The Legend of Gator Face

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The Legend of Gator Face
Directed by Vic Sarin
Produced by Alan Mruvka
Marilyn Vance
Patrick Whitley
Written by David Covell
Alan Mruvka
Sahara Riley
Starring John White
Dan Warry-Smith
Charlotte Sullivan
Music by Joseph Williams
Cinematography John P. Tarver
Edited by Dave Goard
Distributed by Hallmark Entertainment
Release date
  • May 19, 1996 (1996-05-19)
Running time
99 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

The Legend of Gator Face is a 1996 Canadian comedy horror feature film written by David Covell, Alan Mruvka, and Sahara Riley, and directed by Vic Sarin.[1][2] The film first aired as a Showtime Original Pictures for Kids on May 1996.[3][4] In 1997 it was nominated for a Daytime Emmy. The Legend of Gator Face had a theatrical and television release and is now available on DVD.


Two friends, Danny (John White), and Phil (Dan Warry-Smith) live in a Mississippi town near a swamp. There is a local legend of a swamp-dwelling creature called "Gator Face". They construct a Gator Face costume by modifying a wetsuit.[5] After scaring most of the townsfolk, the pranks make national news, drawing the attention of the National Guard. Danny soon discovers that Gator Face is real and friendly. After Danny, along with his friends Phil and Angel (Charlotte Sullivan), saves Gator Face from a trap, they realize that Gator Face is protecting the swamps. Danny learns that the National Guard will kill Gator Face if he is caught so the three friends resolve to save the monster. Danny's older brother Chip (Gordon Michael Woolvett) shoots at Danny (while Danny is dressed as Gator Face) with a flare gun and misses when Danny flees into a nearby building. The townsfolk think Danny is the real Gator Face and burns the building with Danny in it, the real Gator Face jumps in and saves Danny but is himself shot. Yet the swamp won't let its defender die, so the fog heals Gator Face and the day is saved.



TV Guide wrote that the film was a "blatant rip-off" of E.T., but was "a surprisingly effective children's movie nevertheless." They wrote that the story had the usual cliche lessons for children toward teaching tolerance, but that it was not "too preachy or heavy-handed" and that "the emphasis is on lighthearted adventure from a child's point-of-view". They noted that the film was a bit lengthy, but that "the direction is competent and the cast is likable".[6] John J. O'Connor of The New York Times noted that Showtime "strengthened its first-rate record" of providing "innovative, commercial-free family product at dependable times" by its release of The Legend of Gator Face.[7]


In 1997 The Legend of Gator Face was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Paul Winfield for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special.


  • Alec to the Rescue, Wild Horses, The Legend of Gatorface, Russkies (4 Disc set) (Jun 7, 2005 Platinum Disc)
  • Legend of Gatorface, Russkies (2 Disc set)(Jun 7, 2005 Platinum Disc)
  • Legend of Gatorface (Feb 8, 2005 Platinum Disc)


  1. ^ "The Legend of Gator Face (1996)". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  2. ^ "The Legend of Gator Face (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  3. ^ Zad, Martie (May 19, 1996). "For Kids, It's `Legend of Gator Face'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  4. ^ Sherman, Fraser A. (2000). Cyborgs, Santa Claus, and Satan: science fiction, fantasy, and horror films made for television (illustrated ed.). McFarland. ISBN 9780786407934. Retrieved June 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ Review, "The Legend of Gator Face". The Ledger. 1998-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  6. ^ "review: The Legend Of Gator Face". TV Guide (magazine). Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  7. ^ O'Connor, John J. (June 27, 1996). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK;Hemming And Hawing About TV For Children". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  8. ^ "DVD release". All Movie Guide. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 

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