With the onset of the 1950's, horror movies became more predominantly science fiction. In 1954, Universal would release a film that mixes the monster/sci-fi horror genres. Creature From the Black Lagoon features an amphibious humanoid named the Gill-man, who was so popular, he is often included with the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Wolf Man as one of the classic monsters. This would also make him the last. Gill-man was played by two people. On land, Ben Chapman played the part on land, while Ricou Browning played Gill-man in the underwater scenes.
|Ben Chapman as the Gill-man|
Finding nothing further at the site, the team decides to venture to the end of the tributary to the Black Lagoon, where the fragments could have washed down to. Meanwhile, Gill-man has become interested in Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams), a scientist and Reed's girlfriend. Gill-man stalks Kay while she is on a swim in the Lagoon and becomes trapped in the ship's line. He manages to escape, but leaves behind a claw, proof of his existence.
|Mark Williams, Kay Lawrence, and Dr. David Reed|
After a few encounters with Gill-man, the team manages to capture him, but he escapes and terrorizes the group further, even going so far as to block the team's escape route from the Lagoon. While the men try to clear the river, Gill-man kidnaps Kay and takes her to his underwater cave lair. What happens next? Well... you'll have to watch it to find out.
|Gill-man attempting to kidnap Kay Lawrence|
I found this movie to be very well done. The story is nearly flawless, providing just enough information to keep the viewer interested and has the perfect amount of action to keep the story flowing along nicely. In terms of visuals, I thought the the underwater scenes were done very well, looking so clear that you would suspect that the shots weren't actually filmed underwater. Gill-man takes the cake here, though. In the end, you feel sorry for him, and begin to see that he is just confused and the team is invading his habitat, which his is trying desperately to defend. Also, Gill-man only attacks when provoked or attacked first. Nonetheless, Gill-man is presented as the quintessential monster.
|Ricou Browning as the Gill-man|
I give it 5 claws out of 5.