Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators (2013)
What do you get when backwoods yokels start dumping toxic moonshine into the swamp? You get huge gators with red necks. That’s right, you get RAGIN CAJUN REDNECK GATORS, and the “redneck” refers to the gators not the yokels!! This is the latest offering from Active Entertainment (think of this production company as the inbred brother of The Asylum) that aired on the SyFy channel. And as the trend has been lately, it’s just not enough anymore to make things gigantic, mutated, or radioactive. We need hybrids of things (a la PIRANHACONDA) or even more bizarre delivery systems (a la SHARKNADO). So what makes RAGIN CAJUN REDNECK GATORS stand out? If you think these gators are just the byproduct of some toxic moonshine, don’t fret, dear readers, there is a twist.
Avery (Jordan Hinson) is a college student who’s returning home to the Bayou to visit her family after being away for four years. She comes across as an intelligent, fiercely independent woman who’s happy she found a way out of the swamps, despite loving her family. And as Avery soon learns nothing has changed much in swamp life. Her father Lucien (Ritchie Montgomery), is the head of the Doucette clan and Wade (Thomas Francis Murphy) is the head of the Robichaud clan and these two clans have been a feudin’ for over 200 years. Each clan gets territorial when members of the other clan hunt gators on their property, and more than once the local watering hole breaks out into a scene straight out of ROADHOUSE when the two clans clash. As if this Hatfields and McCoy-like plot wasn’t enough, writers Keith Allan, Rafael Jordan, and Delondra Williams also felt the need to add a Romeo and Juliet subplot. Avery’s old boyfriend, Dathan (John Chriss), is a Robichaud who also happens to be the town’s sheriff. And yes, they pick up their relationship after a four year hiatus as if no time had passed at all. I must point out that the way the writers dealt with Avery’s character was extremely old fashioned and sexist. In the beginning Avery is independent and a model of a “modern woman.” But as soon as she hooks back up with her old boyfriend, Dathan, she suddenly becomes the Poster Woman for giving up your dreams and letting the man control your life. Or am I expecting too much from a SyFy flick??
Early in the film the Doucette’s hunt down, kill, cook up, and feast on one of these new redneck gators. They figured it would taste better because it was different(??!?). Little did they know that what changed those gators would soon do the same to them (more on this later). The scene where we witness the Doucette’s sitting around an open fire outside as they feast on the gator might just be one of the most offensive stereotyped scenes ever put on film!! I sat there, jaw wide open as I watched these Bayou inbreds perform every single stereotype you can imagine. It was pretty terrible and I can’t imagine that anyone from Louisianna wasn’t completely and utterly offended. But it was also pretty damn funny!! You know the kind of funny I’m talking about … the kind of funny that we’re not supposed to laugh at but can’t help it. Kinda like when you see a blind person trip over something.
RAGIN CAJUN REDNECK GATORS is helmed by Griff Furst, the man behind other such classics like ARACHNOQUAKE, SWAMP SHARK, LAKE PLACID 3, and GHOST SHARK. And if there’s one thing you can say about Furst’s films it’s that he’s consistent. He knows that the success or failure of these made for SyFy films is that they need to deliver. If your titular creature is a shark or a croc or even a ghost shark, then you better give the audience a lot of said shark, croc, or ghost shark. This is Furst’s formula for success: Keep the film moving at a quick pace and give the audience a lot of the titular creature destroying shit and killing people. This is the exact formula used in RAGIN CAJUN REDNECK GATORS. I mean come on … “toxic moonshine” … really?? Yet Furst moves everything along at such a quick pace that you never have time to sit and ponder just how fuckin’ ridiculous that is as an explanation.
I also enjoy the humor that Furst usually puts in his films. He knows he’s not making any award-winning films so he has fun with them and puts fun in them. In about the middle of the film we get introduced to a new character, Mr. Tristan Sinclaire (Victor Webster), also known as “The Gator Whisperer.” This is obviously a spoof and a jab at all those retarded reality-TV characters that claim to have “special relationships” with animals and can communicate and understand said animals better than ‘regular’ people can. Webster takes this role and runs with it. It’s one of those roles that steals the show. Once the locals realize they’re dealing with a new breed/species of gator they call in The Gator Whisperer (who has his own TV show of which we get to see the opening to. It’s classic!!) who is essentially just a guy who wrestles gators and whispers in their ears. Webster plays the role brilliantly. He’s arrogant, full of himself, and is using this new species of redneck gator to get more publicity. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you things don’t go well for The Gator Whisperer and his crew!!
Overall, RAGIN CAJUN REDNECK GATORS is your typical “new breed” SyFy flick that amps up the absurdity and keeps a sense of humor about itself. But, you might be thinking, this all sounds rather standard. After all it’s just a bunch of aggressive, large gators mutated by some toxic moonshine, right? Well yes, but we do get a little more “absurdity” thrown at us. Remember the scene I described when the Doucette clan kills and then cooks up one of the redneck gators? Well it seems that by ingesting the gator they all end up transforming into gators!! Yeah, I know. This adds another layer to the film but unfortunately also gives us a really shitty ending. It’s an absolutely ridiculous ending that almost ruins the previous fun atmosphere the movie established.
Barring the ending, there’s a lot of fun to be had with RAGIN CAJUN REDNECK GATORS. It’s your typical SyFy flick that has enough silly humor and silly characters to keep you laughing and a surprisingly decent amount of gore in it as well. You know what you’re gonna get with a title like this. Just sit back and have a laugh.
Director: Griff Furst
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 4.5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer