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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Forgotten Horror Gems Vol. 11 - The Alligator People (1959)

There are plenty of cheaply made horror movies out there that I haven't seen. With the boom in the genre that happened in the 1940's and 50's, bottom of the barrel companies came out of the woodwork to cash in on the craze.

The Alligator People (1959) can easily be considered one of those. That said, there are a few actors out there who I strive to find anything they've done. Lon Chaney Jr. happens to be one of those. I knew that this film came late in his career and that he wasn't in the best shape both as a human being and an actor. At this stage in his career, Chaney reportedly was almost impossible to work with after lunch due to an epic alcohol issue.
Still, he's great in most of these types of films so it had to go on this list. I knew to expect a crappy plot, cheesy effects and questionable acting. I was not disappointed on most levels. That said, Chaney's worth watching and the plot is a lot of fun even if it is horrible.

Basically, this movie comes off as a southern gothic tragedy except with alligator people.
The story begins with a woman going under hypnosis to recover a lost memory. The story that unfolds includes her disappearing fiance, an old plantation in Louisiana, experiments with atomic isotopes and yes... Alligator/human hybrids that are hilarious!

Don't take my word for it though. Karen and Lil also loved this one. They decided to keep separate lists this time but hey, the results speak for themselves!
The Alligator People Rubric
Are there alligators? +5
Are there people? +5
Are there actually alligator people? +100
Lil's total: 110

Were there educational shorts? 1
Were there atomic references? 2
Was there a lady science assitant? 1
Were there fancy hats? 0
Was there a decent plot? 2
Was there nonrepetitive music? 1
Was there a tiny pony? 0
Was there a love interest? 2

Was there an expert in a weird science field? 1
Was there an expedition? 0
Karen's Total: 10
For those of you who haven't been following this arbitrary rating system, those are two HUGE scores!

Another great thing about this movie is the overall lesson it tries to teach. That lesson is simply to repress anything unpleasant. Seriously.
Great 1950's thinking!
Anyway, The Alligator People is a fun time if you're into this sort of thing. At the very least, you'll have a good time watching the actors (yes, the actual actors) running near, over and practically on top of live alligators. It's not as exciting as watching Roar!, but it's still pretty funny. You can stream The Alligator People in its entirety (and 100% free) on YouTube.

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