Gator Bait (1974)

“UNTAMED AND DEADLY, she ruled the swamp with a BLAZING GUN and a LUSCIOUS SMILE.” A guilty pleasure for sure, Gator Bait (AKA Swamp Bait) is a classic low-budget hixploitation flick full of some of the dumbest hillbillies in film history and starring beautiful 1970 Playboy “Playmate of the Year” Claudia Jennings (who attempts one of the worst Cajun accents of all time but looks great in her extremely tight shorts!). Jennings portrays gator poacher “Desiree Thibodeau,” who lives deep in the swamp with her little sister and brother. After she is falsely accused of murder, Desiree is chased through the swamp by the usual angry mob of total idiots. These dirtbags murder her sister and Desiree vows revenge Cajun-style. Bad acting is the norm but what did you expect—Citizen Kane? Other than Claudia Jennings, the cast is full of unknowns (with the exception of Sam Gillman, who appeared in both One-Eyed Jacks and The Missouri Breaks with Marlon Brando), so I won’t even bother to list them here. The film was directed by the husband-and-wife team of Beverly and Ferd Sebastian (The Hitchhikers). As you might expect, Gator Bait is not for all tastes (don’t say I didn’t warn you!). Oh yeah, the soundtrack is pretty hilarious! A sequel, Gator Bait II: Cajun Justice, also directed by the Sebastians and starring Melissa Alleman, came out in 1988. Jennings was born Mary Eileen Chesterton in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1949. Her filmography includes such films as Unholy Rollers (1972), Truck Stop Women (1974), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1975), Moonshine County Express (1977), The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (1977) and Deathsport (1978), among others. Tragically, Jennings died in a car accident in 1979 at the age of 29.

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