Repligator (1998)

When I spoke to Bret McCormick (who made The Abomination, one of my favorite movies) about Repligator, he said “I was trying to match Roger Corman’s record of five films in one year: in my case it was Takedown, Time Tracers, Bio-Tech Warrior, Repligator and (finally) Rumble In the Streets.

I had challenged Keith Kjornes to write the script in a week. This is what he came up with. Keith was a very talented guy. A funny actor and solid writer. He did an interesting film years later — The Devil’s Tomb with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ron Perlman.

I had absolutely nothing to do with the story other than accepting it. At the time I felt it poked fun at the military in the same way my favorite writer, Terry Southern, had done with Dr. Strangelove. The military, by and large, is headed up by guys who like to destroy things — guys who have society’s approval to be thugs. They take themselves very seriously and I think it’s a good idea to poke fun at them once in a while.

It’s a matter of record that I was eager to walk in Roger’s footsteps back then. This was my attempt to make five films in a single year and to shoot one in four days a la Little Shop of Horrors.”

Shot in 3 days on 35mm film at the Remington York Studio in Irving, Texas — with additional footage shot a year later on 16mm with Gunnar Hansen and Brinke Stevens at Aries Productions in Arlington, Texas to increase the run time — Repligator starts with Dr. Goodbody (Stevens) conducting an experiment of the Sexual Hologram Interface Terminal (S.H.I.T.) that allows her to see the fantasies of Private Libo (James Bock). We see a fantasy of his wife and her friend Buffy, as well as him getting to see Goodbody’s, well, good body. 

Pay attention. While you will see this same exact footage again later, this is the only time that Stevens appears in the movie.

After the opening, Colonel Sanders, Colonel Sergeant (Rocky Patterson (Doc in Nail Gun Massacre, R.O.T.O.R.and General Mills who have come to witness Dr. Oliver (Kjornes, the writer, writing himself into some exciting moments and proving that movies are awesome) and Dr. Kildare’s (Hansen) machine firsthand. Dr. Fields (Randy Clower, Fatal Justice, Bio-Tech Warrior, Time Tracerinvites himself along, hoping to witness an epic failure and gain Oliver’s funding.

If those names don’t clue you into the feel of this movie, Dr. Laurel Hardy’s (TJ Myers, a former Miss Lubbock Teen Texas USA) will.

The machine they get to check out is an organic digital replication double helix genetic coding scrambler on a 1680 wave link with the maximum thrust at about 40 gig. Yeah, I memorized that. It basically turns men into women. So Dr. Oliver adds his mind control and creates a weapon for the government that sends mind-controlled women after enemies. But when the women go back into the machine for a return trip, they turn into alligator women.

Did Jess Franco steal this for 2012’s Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies?

Also: anyone killed by an alligator turns into a zombie. Sometimes a gay zombie. This movie is in no way concerned with offending anyone or everybody.

Repligator has some music that may seem familiar to you. Well, to me. After all, I watch way too many Andy Sidaris movies. The soundtrack was created by Ron Di Uulio, who wrote the song “Return To Savage Beach” and did the soundtracks for the Sidaris movies Day of the Warrior, The Dallas Connection and Enemy Gold as well as Mountaintop Motel Massacre and Honeymoon Horror.

A lot of the crew also worked on an industrial movie called Risky Business: Employee Violence in the Workplace that I really want to see, hoping that it captures the energy of this.

Repligator sounds and is ridiculous. But so what? The world is a dark and horrible place filled with apathy and soul crushing failure. This is anything but. It’s a movie dedicated to entertaining you in the short time it had to get made and with the low budget it was given. You’ll remember it long after watching a movie that cost thousands of times what this did.

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