Swimming with the Creature Feature
After Dr. Carl Maia (Antonio Moreno) uncovers a fossilized skeletal hand with webbed fingers during an exploration of the Amazon he calls upon his explorer friends Dr. David Reed (Richard Carlson) and his girlfriend Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams) along with Dr. Mark Williams (Richard Denning) to join him in his exploration to find the rest of the fossilized skeleton which might prove the link between marine life and man. After some initial problems which makes them consider quitting they eventually discover a gill-man living in the Black Lagoon. Having captured the creature it falls in love with Kay and when it escapes it comes back to take her with him.
In a review I read about "Creature from the Black Lagoon" the reviewer said along the lines that he fell in love with the movie as a teenager and even new generations of teenagers love the movie. Maybe that is the thing, maybe you need to first watch "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and the man in a rubber monster costume as a teenager to enjoy the movie as sadly watching it for the first time as a 43 year old I can't say it did a great deal for me, although Julie Adams in a white swimming costume did. The trouble for me is that "Creature from the Black Lagoon" is just another creature feature where we have a monster captured by explorers, falls for a woman and escapes, similar to "King Kong" in construct.
It is a shame as whilst from a narrative point of view "Creature from the Black Lagoon" did little for me visually it did have some quite entertaining scenes. Of course one of the most memorable is when Kay decides to swim in the Lagoon and we see the creature swimming beneath her. On one hand you have the extremely beautiful Julie Adams in a figure hugging swimming costume and on the other you have Ricou Browning who played the Creature in the underwater scenes and doing a great job to make the Creature appear natural in the water. On the subject of the creature the team who designed it did a nice job with it being one of the better men in a rubber suit monsters. But it is a case that every now and then a scene will grab you due to its look but in between it fails to create a gripping atmosphere to keep you constantly involved
What this all boils down to is that whilst some of the specifics are good, I can't say that "Creature from the Black Lagoon" entertained me as much as it has done others. And I reckon that this is one of those movies you need to first encounter as a teenager to fall in love with as the older you are the more the creature feature formula sticks out.