Halloween Review – “Creature From The Black Lagoon”

There is but one week left in our Halloween
countdown. Are you prepared for what is to come?

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Richard Carlson as David Reed

Julia Adams as Kay

Richard Denning as Mark Williams

Antonio Moreno as Carl Maia

Nestor Paiva as Lucas

Whit Bissell as Dr. Thompson

Bernie Gozier as Zee

Henry Escalante as Chico

Written by Harry Essex, Arthur A. Ross and Maurice

Directed by Jack Arnold

Underwater scenes directed by James C. Havens

Complete information is available from the

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past movie reviews can be found here.


Icthyologists head to the Black Lagoon to study an
unusual skeleton
they’ve found. It turns out the species that left
the skeleton isn’t
quite extinct.

High Point

Mark battles the creature. Very impressive action
and underwater

Low Point

The dialogue and direction on land.

The Scores

This was the last major Universal horror movie, and
also the most
original. This wasn’t based on a novel, nor
was it a
traditional story or legend. The characters weren’t
unusually stupid
as horror movie characters often are. (Well, maybe
Mark was, but at
least the rest of his crew pointed out his
irrationality, and it still
fit with the character.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects are generally good. There is
some downright
awful bluescreen-type work at the beginning, though.
I give it 4 out
of 6.

The story is well plotted, but is riddled
with terrible
dialogue. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting is as hammy and corny as the
dialogue. These
people need to loosen up considerably. We’ve got the
screaming woman,
the macho, insightful heroes, and the simple and
amusing local who
knows all the legends, played out like the
stereotypes they are. I
give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response is surprisingly good.
The camera work
and underwater editing compensate considerably for
the cheese of the
humans. The general outline of the script avoids the
behavior” pitfall that can detach the viewer, too. I
suspect that
those with story credit instead of script are much
better writers than
whom the studio chose. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is quite well done. Some of
the early scenes,
in which we see only the creature’s arm, should have
been edited a bit
shorter, so that it was less obvious that they were
only showing us
the arm, but otherwise, it was fairly well done. The
music was good,
if repetitive. The underwater scenes looked
fantastic. I give it 4
out of 6.

Overall, it’s one of the best Universal
monster movies to be
produced. (My personal favourite is coming up in
tomorrow’s review.)
It still works as a suspence thriller today, which
says a lot. I give
it 5 out of 6.

In total, Creature from the Black Lagoon
receives 30 out of 42.

Halloween Countdown to date

One reply

  1. Doesn’t have anything to do with the review per se…
    But the pinball game is fantastic. It’s a definite homage to that whole period of time, from drive-in movies to, well, drive-in movies. If you get the chance, play. (Skip the “Williams Classic” PC game, though – doesn’t make the grade)

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