We’ve reached the end of Shark Week (or at least the version I planned back before they changed the date to July). But wait, you might say, I saw the title of today’s movie, and that doesn’t appear to involve sharks. And you’re right! Alligator Alley–sometimes known as the infinitely better name Ragin’ Cajun Redneck Gators–has absolutely no sharks in it. However, in the “Shark Bait: 6 Killer Shark Films” DVD collection, this is covered under “Plus a BONUS 7th BITE to sink your teeth into.” Yup, this DVD 6 pack actually had 7 movies. What a twist!
I think the problem I’ve been having with the shark movies this week is that they mostly take themselves too seriously. Shark Island has a zombie shark that’s infecting other sharks as well as humans? Going hog wild with that would be too much fun, so they included a pointless subplot about teen pregnancy that went nowhere. Well, Alligator Alley has no illusions about how dumb it is. A girl goes back home to the bayou right around the time that mutated alligators start killing people. Turns out some guys have been experimenting with blue moonshine–blueshine, if you will–and were dumping the failed mixtures into the swamp, which created these mutant gators. Oops. This becomes an even worse situation when it turns out the alligators can infect people, who then turn into mutant alligators themselves. Well then! All the gators get killed, except for the one who started the movie as the main girl’s boyfriend. The movie ends with a flashforward showing her, her baby, and her secret gator boyfriend living happily together. For my sanity’s sake I’m going to assume the baby was conceived before he turned into a reptile.
This movie has everything, and by “everything” I mean “every bayou stereotype you can imagine.” It has a family vendetta going so far back no one’s quite sure why they hate each other. It has actors born in New York or Ohio speaking in barely understandable Cajun accents. It has a mute guy in overalls playing a banjo. It has moonshiners talking about gumbo. It has someone say, “We be more trouble to him than a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs!” And countless jokes where the punchline is, “These people are ignorant.”
This movie was dumb as hell, and I loved it. The Scorpion King appears as the Alligator Whisperer! No, not The “Dwayne Johnson” Rock, but Mr. Victor Webster, Mathayus in The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption and The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power. Yeah, that makes sense for the budget. At one point a woman covered in blood runs out in front of the protagonist, only to run off without a word or explanation. The gators have a red coloration around their necks, making them “redneck gators” in two senses! Seriously, why did they drop the much cooler title for something as boring as Alligator Alley? This is the kind of shit I’m looking for, which makes it a mixed blessing that this is the last film in my Shark Week. Yes, it was probably the most enjoyable movie in the DVD collection (outside of Ghost Shark and possibly Santa Jaws, but I’ll get to that one this December), but it wasn’t a shark movie. Oh well! The rules are all made up! Nothing actually matters!
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