Today's classic, fright-tastic feature film is once again available to watch for FREE! And be sure to stop by this blog for regular free movies. Because this blog is awesome is why.
Yoinked from wikipedia, the 1973 book Classic Movie Monsters, and 1000misspenthours.com ...
"Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror film directed by Jack Arnold, and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, and Whit Bissell. The eponymous creature was played by Ben Chapman on land and Ricou Browning in underwater scenes. The film was released in the United States on March 5, 1954.
Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed and originally released in 3-D requiring polarized 3-D glasses, and subsequently reissued in the 1970s in the inferior anaglyph format (this version was released on home video by MCA Videocassette, Inc. in 1980). It was one of the first Universal Pictures films filmed in 3-D (the first was It Came from Outer Space, which was released a year before). It is considered a classic of the 1950s, and generated two sequels, Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us. Revenge of the Creature was also filmed and released in 3-D, in hopes of reviving the format.
The film was a sensation and put the Gill-Man alongside Dracula, the Frankenstein monster, and the Mummy in the pantheon of classic Universal Monsters. The Creature is the greatest monster of a decade filled with monsters. He outshines his irradiated and overgrown brethren because there was the slightest bit of humanity in him. He lusts, he is cunning, and he feels pain. He is an animal on the brink of becoming something more. It sometimes seems as though the filmmakers of the 1950’s recognized only three possible origins for their monsters. If they didn’t arrive on the scene in a flying saucer, they were either spawned as by-products of ill-considered applications of atomic power, or they were holdovers from prehistory-- creatures that time forgot, in the parlance of the day. The creature obviously falls into the latter category.
Ben Chapman portrayed the Gill-man for the majority of the film, which was shot at Universal City, California. He was unable to sit for the 14 hours of each day he wore it, and it overheated easily, so he stayed in the back lot's lake, and often requested to be hosed down. He also could not see very well, which caused him to scrape Julie Adams' head against the wall when carrying her in the grotto scenes. Ricou Browning played the Gill-Man in the underwater shots, which were filmed by the second unit in Wakulla Springs, Florida. Many of the on-top of the water scenes were filmed at Rice Creek near Palatka, Florida.
Producer William Alland had heard an obscure South American legend about a swamp monster that was often described as an amalgamation of a turtle fish, alligator, and a human. Alland told Bud Westmore, Universal International's head of make up, that he would deliver a script once the aquatic monster was constructed. The basic design of the monster had its origins in an unlikely place. Jack Arnold was nominated for an Academy Award (1950s Best Documentary, With These Hands) and received a certificate with an Oscar on it. He envisioned what the award would look like with gills, claws, and scales. Westmore, Jack Kevan, Bob Hickman, and Chris Nueller went to work on making the the monster a reality.
The Creature's facial features were based on a frog's, complete with pulsating jowl. The monster was given a pair of crustacean-like claws and a large mechanical tail, but these features were deleted because they would have seriously interfered with the underwater scenes. When the make up team had finished, they had produced one of the finest looking monsters in cinematic history. Excellence doesn't come cheap. The total cost of the Creature was $12,000.
Creature from the Black Lagoon was later made into a pinball game, designed by John Trudeau (AKA "Dr. Flash"), and released in 1992 by Midway (under the Bally brand name). This game has a retro 1950s drive-in theme, in the sense that it is more about fifties drive-in movie culture than it is about the actual film. It also features such 50s classic songs like Rock Around the Clock, Get a Job, and Summertime Blues. Completing side missions in the pinball game causes the screen to display "Universal Presents... Creature from the Black Lagoon," and then requires the player to chase after the monster just like in the film.
The game sold 7,841 units and is considered one of the greatest pinball machines ever created according to pinball legend Steve freaking Galindo.
Tje Creature from the Black Lagoon delivers just about anything you could ask for from an old-fashioned monster movie. Though he would drop the ball rather spectacularly with Revenge of the Creature, and later on with Tarantula, Arnold’s technique meshes almost perfectly with this movie’s script. His pacing is smooth and steady, and even brisk by 50’s standards, while his handling of the numerous underwater scenes-- usually the worst, most lifeless segment of any movie-- is little short of revelatory. Arnold is also well-served by his actors, who do much to make their admittedly flat and stereotypical characters believable. Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, and Julie Adams in particular manage to imply far more complexity in their relationships to each other than the script presents on its face.
