Movie of the Month: Alligator (1980)

The post from which this was excerpted was originally published on Swampflix.com as part of that site’s “Movie of the Month” feature, in which one contributor makes the rest of the crew watch a movie they’ve never seen before, and the staff discusses it afterwards. For June 2016, Britnee made me and Brandon watch Alligator (1980).

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I don’t know that I would call this a camp film, actually. It has its fair share of campy ideas, but the general seriousness of the situation and the brutality of the onscreen deaths (particularly that of the child who is killed at some kind of costume party) make up for the sillier elements. There are certainly some deranged elements that threaten to push the film over the edge into full on camp, like Marisa’s excitable and possibly crazy mother and the archetypal irascible police chief’s Mentat-style eyebrows, but Alligator has something that a lot of genre satires don’t: respect for the source material that is being referenced. The Jaws parallels mentioned above are the most obvious, as the film is unabashedly aping that film’s style and plotline right down to mayoral corruption, here the result of the unnamed mayor’s relationship with the pharmaceutical chief whose company’s experiments indirectly led to the alligator’s mutation rather than an attempt to preserve the summer tourism economy boom. There’s a lot here that’s played for laughs, but the film manages to do so without irrevocably breaking the tension, which is a refreshing change of pace from other pastiche parodies. Even if we disregard contemporary rubbish parodies like Date Movie or Meet the Spartans and only consider genre classics, great movies like Airplane! and The Naked Gun don’t really work as legitimate examples of disaster film or cop drama when divested of their parodic elements; in contrast, even if you were to somehow never seen or heard of Jaws, Alligator would still hold up as a surprisingly decent example of the “giant animal” horror subgenre.

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Agents of S.W.A.M.P.F.L.I.X.: Captain America 3 – Civil War (2016)

In the words of Swampflix editor Brandon Ledet: “Superhero Watching: Alternating Marvel Perspectives, Fresh and Longterm, Ignoring X-Men, or S.W.A.M.P.F.L.I.X., is a feature in which Boomer (who reads superhero comics and is well versed in the MCU) & Brandon (who reads alternative comics and has thus far seen less than 25% of the MCU’s output) revisit the films that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the perspective of someone who knows what they’re talking about and someone who doesn’t have the slightest clue.” This article was first published on June 2, 2016.

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Boomer: After the success of Winter Soldier, the Russo brothers were invited back to direct the next Captain America sequel, confirming their involvement in March of 2014. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who had previously drafted the scripts for both First Avenger and Thor 2 in addition to Winter Soldier, presented the Russos with the script for Civil War around the same time. Early reports featured the production team stating that they saw the film as more of a direct follow up to Winter Soldier, and that the intent was to further pursue the Bucky/Steve relationship in this flick.

Continue reading “Agents of S.W.A.M.P.F.L.I.X.: Captain America 3 – Civil War (2016)”