Let's see...missing a hand...hates gators...any halfway intelligent viewer is going to instantly comprehend the back story here, right? But what I love about this movie is that it insists on spelling it out for you, not once, but many, many times. So, Lon spends most of his screen time shooting drunkenly at alligators while hollering, "I hate gators! Gators ate my hand! I'll always kill gators! I hate 'em! Cause they ate my hand!" and on and on.
Guy told me that at this point in his career, Lon actually was a shambling alcoholic, so maybe the director just let him "get into character" and ad lib most of his lines. Even when he plays a repetitive alcoholic gator-shooting maniac, to me, there is always something essentially loveable and endearing about Lon. Oh, and his "hook" is really, really fake-looking too.