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'Gator Bait (1974)

 -  Action | Drama | Thriller  -  3 June 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 400 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 7 critic

Desiree lives deep in the swamp and supports herself and her siblings by poaching. Ben and deputy Billy hope to get a little sexual comfort from the "Cajun swamp rat" when they catch ... See full summary »


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Title: 'Gator Bait (1974)

'Gator Bait (1974) on IMDb 4.6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Claudia Jennings ...
Desiree Thibodeau
Sam Gilman ...
T.J. Bracken
Douglas Dirkson ...
Leroy Bracken
Clyde Ventura ...
Deputy - Billy Boy
Bill Thurman ...
Sheriff Joe Bob Thomas
Don Baldwin ...
Pete Bracken
Ben Sebastian ...
Ben Bracken
Janit Baldwin ...
Tracy Sebastian ...
Big T


Desiree lives deep in the swamp and supports herself and her siblings by poaching. Ben and deputy Billy hope to get a little sexual comfort from the "Cajun swamp rat" when they catch Desiree trapping 'gators, and give chase. Desiree outsmarts them but Billy accidentally shoots Ben and tells his sheriff dad that Desiree did it. Ben's dad and sons join them in the search party and quickly get out of control. Soon the hunters become the hunted as Desiree exacts her revenge for their violence against her family. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

swamp | sheriff | revenge | cajun | violence | See more »


Half Animal.. All Woman See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 June 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gator Bait  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edited into Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 10 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining Exercise In Poor Taste
26 December 2006 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

You know in reality this movie is *NOT* as patently offensive or disturbing as the naysayers may have you believe. It is tasteless, lunk-headed, vacuous and exploitational as they come, but THAT IS THE POINT OF THE FILM. To expect a movie called 'GATOR BAIT in a decorated box featuring a swamp slut bedecked in tattered flimsy Daisy Dukes to be anything other is like, stupid.

So if you give 'GATOR BAIT a try and are dumb enough to be offended by it don't come crying to us -- What did you expect, SCHINDLER'S LIST or THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WIFE? This is "Hickspoitation", a sadly missed sub-genre of 1970s/1980s exploitation cinema aimed squarely at the Drive-In sect where backwoods cracker trash and their inbred, uncivilized behavior is the main draw. The ultimate Hicksploitation film is still DELIVERANCE which escapes the label because it actually is in good taste, plausible, populated by credible character actors and made by professionals. 'GATOR BAIT is from the other polar end of the spectrum of Hicksploitation with more in common with films like BACKWOODS (aka GEEK) or the King of Hicksploitation Horror, Troma Films' MOTHER'S DAY. They are celebrations of poor taste and should only be viewed by audiences who are either immune to being offended, or are looking to be offended by something. Anything.

I did not find 'GATOR BAIT to be offensive but I see how people could fall into the trap of being repulsed by it. There is a theme of misogynistic brutality running from beginning to end, hintings of incest, a couple of near rapes that end in over the top violence, and cracker trash humor that pokes fun at backwoods redneck Cajun misfits with a kind of gleeful abandon. My favorite moment of sleaze in the film is when three cracker brothers eye their buxom sister lustfully as she hangs up the washin' wearing nothing but an old slip, and one of them drawls out "Jolene, I likes the way you're slidin' around inside a' that." One of the other brothers snickers distastefully as he chomps on an apple & watches as his brother tackles Jolene in the slippery barnyard mud and tries to have his way with her. Hooo-wee!!

That is until Pa comes over to give the boy a whuppin' with his bull whip, snarling "How many times do I have to tell you to leave your sister alone?" Pa is played by veteran cult actor Sam Gillman, still wearing the same dungarees and jeans jacket he wore in 1972's BLOOD SABBATH and would later also wear in EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE. He was a marvelous character actor who only required a role for him to inhabit with what he had, and he easily dominates the film as a resourceful, educated cracker who is evil for sure (he kills the county sheriff after a scuffle over some male dominance hierarchy issue) but still has a code of right & wrong that he insists everybody else live by as well. He is the best actor in the cast and brings a kind of authority to the film that is most welcomed.

The other standout character in the film is easily Claudia Jennings' "Desiree", the bread winner of a family of Cajun crackers who make their living by poaching, live outside of the law, yet are "good" hicks compared to the dirt bag rednecks who come after them due to the lying cowardice of the sheriff's son, who frames Desiree for murder after accidentally shooting one of his foul minded buddies dead. After some setup distastefulness and minimal background story the film devolves into an extended hunt of Desiree through the Louisiana Bayous where she kills off the posse of crackers one by one -- or inspires them to murder each other. The acting is atrocious, the violence and sexual misogyny appropriately stomach churning, but that is exactly what the film called for and you can't blame it for delivering.

One curious thing about this community of swamp rats: The guys all look like the toothless Mountain Man from DELIVERANCE but the women all look like Penthouse magazine models, slinking around in tattered, tight cutoff jeans or one-piece dresses designed to show off their pert breasts, to die for figures and doe-like "Say Yes" eyes. Why the rednecks would want to kill someone who looks like a Centerfold of the Year is perhaps best left unquestioned lest the answer point in the direction of the hog pen. In spite of it's outward stupidity and complete lack of good taste (including the musical score, which is like bad Ry Cooder on the cheap) the film is actually pretty well-made, with competent if uninspired cinematography that always seems to find room in the camera angles for a stunning view of Ms. Jennings' derrière as she stretches and strains against what's left of those tattered cutoff jeans. That the film inspired a sequel ('GATOR BAIT 2: CAJUN JUSTICE) is not surprising, and with any hope it will be at least as objectionable, thick-skulled and shamefully entertaining as this. One can only hope ...

6/10: To be watched in the company of loud friends with plenty of beer.

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