A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded lab rats, injected with growth hormones. The small animal grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.
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Far, far better than it needed to be to succeed. The John Sayles script has more wit and even a bit more depth than usual for a cheap monster flick and the performances match it with more nuance and style than normally found in the B-movie gutters (or, in this case, sewers).