Revenge of the Creature – 2 out of 5
The Creature from the Black Lagoon is, hands down, my favorite movie from the Universal classic monsters. For years and years, I have been hoping that we’ll get a remake or a reboot or a reimagining because I think this monster is just cool and would love to see what we could do with him in the modern era of filmmaking. Now that it seems that the Dark Universe is dead after many attempts to live, I’ll just have to keep hoping that someday my dream will be a reality. Until that happens, I can just watch the old film over and over again…OR I can check out the sequels. Like the first of the two, Revenge of the Creature (the proper movie, not the episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where they watched this).
|Fun Fact: This movie was Clint Eastwood's film debut.|
Funner Fact: He didn't come off like an angry jerk like he usual does.
After the events of the first film, Gill-Man (played on land by Tom Hennesy and in the water by Ricou Browning) is being hunted by Professor Clete Ferguson (John Agar) and ichthyology student Helen Dobson. With the help of trusty old dynamite, they are able to take the creature alive and do what anyone else would do: Make it an attraction at an aquarium! What could possibly go wrong? Well, the thing gets loose and then goes on a murderous rampage. This might be where the orcas at SeaWorld got their ideas from.
|Awww, looks like someone learned the Dead Man Float.|
|This was considered diverse casting in 1955.|
I like the premise of Revenge of the Creature because the idea of Gill-Man being an attraction at an aquarium is kinda fun and has the potential for entertaining classic monster mayhem but the actual execution wasn’t that engaging. The movie really doesn’t have the mystery that the first film had. The exploration and finding a hidden creature just isn't there and that’s expected because the creature is now known. However, what really killed it (in a bad way, not the way kids use the phrase) is that the key element of the monster causing trouble felt lacking. Sure, there’s a few scenes of the people who captured him shocking him underwater but too much of the story is trying to acclimate Gill-Man to his surroundings and the usual old 50s monster movie cliché of having the monster become infatuated with the only female character. Gill-Man causing a ruckus happens at the very end and was horribly unsatisfying.
|I'm not trying to body shame but are his nipples glowing?|
|Gill-Man is a sad drunk.|
A lot of people nowadays like to think that the cash-grab sequel is a staple of the modern movie era but, in reality, it’s been a part of Hollywood’s history since silent films. There’s no point in being coy here because Revenge of the Creature is literally that, a cash-grab. The story feels quickly churned out thanks to the amazing amount of padding it includes in order to stretch out the run time (a common thing in older, low budget films) and you can’t over look at how corners were cut with Gill-Man’s suit. The original film sold the idea that he was a monster as best as costuming would allow at the time and a big part of that was how air bubbles were never escaping from the suit. This time around, bubbles basically escape from every stitch, seam and hole the suit has. Or maybe Gill-Man just breathes out of the top of his head. Seeing this is kinda disappointing because I like this monster so much but it’s also endearing because it’s something to giggle at. It’s part of the charm with low budget monster movies—of all eras!
|Gill-Man is a perv.|
Also, why kiss underwater? Is that even fun? Or safe?
Revenge of the Creature isn’t a terrible film but it’s definitely not as memorable or as exciting as the first film. I honestly really like the premise of Gill-Man being used as an attraction but feel it was never used as well or to the extent that it should have been utilized. From a performance standpoint, the film is pretty much on par with the films of the era and has that unique style of acting that was common back then. Overall, there’s a reason that this film was chosen to be riffed on by MST3K (and it’s not just because they could easily get their hands on it).