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Edward L. Cahn
The monster, which looks like a nastier version of "The Creature from the Black Lagoon," invades a sleepy lighthouse town. The superstitious lighthouse keeper is worried for the safety of his beautiful teenage daughter, so he leaves food for the monster, who dwells in a nearby cave. When bodies wash up ashore, the locals take notice. Written by
In this obvious "Creature from the Black Lagoon" cash-in, the title beast terrorizes a small seaside community. The local lighthouse keeper, Mr. Sturges (John Harmon), makes a habit of leaving morsels of meat for It to eat, but soon it's clear that these morsels just aren't enough. So citizens are then found both decapitated and drained of blood. It's up to locals such as doctor / scientist / minister Sam Jorgenson (Les Tremayne), his young associate Fred (Don Sullivan, "The Giant Gila Monster"), and grumpy town constable George Matson (Forrest Lewis) to devise a means of neutralizing their nemesis.
This marked the directing debut for Irvin Berwick, a former employee of Universal- International who'd just started a production company with his partner, producer Jack Kevan. While it may do the trick for people who just can't get enough of 1950s creature features, it's mostly on the dull side. The screenplay by H. Haile Chace is overly talky, and doesn't have enough good Monster action. (The action is largely confined to the final dozen minutes.) The cast, also showcasing a young beauty named Jeanne Carmen as Sturges' daughter and Freds' girlfriend, is on the amateurish side. One notable exception is reliable Tremayne, a busy genre actor during this time. The movie does get some points for being willing to kill children and animals, and there's one great, show stopping moment when the Monster swaggers out of an ice room holding the severed head of one of its victims. The Monster is played by Pete Dunn, who has a second role as townsman Eddie. It's a rather low rent creature suit (designed by Kevan), but it serves its purpose.
Although it makes good use of locations, and is gorgeously shot by future Oscar nominee Philip H. Lathrop, it just doesn't have a lot of atmosphere. A climactic confrontation is interestingly shot from overhead, but the ending is too abrupt and falls short of real satisfaction.
Six out of 10.
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