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Gothic Movies: The Alligator People
I thought it might be fun to review and recommend Gothic flavored movies so I will start with The Alligator People (1959).

Alligator People, mostly set in an old plantation house and the nearby alligator-infested bayou, is filmed in beautiful black and white Cinemascope. Beverly Garland (a frequent guest star on such shows as My Three Sons, Gunsmoke, and other TV shows of the 1960s) stars as Joyce Webster. Her honeymoon with her new husband Paul is interrupted when Paul receives a telegram while on board a train. Paul gets off at the next stop and disappears from her life. Joyce doesn't seem to know much about her husband's life, but she traces him through school records to The Cypresses, an old antebellum plantation house set back in swamp country. The owner of the house denies any knowledge of the existence of Paul Webster, but Joyce suspects sinister forces at work. Mysterious piano music in the night, muddy footprints on the carpet, servants with tight lips and suspicious glances, a crazy cajun (played by Lon Chaney Jr) with a hook who attacks our heroine during a rainstorm, bizarre medical experiments gone awry...this movie has it all and pours on a heavy southern gothic atmosphere. The quasi science-fiction ending is as hokey as anything from the late 50s but it's good clean G rated fun. The plot follows the standard classic formula of golden era gothics. Scenes of Beverly Garland wandering through the swamps in a torrential rainstorm, threatened by snakes and alligators at every turn, are priceless! Alligator People is great for a rainy saturday afternoon, and currently available on DVD.

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Gothic Movies: The Alligator People - by Monique Devereaux - 08-30-2008, 11:51 AM

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