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Alligator

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • US TV Version / US VHS
Release: Oct 04, 2021 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

The Horror Alligator

A small baby alligator is flushed down the toilet in Chicago and ends up in the sewer. Fed the waste of genetically modified laboratory animals from industrialist Slade's research lab, the alligator grows to enormous size. As more and more body parts turn up in the city's sewage systems, police officer David investigates, initially suspecting a serial killer behind the acts. With a colleague, he roams the sewers for clues and encounters the mutant alligator. Together with reptile expert Marisa Kendall, he organizes a search of the sewers that results in the alligator surfacing. The mayor hires big game hunter Brock to hunt the animal with little success. Meanwhile, the alligator is leaving a trail of blood through the city, so David, armed with a charge of dynamite, tries to bring the animal down.

The small but fine Alligator does just about everything right when it comes to gripping animal horror. The plot is engaging, the characters well developed with just the right amount of humor as they battle the monstrous alligator. Robert Forster is terrific and has the right partner / love interest in Robin Riker as Marisa.
11 years later followed with Alligator II - The Mutation, a mediocre sequel in which another giant alligator upsets the construction project of an evil industrialist. Above all, the unnecessarily excessive use of wrestling scenes is somewhat surprising here.

US TV version released in the US on VHS

In the US, the film was released on VHS by Catalina Home Video. This is a special release, as it is based on the US TV version. On the one hand this was extended by some plot scenes, on the other hand it is shortened by some violence. In addition, some swear words have been removed from the audio track by re-dubbing the affected parts.
The additional scenes are not absolutely necessary, but round out the film pleasantly. For example, there are a few more references to David's thinning hair, Brock shows the reporter more alligator sounds, and David walks longer through the sewers. Very amusing is a new scene at the beginning in which Marissa's father tries to explain away the oncoming rain, as the top of the car is currently stuck. In another additional scene, a mother fears for her child, whom she has briefly placed in a playpen in the backyard while the alligator trudges through the neighborhood. The fear fades when she finds her child hiding under a laundry basket. This scene doesn't fit with the rest of the film and looks like it was shot specifically for the TV version.

Picture comparison:

US VHS:

German DVD:

Runtimes:

US VHS (TV version): 98:11 min. (NTSC)
German DVD: 87:03 min. (PAL)

Comparison between the theatrical version and the US VHS / US TV version.

[00:00:54][00:00:49]

The TV version is missing a shot where the man is attacked by the alligator.



OV: 1 sec.


[00:02:04][00:01:58]

After Marissa decides on a baby alligator, a new scene follows. The family is standing on the side of the road with their car. The father is trying to close the top, as it has started to rain. Since the top is jammed too much, he gives up and continues driving despite the rain.



TV: 25 sec.


[00:04:54][00:04:17]

In an earlier shot, the TV version shows David choosing a dog at the pet store.



TV: 7 secs.


[00:05:10][00:04:25]

After David puts the dog on the counter, another shot of David and the clerk follows.



TV: 3 secs.


[00:16:14][00:15:00]

As David rants about the reporters, his "assholes" became "morons."



No time difference.


[00:22:03][00:20:34]

David and Kelly can be seen in the sewers for longer. Together they look at the map and finally walk down a hallway.



TV: 39 sec.


[00:23:17][00:21:08]

Kelly's "loose room crap" became "loose room slab(?)" in the TV version.



No time difference.


[00:26:23][00:24:05]

The TV version has another shot of David looking for Kelly in the sewers.



TV: 34 sec.


[00:27:56][00:25:01]

The "asshole" by David became a "damned fool" in the TV version.



No time difference.


[00:28:13][00:25:17]

In the TV version, David hears a honk and guesses that there is a road above them. Together with Kelly, he climbs the steps.



TV: 25 sec.


[00:29:03][00:25:42]

After Kelly walks ahead, David is seen longer walking to him.



TV: 11 secs.


[00:29:15][00:25:43]

Kelly's "Son of a bitch" became "Ah, this map is all bollocks" in the TV version.



No time difference.


[00:34:43][00:30:57]

"Nightmare your ass." by David became "Nightmare my eye." in the TV version.



No time difference.


[00:38:56][00:35:00]

As David is flipping through the book on alligators at home, the TV version shows another shot of it. The camera pans from his dog to David reading the book on the couch, eating something on the side.



TV: 20 sec.


[00:40:16][00:35:57]

Chief Clark's "Holy shit!" became "Holy smoke!" in the TV version.



No time difference.


[00:44:26][00:39:57]

After the startled alligator was seen, the TV version shows more shots of the soldiers running through the sewers making noise.



TV: 12 sec.


[00:50:43][00:45:47]

Missing from the TV version is how the policeman gets his leg bitten off by the alligator.



Theatrical Version: 2 secs.


[00:50:48][00:45:54]

Shortly after, the shot where the alligator runs across the street is missing.



