Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

The winner of the past year’s Academy Award for Best Picture was Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which, for obvious reasons, owes a lot of dues to the 1954 classic, Creature from the Black Lagoon, as del Toro saw the film as a child

One of the Universal monsters, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, sometimes referred to as Gill-man, premiered in 1954 near the end of the 3D craze.  Over the years, the Creature became popular and successful as the other Universal monsters.

In the film, Dr. Thompson (Whit Bissell) discovered an artifact in the Amazon of a fossilized hand, a hand of something that had never been seen before).  He went to recruit help where he found David (Richard Carlson) and Kay (Julia Adams).  David was a former student and he was intrigued by what the doctor had found.  He brought his benefactor Mark (Richard Denning) with him and they formed a group to see what htey could find.

However, once they got back to the excavation site, the men the doctor had left were killed.  To make it worse, they spent several days finding nothing.  Then, David came up with an idea that the fossils had wound up in the nearby Black Lagoon, so the group took off on their boat to explore the idea.

The conflict between the human characters made it easier for the Creature to pick them off, but, like King Kong before him, the beauty killed the beast.  The Creature seemed to have some kind of attraction for Kay (and who could blame him).

I enjoyed the film in the black and white that it was originally shot in, and the Creature itself looked decent for the special effects of the time.  The practical effects were very well done and the fight scenes underwater must have been difficult to shoot.  Either way, everything looked tremendous.

I had a great time watching this film and I can see how Guillermo would be inspired by this.


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