‘Return of the Fly’ and ‘The Alligator People’

What a Double Feature this would be – almost stretching the word preposterous to it’s limits I reckon

Return of the Fly

As any horror film addict knows, the fly’s head on a human body came about when a scientist perfected the process of transferring matter through space from one place to another and then carelessly got his own molecules mixed up with a fly’s whilst in transit.

In the earlier film ‘The Fly’ the scientist came to a grizzly end but here his son just can’t wait to get going with the whole experiment all over again with the stern disapproval of his Uncle played by Vincent Price.

The old Lab where his father had worked is cleaned up and the machines start whirring again.

Trouble is, as we might have expected the old problem happens again – this time engineered by his crooked assistant.

The rampaging fly is not a pretty sight

Return of the Fly 1959

Vincent Price is back in action here having starred in the original ‘The Fly’ – and back in similar vein

Then on the same bill, we get The Alligator People

Beverley Garland and Richard Crane in ‘The Alligator People’ 1959

In the film Beverly Garland plays a newlywed wife named Joyce who despairs when her husband (Richard Crane) leaves the train they’re honeymooning on to make an urgent phone call, and then is never heard from again. Desperate, she tries without success to locate him until she eventually gets a lead that he could be at a secluded house somewhere in the swamplands of the Louisiana bayou area

Once there she is made aware of unusual experiments gone awry which involved her husband, and faces the horror that he is gradually turning into a reptilian creature. His mother (Frieda Inescort ) tries to discourage Joyce in her search and at first does not make her welcome.

Beverley Garland ABOVE arrives in Louisiana

Beverley Garland is quite believable and sincere in her part, and this is a nice-looking black and white film shot in the Cinemascope process, showing off some good shots in the land of alligators and snakes.

Also in the cast is none other than Lon Chaney, playing one of the uncouth local Cajun men who sports a hook in place of his left hand, having been a victim himself of an alligator attack.

In his usual drunken state, he carries on a vendetta against all alligators because of his injuries – referring to those “dirty, stinking gators”

He fires his gun at them, and tries to run them down with his jeep when they cross the road.

The scaly makeup for Richard Crane in its early stages is pretty effective, but when he emerges in full alligator-headed form later on, it is less impressive. However we have to remember that this is a ’50s monster film, after all, and many creatures of this era have been bizarre.

Once you get past the initial shock of seeing the Alligator Man, the result actually comes out pretty well.

Also heading the cast in this film is Bruce Bennett who had previously been known as Herman Brix – he played Tarzan in at least one film under that name. When War came he felt that a change of name was required.

I seem to recall he also played in ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’ in 1948 and he went on to continue a very busy and successful career for a good many years.

ABOVE and BELOW Richard Crane

Action for the film ABOVE and BELOW

Beverley Garland BELOW narrating this strange story.

I remember her being in one of the Bomba films with Johnny Sheffield titles ‘Killer Leopard’ in 1954

Beverley Garland ABOVE narrating this strange story.

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