There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

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There are many strange legends in the Amazon. Even I, Lucas, have heard the legend of a man-fish

I LOVE this movie! ❤ It is one of my favorite B Horror films and Monster movies. It is a member of Universal’s Classic Monster Movie Collection, its buddies being The Phantom of the OperaFrankenstein,  The Bride of Frankenstein, The MummyDracula, The Wolfman, etc.

The producer of this film got the idea for the story from a  myth he was told about a half-fish and half-human race in the Amazon River. He wanted to go with a Beauty and the Beast type vibe, but having an ending that was more reminiscent of King Kong

Last October I created my own “poster” and changed my cover photo on facebook every day in honor of Halloween. This is it.

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Love it! ❤

So the film begins when a fossil of a skeletal hand with webbed fingers is found in the Amazon.

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Thinking this is the link between human evolution from sea to land Dr. Carl Maia goes to his former student Dr. David Reed to have him look into it.

From left to right Dr. David Reed (Richard Carlson), David's girfriend and collegue Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams), Dr. Mark Williams (Richard Denning), & Dr. Edwin Thompson (Whit Bissell)Moreno)

From left to right Dr. David Reed (Richard Carlson), David’s girfriend and collegue Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams), Dr. Mark Williams (Richard Denning), & Dr. Edwin Thompson (Whit Bissell)

David persuades his boss Dr. Mark Williams that they should look into it. It could mean fame, fortune, etc, the possibilities are endless for the ones who find out more.

That night we the viewer see a clawed, webbed, hand emerge from the inky black lagoon

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Followed by screams of terror. We know what that means. The diggers es muerte.

Meanwhile the scientists are blissfully unaware of what lies before them, they all go aboard the ship the Rita with a silly (comical relief) Captain Lucas.

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Now when I went to Universal Studios in May 2012, in the special effects show they had the boat Rita and picked a family to go on it and show how they would make it look as if the ship was moving down a river when it actually wasn’t. I wanted them to pick my family, but they said only families of four and there were only three of us there. 😥

Anyways, so as the group travels down the Amazon, problems arise. It turns out that David isn’t the only one who likes Kay. Mark has a thing for her as well, but Kay only has eyes for David.

Love Triangle!

Love Triangle!

When they arrive at the camp, they find the rest of Dr. Carl’s team dead, having been utterly clawed up. Everyone assumes that a jaguar did it, but Captain Lucas is pretty sure that something more sinister is afoot.

Meanwhile, Kay is off by herself roaming about. Seriously, in practically every horror film there is always that one character that decides they are going to be stupid and go off somwhere on their own and almost gets or does get killed. In Kay’s case she is pretty lucky. The creature notices her and we see his clawed hand come for her foot when she is called back by the others.

I really love how they don't show his face right away. That always adds to the effect of the horror film.

I really love how they don’t show his face right away. That always adds to the effect of the horror film.

The team isn’t able to find any remains that they thought they would, and Mark is very upset that they have nothing. He threatens to cut all funding, but David is able to convince him that they should go downriver and check the Black Lagoon where the river ends. David figures that cliffside where the hand was found probably eroded and went downstream. Lucas doesn’t like the idea of going  down into the Black Lagoon and neither does his crew. They have heard many, many, many stories about that place.

“Lucas: I can tell you something about this place. The boys around here call it ‘The Black Lagoon’; a paradise. Only they say nobody has ever come back to prove it.”

This part of the film always reminds me of King Kong. How all the crew members care for Kay, very similar to how they care for Ann.

Mark and David go diving and collect rocks. There we see that the tension between the two is more than just Kay. Mark is VERY ambitious and tends to take credit for others work. Kay talks David down and decides to go for a swim. Dun-Dun! Dun-Dun! Dun-dun-da-da! Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

THE CREATURE TRIES TO GRAB HER!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is also the part where we are finally able to see what the creature looks like. He’s pretty creepy. The person who played him, Ricou Browning, was a professional diver and swimmer and played the Creature whenever he was underwater. The director said that since the Creature had gills, air bubbles couldn’t come out from his mouth or nose. Browning was required to hold his breath for up to 4 mins and his costume was designed without an air tank. Eeep! that’s pretty crazy! They things they did back in the day.

