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Creature Feature: 50 Years of the Gill-Man (2004)

Video  |   |  Documentary  |  13 April 2004 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 128 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 11 critic

First surfacing in 1954, the Gill-Man from CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON has been one of the most influential screen monsters. This documentary fondly recalls the history of the 3-D horror... See full summary »

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Title: Creature Feature: 50 Years of the Gill-Man (Video 2004)

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Arthur A. Ross ...
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First surfacing in 1954, the Gill-Man from CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON has been one of the most influential screen monsters. This documentary fondly recalls the history of the 3-D horror film - which spawned several sequels and countless imitators - and the behind-the-scenes story of its making as told by cast and crew. Written by rottentomatoes

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Creature Comfort for Genre Fans
9 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have to confess that when I saw this film at the Tribeca Film Center right before Christmas, I was NOT a Creature From the Black Lagoon fanatic, though I do enjoy the old Universals. Mostly, I'm a fan of both the science fiction and horror genres.

However, I was mildly surprised that this film seemed to appeal to me as much as it did some of the hardcore CFTBL fans in the audience. Similiarly, I think that this film WILL appeal to fans of those genres, in addition to the fans of the classic Universal Monster pictures.

Personally, I found the history and backstory of the film very interesting, as I did the section on International Copycat Movies such as some of the Japanese and Mexican films that have seemed to copy both the design and idea of the Gill-Man character. There were even some interesting clips that featured everyone from Abbott and Costello (in a segment from the Creature's initial appearance on The Colgate Comedy Hour) to martial arts star Sonny Chiba (in one of the Copycat Creature movies).

Naturally, as you'd expect this film featured interviews w/ cast and crew, however some of todays actors and filmmakers were included - to my delight - such as makeup wizard Tom Savini and Academy-Award Winner Benicio Del Toro, just to name a few. And the narration of actor Keith David, who sounds just like he stepped off the celluloid print of THEY LIVE also was a major asset to the film.

There's not much negative I have to say, other than the fact that some of the fans' comments may have seemed a little redundant, and a few of the major interviews could have been trimmed here and there, but then again, I was interested enough after sitting through it to actually read the end credits, and I don't always do that. So, perhaps it is fine as it is. Certainly as someone in the indie film world, I might have done some things differently.

But, that still doesn't change the fact that this film will provide Creature Comforts to any of the above Genre fans, as well as a BIG SMILE to fans of the old Universals. In closing, I would say that the movie has inspired me to go back and look at the three Creature From the Black Lagoon movies covered in the film. And if you're a genre fan like myself, it might just have the same effect on you.

Either way, I think you'll enjoy your 80-plus minute visit with the Big Green Guy!


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