A year after the huge success of Creature From The Black Lagoon
, Universal Pictures released a sequel, Revenge Of The Creature
in 1955. Jack Arnold returned to direct and Ricou Browning again played the Gill-Man in underwater scenes. John Agar and Lori Nelson starred and Clint Eastwood made an uncredited screen debut. Like the original Creature film, Revenge Of The Creature
was shot in 3-D.
The Gill-Man survived his wounds from the climax of the previous film and a new team of scientists arrives in the Amazon. They succeed in capturing the Creature and bring him to a Florida oceanarium where he is studied by Professor Clete Ferguson(Agar) and ichthyologist Helen Dobson(Nelson). As the scientists try to communicate with the Creature, it develops an attraction to Helen. Becoming enraged by its treatment, the Creature escapes and wreaks havoc at the oceanarium. Later it somehow tracks down Helen and kidnaps her. After it kills a few more people, Clete and the police find the Creature. Clete is able to free Helen and the police open fire on the Creature as it retreats to the ocean, presumably to die.
I believe the first time I saw Revenge Of The Creature
was in 1982 during a national promotion in which local TV stations showed the movie in 3-D with glasses that could be purchased at chain convenience stores and fast food restaurants. I remember not being very impressed as the 3-D effects on TV made the movie almost unwatchable. Combine this with Revenge
's treatment on Mystery Science Theater 3000
and I have to say I wasn't expecting much from this movie. I'm happy to say I was wrong.
While the romantic plot and scenes of the Gill-Man's training in the oceanarium tank go on for too long and slow down the pacing, there's still lots to like in this movie. The opening is a retread of the first movie, which isn't unwelcome, but it then borrows from King Kong
as the monster gets loose and takes off with the girl. The scenes of panic as the Creature scares tourists are great. The film lacks the grace and subtlety of the first movie but is able to be a worthy sequel by taking enough of the familiar aspects of the first movie and bringing them to a different setting. The scenes of the Creature being moved into the oceanarium almost have a clinical feel making the sudden violence in some scenes very effective. As the Creature stalks the night, the lighting and shadows provide lush black and white atmosphere that aids the special effects.
While not produced as well as the original movie, I think I enjoy the basic plot of Revenge
more than that of Creature
Gill-Man's first appearance, pulling a stork underwater. This scene continues the theme of the threat that lives below the calm surface but does so with the subtlety of a hammer strike. It's a neat jump scare, though.
Clint Eastwood's scene. This is a goofy attempt at poor humor and would be entirely forgettable if it wasn't being performed by "The Man With No Name". What hair he had, though.
The Gill-Man being moved into the oceanarium. It's a tribute to the believability of the costume that anytime the Creature is being handled I fear for the men. They shouldn't let themselves get so close, even if it is unconscious!
The Creature regains consciousness. He attempts to jump out of the tank and attacks several men who try to subdue him. So many tourists and reporters are standing by just watching and smoking.
The Creature's escape. He breaks his chain and attacks the oceanarium. Great panic and violence as he escapes to the ocean.
The attack on the beach of two young men. The Gill-Man throws one guy about 10 feet into a tree. I watched this scene a few times.
Revenge Of The Creature trailer
Ricou Browning created Flipper
which became a movie and TV franchise. He portrayed the "monster" in the TV episode Flipper's Monster
John Agar starred in Tarantula
(1955) also directed by Jack Arnold and featuring Clint Eastwood in a minor, uncredited role. He was married to Shirley Temple from 1945-50.
During the tank scenes, a sea turtle bit a piece of the foot off of the Creature costume. I guess with all the sharks and barracudas in the tank it could have been worse.
You can watch Revenge Of The Creature
Revenge Of The Creature
Next Time: The Creature Walks Among Us