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Film / The Alligator People

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A horror movie from 1959 starring Beverly Garland, Bruce Bennett, and Lon Chaney Jr..

A psychiatrist has an interesting thing to show to his colleague. A nurse named Jane Marvin is put under hypnosis, and she recounts how her previous forgotten identity as Joyce Webster was separated from her husband Paul on their wedding night. Her quest to find him leads to discovery of a strange science experiment in the Louisiana bayou, which has turned him into an alligator mutant.


This film has the examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Manon periodically gets drunk, and when he gets drunk, he starts shooting at 'gators.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The treatment involving alligators was done to regenerate lost limbs and such, Paul being the worst of the lot before his restoration. But something went wrong, and the patients started to experience after-effects that are slowly turning them into alligator people.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Dr. Lorimer uses hydrocortisone injections to induce accident victims to regenerate damaged body parts. While cortisones do reduce inflammation (swelling), and can therefore make injuries feel better, they actually slow down the healing process.
    • Corticoids come from the adrenal glands, not the anterior pituitary as Lorimer claimed.
  • Attempted Rape: It is strongly implied that Manon was going to rape the unconscious Joyce if her husband hadn't come to his shack and rescued her.
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  • Chairman of the Brawl: Averted. When Paul is fighting Manon, he grabs a chair, but Manon quickly yanks it away from his hands, followed by him socking Paul to the jaw.
  • Fainting: Paul's mother faints on the spot when she sees her fully mutated son before her.
  • High-Voltage Death: Trying to attack Paul, Manon accidentally hits faulty wiring with his hook, and is electrified to death. This eventually leads to an explosion that destroys the entire Cypresses plantation.
  • Hook Hand: Manon, the handyman of Cypresses, lost his left hand to an alligator, and now has a hook in its place. This loss pisses him off so much that he'll uses any chance to kill them.
  • How We Got Here: The film starts with Joyce recounting the events under hypnosis.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Cypresses plantation resides in the middle of a bayou, and it is surrounded by alligators.
  • Nuclear Nasty: Radioactive material (identified as cobalt 60) was an integral part of the experiment that transformed Paul into an alligator man. He mutates further after receiving a massive dose that was supposed to cure him.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: People are transformed into weregators due to a medical treatment gone awry.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Once Paul transforms further into an alligator, this is used to portray it, as seen on the poster above.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Fully transformed Paul escapes to the swamps, wrestles a gator that crosses his path, and ends up drowning in quicksand.
  • Title Drop:
    Joyce: Your patients are turning into... alligators.
    Dr. Lorimer: In effect, you can say that. Alligator people.


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