Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

A classic 1950s monster movie. The design of the titular creature, the “Gill-man”, is so fantastic and memorable that it’s no wonder it’s continued to resonate through the years, but there’s a good film built around him too.

Coming in at a lean eighty minutes, the film is a refreshingly well-paced adventure that still finds time to slow down and ruminate and enjoy its own concept. There are enjoyable dialogues where characters mull over the nature and ramifications of the monster; it’s hardly non-stop horror or action. A very well-balanced film. Easy to see how it fired up the imagination of so many. A lot of that is thanks to the well-handled underwater sequences too. The Gill-man is mesmerising as he moves underwater. The musical motif that follows him around is a good signifier of his unique power in the narrative too.

18black

Perhaps the film’s greatest strength is it doesn’t just relegate the Gill-man to being a monster. The characters actually seem competent because of the dialogues they have about him, pondering over him, discussing him, not just how to attack or kill him. He’s not a mindless beast, he’s even given some measure of romantic chemistry with the female lead.

Fantastic technical work, inspired costume work, reliable cast, and writing that doesn’t waste its own concept, everything really does work here, and it hold sup very well today. Three and a half fossils, and a cage.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s