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Askew Review 15

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(NoShame Films) 1979. 86 Minutes. One big alligator messing up everyone’s day with a lot of gore and a little nudity to spice things up. Not rated. When Mel Ferrer, as a greedy capitalist, starts blowing up the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia for his tropical paradise you know that things can’t be good. To compound that, he’s taken over a small tribe that he is trying to civilize, but the Kuma Tribe is resistant, although they won’t turn down a nice pair of jeans after showing the tourists their sacred fertility dances. Claudio Cassinelli stars as a photographer who is there to take pictures of a lovely model draping herself all over the place to help sell the whole resort idea to the public. However, he’d rather be taking pictures of Barbara Bach who helps run the resort. Eventually, the great god of the Kuma tribe, Kroona, a really big alligator, decides that it has had enough of the white folk trespassing on its sacred ground. Kroona especially doesn’t like the touristy type and it isn’t long before it’s playing out like Martha’s Vineyard in Jaws.
  Digitally remastered from the original vault negative, No Shame Films shows us once again why they are the masters in their releases.  Sure, no one was probably beating down anyone’s doors to see this flick, but now, presented uncut, who wouldn’t want to watch it?  Director Sergio Martino, who gave us such classics as The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh and Torso, brings us another chapter in the big animal seeking revenge on the tourists genre. Barbara Bach is as beautiful as ever and the cinematography of the lush jungle is breathtaking and looks like it belongs in a Rene Cardona Jr. flick. As for extras, we get the original trailer for the film and gorgeous little booklet concerning the film, which has become the norm for NoShame Films. There’s also an interview with the director and the production designer, Antonello Geleng that runs for about 30 minutes regardless of the running time of 20 minutes printed on the box. One of the more chilling moments in the interview is when the director recalls where they filmed the movie. He says that’s where the big tsunami hit. After seeing all of those post tsunami pictures of the area this film shows us how beautiful the land was before being ravaged by the forces of nature. The movie serves as a time capsule of sorts of a place that has been changed forever. The Big Alligator River is proof that NoShame Films knows what they are doing and that they want all of our money. Good job. - Douglas A. Waltz




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