Movie review: “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954)

creature from the black


Creature From the Black Lagoon” came up on Turner Classic Movies not long ago. Apollonia shrieked when I mentioned seeing it. “My favorite horror movie!” she said. “I was so scared when I first saw it!”

 

 

For those of you who haven’t seen it: it’s about a group of scientists who go to the Amazon to investigate some odd fossils they’ve found. There appears to be a humanoid creature with webbed appendages living down there. And you know what? There is!

 

 

The Creature is pretty tame, looked at from the standpoint of the year 2013. In its own time, however (I rely on Apollonia’s testimony for this), it was terrifying.

 

 

Now let’s talk about some of the other stuff going on here.

 

 

I don’t know if the director was gay, but the camera dwells upon the half-naked bodies of Richard Carlson and Richard Denning. There are lots of interesting views of the bodies of muscular men – Carlson and Denning, and others – all through the movie.

 

 

Hmm!

 

 

As I did research on this movie, the best surprise was the man who played the Creature. He was a diver / swimmer named Ricou Browning, and he was very handsome, and very well-built. Here’s a picture of him halfway in costume:

 

ricou creature

Browning was involved with a lot of water-related productions in Florida, including “Sea Hunt” and “Flipper.” He was a nice guy who was very serious about his underwater adventures.

 

 

And he looked good underwater.

 

 

Incidentally, the Creature is the only character in the movie who seems really interested in Julie Adams, the female lead. Denning and Carlson seem mostly interested in tussling with one another, and helping one another out of their scuba gear.

 

 

(There are lots of books about gay themes in cinema. I think someone needs to add a chapter about “Creature from the Black Lagoon.)

 


 

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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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