Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Alligator People (TRAILER)

“It’s the BIG SHOCKER, filmed in SCREAMING HORRORSCOPE!”

19 comments:

The Vicar of VHS said...

I always thought latter-day Lon Chaney Jr. made an EXCELLENT cajun. :)

Anonymous said...

FUN TRAILER MAKES IT LOOK ALOT BETTER THAT IT ACTUALLY IS AS A FILM BUT I SEE WHY YOU POSTED IT WITH BRIDE OF THE SWAMP.

ANOTHER GOOD CLIP WOULD HAVE BEEN THE TRAILER FOR HAMMERS THE REPTILE.

Karswell said...

>Lon Chaney Jr. made an EXCELLENT cajun.

As much as I love Chaney Jr, after watching a handful of Chaney Sr silent classics lately I have seriously come to the belief that Lon Jr. should have probably gone into a different career than his father who manages to eclipse him in nearly every aspect.

>ANOTHER GOOD CLIP WOULD HAVE BEEN THE TRAILER FOR HAMMERS THE REPTILE.

Good idea ALL CAPS, check out The Reptile trailer here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOVtsl8hBCI

My favorite part of The Alligator People trailer is about 10 seconds in, the monster sounds like The Hamburglar! "Robble Robble..."

Anonymous said...

I always thought the make-up in the Alligator People was really well done, when the person still retains a bit of human quality but has the cracked alligator skin (see the DVD cover.) When the head fully transforms into a ridiculous alligator mask is when things start to get clunky.

Karswell said...

And as all you silver age comic book freaks know, The Lizard, a Marvel Comics character and an enemy of Spider-Man first appeared several years later in 1963, and has an origin which is nearly identical to the Alligator Man's in the film.

Check it out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lizard_%28comics%29

The Vicar of VHS said...

>>his father who manages to eclipse him in nearly every aspect.

I don't see your logic here, b/c Chaney Sr. eclipsed EVERYBODY in just about every respect. By this argument, Clark Gable, Lugosi, and Brad Pitt should have stayed out of acting too.

And think of this--were it not for Creighton's magnificent work as the tortured Talbot in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, we may not have ever known the glories of Paul Naschy, whose whole film career was inspired by it. Chew on THAT.

So Jr. wasn't as good as dad, and fell into crippling alcoholism late in life--I still think he was a good actor, with the capability of being great in certain roles. Wolf Man, Of Mice and Men, The Defiant Ones...

Karswell said...

>I don't see your logic here

It's quite a logical opinion actually, Mr Knee Jerk Reaction. Should Vicar Jr pen sonnets just because his father is astoundingly awesome at it? Maybe. But back to the Chaneys, maybe there would'a could'a been someone better who could have fit those roles better and made a classic portrayal even MORE CLASSIC instead of just turning to the son of the Man of a Thousand Faces. This might actually make a good LOTT D roundtable discussion if I ever had time to actually participate in one of them.

And once again, didn't I also just say that I still love Lon Jr anyway? Good. Grief.

The Vicar of VHS said...

You say you love, but then you say he should have done something else with his life besides what you claim to love him for. Logical? Pooh-pooh, I say!

There certainly are roles other actors would have done better--Son of Dracula leaps to mind. But I don't think anyone could have done Wolf Man as well because of Creighton's combination of intimidating physical presence and innocent/aw shucks wholesomeness, which made the tragedy resonate so much (for me). I think Jr. is underrated badly as an actor.

Of course that's the old Shakespeare Argument--we say Shakespeare is the best poet in English because we formulated our standards as to what is good in poetry based on how close they are to Shakespeare. And obviously no one can be more like Shakespeare than Shakespeare, right? So no one can be more Lawrence Talbot than the guy who was Lawrence Talbot.

And of course even in those roles where Jr. wasn't as brilliant, there's no guarantee that another actor wouldn't'a stunk it up worse.

I actually thought of breaking out some scary kids movies to review in conjunction with the next LOTT D, but the deadline was too tight and I wasn't really that motivated. I do need to review The Children sometime, though.

Dr.Phibes said...

I love a lot of Chaney Jr. stuff and hope to get more. However, that doesn't mean I think he is a greatly talented actor. He seems a little one dimensional, don't you think? Take Of Mice and Men, Manfish, and Golden Junkman for example. I think he is very good playing a big, brutish guy, maybe a little simple, with a heart of gold. But he plays that character a lot. Maybe his alcohol use robbed us of great performances, we'll never know. I thought he was good in Spider Baby. He seems terribly miscast in the Inner Sanctum Mysteries, but I like them anyway. I am saying that it is possible to appreciate an actor without thinking he is tremendously gifted. And for the record, I think Wolfman benefits greatly from the cast around Chaney as much as from Chaney himself.

Karswell said...

>Logical? Pooh-pooh, I say!

Well I think we should just agree to disagree on this matter, possibly my definition of "love" differs from yours, or contains variating levels. Like for example, I love Chaney in Witchcraft '64 even though he's obviously the weakest link in the entire film, maddenly yet wonderfully playing his role way too over the top, bombastic, and blustery, (whereas it probably would have been more effective played in the same cautiously eerie manner as say Niall MacGinnis in Curse of the Demon.) Chaney's unbalanced / flawed performance here becomes almost camp and throws the entire production into a different dynamic of acceptance. Now if they had given the role to someone more trained in sinister subtleties like George Sanders or (dream time) Vincent Price then maybe Witchcraft '64 would be better remembered and acknowledged by more people instead of being somewhat of a throwaway obscurity. I've heard a few people say they think Lon ruins this film, and while I don't completely agree with that statement for varying reasons, he sure doesn't help the film with a sloppy American performance that feels totally out of place, almost lost in Don Sharp's crisp British production.

