The Creature Walks Among Us – 2 out of 5
So recently I watched the first sequel to The Creature from the Black Lagoon; Revenge of the Creature. After checking that out, I decided to seek out the final sequel that was made with the Gill-Man and watch its third film; The Creature Walks Among Us. I will admit that this one had a little more going for it than the last movie and I won’t deny that it was ambitious but, like the last one, I just didn’t dig it as much as I love the first film.
|Look at that tush. All that swimming is really paying off.|
|If you listen carefully, you can hear Jim Ross|
screaming when you look at this pic.
After surviving both potentially lethal encounters in the last two films, the Gill-Man (played on land by Don Megowan and in the water by Ricou Browning) is once again being hunted in the Florida Everglades. Dr. William Barton (Jeff Morrow) and his wife Marcia (Leigh Snowden) join Dr. Thomas Morgan (Rex Reason) and their guide Jed Grant (Gregg Palmer) in an attempt to capture the creature. However, after the monster is accidentally set ablaze, they learn that Gill-Man’s body is hiding a pair of lungs and may be able to live on land. Soon, they discover that the monster’s body is changing and adapting to a new life on land but will these changes bring about a new, more docile beast or is the thing more dangerous than ever?
|Supposedly, this was an accident but Gill-Man might have been protesting|
|"Are you freakin' kidding me?"|
In theory, the idea that the Gill-Man changes into a land dwelling being is kinda interesting and a huge shake up in this small franchise. However, in practice, I felt this dynamic made for a movie that was kinda “meh” and looked too similar to other low budget monster movies of the time. Taking the Gill-Man out of water is a huge risk because the biggest part of his draw for me is that he is this underwater living monster. Being the land lovers that we are, there is always a part of the water that will be enticing and exciting but also creepy and scary. When you’re treading water, you don’t know what is beneath you and that’s one of the reasons I loved The Creature from the Black Lagoon so much. He was just floating around like a creep underneath the waves and if having your toes touch seaweed isn’t bad enough, imagine his talons tickling the balls of your feet. Sure, taking him out of the water might have saved the production a ton of money but it also made the whole thing look and feel incredibly generic. I admire the risk but I don’t think this one paid off in the end. It’s also really hard not to laugh at this new creature.
|"I lost my scales but gained in muscle mass, bro!"|
The rest of the film is pretty mundane and kinda forgettable. It’s nice to see Gill-Man not taking the stereotypical interest in the cast’s only female performer but then this is undone by the fact that every human male figure is trying to get with her—it was the 50s, women were just objects to own at the time. Sadly, the entire experience just plays out like one of those features you’d see on a late-night public access horror shows hosted by a dude in bad make-up trying to be Svengoolie. It’s not the most memorable film.
|Can we just admire how awesome Rex Reason's name is?|
Like the previous Gill-Man feature, The Creature Walks Among Us isn’t an outrageously bad film. It took a big chance and changed up the formula by evolving the monster. That risk alone is really interesting but the rest of the film just didn’t follow suit. There are some cool moments here and there that involve this change and the monster’s final rampage is pretty fun. Sadly, however, the overall experience doesn’t come close to the original film and the movie just felt pretty forgettable.