The Universal Monsters Movies - Ranked From Worst To Best
7. The Creature From The Black Lagoon
Played by: Ben Chapman (The Creature From the Black Lagoon), Tom Hennesy (Revenge of the Creature), Don Megowan (The Creature Walks Among Us), Ricou Browning (underwater sequences in all three films) Who is he? "Gill Man", as the amphibious humanoid is also known, was the last of the classic Universal monsters to get his own series. Unusual in not being based on a gothic source novel, the Creature also exists in a more contemporary setting than the rest of the monster cycle. It Came From Outer Space producer William Alland had been inspired by urban legends of fish-people living in the Amazon, along with the monster movie archetype of the sympathetic but grotesque creature carrying off the beautiful woman. The first film, directed by Jack Arnold, is one of the best examples of the 50s B-movie creature feature, with its ultimately tragic and iconically designed monster, preposterous dialogue (a paleontological expedition wields harpoons and poisons and yet declares "we're not here to fight monsters, we're not equipped for that") and 3-D from the dying days of the medium's first phase as an appealing novelty. The sequels, in which the Creature is brought back to civilisation, are far less memorable, making the character something of a lesser icon than the other monsters. After the classic era: Universal have made a couple of efforts at revisiting the Creature From the Black Lagoon/Gill Man franchise, but without much success. John Landis and John Carpenter both toyed with the idea of a remake at separate times, Sahara director Breck Eisner and Pleasantville and Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross (whose father was a writer on the original) were both attached to a new version in 2005. The film would have seen the creature as a result of the pollution of the Amazon. The project was later dropped by Universal as was a mooted cameo in Dracula's castle in Van Helsing and an expanded role in that film's unproduced sequel.