"Repligator" is a 1997 movie from Texas auteur Bret McCormick who channels Roger Corman at his campiest. The film is full of well-proportioned women, bungling military men, egomaniacal scientists, and of course bipedal alligator women called "Gator Babes." It's obvious from the box, but this cheapie is really, really bargain basement entertainment. It was written in a week by Keith Kjornes (who also stars as Dr. Stanley Oliver, and who uncoincidentally gets the hottest women) and shot the next week all to take advantage of sets left over from another movie that were going to stand for two weeks after wrapping the previous production. I am not sure that was so important, as the lab equipment and set are so hokey that John Carradine or Ed Wood would feel right at home, and Doris Wishman would positively love it.
The film sets up the premise with a ludicrous and painfully acted pre-credit sequence which segues into some of the most eye-rolling credits in film history. Finally the film gets underway when Colonel Sanders (Carl Merritt) enters the story bellowing, a manner of dramatic delivery that ensues for every single line he has. He is irritated with longhaired scientist Dr. Kildare (Gunnar Hansen who you no doubt remember from "Texas Chainsaw Massacre") because of an embarrassing leak to the press. Sanders is, however, captivated when he discovers that Kildare has invented x-ray spectacles. (Seriously.) There is lots of backstory of the intermingling of the "replicator" project and a mind control project and the lunatic scientists in charge of each. The pseudo-science techno-babble quotient is extremely high here, mostly from a female doctor with an unfortunate bit of makeup, and who you just know is going to end up a babe or an alligator (or both.) Dr. Fields (Randy Clower) is an arrogant scientist who is into mind control experiments and who covets Dr. Oliver's replicator. Fields wants to make an army of females under his control. The one brief snippet that amused me was the explanation that mind control had been successful at least once when lower intelligence Americans were targeted with a careful experiment called the Macarena, which worked better than expected. I did not expect Macarena bashing, but welcomed it nonetheless.
If you enjoyed the pre-credit sequence, you're in luck as it is repeated in its entirety for no discernible reason other than to pad the running time, but it's still better than the replicator science explanations about stretching the DNA of the subjects to make men into women and alligators. (My degree in biology did not help me follow this for some reason.) The hottest women become alligators, and with the help of state of the art digital special effects (Oh the humanity!) the world is imperiled. How can it be saved? That's up to (I'm sorry to have to relate this) Dr. Stanley Oliver and Dr. Laurel Hardy (T. J. Myers) who turns out to be quite attractive after a spin through the replicator to absolutely nobody's surprise. The transmogrification from beautiful woman to alligator is especially entertaining, though the zombie subplot is an unexplained and unwelcome distraction. It turns out that all that's needed to defeat an army of Gator Babes is a stick (don't ask,) which eventually leads to a very confusing conclusion and epilogue.
The film has a few noteworthy credits. Besides Hansen's small role, scream queen Brinke Stevens appears as Dr. Goodbody, and the compositing was done by Roman Flute (which to me sounds more euphemistic than anything else in the film.) Interestingly for the budget of the film and DVD there are two extras, a behind the scenes feature and an interview with director Bret McCormick, who seems like a funny and likeable guy. These were my favorite parts of the disc, and it's clear that "Repligator" was a rushed and cheap exploitation piece from the outset. I have no doubt that McCormick could do much better with more time and resources, but as it stands I can recommend "Repligator" to truly hardened B-movie fans that want to see a film about sensual alligators and that's about it.