that I've tried harder than they did (though to be fair the presence of four names on the script suggests maybe a good script was just rewritten out of its identity), and I think we all have better things to do.
What say you?