Creature from the Black Lagoon
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Jack Arnold's horror classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon spawned not one but two iconic images: the web-footed humanoid gill-man with a hankering for women and the leggy, luscious Julia Adams, the object of his desire, swimming the lagoon in a luminous white bathing suit. Not since King Kong has the "beauty and the beast" theme been portrayed in such sexually charged (though chaste) terms. Arnold turns an effectively B-movie plot--a small expedition up a remote Amazon river captures a prehistoric amphibian man, who escapes to wreak havoc on the team and kidnap his bathing beauty--into a moody, stylish, low-budget feature. The jungle exteriors turn from exotic to treacherous when the creature blocks their passage and strands them in the wilds. Much of the film is shot underwater, where the murky dark is animated by shimmering shards of sunlight, creating images both lovely and alien (the studio-built sets of the creature's underground lair are far less naturalistic, but serve their purpose). As with most of Arnold's '50s genre films, he's saddled with a less than magnetic leading man (in this case the colorless but stalwart Richard Carlson) and a conventional script, but he overcomes such limitations by creating a vivid and sympathetic monster (helped immeasurably by a marvelous suit of scales and fins) and establishing a mood thick with atmosphere. The film was originally shot in 3-D. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
Bonus Materials: Creature from the Black Lagoon (3D Version), Back to the Black Lagoon, Production Photographs, Feature Commentary with Film Historian Tom Weaver, Trailer Gallery, 100 Years of Universal: The Lot --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Creature" also boosts one of the most memorable of Universal's great gallery of classic monsters in the form of the Gillman superbly realised by the genius of designer Bud Westmore. Coming quite late in the long tradition of Universal monsters the Gillman is right up there with such memorable creations as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Wolfman. He was to return to the screen in two sequels "Revenge Of The Creature" and "The Creature Walks Among Us" however it is for this original effort that he is justly remembered. The story in reality is a simple one. A rare find of a clawed hand that has no relationship with any known link in evolution is unearthed during an excavation in the Amazon jungle. The possibilty of a sensational find prompts a group of scientists to set out on a expedition to find the rest of its body only to discover themselves having to deal with a live ancestor of this fossil in the form of a strange underwater Gillmam. Much to their distress they find themselves trapped in the eerie and mysterious Black Lagoon having to literally fight for their lives against this creature who is not only aggressive towards those that disturb his Amazion shelter but begins killing off the expedition team one by one.Read more ›
The Creature From the Black Lagoon is not only a hoot to watch, but a great example of what 3-D motion pictures from the 1950's were able to accomplish. And all of this without the aid of digital technology.
This creature is neither tragic hero, nor unstoppable villain. He's just a living being, a prehistoric half-man, half fish, behaving as his
evolution has conditioned him, attacking invaders to his Amazonian paradise, attracted to the female human.
The film is full of mind numbing exposition, mediocre acting, low production values and heavy handed staking out of its ethical
positions; the humanistic scientist that wants to study and understand the creature versus the base desires of the expedition's financier who wants to kill the thing and bring it back to the world as a trophy.
But there are sequence of power and even poetry, as the creature swims silently beneath the team's female scientist (and eye candy). There are moments her that Spielberg would echo in "Jaws" years later, but here the threat is more eerie and complex than terrifying. And watching the creature pathetically gasp for breath like a fish out of water is a sad and strong image (actually, a lot of the creature's movements, especially under water, are surprisingly convincing as something other than a man in a latex suit).
While not, for me, the classic some see it as, it's still a solid cut above the dumb Saturday afternoon entertainment that has lead to our forgetting most of its cinematic cousins, but keeping this creature alive.
Most recent customer reviews
An excellent film package with both 2D and 3D formats in surprising clarity. I only wish they had also included a bonus 3D Anaglyph version to give the authentic 1950s experience. Read morePublished 7 months ago by D. Bell
Great movie, incredible 3D. This movie Comes from the era where 3D were designed to jump out at you, and they hold up well in this Bly-ray release.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
The 3D on this will hurt your eyes. It has great depth but something is off with the conversion. I can only watch about a half hour and my eyes get sore. Read morePublished 9 months ago by JaCk_CaCk
I like seeing 3D movies of the 50's...this one is a classic Black & White of that era.....Published 11 months ago by Cam Barolet
Bought this old black and white movie because of the great reviews.
The price was just right and it's a bluray too. Read more
Enfin en version française...Excellent film le costume de la créature pour le temps bat bien les films des années 2000. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jacques Potvin
This is one of my all time favourite monster movies (I would rate it right up there with the original Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Mummy................ Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2013 by GLENN A. OBRIEN