The Creature’s design was based on old 17th C woodcuts, the Sea Monk and the Sea Bishop.

That scene when Kay is swimming always makes me think of Jaws as well. I bet Steven Spielberg was influenced by it.

Kay gets called back before the creature can do anything, and everyone prepares to go out, but they are stopped by the monster. In a Finding Nemo-esque way, where he pulls on a net and messes with the ship. When they pull up the net they see a ginormous hole in it, and a claw.

David and Mark decide to go after it, Mark carrying a harpoon gun. David is against this as he wants to capture the monster alive so that they can study it. Mark thinks it is better to just destroy it and live.

Look at these Hunky men! :)

Look at these Hunky men! 🙂

The go swimming and see the creature. Mark tries to hit it with his gun, which angers David. When they return to the boat, they can hardly believe what they saw and ran into, trying to describe it to the others. Kay doesn’t find it too far fetched, reminding everyone that some fish can breathe air. Mark goes to print the pics David took with his underwater camera. To their disappointment, nothing can be seen at all. However, they don’t have to be disappointed long as the creature has come on board the ship!

IT'S BEHIND!!!!!

IT’S BEHIND!!!!!

They manage to fight him off, but they know they have to capture him or else he will kill them all. They try and drug the water and fish in hopes that he will eat them and knockout. That day and night they wait for him.

The creature manages to sneak on the ship.

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Kay’s screams alert the rest of the crew and they scare the creature away by using light. He is having trouble as the drugs are stating to affect him. David and Mark chase after him and discover his underground grotto. The creature manages to kill one more person before he passes out. They tie him up in a net and take him onto the boat. They lock him up in a cage, but that doesn’t hold him for long. Dr. Edwin tries to save Kay by thrusting himself in front of her as a shield, but the Creature attempts to strangle him. Kay throws a lantern on the creature and sets him on fire. Scaring the monster off.

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See fire is the way to go. It scares off Zombies, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, etc.

After this, David convinces everyone that they need to leave. They try, but as they are attempting to exit the lagoon, they discover a ton of felled trees block their way. Mark, being the guy he is, decides to go after the Creature and capture him. Of course now the Creature takes him down.

The Creature then jumps onto the boat and carries Kay away.

David goes after his lady love, taking Mark’s harpoon gun with him.

David and Kay get out, but the creature manages to follow them. They shoot him and he retreats floating in the water, but is he really dead? Or just recuperating?

NEVER SAY DIE!

NEVER SAY DIE!

Actually before the script was finished, plans had already been made to leave the Creature’s fate uncertain at the end of the picture, in order to leave an opening for a sequel. Which it had. Two of them, but neither was as good as the original deal.

The Creature has been such a huge thing in our culture. There was the parody Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961), has a part in The Munsters, makes an apperance in Scooby-Doo & the Ghoul School, makes an apperance in The Nightmare Before Christmas song “Town Meeting”, Lagoona Blue from Monster High is the daughter of the Creature, Gary Larson did a hilarious comic,  and Jenny Clack, from the University of Cambridge, discovered a fossil amphibian named it Eucritta melanolimnetes,  which means (literally) “the creature from the black lagoon”.

Click here to watch it free online.

Hope you enjoyed the first post of Horrorfest. 😀

I just found this pic online and thought you all would love it.

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So this artist José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros did a series of disney mash-ups, my favs being the horror films. To see more go to Disnified Horror.

Finally a mate that can live with me in my lagoon.

Finally a mate that can live with me in my lagoon.

