Terror rendered too cheaply, “Bad CGI Gator” is exactly what you expect it to be — and exactly what it wants to be…just plain fun.
Somewhere in South Georgia, a group of friends land at a remote spot for Spring Break weekend, ready for wild fun. Our plucky bunch of jocks, influencers, and outsiders have to band together after a viral moment has dire consequences for the group and shows that throwing your school laptop into a nearby lake is dumb.
There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind what this is going to be like.
If you add Full Moon Features to a title such as this, you know exactly that it will not take itself seriously. At all.
Full Moon Chief Charles Band (Puppet Master, Evil Bong, The Gingerbread Man) has looked at the plethora of Shark-Snake-Yeti-Octo-Ape monster films that are currently clogging up your favorite streaming service with cod-seriousness, earnest acting, and some bottom-barrel special effects and decided to have a bit of sport.
And you know, with a 55-minute runtime, it doesn’t get a chance to overstay its welcome and is just fun. Stupid, but fun.
I mean, I loved it.
With a plot that is straight from 1950s science fiction, it takes the best bits of the ‘extra large animals’ attack genre and compresses it into an entertaining, fast-paced romp.
We quickly get the introduction to the group, establishing who we like and who we want to see eaten, and then get a fun flick that moves at lightning speed to give us death by Bad CGI Gator.
Is the titular gator bad? Of course, it is.
The gator moves at speeds and possesses the climbing ability of a cat. It looks awful, with an almost toothless appearance in some shots and appearing to float in mid-air.
However, it’s this approach that provides one of the laugh-out-loud moments involving a Jock, a samurai sword, and what could only be described as Gator-Fu.
The Spring Break Grads are taken from your standard kit of genre parts: the jock and the buddy, the ‘popular girl’ and her follower, and the two outsiders. Each of the actors does well with the material given, doing enough to warrant enough investment into watching what happens (hoping that they get eaten).
The script is quickfire, doing a great job of showing these grads as vacuous and not entirely switched on about their life decisions.
A real highlight is Sarah (Rebecca Stoughton), who plays the role of social influencer who is excellent, nailing that role to a tee.
The deaths are goofy, with little gore, but there is that classic seam of Full Moon black humor running throughout.
In terms of reviewing this film, I suppose there are a couple of ways you can approach it. Watch and enjoy it as the joke it is meant to be, just appreciating that there are filmmakers out there who like to make fun of their art now and then. Or, carry out a hatchet job and scour social media likes for a snarky review.
It’s not intended as a cinematic masterpiece, and I’d argue it succeeds in doing exactly what it needs to do. It’s silly and far from a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s also as entertaining as you hope a film called Bad CGI Gator would be.
Directed by Danny Draven and written by Charles Band’s son, Zalman Band, Bad CGI Gator is an hour of fun with no demands on you except that you relax and maybe have the snack/beverage combo of choice at hand.