Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators
I love it when they wiggle on the way down!
Cajun dudes, bayou creole accents, fancy blue moonshine, family rivalries, even a banjo player who can’t talk. Ragin’ Cajun Redneck Gators serves up the full buffet of bayou stereotypes. It also serves up a heaping load of killer mutant gators and some horrible body modification mess.
Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators differs in tone from a lot of SyFy’s pictures because it’s a lot more darker. The origin of the monsters turns into a tragedy, and the heroine Avery must reluctantly deal with the consequences and ending the terror. It’s actually horrifying what transpires, basically her entire family is transformed into mutant killer gators after eating the flesh of a slain mutant killer gator. Thus, to save the rest of the town and the planet from the threat of her relatives, who are now mindless killing machines, she has to destroy them. Worse yet, there are clues that the gators have at least some memories of their human lives.
I give credit to the script for delivering the unexpected twist of being forced to slaughter your own family. Rafael Jordan came up with the story and Keith Allan and Delondra Williams turned it into the final film. Griff Furst helps breath life to it, directing under his pseudonym. I especially love how they turn the resident gator expert on it’s ear, you’re expecting a Steve Irwin clone, but instead you get a riff on The Dog Whisperer!
The Gator Whisperer being a complete wackjob is a humorous element needed as the film turns darker. His whole schtick of being an expert who can talk alligators into being docile creatures ends in the bloody way you imagine it will for him and his entire crew. I guess some time slots just opened up on his station!
Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators suffers from an obviously suffering budget, the mutant alligators are barely distinguishable from the standard crocodile models used in these SyFy films. After the Doucettes are all turned into alligators, there only seems to be like five people left in town. The urgency to save the rest of the town sort of goes away if there isn’t people in the town.
Despite some innovations and some neat tricks, Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators fails to rise above the crop, instead languishing with the average SyFy creature features. While that is good enough for those who enjoy them, it’s not going to impress the viewers who are looking for the next gimmick creature feature to turn into a viral hashtag. That’s okay, because SyFy shouldn’t be making films just for viral hits, they should be making films that turn into good films. Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators just fills the status quo, a type of film that you’ll know before you watch whether you’ll find it interesting. I shall always push for films to be greater, no matter which network they originate from.
Rednecks are noodling (aka catching giant catfish with their hands), but one gets his arm chomped! Prologue!
Avery Doucette returns home to the bayou for the first time in years from the big city. She’s visiting her entire family, and some culture shock is in order. For now Avery is a vegan who helps animals, while the first thing her dad Lucien Doucette does upon seeing her is take her out gator hunting. They kill the gator the day before gator season right next to the Robichaud property. The Robichauds and the Doucettes have been feuding for generations, for reasons neither can clearly remember any more.
The Doucettes have a huge family barbeque to welcome home their prodigal daughter, chomping on that gator they caught, which mysteriously has a red neck. And spines on its tail. And it was caught in the area where, unbeknownst to the Doucettes, the Robichauds have been dumping mysterious chemicals they were ordering on the internet to make pore potent moonshine.
So bad news is a’comin’! But first, different bad new arrives, the companion of the killed noodler from the teaser shows up screaming about killer gators and is treated as a crank.
Avery has a nice sequence where she shows off her shooting skills and at the same time spurns the advances of one of her more distant Doucette relatives, Bud. Then Avery goes underwear dipping with the Robichaud boy Dathan. It just got all Romeo and Juliet in this Hatfield and McCoy situation. They then see the surviving noodler get killed and eaten by mutant gators.
More gators attack people, a fisherman goes down, a Deputy Doucette gets surrounded and impaled. The Doucettes and Robichauds blame each other for the disappearances and get to yelling and brandishing guns at each other. They only stop to work together to save Avery and Dathan, who are on a boat that is being menaced by one of the gators.
The Sheriff has had enough and puts a bounty on the gators. Avery’s stepmom, who has a smoker’s voice and a dog she treats as a child, is then menaced by a gator outside the Doucette home. Her brother grabs the dog and tosses it at the gator so they can escape, this being the best escape method in the film!
Suddenly the film gets awesome! The Gator Whisperer! On Predator Planet! In a segment narrated by Stephen Furst! Tristan Sinclair is the Gator Whisperer, and he’s coming to town to stop those gators.
Dathan Robichaud is now a cop, because they are running out of characters. The Gator Whisperer’s expedition comes across a nest of hatching eggs, and all the Doucettes and Robichauds open fire and blast the eggs, along with the mommy gators that show up. The camera crew manages to get chomped.
The two families celebrate, but that soon turns into a drunken argument between the clans. Dathan and Avery have a lovers quarrel, and Lucien goes full weregator and turns into one of the Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators. So does all the other Doucettes, one managing to bite Dathan (and kill his mute brother) before escaping. Even the Gator Whisperer whispers his last, becoming someone’s dinner.
The only people left are Dathan, Avery, Dathan’s dad, and Sheriff Landry. Though a few mysterious hunters show up for the end battle so they can be eaten as well. First we have a sequence where Avery is about to be eaten by a gator, but a different gator defends her! This gator has a golden tooth, like her dad, and suddenly Avery realizes what happened.
Avery wants to try to cure them, but realistically that’s not an option and soon they know they must kill them. Dathan turns into a gator himself, and is quickly killed in a battle with another gator.
Avery, Sheriff Landry, and Wade Robichaud come up with a plan to lure all the gators together then blow them up. They call in those hunters we never saw before so more people can die. Wade and gator Lucien have a showdown that ends with them both dead. Avery sets off all the bombs and soon the gators are blown to bits. An unconscious Avery is dragged away. By a gator.
It’s now a year later, Avery is selling gator skins to tourists. And has a baby. And a pet mutant gator that we recognize as Dathan. Yes, they are their own little family now.
Though it’s a “shocking” ending, it’s also not that far unexpected. Avery had to kill her entire family. She’s lost everything. So if there is a chance that she can have a bit of a family, she would grab onto it no matter what it looks like. I’d argue that perhaps Avery giving up all she worked for to be a single mother married to a gator in the swamp is a sort of ironic ending to her life, but when your entire family turned into gators that you have to kill, perhaps things go so far out the window it doesn’t matter. Though it does give a tiny postscript to the city vs country arguments by having the country win.
Rated 6/10 (Dumping goo, somehow people live through that injury, dog who becomes food, golden tooth, mysterious bloody girl, red cap to kill redneck gators!)
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