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Shocktober 2020 31. Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein (1948)
Shocktober 2020 29. Revenge of the Creature (1955)
Shocktober 2020 28. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Shocktober 2020 27. House of Dracula (1945)
Shocktober 2020 26. The Mummy's Curse (1944)
Shocktober 2020 25. House of Frankenstein (1944)
Shocktober 2020 24. The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
Shocktober 2020 23. Son of Dracula (1943)
Shocktober 2020 22. Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Shocktober 2020 21. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)
Shocktober 2020 20. The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
Shocktober 2020 19. The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
Shocktober 2020 18. The Wolfman (1941)
Shocktober 2020 17. Black Friday (1940)
Shocktober 2020 16. The Mummy's Hand (1940)
Shocktober 2020 15. The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
Shocktober 2020 14. Tower of London (1939)
Shocktober 2020 13. Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Shocktober 2020 12. Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Shocktober 2020 11. The Invisible Ray (1936)
Shocktober 2020 10. Werewolf of London (1935)
Shocktober 2020 09. The Raven (1935)
Shocktober 2020 08. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Shocktober 2020 07. The Black Cat (1934)
Shocktober 2020 06. The Invisible Man (1933)
Shocktober 2020 05. The Mummy (1932)
Shocktober 2020 04. The Old Dark House (1932)
Shocktober 2020 03. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
Shocktober 2020 02. Frankenstein (1931)
Shocktober 2020 01. Dracula (1931)
Shocktober 2020 30. The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

“We are changing a sea creature into a land creature.” – Dr William Barton

After the lacklustre sequel, it was decided to give the Creature from the Black Lagoon one more outing and a more fitting, if tragic, send off. Seemingly, the Gill-Man didn’t die as he sank slowly to the depths in Revenge of the Creature, he’s made his way from the Floridian marine park to the Everglades and that’s where he’s living now, a year later.


Creature Walks Among Us, The (Universal 1956) - Classic Monsters

But ever there, he can’t catch a break – there’s a party of scientists out on an expedition to find him. This time, no tramp steamer, but a large private cruiser with onboard labs – all financed by the wealthy and unpleasant, paranoid, abusive control freak Dr William Barton (Jeff Morrow) who takes his younger trophy wife Marcia (Leigh Snowden) along for the trip. Honestly – the marriage is such a car wreck; I can only imagine she’s staying with him because of Stockholm Syndrome.

The expedition guide Jed Grant (Gregg Palmer) has his eye on her but she keeps brushing off his attentions and remarks. (But her husband has noticed…oh, yes)

Hero scientist role goes to Rex Reason as Dr Thomas Morgan – which rounds up the Gill-Man’s collection of having been bothered by the cream of Universal Pictures’ hero scientist/leading men of the fifties, with Richard Carlson and John Agar having appeared in the earlier films. (Also, this reunited Reason with Jeff Morrow after the stunning This Island Earth the previous year.)

For a massive place like the Everglades, they find the Creature quite quickly and, as usual try to drug him in the water after an aborted diving reconnaissance where the headstrong Marcia got into trouble suffering from pressure having dived too deep, too quickly. (But the Gill-Man (Ricou Browning in the underwater scenes) was watching from a distance).

The Gill-Man attacks the party in their rowing boat but in an accident, is doused in petrol and set alight.


Halloween Havoc!: THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US (Universal-International  1956) | Through the Shattered Lens


Third degree burns lose him the ability to breathe through his gills but he has a secondary breathing system and is growing slightly more human-like, shedding his burnt fish-like skin. He even wears a loose canvas shirt and trousers when he’s on land. So, to save his life, he has to forego his aquatic life and become a land creature, yearning for the water. As Barton remarks, they’re making a land creature out of a sea creature. (No, Barton. You’re not. He comes from fresh water – why is this so difficult for script writers to remember?)

After this, the Creature becomes nothing more than a stooge, kind of like Glenn Strange was in the last Frankenstein/Dracula films. The narrative becomes more about the Bartons’ fractured marriage, his jealousy, her flirting with Jed to the point Barton kills him in a rage and places the body in the Creature’s pen in attempt to pin the blame for the murder on the poor Creature.

But the Creature realises what’s happening and breaks out (the Creature on land is played by stuntman Don Megowan who was the tallest of the Gill-Men at 6’9’’). Cornering Barton, the Creature throws him from a balcony, to his death and wanders off, to the nearby ocean. Without his gills, he’ll drown and maybe that’s what he wants – he now belongs neither on land or in the water.


The Creature Walks Among Us - All The Tropes


It was a fitting and affecting final curtain to what is considered to be the last of Universal’s great monster classics. 

 Copyright © 2010 - 2020 Robin Pierce. All Rights reserved.


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