Photo courtesy of freelance Artist Steven Morris
It would be easy to write another internet article in which the writer just quotes dates, times and star names from the filmography of various horror movies. But in the case of Universals most famous and last classic movie monster, its almost a waste of time. The name of the “Creature From The Black Lagoon needs no real introduction in the halls of monster fame. The Creature series, particularly the very first Creature From The Black Lagoon possess’s all the elements of sci-fi and creepy swamp monsters to stand alone in its own category.
The Creature from The Black Lagoon was released in 1953 by Universal International Studios. And is for all the Universal Monsters turned out by Universal, the Creature was most popular of all of the Universal Monster’s franchise.
The movie was produced as the cold war was heating up and sci-fi was taking hold of its lion’s share of movie profitability. But aside from that, the Creature presented a whole different “Non-classic” approach to how movie producers created scary creatures and monsters of the cinema. Staring Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, and Richard Denning. The creature suit(s) itself was occupied by Ricou Browning who played the creature when it was in the water and wore a lighter suit and Ben Chapman who played the creature when it was out of the water with a darker suit. It was apparent that filming the various underwater scenes of the movie presented some technical challenges, as SCUBA diving was fairly new and only in its very early stages of development and presented it’s own inherent risks.The movie was well shot and maintained a
good story line as it mixed science, evolution, newer technologies and the possibility of a man-fish evolutionary hybrid who stalked human prey in the jungles of the amazon. The musical score and the creatures deep guttural growl also served to add to the creatures ferocious entry onto the screen when he appeared. The creature mean spirited attitude was very much like Lon Chaney Jr’s portrayal of the wolfman, though the creatures screen presence was much stronger than the short glimpses and softer delivery than that of the wolfman.
The creature of course had to have an octopus’s grip upon the leading lady Julie Adams. The swimming scene from the Creature of the Black Lagoon were also recreated in Steven Spielberg’s JAWS, as his very first victim, an unsuspecting female ventures into the sea to her demise, we get a classic glimpse of her feminine shape on the top of the surf before the Great White shark takes her to her death. And both of those scenes remind us that there are things in the sea (and lagoon) that can get us if we aren’t careful.
I am including a link in this blogpost to IMDB so people can study the Creatures filmography. But if you have not seen the Creature on the screen, it is well woorth renting it or getting a copy to watch. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046876/