Bad CGI Gator Trailer: When Bad CGI is Good

We all know the effect bad CGI has on a movie. But what about when the CGI is supposed to be bad?

Bad CGI Gator (2023) proves that even bad CGI can be good.

If you’re a horror fan, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the never-ending debate between practical effects and CGI. Proponents of CGI often praise the flexibility of computer-generated effects, but detractors point out that CGI is almost always noticeable. Many people think CGI, especially in a low-budget movie, is usually “fake” in a way that can kill the atmosphere of a film.

But here’s an argument many haven’t considered: What if the CGI in a movie is supposed to be bad, and its badness is actually part of the story? Full Moon Features, b-movie innovators for more than thirty years, not only considered this argument—they made a movie about it. That movie is Bad GCI Gator, and here’s the trailer.

As you can see from the trailer, Bad CGI Gator contains a combination of digital and practical effects, and it doesn’t look like it will shy away from practical blood and gore. Of course, the centerpiece is the lovingly rendered alligator which, frankly, looks as good/bad as creatures seen in many other low-budget horror movies. Even the hovering and changing in scale it does is not a completely uncommon sight for the monsters seen in some other movies, it’s just taken to extremes here. The fact that the characters in Bad CGI Gator are aware of the awfulness makes it even better.

Also, if you didn’t get the sense that Bad CGI Gator is meant at least in part as a cheeky jab at movies that use CGI poorly, here’s a quote from the film’s producer and the CEO and founder of Full Moon Features, Charles Band: “I’ve long been against the overuse of CGI in genre films, and in many ways, this movie is a fun, tongue-in-cheek antidote to that. When done right, CGI is a great tool to accent special effects. When done wrong…well, we get BAD CGI GATOR! Get ready!”

Cooper Drippe, Sarah Buchanan, and Rebecca Stoughton in Bad CGI Gator (2023).
The cast includes (from the left) Cooper Drippe, Sarah Buchanan, and Rebecca Stoughton. Primary cast members not pictured are Maddie Lane, Michael Bonini, and Ben VanderMey.

The official plot synopsis for Bad CGI Gator states, “Six college grads on Spring Break get a cabin in the swamplands of Georgia. Once there, they decide to throw their school laptops in a backyard lake in an act of youthful defiance, which unknowingly turns a lurking alligator into the dreaded and insatiable… Bad CGI Gator!”

An alligator floats in the air in Bad CGI Gator (2023).
Yes, this alligator is floating. Why? Bad CGI.

Bad CGI Gator is produced by the father-son duo of Charles Band and his son Zalman Band. Zalman Band also wrote the screenplay which is directed by Danny Draven (Deathbed, Weedjies: Halloweed Night).

Bad CGI Gator releases on Amazon Prime Video and on on November 24th, 2023. To find direct links to watch when it’s released, check our New/Upcoming Horror Movies tracker later this month!

Bad CGI Gator (2023) official poster

Meet The Author

Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.