Theatrical Version: 4 secs.


[00:52:50][00:47:56]

After Brock walked down the steps, David instructs the police officers with a microphone to choose a good position. He wets his fingers to comb his hair to the side.



In the theatrical version, the follow-up shot begins earlier in which Marissa joins David.



TV: 12 secs.
Theatrical Version: 1 sec.


[00:55:43][00:50:32]

Brock demonstrates to the reporter in the TV version what sound an alligator makes defending its territory.



TV: 12 sec.


[00:58:17][00:52:48]

In the TV version, after Brock discovers the alligator feces, a montage follows in which the public is questioned by police officers about the alligator.



The TV version is missing the camera pan to the alligator's feces.



TV: 24 secs.
Theatrical Version: 3 sec.

[00:58:53][00:53:02]

At the end of the TV report, the TV version shows a helicopter in the sky. In a new scene, a woman with her toddler Amy in her arms is hanging out laundry in the backyard. When the phone rings all of a sudden, the mother puts her daughter in a playpen. In a POV shot, the alligator approaches the child. When the mother returns to the garden, she finds the playpen overturned and the fence destroyed. Full of panic, she calls for her daughter, who has hidden under the laundry basket. She takes her daughter in her arms again.



TV: 2:02 min


[01:03:45][00:55:46]

After David steals the evidence, a new scene follows in which he goes to a phone booth after his shopping. He calls Marissa, but she barely lets him get a word in edgewise. An alligator eating a woman is painted on the wall of the phone booth. David takes his dog in his arms and tells him to run away if he sees an alligator.



TV: 1:05 min


[01:05:26][00:56:21]

David's "gonna kick his ass." became "gonna kick his tail." in the TV version.



No time difference.


[01:09:47][01:00:31]

The child looks at the pool in the theatrical version, terrified. Then a cut to the puddle of blood in the pool.



Theatrical Version: 4 secs.


[01:09:51][01:00:38]

After the children run away, another cut to the puddle of blood follows in the theatrical version.



Theatrical Version: 4 secs.


[01:10:01][01:00:51]

The line "I thought you were one of these real tight asses." by David became, in the TV version, "I thought you were one of these real naughty kids."



No time difference.


[01:12:34][01:03:18]

David and Marissa are seen in bed longer in the TV version. He says to her that recently a guy suggested that David needed a wig. He asks Marissa what she thinks about it. When she hesitates, he says he doesn't even want to know.



Afterwards, Brock is seen walking down the street with the recruited boys. One of the guys says they'll be right there. Someone would have heard heavy breathing at the spot. The boy says that "Looker Alley" is called. This is an audio censorship, as originally the name was "Booger Alley."



The theatrical version instead shows an alternate shot of Brock and the boys. The boy says that the street is called "Booger Alley."



TV: 39 sec.
Theatrical Version: 9 sec.


[01:13:54][01:04:05]

The "Ah, what the fuck." from the boy became "Ah, what the heck." in the TV version.



No time difference.


[01:18:06][01:08:08]

After the scene in the restaurant, the TV version shows a new scene. David is watching the news in which it is reported that the search for the alligator is extended. Meanwhile, David is assembling the bomb.



TV: 16 sec.


[01:21:20][01:10:57]

The line "I know I'm a pain in the ass sometimes." by David became "I know I'm a pain sometimes." in the TV version.



No time difference.


[01:22:25][01:12:00]

The policeman's "Holy shit." became "Holy macron (?)" in the TV version."



No time difference.


[01:24:13][01:13:44]

Missing from the TV version is how the policeman who had his legs bitten off is pulled into the boat longer.



Theatrical Version: 3 secs.


[01:26:07][01:15:37]

As the guests flee, the theatrical version cuts briefly to the maid being eaten by the alligator.



Theatrical Version: 1 sec.


[01:26:50][01:16:19]

In another shot, the wedding guest is eaten by the alligator in the theatrical version.



Theatrical Version: 2 secs.


[01:26:52][01:16:22]

The alligator lets go of the wedding guest in the theatrical version.



Theatrical Version: 4 secs.


[01:27:55][01:17:26]

The TV version is missing the shot where blood is running from Slade's car.



Theatrical Version: 2 secs.


[01:28:41][01:18:12]

David's "Jesus Christ" became "Jeez in the TV version."



No time difference.


[01:33:25][01:22:46]

David's "Shit!" became "Gee!" in the TV version.



No time difference.

[01:35:04][01:24:20]

After the ambulance was seen, the TV version shows David getting his head doctored by Marissa. David says he probably needs his hair shaved off so she can get to all the places, but Marissa says there's not much to shave up there.



In the theatrical version, Chief Clark is seen earlier coming to David.



TV: 18 sec.
Theatrical Version: 1 sec.


[01:36:36][01:25:32]

The credits are designed differently.



TV: 1:35 min
Theatrical Version: 1:31 min.