And of course, let us not forget the monster. The gill-man is a wonder to behold. He is easily the classiest 50’s movie monster, a model of tasteful restraint in comparison to, say, the Metaluna Mutant of This Island Earth, and a paragon of workmanship in comparison to the creature costumes of, for example, Paul Blaisdel (The Day the World Ended, The She-Creature, It Conquered the World, Invasion of the Saucer Men, et cetera ad infinitum). Not only that, the gill-man is even fairly believable from an anatomical/physiological perspective, a rarity so spectacular in the world of monster movies that one must wonder what mysterious interplay of cosmic forces was at work the week it was designed. Add in the fact that, more than 45 years ago, someone was able to put together a foam latex monster suit so supple that Olympic swimmer Ricou Browning could perform in it underwater with all the natural grace of a creature born and bred beneath the waves, and this triumph of special effects artistry becomes even more amazing."
Steve's Snacks Of The Week:
Super Buttery Popcorn
A&W Root Beer
My Wife's Big Boobs ...
... AND NOW, Reverend Steve and this blog are both PROUD to once again present today's Church-less Movie of the Week absolutely FREE! Good stuff.
But first lets go over a few theater rules. Absolutely no talking is allowed. Any and all talkers will be sneezed on with extreme prejudice. No cell phones or African-American berries going off in the theater. And NO TEXTING!
And be sure to dim your headlights (where applicable).
ENJOY THE SHOW, Y'ALL!
Also, and I hope you are still reading this part here, I have been doing storytimes for kids every week for well over 11 years. And in celebration of this I've compiled a big photo album of over 50 pictures and hilarious stories from over a decade of entertaining children and it would be a personal favor to me if you could check it out and maybe share it ...
Seriously, if you could plllllleeeeease share the photo album on your Facebook page. It would only take a second and I reeeeeally want to get my name out there. So a quick share would really help me out. Plus, it's pretty cute and fairly hilarious.
And here are the Sunday movies I've seen so far ...
December 7th, 2008: Godzilla VS Mecha-Godzilla
December 14th: Godzilla VS Mothra (free to watch)
December 21st: Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (free to watch)
December 28th: Lord of the Rings (Rifftrack edition)
January 4th, 2009: Godzilla VS The Sea Monster
January 11th: Series 7 (free to watch)
January 18th: House of Wax
January 25th: Police Story 3
February 1st: Left Behind the Movie (free to watch)
February 15th: Godzilla VS Megalon
February 22nd: Jesus Christ Superstar (free to watch)
March 1st (part 1): Duck Soup
March 1st (part 2): Godzilla Final Wars
March 8th (part 1): Godzilla VS The Smog Monster
March 8th (part 2): The Three Caballeros
March 15th: Sonny Chiba's "The Street Fighter" (free to watch)
March 29th (part 1): I Bury The Living (free to watch)
March 29th (part 2): Drive-In Massacre (free to watch)
April 15th: Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (free to watch)
April 25th (part 1): Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
April 25th (part 2): Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (free to watch)
May 3rd (part 1): Sex Madness (free to watch)
May 3rd (part 2): Frankenstein Conquers the World
May 10th (part 1): Muppet Treasure Island
May 10th (part 2): La Bamba (free to watch)
May 17th: Mothra (free to watch)
May 31st: Mega-Shark VS Giant Octopus (free to watch)
June 7th: Tommy (free to watch)
June 14th (part 1): Roger Corman's Fantastic Four (free to watch)
June 14th (part 2): Rodan (free to watch)
June 24th: MST3K's Godzilla VS Megalon (free to watch)
June 28th: Last Man On Earth (free to watch)
July 5th (part 1): Over The Top
July 5th (part 2): Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (free to watch)
July 12th (part 1): Air Guitar Nation
July 12th (part 2): Cockfight/We Are The Children (free to watch)
July 19th (part 1): Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saves the World) (free to watch)
July 19th (part 2): Turist Ömer (free to watch)
August 2nd: The Marx Bros' At the Circus (free to watch)
August 9th (part 1): MST3K's Marooned (free to watch)
August 9th (part 2): First Spaceship On Venus (free to watch)
August 16th (part 1): The Atomic Cafe (free to watch)
August 16th (part 2): MST3K's Night of the Blood Beast (free to watch)
August 30th: God Told Me To Kill (free to watch)
September 3rd: Rebirth Of Mothra (free to watch)
September 6th: Cinema Insomnia's The Wasp Woman (free to watch)
September 13th (part 1): A Bucket Of Blood (free to watch)
