Thursday, August 6, 2009

#88 - Creature from the Black Lagoon

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Moderately Trashy

Directed by: Jack Arnold. Written by: Harry Essex & Arthur A. Ross.

Plot: A crew of marine biologists go down to South America to look at fossils of what they believe is the missing link between man and fish (wtf?). Little do they know, there is one remaining member of the species alive today, living in the titular lagoon. The monster takes a fancy to the hot lady (Julie Adams) and traps the scientists in the lagoon.

Review: I kind of wonder what exactly the Creature was going to do with the lady. I mean, at least Kong was a mammal, but this poor guy is no doubt going to be really confused when he takes her back to his lair and she doesn’t shoot out a cloud of eggs or whatever it is that fish do (I swear to God, I’ve seen so many nature documentaries, you’d think I’d have a better understanding of the reproductive system of fish. But no). But they just had throw that in. They couldn’t resist.

Anyway, this movie is, like, the original movie where everybody’s stuck in a really small space and being killed off by a freaky-ass monster. Actually, I lied. The Thing from Another World was made before this one (and there are probably other earlier flicks which I don’t know about).

The Creature is way cooler than the Thing, though. He’s like a man, but a fish and he can swim around and stuff. What is the Thing? A giant space carrot. Lame.

That being said, this movie is kind of stupid (actually, that's an understatement). I mean, really. The characters aren’t all that interesting, and the movie in general isn’t all that exciting. I don’t really remember all of the details, but I don’t think there’s a very legitimate reason for why the people couldn’t escape from the lagoon. It was just because the plot required that they didn’t.

As far as the Universal Monster Cycle goes, the Creature from the Black Lagoon was, hands down, the coolest monster, but probably the weakest in terms of story and general awesomeness.

Still, I would watch the movie for the nifty underwater bits which are all really well shot, with nice lighting so you can see what's happening. Underwater bits are usually not that great but in this movie, they really went all out.

Favourite Part: Any of the nifty underwater bits - think about it, that guy (Ricou Browning) is swimming around with his air tank under the big costume (the bubbles come out the top of his head! Don't believe me, check it out), and a rubber mask on, and he still manages not to look like a total jackass. Amazing!

Other versions: Remake scheduled for 2011.

Sequels: Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us

Click here to read my original review (December 7th, 2006)

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