THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE
1959/Director: Roy Del Ruth/Writers: Orville H. Hampton
Cast: Beverly Garland, Bruce Bennett, Lon Chaney Jr., George Macready
Lately I have been getting in lots of old - horror and sci-fi films I have always heard about but have never seen. I grew up with images in magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland of films like Invisible Invaders, Gorgo, Not of this Earth (the original) and many others but never caught them on any creature feature shows while growing up. By the time VHS came out I seemed to have lost some interest in these old films and followed a different and often darker path for many years. Now suddenly I find myself drawn back to these often harmless and quaint little gems and recall how Forrest J. Ackerman handled them with such care despite their often corny stories and shabby production values. One film I finally got around to seeing for the first time at the ripe old age of fifty one is 1959’s The Alligator People. Of course before I ever see a film I have an image of the film in my mind and in the case of The Alligator People the actual movie just did not come close. Not for better or worse but the movie was not what I had conjured up in my mind based on old pictures I had seen in horror magazines. For one thing the film should probably be called The Alligator Person since that is about the total number of alligator people we deal with for the most part. There are people covered in odd shaped shrouds that we assume are also alligator people in some state of mutation but nothing much ever happens with them though the images are a bit creepy.