Horrorfest Hangover


Horrorfest has ended. 😦 I am actually very sad that it is over. I thought I’d be a bit relieved to have the pressure of posting everyday be over, but I actually kind of miss it. I toyed with the idea of doing a Thank-o-Rama: the 4 Thursdays of Thanksgiving and posting a fav TV episode or movie that revolves/has Thanksgiving in it (I had to include TV Shows as I can only think of three movies with Thanksgiving; Holiday Inn, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and Miracle on 34th Street. Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street don’t even really count since they are Christmas movies.) Then I thought of doing War Writings: 11 Days to Honor Armed Forces for Veteran’s Day, but I thought it would be far too soon to commit myself to another everyday project. I need to take a momentary breather.

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I am considering doing something like The 12 Posts of Christmas and something like Lovetales: 14 Fun-filled Romances for Valentines Day. Also Viva Mexico: Cinco dias de los Chicanos for Cinco de Mayo. I’m still working on the actual titles for these. I thought about doing Pot o’ Gold: Seven Irish Tales for St. Patrick’s Day because I don’t think I can think of 17. The only films I could think of that I have seen that revolve around Irish people/Irish flavor are Rudy (Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish), Luck of the Irish, Gangs of New York, Far and Away, A Leprechaun’s Christmas (doesn’t really count as it is a Christmas movie), The Fighter, and Under the Waterfall. That’s exactly seven.

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Doing this whole project was completely different than I expected. I planned to do posts for all the Universal Monster Movies ; like The Mummy, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein and Phantom of the Opera; along with all their remakes, to you know compare and contrast, but I just ran out of posts to finish them all. I also really wanted to do posts on Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, like The Birds, Psycho, Rebecca, and Strangers on a Train; but also wasn’t able to get to them. I really, really, really wanted to do Vincent Price films; like House on Haunted Hill, The Tomb of Ligeia, The Pit and the Pendulem, etc.

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I noticed that a lot of posts I chose to do really depended on how much time I was able to devote a day to a post; along with what I was in the mood for to write about. Sometimes I started a post, but never finished it as I wasn’t in the right mood.

I also wrote posts on films I just happened to watch at the time like Perfect Stranger, Aliens in the Attic, Hallowe’en Party, The Black Cauldronand The Cabinet of Dr. Caligarithose were not films I had seen before or planned to write a post on. They just kind of happened along the way. Well I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did making them.

I’d like to know which were your faves are so vote, vote, vote! If you are unsure which to pick then why don’t you pop over and start at the beginning. Also I’d like to know what you wish I had posted on. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the page! 😀

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For more on Horrorfest, go to Horrorfest II: The Oddities of October

Or check out my leatest Horrorfest postings, Horrorfest III: The Revenge

I Want Friend Like Me: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

“You, make man… like me? No. Woman… friend for you.  Woman… Friend… Wife.”

So this is the sequel to Frankenstein  and I think a much better film.

Yes Mickey you were right

Yes Mickey you were right

I know I say I don’t like sequels as much as the original, but there are always a few that I think are better.

So this movie almost wasn’t created as director James Whale originally did not want to do a sequel to Frankenstein. Universal considered producing a sequel without Whale’s involvement, but after 4 years of constant badgering, Whale agreed to do the film. And I’m so happy he did, or else we would be without this wonderful masterpiece.

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To be honest, this isn’t a true “sequel.” It actually is the second half of the the book Frankenstein, instead of an individual and separate story.

The reason I like this better than the first one is that Frankenstein is creepier, as he is demanding and using his strength and stature to frighten others.

Frankenstein

You also have a creepier Henry, as he is fighting with himself on whether or not to create more monsters. We see that he doesn’t wish to populate the world with these creatures-but at the same time he is lured by the thrill of creating more, and showing off his genius.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy!  Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So the film starts off  a little different from the other one. Here we have Elsa Lanchester portraying Mary Shelley and telling the next chapter of the story at a party.

Let me tell you a story

Let me tell you a story

The next chapter picks up exactly where the other film ended.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

The villagers had driven the monster to the windmill and believed they killed him. They take Henry back home where he is nursed to health by his fiancé Elizabeth.

Castle

However, we see that the creature has not been killed. He escaped the fire by getting into the water under the mill. He kills some people as he escapes into the wilderness.

