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Last night I had the great pleasure of attending a screening of this
documentary. I first heard about this being made roughly 2 years ago
and have been anxiously waiting it's completion.The wait was well worth
it and the film surpassed my expectations.
This is a film by fans of the Classic Universal Horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon,but it's not just FOR fans of the film. It's for Fans of Classic Universal Monster films and a standard bearer for all Horror based documentaries to come.
The film is entertaining and highly informative. Narrated by Keith David,this 83 minute film contains interviews with many of the foremost "Creature' fans throughout the country as well as celebrities and cast members of the original film. It showcases many never before seen stills, a newly restored clip from the Colgate Comedy Hour featuring Abbott and Costello meet the Creature segment,numerous collectibles,film clips and in-depth interviews by some of the most knowledgeable fans of the film today.
I for one can't wait for this film to get the distribution it so rightly deserves or at the very least,become available so I can add it to my collection of genre films. It's really that damn good and worth while to seek out and watch! I HIGHLY recommend this documentary for fans of the Classic horror genre both young and old!
I don't get it. I was in the same audience at Tribeca and didn't see the same movie the other users reported on. However, I have heard that most of the users were involved in the production, so that may be why. I don't have a personal stake in this so-called documentary. The premise of this awful film is basically that the Gill Man is a poor, unloved lonely guy. The rest of the so-called documentary builds up those involved in the production as if they were the most talented, most famous people in the world. Suddenly Ben Chapman, a bit actor and extra who wore the rubber outfit, gives a "poignant performance." How can anyone tell through all those piles of rubber? Suddenly Arthur Ross is "the greatest screenwriter in history" when, actually, he was an adequate writer who survived the blacklist and went on to become nominated for an Oscar for his "Brubaker" screenplay. Otherwise he had a rather pedestrian career. And where is his co-writer Harry Essex? Just because he died a while back doesn't mean he didn't contribute to this famous monster movie. I guess the writer of this movie didn't want to do his homework, so he concentrated on the living Ross and exaggerated Ross' achievements, therefore trying to get some of his gold to rub off on him, too. But this method of documentary-making cheats others of the credit due their hard work while praising others inordinately merely because they are still alive. Viewers may note that Ricou Browning, who portrayed the underwater creature, is barely acknowledged due to a rift between him and the writer while filming in Florida. Too bad the weaker parts of this movie are the result of a personal grudge. The movie could have been so much better. The first half of the movie is about the production of the film. The second half is about the fans who have managed to carve out a rather silly existence of stalking has-beens at movie conventions and paying for autographs. The resin kit makers are the worst, following someone else's dream and trying to cash in on it, too. Just awful. I wish I could praise this movie, but it seemed silly and rather pointless to me. I would suggest that anyone wanting to know more about this movie watch the new DVD for "Creature From the Black Lagoon" which contains an excellent documentary called "Back To the Black Lagoon."
Sam Borowski's love of the Creature is evident in the joy that bursts forth from the screen when you sit down to enjoy Creature Feature: 50 Years of the Gill-Man. From movie stills to Creature Cons, he's got it all and shares it with the viewer like a giant box of Raisinettes in the last row of the balcony. Sweet, funny and with a lot of laughs. I loved it. I also saw a whole crowd of people on that screen that I know! Hey! Where was I? I must have been at Chiller or something that weekend. Comments from famous Creature fans like Benicio Del Toro (who knew?) to the 'national treasures' like Bob Burns and some handsome young actors including Dan Roebuck. Wow! Everyone got in on this act. A must see for any fan of the Gill-Man.
I have been a die hard Universal Monster movie fan for nearly twenty
years. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket through a friend, and I
was able to see this film screened in LA earlier in the year. Being
such a devoted Monster fan it was a wonderful experience to see this
awesome documentary. From start to finish it gives you everything you
want to know about the most popular Universal Monster of the 50's THE
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. Many of the highlights for me were the
rare photos, the narration by the "GREAT" KEITH David. Also, you have
the a clip from the COLGATE COMEDY HOUR with classic comedians BUD
ABBOTT and LOU COSTELLO when they met the CREATURE on national
television before the movie had went into theaters.
Also you have BEN CHAPMAN(the actor who played the Gill Man), his beautiful leading lady JULIE ADAMS as well. Plus, ARTHUR ROSS the screen writer for both CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, and the third and final entry CREATURE WALKS AMONG US. What I enjoy most of all is the depth this doc gives you on the history of this classic movie. You also see many fans from MONSTER CONVENTIONS from all over the USA. It's so great to see these stars signing autographs, and meeting fans at the shows. My favorite moment is when GILL MEN - BEN CHAPMAN (who did all the land scenes) and RICOU BROWNING (who did all the underwater scenes). When they finally meet each other and shake hands after 50 years. What a true magical moment to see these two together again after all these years. Just to see them enjoying a laugh together is a piece of movie history caught on film.
