Creature From The Black Lagoon makes a splash with stunning underwater photography and a monstrous costume. Surprisingly, although I say that with the lightest of tones considering I've rarely seen any classics (my apologies...), I've not seen any of the classic 'Universal Monster' anthologies. Yes, you can drag me to the depths of the Amazon river for such blasphemy, but they're not exactly the most accessible of creature features. Coincidentally, in typical "me" style, I viewed one of the later films within the shared universe. And without a doubt, whether it be viewed in 2D or that added dimension, it's a wave of monstrous entertainment that has aged finer than "Gill-Man" himself. A group of marine biologists uncover a fossilised skeletal hand of an amphibious humanoid, to which they encounter the enraged "man fish" of the black lagoon!
The science was sound, the acting was solid and the plot was entertainingly basic. But that's not why you watch a creature feature! No! Put that harpoon away, "anchors aweigh!" and get those search lights out. Gill-Man/"Man Fish"/Amphibious Humanoid Olympic Swimmer is lurking in the depths of the black lagoon, reaching his cold webbed hands out of the water and onto human flesh. Y'know, there's something about these black-and-white monster films that just engage my hunger senses into wanting to devour popcorn. It's just flippin' damn good fun!
The ornate montages of luminous underwater sequences forcing the audience to hold their breath whilst harpoons are being dodged. The memorably intricate costume design of Gill-Man that mustered both terror and sympathy. The inexpensive production design that inadvertently gives the Amazon backdrop its own characteristic. The intense score whenever Gill-Man appears on camera. Adams being a bathing beauty. Carlson rocking those skimpy shorts. Oh, and the thoroughly explored financial endeavours versus scientific research conflict! This is the perfect film to slap on when friends are over and a bucket of popcorn await your mouths.
Agreeably, the archetypal plot has been copied and pasted into many films since, that it has lost the majority of its asperity. Horror has evolved substantially over the years, leaving classics such as this regressing into the shadows of the genre. What doesn't assist in the film's longevity is the instantaneous conclusion that leaves more questions than answers, particularly as to why Gill-Man wanted to abduct Kay and take her to his cavern lair. Oh, and I'm utilising possessive pronouns explicitly as the scientists likened the creature to a male entity, despite not being overly familiar with his biology.
However, despite the shortcomings that time has added, it's still a marvellously menacing monster movie that has enough technical elements to elevate its entertainment value to absurd degrees. Now, where can I buy me a Gill-Man suit?