- 1 hr 25 min
In the 1998 cult classic Repligator, a top-secret military experiment goes awry, and a group of scientists inadvertently creates a giant, man-eating alligator that can travel through time. As the creature wreaks havoc on the unsuspecting populace, a mismatched team of soldiers and scientists race to stop it before it destroys the fabric of time and space.
The movie opens with a scene straight out of a cheesy 1950s B-movie, complete with black and white footage of a laboratory and a voiceover explaining the top-secret experiment that unleashed the monster. The scientists in charge of the project, led by Dr. Kildare (played by Gunnar Hansen of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame), are shocked when their creation escapes from the lab and begins wreaking havoc in the surrounding countryside.
Meanwhile, a group of soldiers led by the grizzled Sergeant Briggs (Keith Kjornes) are sent in to investigate the strange occurrences and capture the alligator. Along the way, they team up with a plucky young scientist named Lisa (Lisa Lohnes), who believes that the alligator is actually a time-traveling creature from another dimension. As they venture deeper into the mysterious swamp where the alligator is hiding, they encounter a series of bizarre obstacles, including a mad scientist who has been experimenting on local alligators and a tribe of Amazonian women who are inexplicably immune to the creature's deadly jaws.
Despite the campy premise and low-budget special effects, Repligator manages to be an entertaining and surprisingly thoughtful movie. The characters are more complex than you might expect from a film of this genre, and the script is peppered with witty one-liners and self-aware nods to other sci-fi and horror classics.
One of the film's standout performances comes from Keith Kjornes, who brings a grizzled charm to the role of Sergeant Briggs. Despite his rough exterior, Briggs has a heart of gold and a deep respect for science and the natural world. His interactions with Lisa, who is much younger and more idealistic than he is, provide some of the movie's funniest and most heartwarming moments.
Gunnar Hansen is also a standout as Dr. Kildare, whose obsession with his creation ultimately leads to his downfall. The actor's measured, understated performance is a perfect counterpoint to the movie's more over-the-top elements, and his scenes with the alligator are genuinely chilling.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Repligator is its willingness to tackle some weighty themes. The film grapples with questions of science, morality, and the nature of reality itself, as the characters debate the ethics of experimenting on animals and contemplate the possibility that the alligator may be more than just a mindless killing machine. While the movie never takes itself too seriously, it does offer some thought-provoking ideas that linger long after the final credits roll.
Of course, Repligator is not without its flaws. The special effects are often laughably bad, and the pacing can be sluggish at times. Some viewers may also find the movie's tone to be a little too cheesy and self-aware. But for fans of campy monster movies and offbeat sci-fi, Repligator is a must-see. It's a film that revels in its own absurdity while still managing to deliver genuine thrills and laughs. And while it may not be a classic in the same league as Alien or Jaws, it's certainly a unique and memorable addition to the genre.
Repligator is a 2013 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 2.5.