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If the animal attack genre has a Holy Trinity — then Jaws is God, Orca is Christ and Alligator is the Holy Ghost. This masterwork (scripted by John Sayles!) takes the urban myth of the “alligator flushed into the sewer” and follows it to its natural payoff — namely, a giant alligator rampaging through Chicago. But what makes this film stand tall among its peers is a central performance by Robert Forster as the down-on-his-luck-cop-obsessed-with-his-hair-loss who just so happens to be the guy to go mano-y-gator with the scaly antagonist. Director Lewis Teague shows some real ingenuity in making the real-life gator look huge; it’s the kind of clever trickery that is so sorely lacking in today’s era of crummy CGI SyFy Channel creature quickies. Best of all, Alligator’s chock full of rampaging fun — there’s a scene involving a child and a swimming pool that you won’t soon forget — and a heartfelt sincerity that elevates it to the status of timeless creature classic. Later, Alligator! Dir. Lewis Teague, 1980, 35mm, 89 min.