THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US

The Universal Monsters are almost as ubiquitous today as they were 70 years ago when they first appeared on the silver screen. Built on the stirring performances of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Lon Chaney Jr the Universal Monsters are now cultural icons. The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Invisible Man, The Mummy, Dracula and The Creature from the Black Lagoon all appear regularly in pop culture. The monsters are more beloved now than they’ve ever been.

Most people Remember the big three Dracula, Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s Monster. They’re without a doubt the majors. They’re the big guns. However, the B-list of the Universal Monsters are just as impressive. Mummy, Invisible Man, and Creature From the Black Lagoon all had their own feature film franchises. The last of the monsters to appear was the Creature in his 1954 first appearance The Creature from the Black Lagoon. This film, originally filmed in 3-D was a massive success. It captured the imagination of the entire nation despite having been produced almost solely to exploit the new ‘movie gimmick’ of 3-D. The film was quickly followed by a sequel The Revenge of the Creature in 1955. The sequel didn’t do as well as the original but still managed to make a decent amount of money. By 1956 Universal was panicking. They felt that their monster franchises were dying and began creating ‘monster rally’ films Such as Frankenstein Vs The Wolf Man and House of Frankenstein.

Universal, for reasons unknown, never saw fit to include the Creature aka The Gill Man in these team-up films. And as such, he got a third film, The Creature Walks Among Us. Creature Walks Among Us is a textbook example of how to kill a franchise. It’s very obvious that the film has a lower budget than the previous two entries but it’s the fact that they force the Gill Man to ‘evolve’ that really just causes the whole franchise to shudder and die.

Creature Walks Among Us picks up almost immediately after the conclusion of Revenge of the Creature. The Gill Man has escaped from the torture compound/Sea World-ish amusement park that he was being held captive and has fled into the everglades. A team of scientists strike out on an expedition to re-capture the creature. Inevitably, they catch up with him, capture him, and accidentally set him on fire because, y’know, that’s what always happens.

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