Saturday, October 22, 2011
31 Days of Halloween - Day 22 - Movie 1
A lot has been written about Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), especially in the last decade, that I don't really have much to add to what's already been said about this centerpiece of Universal's wave of 1950s science fiction inspired monster movies. It's this aspect of it that usually keeps me from watching it during the Halloween season. It feels a lot more Adventureland than the Haunted Mansion, and I prefer my Halloween horrors to contain more crypts and cobwebs and to come with more of a gothic atmosphere.
For those who haven't seen it, the movie concerns itself with a fossil hand with amphibian features unearthed in the Amazon jungle. An expedition of scientists returns to the dig site in the hopes of unearthing the rest of the unknown creature's fossil remains. Instead, they find themselves at odds with a very alive and territorial specimen.
It's a good adventure yarn with a fine cast of actors who have collectively, in other movies, fought and defeated, or created, more monsters and space aliens than probably any other movie cast. If you have the opportunity to see it on the big screen, especially in glorious 3-D, don't hesitate. It's worth the drive.
I never fail to marvel at the creature itself. It's an incredible design just as amazingly realized. It's easy to forget that you are watching a man in a suit. The creature acts like a real non-human creature, it's movements are distinct, and very different in and out of the water. On land we can see it visibly gasping for breath. As it opens and closes it's mouth, not only do we not see the actor's chin or mouth, just a deep gullet, but the gills expand and contract. The eyes are also incredible. It's a beauty of a monster.