Gator Bait (1974)

With its violent revenge theme, backwater setting, and Playboy playmate Claudia Jennings in the lead role, one might expect Gator Bait to be an unmissable 70s exploitation classic. However, with dreadful direction from Beverly and Ferd Sebastian, awful acting from just about everyone, and not nearly enough graphic violence, the movie stinks like a rotting armadillo in a stagnant pool.

Jennings plays Desiree Thibodeau, a ‘purty’ Cajun wildcat who hunts down the dumb hicks responsible for the violent murder of her sister Julie (Janit Baldwin). Dressed in the shortest of shorts and a loosely buttoned top, the feisty beauty first traps the men in the swamp (by destroying their boats), and then proceeds to exact bloody revenge. Whilst this sounds like perfect trash entertainment, in reality Gator Bait is a tedious, drawn-out series of dull fights, (mostly) bloodless deaths, and unexciting chases.

Admittedly, there are a couple of scenes which occasionally show promise (an early moment of incestuous fun between a brother and sister, the shotgun blast to Julie’s cooch, and an occasional bit of welcome nudity from Jennings and Baldwin), but Gator Bait needed a far grittier approach from its makers and a willingness to get real nasty when necessary in order for it to succeed.
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