Dr.Phibes said...

I have watched Witchcraft '64several times and I agree that
a different actor may have given the film a more sinister feel. I also have to say though that I probably only saw the film the first time because it had Chaney in it. I think it is awful naive to think he would have intially gotten the roles he got if not for his father. If he had a different name, would his acting alone led to much success. I doubt it. That
said, I find him entertaining in many things.

Horror pariah said...

I think it was inspired casting myself,who better to play an unemoployable lecherous drunk than an....i'll shut up now.truth is i think Chaney was a good actor forced to participate in a genre his dad was identified with that he really had no place in other than playing normal or less than normal men in fantastic situations,he just didn't have the range for roles as mad doctors,crazed noblemen,henchmen etc.,but what he could do he did VERY well,kinda like Bela,actually.i also agree that it's Chaney's likeability and innocence which makes WOLF MAN the classic it is,compare him to the assholish(his character)Henry Hull or Block of wood(2 strangers will fall madly in love to the point of obsession in less than a week? same thing happens in WOLF MAN,but it takes time to develop there)Oliver Reed in similar roles and you'll see what i mean.besides,i think Chaney got off well in that he got to have roles in some mainstream films(OF MICE & MEN,HIGH NOON)that get more respect than horror films usually do,AND got to play EVERY Universal monster but the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Karswell said...

Funny how a post about an alligator person can turn into a critique on the acting ability of Lon Chaney Jr. But in review of all opinions expressed here today, everyone involved in this conversation still seem to agree in one way and that is we all still like, love, or at least appreciate Lon in some form or another, through better or worse.

Anonymous said...

interesting thread..........yeah he wasn't the greatest actor in the world by any stretch but he's certainly not the worst either.

The Vicar of VHS said...

Well, some of the things Chaney is being maligned for here, for instance "I think he is very good playing a big, brutish guy, maybe a little simple, with a heart of gold. But he plays that character a lot", I think were not at all his fault. He got type-cast, partly because of his daddy's horror cachet, and partly b/c these early roles defined him to studio heads who wouldn't let him do other stuff. Of the horror greats from that era, only Boris Karloff seemed allowed to do widely differing roles and show his range--which admittedly was greater than Chaney's and most other actors of the time.

"kinda like Bela,actually" Yes in the type-casting and drug use, but Bela was actually a classically trained actor in Hungary before he got on the losing side of the civil war there and had to emigrate--he did everything, Shakespeare, modern drama--there's even a fabulous picture of him in a biography I read playing Jesus! I think roles like Ygor in Son/Ghost of Frankenstein show some of Bela's range, and make me wish again he'd been able to go the Karloff route. But also like Chaney, the substance abuse hurt him in that respect.

Of course some film scholars theorize both for Chaney and Lugosi that the drug use was spurred on by the type-casting and lack of respect, rather than vice being the versa.

Anyway, I love Chaney, I think his western roles point to greater things he could have accomplished, and I think he deserved the accolades he got. Granted he'd have had a tough time without his dad's name (in point of fact he struggled for years to make it under his real name, Creighton, before being pressured into taking the Jr. name), but just because his dad was famous doesn't mean he didn't have chops--and better ones than many "matinee idols" of the time, I would argue.

Anonymous said...

YOURE OBVIOUSLY PREACHING TO THE CHOIR NOW VICAR. THIS HAS BEEN A REALLY FASCINATING THREAD THOUGH, IM GLAD I STOPPED BACK BY HERE. PERSONALLY I PREFER THE GLENN STRANGE MONSTERS OVER CHANEYS BUT DEFINITELY TAKE LON OVER CARRADINE WHO I NEVER LIKED MUCH. I DONT THINK ANYONE IS DOUBTING THE TALENTS OF KARLOFF AND LUGOSI.

The Vicar of VHS said...

There seemed to be a little doubting of the talents of Lugosi earlier up the thread...

And all-caps anonymous, you may be the first person I've ever heard say he preferred Glenn Strange's portrayal of the monster to ANYBODY else's. :)

Karswell said...

>There seemed to be a little doubting of the talents of Lugosi earlier up the thread...

Well no one is flawless, Lugosi included... in fact this will shock some of you but for example as much as I adore The Lost Patrol ('29) I find Karloff's performance in it completely gag reflex inducing, almost pitiful and voer played. But I still LOVE the guy! That is possible right? ha ha

Classicaly trained "Shakespearean" anything has very little weight when it comes to horror, hell even Richard Basehart has a Mansion of the Doomed ('76) skeleton stinking up his closet. And I LOVE that movie. ha ha again...

Horror pariah said...

Well,no use not thinking this thread is still valid...i meant that Lugosi and Jr. were alike in that they both had one type of role they were best in,in others...not so great(can you imagine Bela playing Kharis?i could imagine him as Imhotep though.actually forget that,ANYONE could've played Kharis.)but the talent is there,Chaney made the best out of minor roles like Manon and the caretaker in HAUNTED PALACE,and Lugosi is usually the best thing about the PRC,Monogram crap he was in(and yeah i've seen the Jesus pictures of "Lugossy",hilarious.).really,i just think Chaney was a guy who didn't really belong in the genre,but had to be,and that doesn't make him bad at what he did at all.(same goes for everyone who felt they were typecast)every actor has somenthing good and bad to offer,and we,as their audience are all the richer for it.and if you want to hear some really nasty Lon Jr. bashing,check out Gary Westfahl's encyclopedia site....he doesn't think Lon gave a good performance EVER.