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Creature from the Black Lagoon

July 4th, 2017 No comments

One of the coolest monster movies I saw as a youngster was The Creature from the Black Lagoon.Creature from the Black Lagoon
Every Saturday morning I’d wake up at the crack of dawn (funny how I hated waking up on school days) and rush downstairs for my daily dose of cartoons, kung -fu theater and then monster movies.

The Creature, also known as the Gill Man only had 3 official movies but OMG he made an impact on generations of movie goers.

He was this cool cross of man and sea creature. To the young me, he was utterly believable. I knew that movie monsters were just guys in rubber suits but this one was really convincing. The fact that there were actual underwater sequences made it so much more believable.

Creature from the Black Lagoon was released in 1954 movie originally in 3D using the polarized light method. I was never was able to see this version (I’m not THAT old) although I’d love to see how it was originally intended to be viewed.

Creature from the Black LagoonI actually saw it in 3D in  1975 when it was re-released to theaters in the red-and-blue-glasses anaglyph 3D format – which frankly was horrible. I’ve yet to enjoy any 3D experience. The need for silly glasses just ruins the watching experience for me. Even recent 3D seems to give me a headache when there’s a lot of rapid action on the screen. For instance I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 3D and I walked out with a near migraine. The rapid magic scenes made it hard to focus and was very disorienting. Someday 3D will work.

I learned an interesting bit of trivia, the producer or Creature,  William Alland was attending a 1941 dinner party during the filming of Citizen Kane (in which he played the reporter Thompson) when Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa told him about the myth of a race of half-fish, half-human creatures in the Amazon River. Who knew that it was inspired by real myths. Makes me wonder if the same legends inspired Lovecraft for his Deep Ones? Heck, I wonder if the Deep Ones had any bearing on the Creature?

In the movie a geology expedition in the Amazon uncovers fossilized evidence (a skeletal hand with webbed fingers) from the Devonian period that provides a direct link between land and sea animals.

A comedic version exists titled: Abbott and Costello Meet the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Abbott and Costello almost ruined monsters for me when I was a kid. I saw all the mashups with Frankenstein, Wolfman, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and  Dracula. I loved Abbott and Costello but hated what they did with monster movies; but I digress.

Creature from the Black Lagoon generated two sequels: Revenge of the Creature (1955), which was also filmed and released in 3D in hopes of reviving the format (again, I never saw the 3D version), and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), filmed in 2D. Revenge was a fun movie but OMG the final one was really sad in my opinion.

I’d love to see a modern writer and director tackle the Gill Man using new tech, it would be cool as anything.

 

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I Want My Mummy

June 28th, 2017 No comments

A mummy is a deceased human or an animal whose skin5de7f59a0f7a34ad16be69ef5a270e48--monster-movie-monster-mash and organs have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, very low humidity, or lack of air, so that the recovered body does not decay further if kept in cool and dry conditions. Wow, that’s not very scary. If that was the only description someone had given me as a child, I would have picked up my GI-Joes and headed outside.

Now if you tell someone – who like me has macabre tastes – that a mummy is a dead person who has been cursed to rise from the grave and wander around the countryside trailing grave dirt and bandages in search of human prey – sign me up!

I thrilled as a kid to the thought of the shambling mummy wandering the night in search of its missing canopic jars or its long lost love who just happens to have been reincarnated into the body of the heroine.

If you think about it mummies are the original zombie but without the infectious bite. It’s dead, moving around,  usually on a mission of death and destruction.  Unlike a zombie though, you’ll never mistake a mummy for a person – unless they have a very strange idea of wardrobe (cloth wrappings are soooo last year).

The trappings of mummy lore are also great for cinema. There’s the pyramid or buried tomb, ornate sarcophagus, statues, jewelry; all the things needed to draw in the greedy treasure hunter who will then be stalked for revenge.

There haven’t been a lot of great mummy movies in recent years. Face it the hey day of mummy cinema was before the 50s. The mysteries of ancient Egypt couldn’t hold their own in the movies when stacked against atomic monsters. The recent movie The Mummy with Brendan Fraser was a pretty good homage to the genre although I felt the sequels could have been avoided. I have not seen the latest Tom Cruise vehicle so don’t know if it’s any good or just another to miss.

I always wanted to be a mummy for Halloween but couldn’t really figure out how to get the wrappings right and done in a way that wouldn’t take 2 days getting in and out of costume.

Man, now I want to go watch Boris Karloff.
mummy-movie-featured-image
Until next time, watch this and see if you can find one you might be interested in.

 

 

 

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Categories: Monsters, Video Tags: , , , ,

Vampires Don’t Suck

May 31st, 2017 Comments off

When I was a kid I wanted to be turned into a vampire. OK, I didn’t really think through the lead up to becoming a vampire, mainly the being killed part, but I thought vampires were really – and I mean REALLY cool.
What’s not to love? They’re immortal, strong, fast, they can hypnotize victims, turn into bats or mist; they just rule the roost.Vampire - Salems Lot variety
Vamps have their limitations of course: garlic, wooden stakes, sunlight, crosses.

Now traditionally Dracula was not destroyed by sunlight but instead became a mere mortal during that time so sunlight isn’t always a problem. Some of the scariest vampires are pretty darn ugly so I wasn’t too happy about that in my childish imaginings. I loved comics as a kid (who didn’t?) and Marvel fed my vamp fetish morbiuswith Morbius the living vampire.

Ah good times. Vampires have had many forms and I tend to think most of them are really cool Did you see The Lost Boys? OMG it was awesome fun with fun juvenile delinquents as vampires – there was probably a whole new generation of youngsters influenced by that. Of course in more recent years you started getting the romantic vampire appearing – I’m not talking about the original Dracula lost love romantic vampire but the Anne Rice style brooding vamp. It all went downhill from there in my opinion (YMMV) ending in the greatest abomination of all, glittering vampires with no measurable weaknesses at all except their need to stalk moody teen girls. *shudder* And what was it with that story? Why is a vampire who is hundreds of years old obsessed with acting like a teen and chasing immature young girls? For God’s sake he’s OLD. Just because the body hasn’t aged doesn’t mean the mind hasn’t. And he was a stalker, not romantic. OK, I’m not going to go there any further, it will just annoy me, and you in all probability.

What’s my perfect vampire?  Well he or she should look normal since after all it WAS a human. Maybe the vampire should become more monstrous when enraged with blood lust but then that could revert back to normal once the blood lust is sated. The vampire is strong and invulnerable to most harm except sunlight and maybe a stake when at rest. It never ages thanks to drinking human life force.

I really don’t need my vampire to be super fast or transform into animals of mist but I do expect my vampire to use what he’s learned from his unending life. He should know how to manipulate people, understand human nature and be SMART. Good God he’s seen centuries of human life, nothing should surprise him.  I also think if I were writing a vampire I’d make it so that just a bite doesn’t form a new vampire, even feeding them your blood won’t do it. The vampire should only be able to create offspring after it’s survived a certain amount of time – maturity after all. That’s how you keep vampires from exponentially increasing like a bad zombie plague and overrunning the globe.

So what’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Vampires? How would you design one?  Until next time….

bat

 

 

 

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Categories: Monsters Tags: , , ,