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THE WHITE ALLIGATOR

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.

The Package
     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, LADY TERMINATOR and DANGEROUS SEDUCTRESS. The headliner was the late Suzzanna (a.k.a. Suzzanna Martha Frederika van Osch), Indonesian cinema’s foremost scream queen.

The Story
     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!

The Direction
     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.
 

Vital Statistics

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

     

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