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("The Big Alligator River" or "Alligator" or "The Great Alligator" or "Big Alligator River" or "The Big Caimano River")

 

Directed by Sergio Martino
Italy 1979

 

Meaner than Jaws... More bloodthirsty than Piranha... Here comes The Great Alligator, a blood-soaked tale of jungle greed and just desserts from cult director Sergio Martino (Torso). Barbara Bach (The Unseen, The Spy Who Loved Me) and Claudio Cassinelli (Screamers, Slave of the Cannibal God, Hands of Steel) head into the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia where construction for an exclusive resort is treading onto territory that the Kuma natives hold sacred... and their alligator god Kroona takes personally. Paradise turns into an unrelenting nightmare in this outrageous giant creature feast also starring Mel Ferrer (The Visitor, Eaten Alive), Richard Johnson (The Haunting, Beyond the Door), Bobby Rhodes (Demons, Demons 2), Romano Puppo (After the Fall of New York, Street Law) and child actress Silvia Collatina (Murderock), with a screenplay co-written by the legendary Ernesto Gastaldi (All the Colors of the Dark, The Grand Duel) and a pounding score by the great Stelvio Cipriani (Bay of Blood, Tentacles). Find out who lives and who dies in this essential 70s shocker, now remastered from the original negative for the first time in HD!

***

A tourist resort in Africa finds itself at the mercy of a huge man-eating crocodile from a local native legend which the croc is the incarnation of a native god angered by the intrusion of the tourists on its nesting ground. After a new natives are killed and eaten, they naturally blame the tourists and set out to kill them while the survivors try to rally on a boat with the hungry crocodile in the water, and the blood-thirsty natives on land waiting for them.

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 3rd, 1979

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Review: Code Red - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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Distribution Code Red - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:28:12.328         
Video

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,610,634,479 bytes

Feature: 18,452,717,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.56 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1856 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1856 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Code Red

 

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,610,634,479 bytes

Feature: 18,452,717,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.56 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

3 Friends and an Alligator (15:55)
Alligator Rock (16:30)
Shooting Underwater (7:18)
In the Croc's Nest (34:56)
Trailers (2:51)


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 2nd, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 15

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Code Red Blu-ray (January 2021): Code Red have transferred Sergio Martino's The Great Alligator to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "2016 HD Master". It doesn't look bad at all - some light vertical scratches here and there - it's on a single-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. This appears to be the same Scorpion transfer as the 2016-2017 HD scan with extensive color correction done in the U.S. that was briefly out-of-print on Blu-ray. It seems to have the same supplements as well. We don't have it to compare. Anyway, this looks surprisingly strong - the typical green cast (supposedly shot in Sri Lanka) isn't too strong and there is depth and only a few aberrant visual anomalies. One of the better image qualities of this, frequently weak video, genre. I suspect this version is cut (I see more graphic gore/nudity stills floating around) - perhaps someone can let me know.   

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On their Blu-ray, Code Red use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the English language. It's fairly modest with only tribal sounds as agressive but has an effective score in the lossless by Stelvio Cipriani (What Have They Done to Your Daughters, The Night Child, Nightmare City, The Blood Stained Shadow, Killer Cop, Rabid Dogs, Baron Blood, A Bay of Blood) sounding a shade inconsistent at times. Code Red offer no subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Code Red Blu-ray offers a few supplements; Round Table Discussion with SFX Paolo Ricci, Cinematographer Giancarlo Ferrando and Art Director Massimo Antonello Geleng entitled 3 Friends and an Alligator running 1/4 hour. Shooting Underwater is a 7-minute interview with underwater camera operator Gianlorenzo Battaglia. Alligator Rock is a 16-minute interview with camera operator Claudio Morabito and In the Crocodile's Nest is a 35-minute interview with director Sergio Martino and art director Massimo Antonello Geleng. There is also a trailer running shy of 3-miniutes. 

While Sergio Martino's The Great Alligator is weak in many areas - notably the creature visuals - constrained, no doubt, by the budget. This is compounded by there being very few actual scenes with the Gator. It is an obviousness attempt to capitalize on the Jaws creature-craze of the mid-70's. But Martino always seem to rise above his colleagues in these low-budget schlock-fest popcorners. There is a strange appeal; snippets of nostalgia and... star-slumming - always with the edgy natives. The Code Red Blu-ray has quality extras and a, better-than-anticipated, HD presentation. But it's a weak genre film, be forewarned, but has a Sergio Martino attraction and should hold your attention.

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Code Red - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

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