Weird Review: The Creature Walks Among Us

In my second look at the Universal monsters, I look at the second sequel in the Creature from the Black Lagoon series.

For those of you not familar with this Universal Monster, the series chronicles the exploits of The Gill-Man, an underwater being who is part-man, part-lizard and part-fish. In the first film he is uncovered when a scientific expedition stumbles upon while journeying up the Amazon river. He attacks the boat as he tries to protect his feeding ground and captures a lovely blonde lady. The movie was basically an aquatic version of The Mummy or Frankenstein mixed with nature. The 1954 movie would inspire the creation of comicbook characters Swamp Thing and Man-Thing.

The Creature From the Black Lagoon was followed by a sequel Revenge of the Creature in 1955, which strangely featured Clint Eastwood and finally Creature Walks Among Us in 1956.

The events in “Walks” feature a scientific/hunting expedition to track down the Gill-Man and capture him for scientific study. Because every movie in this series must feature a scantily clothed blonde (Leigh Snowden), one of the scientists, who also happens to be rich, brings his wife along.

Using sonar, spearguns and a flame thrower, they track the Gill-Man into the Florida Everglades where they confront him and he attacks. The Gill-Man is flambeed and the hunters capture him but he has third-degree burns over 90% of his body. These aren’t the smartest scientists ever assembled. What is their next hunting trip, going after squirrels with a bazooka.

Barbecued Gill-Man! It tastes like chicken!

The movie seems to feature more scenes with the blonde, her overly-possessive husband (Jeff Morrow) and one of the other chisel-chested scientists (Rex Reason). There is one scene where the blonde goes diving with the team and as the team is tracks the Gill-Man the director would cut to scenes of her doing synchronized swimming. It was the dullest scene in the film and went on for hours.

What happens to the Gill-Man after he’s burnt to crisp is criminal and the scriptwriter should have been shot for going there. There is a plot device in the film that never allows the Gill-Man to return to the water, ever! It’s stupid, the look of the skin-covered Gill-Man is proposterous and well this sequel is down right ridiculous. There have been some really atrocious Universal Monster sequels but this one could be the worst or at least in the bottom five of the catalogue. (Some of those Invisible Man sequels are pretty awful)

1.5 out of 5

Watch the Film Features Index and Weird Wednesdays for more in the Universal Monsters series.

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