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Attack of the Meth Gator (2023) Review

Attack of the Meth Gator lets you know what you’re in for right from the start as cops raid a Florida meth lab only to have its operators make a run for it. As Shane (Benjamin L. Newmark, A Cold Grave, Forest of Death) wades across the swamp, he drops a bag of meth. That’s when we see a giant gator’s snout twitch as if it’s smelling something. Then it goes straight for the meth, then goes for Shane, and one of the cops in a drug induced frenzy.

In response, Mayor Jensen (Nick Wilson) hires Skylar (Arlene Lagos, The House On Misty Lane: Chapter Two, Cole Younger & The Black Train) and Twain (Tristen Amason) to take care of the gator discreetly, and before the tourists start arriving for the Memorial Day Weekeend. Needless to say, they quickly become gator chow instead.

Sheriff Williams (Bruce Peoples, Just What the Doctor Ordered, Dope Gifts) has his own ideas about how to handle it and calls in his son Dante (LaRonn Marzett, The Adventures of Jurassic Pet: The Lost Secret, What Rhymes with Reason) who happens to be a DEA agent.

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Attack of the Meth Gator was directed by Fred Olen Ray’s son Christopher Ray (Minutes to Midnight, Assault on VA-33). Thankfully he and writers Lauren Pritchard and Joe Roche, who have previously co-written several of The Asylum’s offerings including Doomsday Meteor and Planet Dune, realized there’s no way a plot like this can be taken overly seriously and proceeded accordingly.

After its attack on another stash of meth leads to the gator climbing the island’s cell tower and crushing it with its sheer weight, the film becomes a riff on Jaws and similar films. We have the money obsessed mayor trying to keep the gator, and the meth problem, hushed up. If a few people die, so sad, too bad, as long as they spend their money first. That leaves the Sheriff and Dante, with some help from Dante’s ex Anna (Vanesa Tamayo, Monster Grizzly, Out of the Dark) and reptile expert Bithlo (Ray Acevedo, American Sicario, Megaboa) to find the creature before it can find the main meth lab and become invincible.

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Along the way, there’s everything from a slap fight competition to Anna’s father and his stash of rocket launchers and other heavy weapons, this is Florida after all, an underground meth bunker and a finale that involves a barge full of fireworks. It’s all played just seriously enough that Attack of the Meth Gator doesn’t turn into a pure farce, but everyone keeps their tongues in their cheeks as they poke at genre clichés and occasionally go way over the top with the plot twists, such as the gator sniffing out Shane’s partner Trig played by Robbie Rist, the voice of Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films.

Of course, Attack of the Meth Gator being an Asylum film it does have its issues, most notably with the budget and the effects. The CGI is extremely variable in quality, with some decent shots of the gator on land, but the scenes of it swimming, especially on the surface, frequently look bad. It’s also no surprise that when the creature shows up for the Memorial Day parade, it’s a very half-hearted rampage. Alligator did it much better forty-four years ago.

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However, there’s no denying that this is not only miles ahead of Cocaine Shark and Deep Fear, it’s probably the best animal on drugs film since Franco Prosperi unleashed a zoo full of PCP crazed predators on a hapless city in The Wild Beasts back in 1984. It’s a highly enjoyable beer and pizza film, perfect for relaxing to on the weekend.

The Asylum was supposed to release Attack of the Meth Gator last summer, but so far the only place it seems to be available is on NOW TV in the UK. It will also be available there on DVD on March 25th via High Fliers.

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