Creature From the Black Lagoon (series)

Creature From the Black Lagoon (series)

Synopsis of Movie

“The boys around here call it ‘The Black Lagoon.’ Only they say nobody has ever come back alive to prove it.”

Universal’s exclusive movie monster club got a new member in 1954. Joining such familiar frighteners as Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy and The Wolf Man was the group’s first amphibious associate…Gill-Man, the Creature From the Black Lagoon. The rest of the gang may have given Gill-Man a hard time about being the new guy, but this little water-breather had an edge: 3-D. Shot in a red/blue 3-D process on black and white film, Creature From the Black Lagoon gave a new dimension to horror, taking viewers into the depths of a creepy Amazon lagoon.

The descent into the Black Lagoon begins with the simple discovery of a fossil—a webbed hand. Led by the noble-hearted David Reed, a group of scientists takes a trek down the mist-shrouded Amazon to look for more of its kind. Lecherous boss man Mark Williams and his employee Kay Lawrence (David's girlfriend) come along for the ride as well, all traveling on board captain Carl Maia’s ship.

Down in the jungle, the team discovers more than simply another fossil; they find a living, breathing (water-breathing, natch), horrifying Gill-Man. The creature takes a liking to the lovely Ms. Lawrence, who has an unfortunate yen for taking a swim in Gill-Man-infested waters.

The crew eventually captures Gill-Man, hoping to take him back home for research, but the creature overpowers them, taking Kay back to its lair to make her the Bride of Gill-Man. David isn't quite ready to give his lady up to an amphibious suitor, so he and the gang make a dramatic, suspenseful rescue mission right into the heart of the Black Lagoon.

Creature From the Black Lagoon was an instant horror classic, and Gill-Man soon followed his Universal brethren into sequel territory. Revenge of the Creature, another 3-D feature, followed quickly in 1955. This time, Gill-Man was taken out of his Black Lagoon home and plunked down in a Florida aquarium for study. Aside from its place in the Gill-Man trilogy, the film was also notable for a brief role by Clint Eastwood, making his feature film debut.

The final, 2-D installment in the Creature From the Black Lagoon series came in 1956. The Creature Walks Among Us gave Gill-Man a chance to adapt to his new Floridian surroundings, as an emergency operation replaced his trademarked gills with a set of air-breathing lungs. Understandably upset at his new lifestyle, Gill-Man did the only thing he knew how to do well: wreak havoc.

In the end, that was what Gill-Man was really all about. He didn’t have the distinguished literary pedigree of a Frankenstein’s Monster or a Dracula, but the Creature From the Black Lagoon knew how to menace, maul and maim with the best of them. And he got to do it in 3-D (take that, Wolf Man).

Movie Release History

1954 - Creature From the Black Lagoon
1955 - Revenge of the Creature
1956 - The Creature Walks Among Us

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David Reed  Richard Carlson
Kay Lawrence  Julie Adams
Mark Williams  Richard Denning
Carl Maia  Antonio Moreno
Lucas  Nestor Paiva
Edwin Thompson  Whit Bissell
Gill-Man (in water)  Ricou Browning
Gill-Man (out of water)  Ben Chapman
Zee  Bernie Gozier
Chico  Henry A. Escalante
Dr. Matos  Sydney Mason
Tomas  Perry Lopez
Louis  Rodd Redwing
Unknown Ned Le Fevre

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