Sewer Gators opens with a stereotypical white trash couple sitting in their trailer watching a promo for The 50th Annual Thibodeaux Alligator Festival when the husband announces he needs to take a shit. Cue some POV shots of drainage culverts, some farting sound effects followed by some chomping sounds and we have our first victim. And a good idea of what kind of humour we can expect for the next hour.
Sheriff Mitchell (Kenny Bellau, Fast Food & Cigarettes) goes to investigate but almost immediately is shut down by Mayor Bobby (Sean Phelan, Silent But Deadly) who doesn’t want anything spoiling the Gator Festival. Instead, he offers a bounty for the gator and soon enough a couple of locals bring in a gator. Problem solved, right?
Unfortunately, gags like somebody walking past the wife of one of the victims with one of his body parts sticking out of a sandwich bag or text in the middle of the credits telling us “Don’t worry, the movie will start soon.” is more stupid than funny. And the wife of the first victim going off on tangents about their furniture not only isn’t funny, but it also seems to go on forever.
Plotwise, Sewer Gators is Jaws by way of Alligator and Monsturd, (yes that is a real movie). The creature becomes a huge pain in the ass as it catches the locals with their pants down and rips them a new one. And when it’s revealed the hunters got the wrong reptile, Mitchell, along with zoologist Laura (Manon Pages, Purgatory Road, The Demonologist) and Shane (Austin Naulty, Battleship, Eyes of the Dragon)a survivalist with a hatred of gators, have to descend into the sewers and take care of things themselves.
Despite several parodies of and even more unintentionally funny films about giant creatures, the idea behind Sewer Gators had some potential. But while it steals its plot structure from Jaws it doesn’t spend much time parodying it or the genre. Instead, it relies on generic humour such as comments like “Believes if she ain’t at least 280 she ain’t a woman” under reporter Brock Peterson’s (Paul Dale) name every time he’s on air. That and lots of really bad Southern stereotypes, although since the film was shot by a Louisiana-based company they’re allowed to stereotype themselves.
Most of the film-related jokes come by way of Sewer Gators’ intentionally terrible effects. The alleged man-eating gator the locals bring in is a small toy gator from the dollar store and the baby gators are from a collection of plastic zoo animals, probably from the same store. The attack scenes are mostly done with no effects at all, just POV shots of screaming faces. The film’s one real creature effect, a giant CGI gator is surprisingly well done considering everything else in the film.
I know humour is a relative thing and some folk will probably find Sewer Gators funny but I didn’t laugh once, although I did grin at one character’s demise and the film’s Sharknado reference. The humour is weak and toothless where it needed to be biting and go for the throat of the killer animal genre. Sewer Gators says that it’s an hour-long but it actually clocks in at fifty-two minutes plus another eight of end credits padded with bloopers. Why? Because as one of the fake credits reads, “We had to get it over an hour.” I doubt half the audience will last that long.
Sewer Gators will be available on VOD and Digital on June 3rd, you can check the production company’s Facebook page for more details. You can order it on Blu-ray, DVD and VHS here. Or you can go to FilmTagger and get some better viewing suggestions instead.