Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

creature from the black lagoon movie poster 1954
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Nicely constructed costume, good underwater photography

Short, underdeveloped

Movie Info

Movie Name: Creature from the Black Lagoon

Studio: Universal International

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movies

Release Date(s): March 15, 1954

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

creature from the black lagoon costume

The crew was not impressed by the creature’s pole dancing skills

An expedition in the Amazon makes an amazing discovery in a small lagoon.  The evidence of a prehistoric fish-man has the scientists excited, but a new discovery proves that the creature might not be dead.  When the ship becomes trapped in the Black Lagoon, it becomes a battle to escape and the creature now is hunting them.

Directed by Jack Arnold, Creature from the Black Lagoon was a horror film released on March 15, 1954.  The film was shot in 3D and well received at the box office.  Now considered a classic, the Creature is often considered the last of Universal big monster movies.

creature from the black lagoon swimming scene kay julie adams

I love swimming in Amazon rivers that could be filled with who knows what!

After The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon was probably my favorite of the Universal Monster movies growing up.  It was not the classiest and best shot, nor was the movie the most developed plot.  The positives of Creature from the Black Lagoon do overtake the negatives.

The movie is essentially a Beauty and the Beast story with the creature (who has lost his mate) finding an attraction to the human Kay (Julie Adams).  It is pretty typical of movies at this time with the explorers essentially invading the creature’s world and then being upset when he attacks them.  It probably drags on a bit long and ends as you’d expect it, but there is a charm to it.

creature from the black lagoon kay julie adams

I caught a good one today!

The movie hinges on the fact that the creature (or Gill-man as he is usually called) is a great costume and still looks fantastic.  He might not be the most agile fish in the water, but the design allowed the underwater actor Ricou Browning to swim pretty freely especially in scenes with Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams).  The swimming is good but they also managed to keep the suit mobile enough for Ben Chapman to portray the Gill-man on land.  It is aided by the 3D which I can imagine would have been pretty impressive in the underwater scenes which still look good (though I can’t imagine that as close as it gets to her, that the character can’t feel him swimming near her).

The Gill-man became a legend, and Creature from the Black Lagoon is a common creature in the popular culture.  He’s shown up in everything from cartoons, video games, and comic books.  Creature from the Black Lagoon was followed by Revenge of the Creature (1955) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).  For years, there have been talks of a big Hollywood remake and hopefully, it won’t go the route of The Wolfman remake if it happens at all.

Related Links:

Revenge of the Creature (1955)

The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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