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Subj: Creature Feature 108: The Creature Walks Among Us(1956)
Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 08:47:35 am EST (Viewed 126 times)
Universal's third Creature From The Black Lagoon movie is The Creature Walks Among Us(1956). It was directed by John Sherwood, starred Jeff Morrow, Rex Reason and Leigh Snowden and was not filmed in 3-D. Ricou Browning again portrayed the monster underwater and Don Megowan(The Werewolf) played the him on land.
Another team of scientists finds and captures the Gill-Man in the Florida Everglades following the events of Revenge Of The Creature. The team consists of Dr. Barton(Morrow), his beautiful but neglected wife Marcia(Snowden), Dr. Morgan(Reason) and guide Jed Grant. Dr. Barton wants to use the Creature to create a being capable of withstanding the hazards of space travel while Dr. Morgan wants to communicate with and study the creature. Marcia wants to have fun and be appreciated by her husband and Grant wants Marcia.
The Creature is severely burned during his capture and somehow sheds his fish-like exterior to become calmer and more human with lungs. Barton's jealous rages upset the Creature, causing him to become violent, too. He escapes and causes mayhem, eventually retreating to the ocean, unaware that with his new lungs he will drown in the water.
I know that I saw The Creature Walks Among Us before but I remember the more human Creature being a turn off for me. This was very much a new film to me as I didn't remember much of the plot.
It's a bit clumsy, like the Creature himself. Once he turns more human, he loses the grace he displayed underwater and seems to become a dull observer. The "romantic" subplot works as Snowden is so beautiful that she comes across as more flirtatious than she is. She is definitely showing off her physical attributes, but she's also loyal to her jerk of a husband. Still, the men in the opening scene seem lecherous just watching her board the boat.
The early Creature scenes are a great continuation of the first two movies. After the Creature is injured, though, I was a bit confused as to why it mutated. According to the story, after it shed it's burned skin, it had more human-like skin underneath, and lungs as well. The human-Creature scenes are okay but a disappointment after the Creature scenes from the first two movies. There's a message here about nature vs. nurture but it kind of falls flat. The characters seem to act to fit the plot instead of the other way around, but are nevertheless interesting and in some ways unconventional. You can guess which way the subplot is going but, at the same time, not all the characters act the way you’d expect. It is well acted, just a bit too melodramatic.
There are some great monster scenes, making this sequel well worth visiting, but in the end, I think it departs too much from the original concept.
The introduction of the characters. Right off the bat you get an idea of what’s going to happen. Marcia is shown speeding down the road with her husband in the passenger seat looking uneasy but saying nothing. Then, when she boards the boat, even the good guys look like wolves who were shown fresh meat, regardless of whether or not she's married.
The underwater scenes. As in Revenge , the film tries to recapture the magic of the first film but ends up with scenes that go on too long and are less interesting. Not bad, but not as good as the original. The addition of radar adds some tension.
The Creature attacking the team. They travel deeper into the Everglades in a small motorboat and encounter the Creature. As a fan of monster mayhem, I can say that I think this was the best scene in the whole trilogy. Tense, atmospheric and action packed.
The mountain lion attack. A mountain lion sneaks into the camp and attacks some goats. The more human Gill-Man is so bothered by the violence that he attacks and kills the cat. I understand what they were trying to do but I think they changed the character too much to try to fit the story.
Gill-Man, or I guess by know he’s “lung-man”, breaking out of his pen and attacking the group. There are some great scenes of him smashing through doors and windows but it’s odd that the more human he becomes the less interested he is in the girl.
The Creature Walks Among Us trailer
After serving in World War II, Jeff Morrow played Dick Tracy on the Dick Tracy Radio show in the 1940's. He also appeared in the 1957 cult B-movie The Giant Claw.
Henry Mancini(The Pink Panther theme, Peter Gunn theme) was one of the composers on the Creature series, but not of the famous trumpet blasts that signal the Creature's appearance. He composed the softer, romantic music.
Back To The Black Lagoon: A Creature Chronicle is a Creature documentary featured on the 2000 DVD release. It has lots of interviews and information for any fan of the trilogy.
You can watch The Creature Walks Among Us here:
The Creature Walks Among Us
Next Time: The Monster Of Piedras Blancas
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