#118 Creature From the Black Lagoon
After discovering some fossilised remains in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest, Dr Maia (Antonio Moreno) returns to his university to discuss the findings with his friends Dr David Reed (Richard Carlson) and Reed’s girlfriend Kay (Julie Adams). Thinking the remains are some unknown missing link between the evolution of animals coming onto land from the oceans, the 3 along with 2 other scientists and a river boat captain make for the black lagoon where the remains were discovered. Little do they know of the horrifying creature which awaits them there.
Although made some time after the universal horror craze of the 30’s and 40’s, the creature from the black lagoon is considered by many to be the last of the original universal monsters while other films of the same time were focusing more on the horrors of the atomic age and monster from beyond the stars.
This is a really entertaining film. The set up and reveal of the monster is effective and the use of only its arm for the first 40 minutes or so, makes it genuinely kind of creepy. I was surprised how effective it could still be even now. Like all the best horror movies it was relying on making our imagination do all the work. When the monster is finally revealed however, it does look a little goofy now but still effective enough when showing some of the underwater fights.
The cast are all fine in their parts (no real front runner among them as the better actor) but they all play their roles well and react as you would expect someone to when confronted by this unknown force.
The main story is a cross between the dangers of science and beauty and the beast. The monster would have left them all alone and been perfectly content if it hadn’t gone after the girl. There is also the question of how far are people willing to go for science/personal greed. It’s a little heavy handed for both sides of the argument but interesting enough to watch.
Unlike most of the other monster films this one was entertaining all the way through and avoided the pacing problem a lot of them had, leaving only an enjoyable creature feature 4/5