Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) Review (PG)

This is the epitome of the B-movie. Everything about the film is fairly well done for a movie about some kind of prehistoric humanoid living in a remote Amazon lagoon. The writing is what you’d expect, but the film tries hard to sound intelligent for the time… As far as B-movies go anyway… It makes up for its story shortcomings with plenty of  underwater action. It doesn’t drag like some films of the era do. The Creature of the title isn’t Pure Evil as other movie monsters sometimes are. He’s of the variety that has his eye on the ladies and eventually pays dearly for it.

Julia Adams is a pretty good damsel in distress, screaming on cue and looking good in a swimsuit. Richards Carlson and Denning have quite a few good underwater scenes with the Creature. There even seemed to be some seeds of Jaws in this, such as when Adams swims on the water’s surface while being filmed from the Creature’s POV. I also thought I kept hearing John Williams’ famous score for Jaws throughout this film.

The star here, of course, is the Gillman, The suit for the Creature had quite a bit of imagination for the time, both technically and aesthetically. It had to be practical for all of the underwater scenes. I just wish the Creature had hunched over more and looked a little more creepy than the upright Frankenstein’s monster/zombie walk. For me, this is one of the more entertaining Universal Monster movies. It had a physicality to it that some of the others lacked. The story moves along at a quick pace. It’s a little repetitive, but worth seeing if you’re a monster movie enthusiast.

4.5 of 5

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