Wednesday, August 29, 2012
THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE (1959)
It's always fun to watch a film make that fatal misstep that takes it from passable entertainment to insane embarrassment. Sometimes this moment can elevate a movie to the level of 'alternative classic' (i.e., so bad its good); most of the time this plunge off the cliff is its only real bit of energy. Sadly, this is the case with The Alligator People. Though most of the cast tries to invest the story with emotion it just doesn't work. Beverly Garland is the picture's solid center, doing a good job drawing us into her dilemma, and Lon Chaney, Jr. chews scenery like a mad dog, but both are undone by the film's lethargic pacing. Still, this movie does boast that moment of nuttiness that makes the final few minutes a real hoot — for all the wrong reasons. Alligator People kicks into gear and self-destructs at the same moment.