Meanwhile, Henry’s old mentor,  Doctor Septimus Pretorius, comes to visit him. He brings along his creations to show Henry. Dr. Pretorius had created miniature people: a miniature queen, king, archbishop, devil, ballerina and mermaid. While Henry had vowed to never create another monster again, seeing these creatures spikes his interest.

Meanwhile, the monster has run off into the woods and has tried to find a place to belong. He attempts to befriend a shepherdess and a group of gypsies, but both reject him.

He finally runs into a hermit and has a tender scene with the two becoming “fast friends”.

I love this scene and sometimes say things like “Friend good, such and such bad”, etc in my daily life! 😀 It’s a pretty touching scene. After all:

friends

But even this does not last forever as searchers looking for the monster, come upon the two and chase the creature away. He eventually comes upon Dr. Pretorius who promises him “friendship” and that he will create a mate for him.

“The Monster: You, make man… like me?
Dr. Pretorius: No. Woman… friend for you
The Monster: Woman… Friend… Wife…”

Dr. Pretorius approaches the newly married Frankensteins and tries to get Henry to help him create a mate for the monster. Henry, having once again realized the horror of his past creation, in no way will ever create another creature. That’s all fine and good, but Dr. Pretorius doesn’t agree. He wants a mate and is determined to force Henry to create one. He gets the creature to kidnap Elizabeth, her being the exact leverage to force Henry to create another monster.

The Monster: I *love* dead… hate living.

Henry seeing that he has no alternative, prepares to create a women from the dead. We see as Henry struggles with his morals, creating a better tension than in the first film. As I stated earlier, he doesn’t want to create another creature as he knows the horrors the other committed along with the fact that the two might mate and reproduce, populating the world with living dead.

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

But Henry is excited at the same time. Once again he can use his theories and science to create. He will be able to say he “created” life, not once but twice! This is hard for him to turn away from.

Of course nothing goes perfectly according to plan. Henry creates the woman, but can he control it?

Elsa Lanchaster is amazing! I love the way she turns about, almost birdlike. She actually based her performance on swans; saying that, “they’re really very nasty creatures”. She was only 5’4″ but for the role they placed her on stilts so she was  7′ tall. The bandages were placed so tightly on her that she was unable to move and had to be carried about the studio, much like Olivia Newton-John in Grease. Her hair and outfit are amazing, and now such a classic figure in horror film history, just like her predecessor the Monster. Her amazing ‘do was held in place by a wired horsehair cage.

They introduce her to her “mate”, but when has any woman liked it when people pick out their mates?

The monster is furious at this rejection and destroys the lab killing all who are in it. The only people who escape are Elizabeth and Henry. Frankenstein realized what they had and allowed them to leave unharmed.

“The Monster: [Speaking to Frankenstein and Elizabeth] Go you live… [turning to Dr.Pretorius] You stay we belong dead.”

It’s a great movie. I highly recommend it to anyone into the classic horror films.

That’s todays fearsome post! More to come! Only 7 days left ’till Halloween! Who’s excited?

Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor of Halloween. Hope ya love it.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to Someone Very Special

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For more on the Bride of Frankenstein, go to A Monster Race

For more on Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, It’s ALIVE!

For more classic horror films, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more monster movies, go to Grimwood Ghouls’ Gym Teacher

For more films based on books, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more sequels, go to Just Follow the Screams

For more on Frank Peretti, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

For more of my fav quotes, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper

Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

I love all these films so much! I wish I owned every one.

There is nothing better than The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein,  The Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolfman, etc.

I love these classic monster movie films! and here’s my fav commercial.

Check out this really interesting article to learn cool facts about these amazing films.

Have a Feartastic Friday! More fearsome posts are on their way.

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To go to the beginning of Horrorfest, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to Some People Are Just Born Evil

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For more on Boris Karloff, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Dracula, go to Grimwood Ghoul’s Gym Teacher

For more on Frankenstein,  A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men

For more on Phantom of the Opera, go to My Favorite Movie Lines