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Halloween Horror Celebration--Part 9...Creature from the Black Lagoon

Updated on August 9, 2010

The Gill Man

The CREATURE

In my previous Creature-themed hubs I've tackled the most popular horror beasts and ghouls of the classic films years. This time, I'm dealing with the Creature from the Black Lagoon (AKA the Gill Man), the last of the Universal Studios pantheon on classic Monsters.

THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON:

The Creature, or Gill-Man, first appeared in "the Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954) an archetypal horror classic that gave us the last of the great Universal studio monsters. The discovery of a hand which may be an amphibious missing link leads to a boat expedition down the Amazon river,ending in the foreboding Black Lagoon, where the explorers encounter the Gill Man who doesn't want to be disturbed. The Creature does, however, take a liking to a pretty female scientist (Julie Adams). The scene where he swims beneath her is a beautiful aquatic ballet and a great moment in film.

Although the Creature seemed to have been slain in the previous film, he returned like a good monster, in "the Revenge of the Creature" (1955) where the Gill Man has decided to move to sunny Florida. He gets captured and put on display in an aquarium. Of course, he escapes and carnage ensues.

The finale of the Gill Man trilogy was "The Creature Walks Among Us" (1956) when the Creature is again captured, this time by scientists, who do experiments on him, ultimately removing his gills. He breaks loose and enacts his revenge. In the touching finale, the Creature, no longer able to breath in the water, stares longingly at the ocean which is his home. He marches into the sea, preferring to drown in his natural habitat rather than live as the quarry of the surface people.

The Creature/Gill-Man was played in all three films by champion swimmer Ricco Browning.

The Gill-Man appeared in puppet form in the kiddie film "Mad Monster Party" (1967), which featured most of Universal Studio's pantheon of classic Monsters as puppets.

A finale appearance by the Creature came years later, in another cute kiddie film "the Monster Squad"(1987) which gave us not only the Gill man, bit also Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy and the Frankenstein Monster.

Well, that's all for now. More Sci-Fi, Fantasy, horror hubs to come.

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