director Roy Del Ruth
How’s this one for a change? A movie that looks a lot more ridiculous and campy than it really turns out? Case in point: Roy Del Ruth’s 1959 horror/sci-fi flick, The Alligator People.
If you’ve seen the late-stage Alligator person monster, you know what I mean. It’s very very silly and yet also kind of cool. Make-up artist Dick Smith (who would go on to greater things like Little Big Man (1970)) is credited with the works, and I gotta say, I kind of like the monsters.
It’s a super-weird ludicrous story about a newlywed husband who runs off from his wife on their honeymoon, only to have her track him back to his Bayou home. He was a victim of an accident and then a further victim of crazy science that looked to regenerate healthy body features but turns people into alligators.
Lon Chaney, Jr. plays, as Joe Dante succinctly puts it, “drunkenly….a hook-handed gator-hating Cajun”.
Effectively shot by Karl Struss, The Alligator People, which you know is silly stuff going in, for some reason is just a lot more fun and kinda cool than you might think.