With Hallowe'en not that far away, I'm in the mood to watch some horror flicks.  Since I have the six Universal Legacy collections for Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, I decided to have a look at them all again. However, instead of just plowing through each one individually, I'm going to watch them all in the order in which they were released, at least as best as I can determine they were.

 

I'll begin with:  Dracula!

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What's 50 years when you've been dead for 3,000 ?

She-Wolf of London (1946):

Directed by Jean Yarbrough

Starring Don Porter as Barry, June Lockhart as Phyllis, Sara Haden as Martha, Jan Wiley as Carol, and Lloyd Corrigan as Latham.

1)This really isn't much of a "horror" movie -there's no actual werewolf in it.

 

2)There isn't much of a mystery, here. Martah is the only suspect, and she's not much of a villain - she does the old "recite your plan when everyone's listneing" bit, and she is beaten in the end when she trips and falls on her own knife.

 

3)Phyllis isn't much of a heroine, either - she's kind of drippy and feeble.

 

Overall:

A so-so picture. I feel like they included it to pad out the Wolf Man collection.

 

Next: The Creature form the Black Lagoon!

"I feel like they included it to pad out the Wolf Man collection."

Too bad they didn't find a way to include the MEXICAN picture where Lon Chaney Jr. played The Wolfman!

"Next: The Creature form the Black Lagoon!"

Hey, wait a minute!!  Where's Chic & Wilbur???

"I'm a union man. I only work 16 hours a day."

"Wait a minute, a union man only works 8 hours a day!"

"I belong to TWO unions!"

 

I'll watch Bud & Lou once I'm done with the Creature. Should be starting them by the end of the week.  I want to try to get this wrapped up before "Ambassadors of Death" comes out on disk next Tuesday.

The Baron said:

The continuity of the Mummy movies is the really screwy one, unless you accept that it was 1944 for about fifty years.

 

Obviously, the same magical rituals that revive mummies also interfere with the normal passage of time.

That's a better explanation than I've been able to come up with.

Yeah, it's interesting considering how I mostly knew her from her later "mom" roles. Of course, being a young hotty often does lead to being a mom, I suppose...

Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954):

Released March 5th, 1954

Directed by Jack Arnold

Starring Richard Carlson as David Reed, Julia Adams as Kay, Richard Denning as Mark Williams, Antonio Moreno as Carl Maia, Nestor Paiva as Lucas and Whit Bissell as Dr. Thompson.

 

1)Always liked the music in this - amusingly enough, I first heard it in the Americanized version of King Kong vs. Godzilla, where it was for some reason used to largely replace the Ifukube score.

 

2)I liked the conflict between Reed, the "science for science's sake" guy and Williams the "science for money and fame" guy.

 

3)Lots of nice underwater shots in this - for the underwater scenes, the Creature was played by Ricou Browning. I particularly iked the scenes where we see the Creature swimming parallel to Kay. I liked the design of the Creature, and the way it was allowed to have a personaility of sorts. It was amusing how tentative it was when it first encountered Kay, like it didn't now what to make of her.

 

4)The picture is very suspenseful - revealing the Creature a little at a time.

 

5)It occurs to me that this is the first of the threats in these pictures that has nothing unnatural about it. It's just a creature doing what it does - no ancient sorcery or twisted science involved. You feel bad for him  at the end - if these jokers broke into your home and started messing around, you'd react badly, too

 

6)Poor Kay - who looks just lovely, by the way - seems to have a touch of Susan Foreman Syndorme - the inability to run more than two steps without falling over.

 

Overall:

A fun picture - not alot of briliant acting going on, but the Creature is quite a unique presence.

 

Next: Who will survive the Revenge of the Creature?

 

 

 

You should also check out THE OUTER LIMITS episode "Tourist Attraction", which has Ralph Meeker as the egotist adventurer who captures a monster in the Amazon, and Henry Silva as the even bigger egotist South American dictator.

The IMDB put it this way:

"The capture of a legendary, ancient monster in a Latin American lake obsesses a dilettante U.S. adventurer and the country's ego-maniacal military dictator. The adventurer wants glory & fame, the general craves the tourist influx. The amazing powers of the creature, the reverence of locals for it, and the ideals of both countries' scientists stand in the way of the power-crazed adversaries' schemes."

Julia Adams appeared on an episode of LOST and you don't know how much I want to say that A) there was a Gill-Man involved and B) it was Boris Karloff who guest-starred on LOST!

My dear Jack, do not tell me what I cannot do!

I shall put your brain, Hurley into the body of the Smoke Monster!

Revenge of the Creature 1955):

Released March 13th, 1955

Directed by Jack Arnold

Starring John Agar as Prof. Clete Ferguson, Lori Nelson as Helen Dobson, John Bromfield as Joe Hayes and Nestor Paiva as Lucas.  Also, in his screen debut, movie legend and occasional chair-berater Clint Eastwood as the wacky lab assistant! Wow, Clint had manga hair decades before it became fashionable!

1)Much of this was filmed a Marineland in Florida - they certainly get alot of mileage out of it.

 

2)One of the early Sci-Fi episodes of MST3K did this movie - alas, I accidentally taped over it, and I doubt they'll get the rights to release it on video.

 

3)Lori Nelson certainly is easy on the eyes, which seems to be the only requirement to be the female lead of one of these pictures.

 

4)Wow, the dancers in the night club scene are some of the most joyless-looking people I've ever seen.

 

5)When the Creature throws one of the college kids, there is clearly a wire involved.

 

6)One does feel bad for the Creature in this - humanity's obviously going out of their way to mess with it at this point.

 

Overall:

An OK sequel - watchable, but nothing amazing.  The underwater stuff is quite good.

 

Next: Who will have right of way when The Creature Walks Among Us?

As one of their themes, The Detroit Film Theater once ran a series on 3D films which included one of The Creature movies. I believe The Revenge of the Creature was the one.  I recall the Creature leaping out of a pool toward the audience and a harpoon being stuck in my face as the highlights of the 3D showing.

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