In this third Gill-Man feature, the Creature is captured and turned into an air-breather by a rich mad scientist. This makes the Creature very unhappy, and he escapes, killing people and ... See full summary »
A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discovers a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancée of one in the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Creature's appearance was based on old seventeenth-century woodcuts of two bizarre creatures called the Sea Monk and the Sea Bishop. The Creature's final head was based on that of the Sea Monk, but the original discarded head was based on that of the Sea Bishop. In one sequence Julie Adams' character is captured by the creature and carried into a cave. During the filming the stuntman misjudged where the side of the entrance was and accidentally struck Ms. Adams' head against the wall, knocking her unconscious. See more »
Among the many jungle birdcalls heard in the Amazon is the cry of the kookaburra, an Australian species. See more »
Unlike other sci-fi flicks from the 1950s, "Creature From The Black Lagoon" is not a film to laugh at. It's better made. Just by the title we know there's a monster lurking about. Yet, for the film's first 24 minutes we don't actually see it, only one of its claws. And that holding back of the monster's appearance fosters suspense and mystery. In addition, the film's B&W cinematography is good, for its time, with lots of credible underwater shots. And while the dialogue does contain lots of exposition, the film at least tries to educate viewers.
There's nothing complex about the story. A scientific crew heads for the Amazon to do an archaeological dig, after a large fossil is found. The crew ends up at the Black Lagoon, a place of serenity, with its still waters, surrounded by palm trees and the sounds of monkeys and exotic birds. Through much of the film the peaceful setting together with soothing background music actually makes for a rather relaxing movie. Even when we see the monster, it seems lonely and hardly threatening as it glides gracefully through its watery home.
I suspect that the film's popularity when it was first released relates to the creature's distinctive appearance, with those moving gills and those bulging dark eyes. And of course, back in those days, the film was made for 3-D viewing, a novelty then that made the monster seem more real. Today, the film has an ever-so-slight environmental theme, given that at least one of the scientists prefers that the monster not be harmed, and given that humans obviously are encroaching into its habitat.
Because so much of the plot takes place underwater and therefore lacks dialogue, and given a runtime of only about 78 minutes, there really isn't that much to this movie. But what there is of it is interesting for its historical significance as a precursor to later sci-fi films, and for a monster that's not only photogenic but also alone and arguably lonely in a world that has passed it by, after eons of time.
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