The Alligator People

I felt like watching a 1950’s horror flick last night, so after a quick search on YouTube I found this 74 minute, 1959 black and white film.

It is pretty standard horror fare, although horror is not really the word, but “nerve-shattering terror” is accurate, especially when you see some actors wrangling actual gators, and even the principal cast getting pretty close to them. The main actress got pretty close to some, but she bravely ignored them.

Beverly Garland was in the main role, you may remember her from films such as The Miami Story, It Conquered The World, Stark Fear, or Airport 1975. She also did a lot of television work in fine series such as Perry Mason, Rawhide, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, and Gunsmoke. She also had small parts in many other shows such as Magnum P.I., The Six Million Dollar Man, Remington Steele, Friends, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. She deservedly has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Even though this was a budget horror, it was pretty well made, better than some other films of the day. The direction was fine and the camera work was good enough. They did cheap out on the alligator-man make-up which looked a bit silly.

Paul the alligator man, and Joyce

At the end of the film an experiment by a doctor to transmogrify Paul back into a normal man of course goes wrong when he gets an overdose of Cobalt 60, which has the opposite effect…

“Well, how do I look?”.

It all ends disastrously with a villain getting electrocuted, the doctor’s house exploding and killing everyone inside, the alligator man wrestling a (real) gator then drowning in quicksand, and Joyce ending up as a psychiatric patient with a story that no-one believes.

This is not essential viewing, but I found it entertaining enough.

Date watched: September 16th
Score: 6.5/10
Film count 2018: 59