The Creature Walks Among Us
|The Creature Walks Among Us|
|Directed by||John Sherwood|
|Produced by||William Alland|
|Written by||Arthur A. Ross|
|Based on||"The Creature of Man" (treatment)
by Arthur A. Ross
|Music by||Henry Mancini|
|Edited by||Edward Curtiss|
The Creature Walks Among Us is the third and final instalment of the Creature from the Black Lagoon horror film series from Universal-International, following 1955's Revenge of the Creature. The film was directed by John Sherwood, the longtime Universal-International assistant director, in his directorial debut. Jack Arnold who had directed the first two films in the series, had moved on to "A-list" films and had felt he had no more to contribute to the horror genre. He suggested his assistant director could move up. The Creature Walks Among Us starred Jeff Morrow, Rex Reason and Leigh Snowden.
Following the Gill-man's escape from Ocean Harbor, Florida, a team of scientists led by the deranged and cold-hearted Dr. William Barton (Jeff Morrow) aboard the Vagabondia III. to capture the creature in the Everglades. Barton is mentally unstable and apparently abusive husband to his wife Marcia (Leigh Snowden), as he becomes very jealous and paranoid when Marcia is with other men. Their guide Jed Grant (Gregg Palmer) makes numerous passes on Marcia, with Barton becoming paranoid about the two.
Marcia accompanies Jed and Dr. Tom Morgan (Rex Reason) on their initial dive to look for the Gill-man, despite her husband's fierce objections. During the dive, Marcia swims too deep and is overcome with the "raptures of the deep," temporarily losing her mind, removing all her scuba gear. This forces Jed and Tom to abandon their hunt for the Gill Man to swim back and save her.
During the capture, the creature is badly burned in a fire leading to a surgical transformation performed by Barton, Tom and their colleagues Dr. Borg (Maurice Manson) and Dr. Johnson (James Rawley). While bandaging the Gill-man, the doctors notice that he is shedding his gills and even breathing using a kind of lung system. Now that the creature has more human-like skin, he is given clothing. The doctors attempt to get the Gill-man used to living among humans. Although his life is saved, he is apparently unhappy, staring despondently at the ocean.
Barton ruins the plans when, in a murderous rage, he kills Jed, jealous that he had made romantic advances towards his wife. Realizing what he has done, Barton then tries to put the blame on the Gill-man. The Gill-man, witnessing the killing, and apparently realizing that he is being blamed for the murder, goes on a rampage. After ripping down the confining electric fence, he kills Barton and then slowly walks back to the sea. He is last seen on a beach, advancing towards the ocean, but with his human-like lungs, the Gill-man's return to the ocean will lead him to death from drowning.
- Jeff Morrow as Dr. William Barton
- Rex Reason as Dr. Thomas Morgan
- Leigh Snowden as Marcia Barton
- Gregg Palmer as Jed Grant
- Ricou Browning as Gill-man – In water
- Don Megowan as Gill-man – On land
- Maurice Manson as Dr. Borg
- James Rawley as Dr. Johnson
- Paul Fierro as Morteno
- Lillian Molieri as Mrs. Morteno
- David McMahon as Captain Stanley
Unlike the previous two Creature films, The Creature Walks Among Us was not filmed in 3-D. The underwater scenes were filmed at Wakulla Springs in North Florida, today a state park. Other locations in Florida were also utilized for location shooting. Principal photography ran from late August to mid-September 1955.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times reviewed The Creature Walks Among Us as a return to the "merman" series. "It should be noted that the producers have captured some misty but pictorial underwater footage and that the Messrs. Morrow and Reason, and Gregg Palmer, who plays a guide with a yen fur the blonde and statuesque Miss Snowden, behave fairly well in decidedly unusual circumstances. The "creature," of course, is frightening enough to scare the scales of a tarpon. However, he apparently hasn't terrified his Hollywood discoverers."
- Weaver et al. 2014, p. 234.
- "Original print information: The Creature Walks Among Us." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: July 4, 2015.
- Crowther, Bosely. "Movie revierw: 'The Creature Walks Among Us' (1956)." The New York Times, April 27, 1956.
- Weaver, Tom, David Schecter and Steve Kronenberg. The Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc., 2014. ISBN 978-0-7864-9418-7.
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