McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Adele's '25' Official First Week U.S. Sales: 3.38 Milli...
Adele announces first tour since 2011 for album "25" ...
Kathie Lee Gifford's Family Reveals Her Late Husband Fr...
American Music Awards 2015: Proximity to action matters...
Brad Pitt Says He's 'Angry' at the Finance Industry Aft...
Adele Speaks Exclusively on New Music:'The Most Poignan...
'The Walking Dead' reveals Glenn's fate ...
Adele Performs on Saturday Night Live: Video ...
Blacklisted: The Inside Story of Dalton Trumbo and the ...
Ryan Seacrest Confirms All American Idol Judges Will Re...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Fox Home Entertainment presents
The Alligator People (1959)

"I'll kill you, alligator man—just like I'd kill any four-legged 'gator! You hear me? I'll kill ya!"
- Manon (Lon Chaney Jr.)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: September 07, 2004

Stars: Beverly Garland, Bruce Bennett, Lon Chaney Jr.
Other Stars: George Macready, Frieda Inescort, Richard Crane, Douglas Kennedy
Director: Roy Del Ruth

Manufacturer: Panasonic Disc Manufacturing Corp.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, attempted rape)
Run Time: 01h:14m:17s
Release Date: September 07, 2004
UPC: 024543120544
Genre: sci-fi

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ C+A-B- D+

DVD Review

Fifties sci-fi usually involved alien menaces or giant monstrosities of some kind. But medical advances were also a fruitful source of paranoia in those days, as seen in this oddball combination of a Michael Crichton medical thriller and The Lady Vanishes.

Joyce Webster (Beverly Garland) has just married Paul Webster (Richard Crane) and they're taking a honeymoon train when he receives a mysterious telegram. Obviously shaken, he gets off the train at a mail stop, ostensibly to make a phone call, and disappears without a trace. Joyce, distraught about her interrupted honeymoon and vanished groom, doggedly follows every trail until she finds one leading to an old house deep in the Louisiana bayou. The owner, Mrs. Henry Hawthorne (Frieda Inescort) denies any knowledge of Paul, but mysterious experiments turning men into reptiles are being conducted by Dr. Mark Sinclair (George Macready). Lurking in the background is the drunken lout Manon (Lon Chaney Jr.), who hates alligators due to losing his hand to one. Joyce isn't one to be put off, however, and soon stumbles onto the experiments and learns the horrible truth about her husband.

Garland was the queen of the sci-fi B-movie during the 1950s, and she shows why in this outing. She makes for a wholesome heroine, but demonstrates great strength of character throughout. Having a strong female lead like this helps make this a more enjoyable picture than might have otherwise been the case. Chaney, deep into alcoholism at this point of his career, is pretty well typecast as a drunk, and his hook-hand isn't in the least convincing, but he is sufficiently brutal and animalistic to constitute a much bigger threat than the titular creatures. The rest of the cast is nondescript, though Inescort has some good moments as she keeps pouring on lies to Joyce, getting slightly flustered but trying to keep her cool.

The picture is stuck with a rather silly framing device as Joyce is put under the influence of sodium pentothal to reveal her story. While it might be a weak attempt at making the story convincing, it really feels like padding. Most of the first hour of the film is pretty engrossing otherwise, however, with an ominous feeling of dread culminating in Manon's attack on Joyce. However, the last ten minutes are thoroughly torpedoed by the most woeful rubber monster costume ever committed to film. It doesn't help that many of its scenes are under strong lighting, emphasizing its fakeness. The rubber-suited alligator man pretending to fight with an obviously stiff alligator is just the crowning silliness. This last bit reduces the picture to the level of laughability from which it can never recover, even with a somewhat poignant finale.

It's too bad that the promising beginning is thus wasted, but the film's worth watching for Garland and Chaney, in any event. Much of the dialogue and the theory behind the alligator people seems to have survived in the form of the Lizard in the Spider-Man comics. It seems clear that Stan Lee or Steve Ditko must have kept this film in mind for some years.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic Cinemascope picture looks quite nice indeed. The black-and-white photography comes through clearly and only with the slightest occasional aliasing. Some dust spots are in evidence throughout, but otherwise it looks first-rate. Even the very dark scenes have good shadow detail, providing a palpable mood while still allowing the viewer to see the action. The bit rate is quite high, consistently around 8 Mbps.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Spanishyes
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Both a stereo and 2.0 mono English track are provided, in addition to a mono Spanish track. There's very little difference between the mono and stereo tracks, frankly, other than the mono track is recorded quite a bit louder. I noticed very little in the way of directionality. Dialogue is clear enough, and hiss is at acceptable levels. The music is a little on the shrill side and lacking almost completely in deep bass.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Fly (1958), The Fly (1986), The Omen, Phantom of the Paradise
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The sole extras are an anamorphic widescreen trailer for the feature, and four other horror/sci-fi offerings from 20th Century Fox. Oddly enough, the 1986 version of The Fly is represented only by a full-frame trailer. The chaptering is thorough.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

If only a better effects team had been at work, this could have been pretty entertaining. A nice transfer, but no extras to speak of.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


music, adele, 25, 3.38 million copies, nsync, no strings attached, 21, tour europe, spotify, apple music, pandora music inc., television, frank gifford, nfl hall of famer, sportscaster, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, kathy lee gifford, american music awards, talor swift, one direction, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, nicki minaj, justin bieber, movie, the big short, steve carell, ryan gosling, christian bale, michael lewis, brad pitt, hello, 19, the walking dead, amc, davod alpert, glen, heads up, saturday night live, 25 album, skyfall, nrj awards, graham norton, herbert biberman, john howard lawson, lester cole, ring lardner jr., samuel ornitz, adrian scott, albert maltz, alvah bessie, edward dmytryk, dalton trumbo, reality, american idol, ryan seacrest, mariah carey, ellen degeneres, harry connick jr., keith urban, simon cowell, paula abdul, randy jackson, steven tyler, kara dioguardi, televison, fargo, fx, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, jean smart, jeffrey donovan, bokeem woodbine, brad garrett, patrick wilson, celebrity, bruce willis, laurie metcalf, misery, broadway debut, paris tragedy, u2, foo fighters, steven spielberg, natalie portman, book, the diary of anne frank, otto frank, swiss foundation, daytime talk, 2000 shows, justin timberlake, jennifer aniston, sequel, animated, finding nemo, finding dory, disney-pixar, diane keaton, eugene levy, inventor, hedy lamarr, google doodle, ecstasy, samson and delilah, bbc music, angelina jolie pitt, by the sea, troubled marriage, mr. & mrs. smith, gwen stefani blake shelton, country music awards, the voice, miranda lambert, jon stewart, john oliver, hbo, wonder woman, nicole kidman, amazonian warrior, gal gadot, chris pine, nick lachey, 98 degrees, pot grower, ohio, nanette lepore, oscar robertson, frostee rucker, the red bulletin, james bond, daniel craig, naomi harris, bond girl, a. o. scott, 1977, star wars, elvis, beatles, sesame street, j.k. rowling, israel, palestine, culture for coexistence, harry potter and the deathly hallows, ricky gergais, 2016 golden globes, hollywood foreign press association, jessica biel, 2015 fashion group international night of stars gala, flip phone, the power of love, huey lewis, michael j. fox, back to the future

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store