The Alligator People Reviews
"Alligator People" is kind of like "The Fly" meets The Lizard from the Spider-Man comics, but boring. It's about a woman named Joyce (Beverly Garland), who has just gotten married to her husband Paul (Richard Crane). On their wedding night, he receives a telegram and disappears without a word. After months of fruitless searching, Joyce discovers a lead that may at last be promising, an old address of his in Louisiana: a plantation known as Cypresses. When Joyce arrives, she is met with hostility from the matriarch of the house (Frieda Inescort as Mrs. Hawthorne), but is allowed to stay. On her first night she spots a mysterious man playing the piano. Covered in scales and dripping with swamp water, it flees immediately. Could it be related to the disappearance of her husband and could this creature be one of the titular Alligator people?!
Those short couple of sentences actually make the movie way more interesting than it is. I know what you're hoping for when you hear this movie. You want something like "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", but with alligator people going around abducting women, terrorizing the plantation and maybe even eating people for good measure. If that's what you want to see, you're out of luck because you won't anything along those lines here. The movie plays out more like a drama thriller with Joyce trying to discover what exactly is going on with this place. That means we don't get much alligator people at all. We only get to see a bunch of people with scaly skin and towards the end of the film, a single guy running around with an alligator head scaring everyone. In the meantime, you're just bored.
The plot is nutty, but not very eventful and told in flashback so there's no suspense whatsoever because you know our heroine is going to make it out alive. The non-science (that's nonsensical science if you've never heard the term) is through the roof, but the guy delivering the material is a benevolent scientist instead of the mad doctor you were hoping to see. It comes off more as frustrating than funny or exciting. The acting is mixed. Garland as Joyce was pretty good, but the rest are either lousy actors or so frustrated with the clunky dialogue that's given to them that they don't even really try. The special effects are pretty lousy too. The makeup on the alligator people is decent but not very creative, Lon Chaney plays a drunken alligator hater with a phoney hook for a hand and there's at least one really bad fake gator in the film. That last one really threw me off because there are plenty of real, live gators in the movie and they are frequently handled by people. Why they took that rejected museum animatronic and put it in here, I have no idea.
I stumbled upon this film because it was included in a three-pack of swamp/crocodile themed Dvds. This was easily the worst of the three (the other two were "Lake Placid" and "Swamp Thing") and while I didn't hate the movie, I found myself disappointed and extremely bored throughout. It just reminds you too much of other, better movies and isn't even fun to riff. I can't recommend you check this one out, even if the title makes you giddy with excitement. (On Dvd, June 16, 2014)
I'm off to bed.