This documentary takes the time and goes into detail on the entire trilogy of CREATURE films. Which to me is just great, up until this point not much history had been brought up about the CREATURE. Now with this "GREAT" documentary we now have a detailed, highly entertaining look back at one of the most iconic monsters of all time. If you love Monster films, or if you just love films in general this is the one for you.
In closing just let me say that also in the doc. is Academy Award winner BENICIO DEL TORO, and DANIEL ROEBUCK as well. So, I strongly encourage every one of you to catch this wonderful, fun, and informative piece of work in this documentary CREATURE FEATURE: 50 YEARS OF THE GILL-MAN.
Looked great Sam. Looked just like a first look and the production
value was great. Very informative and now I want to stay up till 3 am
to watch it some night. Maybe I ll just go down to the local video
store and rent it. I can't wait to see the next thing you do. Hopefully
you remember me to cast me. J/k With Hollywood in the midst of a bunch
of redo's or do over. I bet it won't be long till we see the creature
back up on the main screen. I think your first look will be enough to
prompt so action from the suits in Hollywood. I would definitely buy a
ticket to go see it. If you guys don't already know it Sam is the new
up and comer. I can't wait to see whats next.
I vaguely remember Ben from my Sci-Fi fandom days of the '60s, I was doing several interviews & bios of obscure actors/actresses, most notably Ben, actress Fay Spain, and Jody Fair, who played Angela in 1961's The Young Savages. Ben was one of the people at a low-key Sci-Fi con in Chicago, about 1970, when I had a nice chat with him and his "career" and life. All these were published in some now-long-forgotten fanzine of the day. Wish I still had copies of those interviews, but time marches on, and any of those people surely wouldn't' remember me at all so many years later. Ben was a really nice fellow, ekeing out a living (The cons of those days didn't even pay their guest, unless, of course they were big-name stars, and even then the pay was a couple hundred dollars, at most! Good to know Ben's still alive & kicking! How 'bout a remake of Creature, but 50 years older! Ugly then, uglier now!
I was one of the fortunate few to see the very first screening of this
documentary. I had gone in with very little knowledge of the Gill-man
but a deep appreciation for horror movies, and more appropriately
classic monster movies.
The documentary explored every aspect of the Creature, how it came to be, and the phenomenon that continues its popularity today. The music and light-hearted comedy keeps the audience attention, while celebrity commentary and actor interviews show the impact of this classic monster.
I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of monster movies, or classic cinema as I'm sure everyone will learn numerous interesting facts they hadn't known before.
I had the fortunate opportunity of seeing a screening of Creature Feature in NYC about a week ago. I have to say, this is good stuff. I am a movie fan, but not necessarily a "monster movie" fan. Well, this documentary has me thinking I might become one. I learned more than I ever thought I would about The Creature, the history of Universal monsters, really what an impact it all had on the state of modern cinema. It makes me want to go back and watch all of these historical films again (and I do believe I will). This film was executed perfectly - tactful, tasteful, funny when it needed to be. It had all the right stars (past and present). I dare not say I was the only one who enjoyed it either. I guess my last word would be, "Check it out for yourself." It's ninety minutes of cinema history (both literally and figuratively).
I met one of the producers of this film in Queens, as I was looking
around at apartments. He was a totally great guy and seemed to be
really excited about the release of this film. I asked him if I could
see the movie - and wow! I never would have thought that "The Creature"
had such an interesting history!
Even for people like me, who don't know much about The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the movie provided an entertaining and informative history of the Gill-Man. Personally, I never would have guessed that it would have had such a huge fan-following, but of course I was wrong. IN truth I found the fans to be just as interesting as the Creature himself.
So if you can, you should see this movie - especially to pay tribute to a Hollywood figure that had more influence than you'd think. And besides, Benicio Del Toro is in it, so come on.
This is a great documentary. Like most documentaries I see, I knew
little-to-nothing about the subject matter, but I was fascinated and
captivated by the Gill-Man's story from beginning to end.
The classic film footage cut with the old NBC "Abbott & Costello" commercials and publicity stills are all priceless. The interviews with today's collectors and super-fans are beyond interesting...to call them 'Trekkie-like' would almost be fair if it wasn't also almost insulting.
I would have liked to have seen more footage with the surviving actors, writers and producers (a la "Rico almost drowned on the first day")- and maybe even more of the latter day reunion in Florida- but what was there was obviously carefully crafted and very well put together.
I'd see it again and I'd definitely add it to my collection. I hope to see this documentary as part of any DVD anniversary and/or remake add-on, at the very least.
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