September 13th (part 2): Cinema Insomnia's Prince Of Space (free to watch)
september 21st: Theater of Blood (free to watch)
September 27th (part 1): The Brain That Wouldn't Die (free to watch)
September 27th (part 2):MST3K's Amazing Colossal Man (free to watch)
October 11th: Horror of Spider Island (free to watch)
October 18th (part 1): I Woke Up Early The Day I Died
October 18th (part 2): Earth VS The Flying Saucers (free to watch)
October 25th (part 1): Frogs (free to watch)
October 25th (part 2): King Kong Escapes
November 1st: The Thing With Two Heads (free to watch)
November 8th: Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth (free to watch)
November 15th (Franken-Week, Day 7): Frankenstein Conquers the World (free to watch)
November 22nd: The Giant Gila Monster (free to watch)
November 29th: MST3K Gamera Triple Feature (free to watch)
December 6th (part 1): She Demons (free to watch)
December 6th (part 2): MST3K's The Incredible Melting Man (free to watch)
December 13th: A Triple Threat of Riffs
December 20th: Manos (free to watch)
December 24th: Christmas Eve Bonus - Manster (free to watch)
December 27th (part 1): The Screaming Skull (free to watch)
December 27th (part 2): The Sadist/Eegah (free to watch)
January 3rd, 2010: Wrestling With Shadows (free to watch)
January 17th (part 1): Teenage Zombies (free to watch)
January 17th (part 2): Horror of the Zombies (free to watch)
January 24th: The Crawling Hand/The Monster That Challenged The World (free to watch)
January 30th: Atom Age Vampire, the Steve-a-fied Edition (free to watch)
February 14th: House On Haunted Hill-Original and Remake (free to watch)
February 21st: Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory (free to watch)
February 28th: The Atomic Brain LIVE in Steve's Living Room
March 7th: Lady Frankenstein (free to watch)
March 14th (part 1): Castle of Evil (free to watch)
March 14th (part 2): Tormented (free to watch)
March 21st: A.P.E (WARNING: movie contains a line about RAPE which may apparently offend your more easily offended, closed minded female co-workers)
March 23rd (make up): Tarantula (free to watch)
April 11th (part 1): Warning From Space (free to watch)
April 11th (part 2): They Came From Beyond Space (free to watch)
April 18th (part 1): The Phantom of 10,000 Leagues (free to watch)
April 18th (part 2): Gappa The Triphibian Monster (free to watch)
April 25th: Killers From Space (free to watch)
May 2nd: THEM! (free to watch)
May 8th: Astro-Zombies (free to watch)
May 15th: The Snow Creature/The Phantom Planet (free to watch)
May 21st (part 1): The Giant Spider Invasion (free to watch)
May 21st (part 2): The Deadly Mantis (free to watch)
May 30th: They Saved Hitler's Brain (free to watch)
June 6th: The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra/Newsies
June 13th: The Mole People (free to watch)
June 20th (part 1): The Incredible Petrified World (free to watch)
June 20th (part 2): MST3K's "Lazerblast" (free to watch)
June 20th (part 3): Mortal Kombat (free to watch)
June 20th (part 4): Into The Woods
June 26th: Teenagers from Outer Space (free to watch)
July 4th: Batman (free to watch)
July 10th: The Amazing Transparent Man (free to watch)
July 22nd (Surgery Edition, Part 1): The Crazies (original - free to watch)
July 22nd (Surgery Edition, Part 2): The Giant Claw (free to watch)
July 24th (Surgery Edition, Part 3): The Day The Earth Froze (ffree to watch)
July 24th (Surgery Edition, Part 4): Don't Look In The Basement (free to watch)
July 25th (Surgery Edition, Part 5): Invasion of the Neptune Men (free to watch)
July 26th (Surgery Edition, Part 6): Yongary, Monster from the Deep (free to watch)
July 31st: The Mating Habits Of The Earthbound Human
August 7th: Starman Double Feature (free to watch)
August 14th: Assassin of Youth (free to watch)
August 22nd: The Brain from Planet Arous (free to watch)
August 28th: Dementia 13 (free to watch)
August 30th Special Monday Night Freebie: The Indestructible Man (free to watch)
September 5th: Alien Trespass
September 12th: The Castle of Cagliostro (Netflix on Demand)
September 19th (part 1): Scream and Scream Again (free to watch)
Septemner 19th (part 2): Dragon Wars (free to watch)
September 26th: cat-Women Of The Moon (free to watch)
October 2nd: The Food Of The Gods (Netflix on Demand)
Woodmas, October 10th: Plan 9 LIVE
October 17th: The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (free to watch)
October 24th: Donovan's Brain (free to watch)
October 31st: The Hideous Sun Demon (free to watch)
December 12th: 4-D Man (Netflix on Demand)
December 18th: The Tingler (free to watch)
December 27th (part 1): The Man From Planet X (Netflix On Demand)
December 27th (part 2): Little Shop of Horrors (free to watch)