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 setting fires in the process. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
In the third and final installment of the "Creature" trilogy, it is clearer than ever that the real monsters are the scientists themselves, with their constant prodding and poking of nature. The Creature is bestial, but no more evil than a wolf or a lion, when you come down to it. He is a natural part of his landscape. But Man is not content to leave him there.
In the first movie, the scientists didn't really know there was a living Creature. That story was one of survival...kill or be killed. In the second film, Man is not content to let the Creature live his isolated existence, so he is captured, brought to civilization and displayed like a sideshow freak. In "Creature Walks Among Us", science now thinks it can "improve" the Creature. As one might expect, the results are tragic.
Millionaire scientist Bill Barton is obsessed with capturing the Creature and "tweaking" him. Barton himself is a seriously unbalanced man...abusive to his beautiful "trophy" wife and insanely jealous when she is in the company of other men. Barton is the ultimate control freak and as his hold over his wife weakens, he increases his control over the Creature, capturing him. When the Creature is severely burnt by a fire, Barton and his team of scientists convert him into a hulking, ungainly land beast that even wears clothes.
The "land" Creature is a pathetic sight and evokes tremendous sympathy. Despite the constant babbling of the egg-heads to the contrary,the Creature is not meant to be a land dweller. Graceful and natural in the water, he is a stumbling, confused brute in the air. Yet his instinct always guides him back to the water where he belongs.
As Barton's marital and mental condition deteriorates, it is also clear that humans are more purely hateful, grasping and neurotic than animals. Finally, both the Creature and Barton erupt into violent conflict.
The movie has its slow spots but is extremely well-directed, almost like a film noir. The scene where the Creature catches fire is breath-taking, but it's the haunting last scene of the movie that will stay with you. At the end, there is nothing "monstrous" about the Creature anymore. He is a victim, pure and simple. This radical concept makes this movie daringly different from almost every other 50's monster flick.
The acting is pretty good, with Rex Reason playing a sympathetic scientist who is the voice of reason. Jeff Morrow (who co starred with Reason in "This Island Earth") is nasty but nuanced as the grasping Barton. Leigh Snowdon is lovely as Barton's sexy young wife and also gives a pretty good performance.
More than just a monster movie, this is thought-provoking entertainment. "The jungle or the stars?" asks Dr. Morgan, concerning mankind's destiny. Watching "The Creature Walks Among Us" doesn't make me too optimistic about the stars...
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