In the interest keeping with the Creature theme of these reviews, here’s my B-movie review of The Creature Walks Among Us from 1956.
So, last week, I posted a review of the sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon, aka Revenge of the Creature. Well, they couldn’t stop with two. No, they had to make it a trilogy. The result is the film The Creature Walks Among Us
, a somewhat ironic title in that this Creature would rather be swimming.
Okay, so somehow or other the Creature (or maybe his long-lost twin brother) is alive and he’s escaped from another
prison aquarium they’re keeping him in. And a passel of folks set sail on a three-hour tour to find the renegade Creature.
Our merry band of
idiots passengers and crew include the Professor Dr. William Barton (a man with full tenure and a bad attitude), his wife (Ginger or Mary Ann) who, for some reason, enjoys taking target practice at algae. Better that than at the boat, I guess. Barton is a jerk to Marcia (that’s his wife —Mary Ann). And then there’s Jed, their guide. Jed makes it pretty clear where he’d like to guide Marcia Ann. Which would make him who? Gilligan? As for the fourth member of this weird manage a quad (??), that would be Dr. Tom Morgan.
And there are other guys on the boat. They have lines, but I’ll be damned if can remember any of their names.
When Jed and Tom dive together to conduct a Creature search, Marcia naturally must tag along, even thought Hubby the Horrible
has forbid it ordered her told her not to go. She ends up diving way too deep, then shucks off her scuba gear. In reaching that depth, Marcia apparently loses her inhibitions mind sense of identity. She now believes she’s a porpoise in a bathing suit. But this is, in fact, an illusion, mostly because I made it all up, and she must come to grips with being a mere human.
Eventually, they do capture the Creature. But, in the clumsiest scientific discovery since Newton got beaned by an apple, they discover the Creature is flammable. Because they accidentally (I think) set him on fire. Way to go, guys!
And so, to extend his
already miserable life, Barton and Tom perform surgery with Dr. Borg (aka The Borg or The Great and Powerful Cube) and Dr. Johnson. Unfortunately, the cure turns out to be something less than desirable, as the Gill-man (as he comes to be called) starts losing gills and developing human-type skin. And now the Creature/Gill-man must also deal with being merely human. Just a really ugly one.
The rest of the movie mostly consists of the Evil Dr. Barton keeping the poor Creature locked in a pen, where he spends his days staring wistfully at the ocean. He occasionally pulls out a harmonica and puffs out an old sea ditty.
Well, eventually that idiot Barton gets all bent over Jed’s advances toward his wife, Marcia, and he kills Jed. Then, like the total asshole that he is, he blames it on the Creature. The Gill-man may be depressed, but he’s no dummy. He books it out of there and gets a few kicks by murdering people along the way, much like Sherman’s Army
, if Sherman commanded a regiment of one fishman. When he finally reaches that long-lost home—the open sea—the Creature avoids the frame, pretty much by killing himself. Just walks right into the water, instead of floating. We don’t have get to see that part again.
And so the third movie in the trilogy ends things for good. The Creature is pretty much done for.
I thought I’d point out three interesting things about this franchise:
1) The horrific results of capturing a wild Creature, both in the weird torture scenes in Movie #2 and the botched operation in this film, hint at an environmentalist theme woven in with the horror tropes;
3) The ending. Does it strike anyone else as bordering on a film noir finish?
And here’s a trailer! 🙂 Enjoy!