Back to the Black Lagoon: A Creature Chronicle (2000 Video)
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The documentary is basically your average interviews & opinions from some of those who were involved/liked the films in question, for my money there was far too much self congratulatory 'didn't we/he/she/I do a great job' nonsense that becomes tedious & annoying to listen to. We know the strengths of the films in question so why not use the time more wisely & discuss the making of them more & include more trivia? Don't get me wrong there's stuff on the creation of the creature & the filming of it but it gets lost & is very slight information that isn't very memorable.
The documentary takes a 20 odd minute look at Creature from the Black Lagoon & then switches it's attention to a 15 minute look at it's sequel Revenge of the Creature (1955) & an even shorter look at the third & final film in the series The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).
As expected a lot of people involved with the making of these films are no longer with us so digging up surviving cast & crew members (no pun intended) was probably a thankless task so there's not too many of the people that were involved with the making of these films featured.
Don't get me wrong as a free extra on a DVD at 50 minutes it's good value but you won't learn much & those fan-boy type contributor's who can't lavish enough praise over it are annoying. Worth a watch but could have been better, or am I just being greedy by wanting more?
It covers everything from the actors being cast, early concept drawings and how the foam creature functioned on the actor. The only downside is that it only runs for about forty minutes, so while it covers everything it sort of skims over areas you wished it went deeper into - pardon the pun. I mainly wish it had spent more time talking about the score which was composed by legendary composer Henry Mancini. In the last one third of the show, it also talks about the two sequels including an interview with Lori Nelson, the focus of the amorous creature in the second film.
**** (out of 4)
Terrific documentary covering the making of Universal's CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON as well as its two sequels. This was originally released with that film's DVD release back in 2000 but what makes this one stand out so much from many of the others in the series is that many of the original cast members are on hand to discuss the making of the film. Julie Adams, Ricou Browning and Ben Chapman are all on hand discussing the making of the film and the stories told include stuff like accidents on the set, the original look of the monster and of course how many of the stunts were done. Bob Burns, Skal, Bob Furmanek and Paul Jensen are also on hand to discuss their thoughts on the film and we even get Lori Nelson discussing the sequel. I think having many of the original cast members was a big plus here but you can't really blame those earlier docs for not containing this since those films were made back in the 30s. Overall I think the documentary gives you a great idea of what all happened while making the film and certain decisions that were made in regards to the sequels. Another major plus is hearing from those who actually saw the film in its original release. Hearing their stories of seeing it in 3D was great but also hearing about the hidden sexuality in the film was another interesting thing.