Honestly, I had never watched this film before today. With such an iconic monster and its legendary status I feel a little guilty admitting that. But, hey, one of the things I set out to do in this project was watch a lot of horror that I had never seen before. And watch films outside of my comfort zone of camp, slahsers, and ‘80s flicks. So I am considering tonight’s film more as a history lesson than anything else. Modern viewers will be hard pressed to find something that is so tame (by today’s standards) even remotely frightening, but still, a film like this one can transport a person back in time. And undoubtedly Creature from the Black Lagoon should be watched by serious lovers of the genre.
An expedition to the Amazon nets an interesting fossil and encourages a group of scientists and their smokin’ hot lady friend to go further into a mysterious and unexplored part of the forest. A part that by local legend no one ever returns from. But the scientists don’t care because they are blind to the potential find. And they do find something extraordinary – a gilled-man monster alive and well. The monster is captured escapes, swims by the hottie and eventually falls in love and kidnaps her – as to be expected.
This movie essentially creates the groundwork for every creature feature ever to follow it. At first you are horrified, but eventually you feel for the creature. You wish it could be left alone and in some ways want it to get revenge on people for disturbing it. You even understand that most likely it will spawn several sequels and can never really be killed off (which this flick did).
The outfit of the Gill-man is outstanding and is still kinda terrifying to look at. As a kid I had a poster with a bunch of Universal Monsters on it and ole Gilly scared me the most. And since he isn’t initially a ruthless killing machine, we in the audience get to understand him, see him explore, and grasp his personality. It’s of important note that the monster only begins to attack after he is shot with a harpoon and only kills one person total (basically an extra). This is a good guy AND a horrible scary creature.
Creature from the Black Lagoon is the quintessential monster movie. Kinda sad I hadn’t seen it before, but now that I have I feel pretty good about it. I should watch more of these old classics. I always feel all warm and vintagey afterwards.
Snore Factor: ZZ