DIRECTOR: Jack Arnold

Creature From The Black Lagoon is one of the more famous and many would argue, notable entries into the 50’s Universal Horror library, but I would disagree with the ‘notable’. On a technical front, this major release in the 1950’s 3D revival era, is clearly worthy technically, as its 3D cinematography, though seen here in 2D, is clearly good, with arms and spears popping out of the screen and a well defined depth of field.

This was originally released in Polarised 3D, not too dis-similar to the methods employed today, but as this format was expensive and difficult to project, it was rarely seen like this much after its initial release. Later it would be re-released in the 70’s in anaglyph 3D, but this film’s life has been seen 2D in most respects.

Anaglyph 3D image from the 1970's Re-Issue

Does it work though? Well, if you like a straight forwards 50’s monsters flicks then yes, absolutely. It ticks all the boxes and delivers everything it promises, with macho men saving the girl and the day, second fiddle players dying steadily throughout and the leading lady stripping down to a swimming costume at every opportunity and taking a swim in the eponymous lagoon.

But I’m not a fan of this type of Horror Sci-Fi from this era, so its charms don’t really work on me. I found it to be dull, plodding and all too predictable but that is not a problem if you like the genre, its just that I don’t, really. But it was watchable and its lean running time of 79 minutes meant that it didn’t really out stay its welcome.

Though, being a fan of cinema’s technical processes and 3D being one of the most fascinating, I would like to see this in 3D at some point, just to see if the effect holds water as much as seems too in 2D.


  1. Interesting review. I do have a soft spot for 1950s science fiction, so I can look past the film’s narrative shortcomings and enjoy it as a product of its era. On the subject of whether the film is “notable” or not, however, I think that’s beyond dispute. A major commercial success in its day, “Creature” spawned two sequels, countless imitations (for DECADES, mind you), plus rock songs, stage musicals, toys, t-shirts, even a pinball game. You don’t have to actually like something to concede that it’s notable. I’m not a Justin Bieber fan, for instance, but his career is definitely notable. The very fact that you’re reviewing “Creature” over 50 years after its initial release is a testament to the film’s notability.

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