Indonesian madness with a magic crocodile, a mystic queen, two mutant
births, a blatant lift from
THE EXORCIST, a homicidal tree, and
much, much overall insanity.
This crazy movie (also known as RATU BUAYA PUTIH) hails
from 1988, a boom period for Indonesian horror/exploitation flicks. The
director was the incomparable H. Tjut Djalil, whose other credits
include Indonesian essentials like
MYSTICS IN BALI,
and DANGEROUS SEDUCTRESS. The headliner was the late Suzzanna (a.k.a.
Suzzanna Martha Frederika van Osch), Indonesian cinema’s foremost scream
At the edge of a lake a woman unexpectedly gives birth
to a white alligator that bequeaths a red jewel. The woman then pops out
the gator’s “twin,” a human child.
Unfortunately the woman is promptly killed by a couple
of scumbags. Her boyfriend takes them on but dies in the attempt, and
the scumbags make off with the jewel. As for the white alligator, it
contains several tiny but powerful people living inside it, including a
supernaturally endowed queen who wants revenge on the assholes who
killed the gator’s parents.
Cut to a few years later: the surviving child grows
into a young boy who can telepathically communicate with alligators.
There’s also a woman who controls gators with a garage opener-like
remote control, and who frequently chats with the alligator queen (who
can appear and disappear at will).
Another young woman falls under the spell of the gator
queen, who turns her into a spasmodic Linda Blair wannabe. But this
isn’t enough for the queen, who still longs to take on the scumbags from
the opening scenes. This she does, together with a couple unexpected
allies: the ghost of her murdered father and a fighting tree!
H. Tjut Djalil’s films are distinguished by a peculiar
brand of insanity indigenous to South Asian cinema, of which Djalil is
perhaps the foremost proponent. THE WHITE ALLIGATOR, with its rather
simplistic and uneventful narrative, may lack the sublime insanity of
Djalil’s best films MYSTICS IN BALI and LADY TERMINATOR, but it’s very
much in keeping with his filmography--meaning the film is completely
bonkers from start to finish! Much of that craziness, of course, is from
simple culture shock, as Djalil’s films are steeped in the beliefs of a
region whose folklore seems downright surreal to Western viewers.
The special effects, from the patently rubbery
alligator one of the bad guys fights to the crudely animated laser beams
the gator queen lobs to the climactic fighting tree (actually an
ordinary tree rendered animate by moving the camera toward and away from
it), are lousy. However, they help to make this film the dumb movie
blast it nearly is.
Suzzanna, with her exotic good looks and sense of
macabre glee, can be an invaluable asset to this sort of film (see
THE QUEEN OF BLACK
MAGIC), but she’s given very little to do. For this and the
other reasons outlined above, THE WHITE ALLIGATOR only gets a muted
recommendation from me.
THE WHITE CROCODILE (RATU BUAYA PUTIH)
Soraya Intercine Film
Director: H. Tjut Djalil
Producer: Ram Soraya
Cinematography: Sadeli H.S.
Cast: Suzzanna, Soendjoto Adibroto, Bakir, Dorman Brisman, H.I.M.
Damsyik, Vera Magdalena, Chris Salam, Rudy Whab, Jeffry Waworuntu