I had intended for my Sunday Night Movie to be Amadeus as I have just gotten the directors cut of the movie on blu-ray last weekend, but my night ran long and by the time I sat down to watch a movie I had time for only something ninety-minutes long or shorter. (The trouble with a day job is getting up in the morning for it.)
I stood in front of my DVD collection for a few moments pulling out films, looking at their running times, and then rejecting them as either too long or not right for my alter mood. (After rejecting Amadeus I now wanted something lighter and nor as dramatic.)
Despite having seen a period genre film just the night before, I decided to watch The Creature Walks Among Us.
The Creature Walks Among Us. is the third and final Creature From The Black Lagoon made by universal as part of it’s horror franchise. I am a big fan of the original Creature From The Black Lagoon and frankly the fact that Universal is re-making it doesn’t not make me happy. I watch the original film at least once a year on DVD and I have even seen it in the theater in 3-D as it was originally shot. That was quite a treat. That said, the sequel to the film, The Revenge Of The Creature was plodding and predictable. The Creature is capture and brought to Florida where it is put on display, abused in what is passed off as science, and breaks free, causes death and destruction while becoming enamored with another bathing beauty. Like most sequels, it is the first film but done not as well. (As you listen James Cameron?)
The Creature Walks Among Us. is different in that they did not follow the formula laid out in the first two films. The Creature found to be still alive in the Florida Everglades is hunted done by a rich doctor/scientist out to prove that the Creature can be altered into something less bestial and more human. Both in physiology and psychology. There a beautiful girl, the doctor/scientist’s wife, a team of researchers torn about the nature of the project, and tough over sexed guide to the everglades.
What makes this film different and really interesting is the themes it tries to explore. What makes something violent and bestial? Is it nature or nurture? This is explore not by a beauty and the beast metaphor, but rather through character dynamics. Characters don’t trust each other motivations and expect betrayal. In the end the real monster is a human one and the real death and destruction is more murder and that monstrous rampage.
The film also has a real tragedy for the Creature. Due to the events of the films he is left a land creature, unable to return to the sea that he longs for. He can’t and no one really can ever go home.
Quite an interesting film for seventy-eight minutes and cheep stunts and rubber monster-suits.