The Alligator People

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Alligator People, 1959

"Her honeymoon turned into a nightmare of horror!"

Yes, that would be a normal reaction to having your new husband realize that the cure he took to prevent himself from turning into an alligator is not working. The groom jumps from the train; deserting his bride and fleeing for a bayou plantation, where his mother and a scientist try to use the latest science to effect a cure, or at least to hold the ongoing transformation in check.

Meanwhile, Lon Chaney Jr is on the plantation as a hook-handed alligator-hunter who has lecherous designs on the bride. The bride (Beverly Garland) has a lot of screaming to do as she not only has to face the problem of traversing the swamp at night (which she will have to do several times, and it of course is chock full of normal alligators) but she is starting to suspect something horrible about her poor missing husband (actor Richard Crane).

The Alligator People, directed by Roy Del Ruth, released July 1959, originally was presented as the bottom of a double-bill featuring Return of the Fly.

Suddenly, Last Alligator

In the same year that The Alligator People came out, a similar film drama containing a protagonist with a dark secret, a domineering mother, a frightened and (possibly crazy) heroine, hypnosis, inquiring doctors, and a sweaty, swampy landscape, was the Elizabeth Taylor movie of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly, Last Summer.

Though this film is titled The Alligator People (a title similarto the famed Val Lewton money-maker of 1942 The Cat People), this alligator movie only contains one alligator person.

Original Page January 2015 | UPdated Sept 2015 +

Universal Horrors: The Studio's Classic Films, 1931-1946, 2d ed.

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