23 November 2007

Creature From The Black Lagoon (2D)

Creature From The Black Lagoon
Creature From The Black Lagoon, directed by Jack Arnold, is one of the most iconic of all science-fiction films. It may not have the visual spectacle of Metropolis, nor the philosophical insight of 2001, but it does have a red-blooded, web-fingered, amphibious gill-man.

The eponymous creature, an evolutionary missing link, is discovered in an Amazonian lagoon by a team of scientists. As their fact-finding expedition progresses, the creature kills the more expendable of them and abducts the film's token female love-interest. The film itself is also a missing link, half-way between King Kong (a primitive monster capturing a distressed woman) and Jaws (a small group in a boat, attacked by a deadly marine animal).

The film was originally released in 3D, like Jack Arnold's previous It Came From Outer Space, which the underwater photography (including a lyrical pas de deux, directed by James C Havens) takes full advantage of. The above-water scenes are more routine, with repetitive, melodramatic music cues and a predictable plot preventing any genuine suspense or surprise. It's great fun, though.

Arnold also directed a sequel to this film, Revenge Of The Creature. His most interesting sci-fi production of the period is the existential The Incredible Shrinking Man.