When a new screenwriter is trying to get his script made, the best way to draw attention (nee money) is to attach a star, someone with visibility, someone bankable. Surprisingly, I don't think stars really read a lot of scripts, certainly not all the way through, certainly not with a mindset toward how to make this into a good, completed film.
At the time this film was made, Kevin Spacey was hot, very hot. His performances in Seven, Swimming with Sharks, and The Usual Suspects had brought him not only rave reviews, but an Academy Award. His want to direct, this inherent heat, plus his ability to attract additional star power, namely Faye Dunaway, Matt Dillon, and Gary Sinise, and a spec script from a first time writer had the financial backing it needed.
Maybe Albino Alligator would have been a weak film in even the most accomplished hands, it certainly is a weak film in this first time director's. The premise is sketchy, the through line distorted and vague. Some of the characterizations seem forced, or contrived, as if, for example, Faye Dunaway (or Gary Sinise)'s part were quickly created or expanded to accommodate their agreeing to particpate.
Many good young film makers are making daring, exciting, edgy films right now. This is not one of them.