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>
Similar to the under-appreciated "Alien 3"(1992), this dramatic thriller has so many ideas that to disregard it would be a waste. The Creature is sought by scientists on an expedition to the Florida Everglades, where the second film ("Revenge of the Creature") ended. Joining in the expedition is the wife (Leigh Snowden) of a disturbed scientist (Jeff Morrow), who hasn't much to do but be admired by the men around her, including a good scientist (Rex Reason) and a lecherous guide (Gregg Palmer). The Creature is subdued, but only after being burned in a ghastly fire. The head scientist (Morrow) discovers lung tissue in the Creature, and he is transformed to an air-breathing animal. Cruelly pent-up back home in a Californian bay-side stockade, he longs to return to the water. The racial undertones of his new appearance are undeniable. Sympathy is invoked for the Creature, making this most unusual. The 6'6" Don Megowan is superb as this "animal" (as Morrow calls him once), expressing torment and despair through a rigid mask with his sullen eyes and settle body gestures. The last scene is breathtaking, since we know he can not survive a return to the sea. Main titles are an improvement, finally overlaid on gurgling water, rather than the clouds in prior two films. The music has been updated and is haunting, and the misty underwater photography in the first half is stunning. The whole film is beautifully directed by John Sherwood, with lights, shadows, contrast in exquisite black and white. All the actors are terrific, reciting mature dialog. The Creature does not get the curvaceous girl in this one: appropriately, since he's got all these plastic-surgery troubles. In many ways, this is an improvement over the second film, which basically re-hashed the first classic. Catch this one!
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