Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Long Lost 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' Spoof Rises From The Abyss
Sources: Avery Guerra, Tom Weaver, Monster Bash News
I think that it is safe to say that every horror and monster movie fan has heard of the Universal classic 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' and it's two sequels 'Revenge of the Creature' and 'The Creature Walks Among Us'. Yet how many of you have ever heard of the 1955 horror classic 'Return of the Creature?'
Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Anyone at all?
Well that's actually not too surprising considering that it was only seen once and then was subsequently forgotten for over fifty years.
Let me explain, way back in 1955 while Jack Arnold and his crew were slaving away making 'Revenge of the Creature' at Florida's Marine Studios several of the crew members thought it would be a hoot to film their own creature spoof on their days off. The result of their amateur movie making was entitled 'Return of the Creature' a twenty minute parody of the Gill-Man's cinematic exploits which was shown at the wrap party for 'Revenge' to the delight of everyone in attendance.
For decades the film was the matter of a lot of speculation and many fans either didn't know of it's existence or believed that never really existed at all.
Now after fifty some years of controversy a researcher named Tom Weaver has uncovered the long lost film and there are plans to screen it at this years Monster Bash in Pittsburgh (Mars), Pa.
Weaver explains "About 15 years ago, while doing CREATURE research out in California, I came across a REVENGE OF THE CREATURE publicity item (probably never published anywhere) to the effect that, while Jack Arnold & Co. were making REVENGE at Florida's Marine Studios, several Marine Studios employees thought it would be fun to make their own monster movie, a spoof of REVENGE, and show it at the REVENGE wrap party. It sounded pretty far-out and I had a feeling it was just made-up crap, so I just made a small note of its existence (the publicity item's existence) and kinda forgot about it.
Then, a couple years ago, we all found out that there WAS such a production: The brother of its star Patricia Powers (died 1997) created a website and mentioned it, about two-thirds of the way down:
Once I read that, I became determined to find out if it still existed but didn't know how to go about it. One other tidbit I discovered in my travels: Marine Studios founder Cornelius Vanderbilt saw it and loved it and asked that a duplicate print be made. An associate of Vanderbilt's, a guy who traveled with the Vanderbilts, told me that in different parts of the world, the urge to see it again would hit Vanderbilt and he'd ask this assistant to dig out the print and a projector and run it for Vanderbilt and all his Vanderbilt-level friends. The assistant told me that glitterati around the world were treated to RETURN OF THE CREATURE.
The assistant also told me the name of the guy who dreamed up the movie and had the original print -- but didn't know if he was still alive.
He's alive. I found him. I now hold in my hands a DVD copy of THE RETURN OF THE CREATURE which arrived in my PO Box about an hour ago.
It was made in a few days by guys who never made a movie before or after -- but everyone who's seen it, including Ricou Browning, have told me that it's quite funny.
During its 21-minute running time, I laughed out loud several times. Most Hollywood comedies don't make me laugh, but this nutty thing did."
For more information about this years Monster Bash go HERE