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

Carnival of Souls

While reading the comments under a previous film I watched on YouTube I read a comment mentioning that Carnival of Souls was worth watching, so last night I did just that.

I watched the colourised version which didn’t look too bad, but I found the original B&W version later and wished I had watched that, it looked better. Ah well.

The story involves a woman who got into a car accident and the aftermath. Itis a horror story, but don’t expect blood, guts, or possessing demons. It was made for $33,000 back in the day, and has since become a cult film, and influenced David Lynch and George A. Romero apparently.

For $33,000 they did a pretty good job really. I was reading on Wikipedia that they could not afford the rear projection screen for the driving shots, so they used a small camera and did the shots in an actual moving car… cheap is sometimes best. And from Wikipedia:

The scene at the start of the film where the car goes off the bridge and into the river was filmed in Lecompton, Kansas. The town did not charge a fee for the use of the bridge, only requiring the film crew to replace the bridge’s damaged rails once they were done filming. This was done, at a cost of $38 for the new rails.

That of course today would be all CG and probably cost one hundred thousand times more, plus there would be blatant product placement in the shot somewhere.

The actress playing the main character was very good, she kept up the tension well, and the sleazy guy living in the apartment opposite hers was very convincing, I was cringing at his moves on her.

As the film went on it became more and more like an experimental film, and I started to enjoy it more. It got pretty wiggy as the main character started realising what was happening to her.

The director played the main ghoul…

herk

Worth a watch.

Date watched: June 24th
Score: 7/10
Film count 2016: 105

CarnivalOfSouls-Japan

Scary Film

I felt like watching a horror again but when I came across this again I decided a horror spoof would be even better.

I saw this a few years back and remember I liked it, some scenes stuck in my head. It was still pretty funny the second time around with the direct spoofs of films like Blair Witch, The Usual Suspects and Scream being the funniest.

Good fun.

Date watched: September 28th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2012: 96