Tuesday, 4 August 2015

AUGUST 4, 20015

THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE (1959) Dir: Roy Del Ruth **

Roy Del Ruth's film career stretches back to 1915 but he was only an occasional contributor to the horror genre, his previous effort being the enjoyable 3D Edgar Allan Poe adaption, THE PHANTOM OF THE RUE MORGUE. It would be easy to dismiss THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE as a piece of low budget schlock if one's opinion was based solely on the technical aspects of the production, but the film has some interesting points. Firstly, the cast give it more than it deserves with George Macready excellent as the benevolent scientist genuinely trying to put right his mistakes (surprisingly, there is no dark side to his character). Pretty Beverly Garland makes an intelligent heroine while Frieda Innescort essays a mother who could have walked out of a Hitchcock film. Bruce Bennett and Douglas Kennedy appear only in a prologue and epilogue to the story. Curiously, the "alligator people", or rather the "alligator man" offer no threat and the all the mischief is supplied by the drunken, rapacious janitor played by Lon Chaney Jr. I don't think I'd go as far as to plead a case for this film but it does have a few nice touches as far as the script (Orville Hampton) goes. It is available for free on You Tube.