Earlier this year, we finally brought you the last 2/3rds of Universal’s Gill Man trilogy- and tonight on MeTV- we bring you the original film that introduced the world to the studio’s most popular monster of the 1950s- deserving to join the classic roster of the original 1930s-40s era! Tonight we present the missing link between aquatic life and man, an amphibian that has defied the passage and effects of evolution- from whose sector of the Amazon no man has ever returned- behold the “Creature from the Black Lagoon”!
Along the banks of the Amazon River, one Dr. Maia is conducting a geological expedition- and is astounded to find the fossil of a large webbed claw. Never having seen anything like it, he thinks it may be a vital clue in the evolutionary development of sea creatures to land dwellers! He leaves his two native assistants in their camp, and travels to Brazil, where his former student Dr. Reed ,a California ichthyologist is doing research. Reed can't identify the fossil either- and finds it encouraging enough to suggest a return excursion to the Amazon, in hopes of finding more of the fossil. Amazingly, with little argument, he convinces his boss ,Dr. Williams, that such an expedition would be worth the effort and expense- but not so much out of opening new horizons of science- Williams is thinking more of the money any further discovery might bring! mostly because he thinks they can cash in big if they find additional skeletal proof. His approval hinges on one demand- that he join Maia, Reed, and Reed’s beautiful girlfriend and assistant Kay on the expedition!
Soon, they are heading down the Amazon aboard the Rita, a steamer that has seen better days, under the command of Captain Lucas, a real character well versed in the local waterways and lore. They arrive at Maia’s campsite, only to find the base torn apart, and the men dead! It’s supposed that perhaps they were attacked by a jaguar-but the title of his film isn’t “Jaguar from the Black Lagoon”, is it?
Moving on from this tragedy, they continue to search for the fossil proof they seek, but become frustrated when time passes and they haven't found anything new. Suddenly, a new possibility dawns on them- what if any additional fossil remains may have been swept down river with the passage of time? Captain Lucas reluctantly agrees to guide them downstream to a remote tributary that flows into the legendary but ominous area known as the “Black Lagoon”-a beautiful place with a reputation- any who have dared to visit there- have never returned!
As they enter the lagoon, they are unaware that the creature whose fossilized remains they hope to find- is actually alive and well- and stalking them! Putting down anchor, the men go diving in search of fossils- and Kay, wearing one of the most famous one-piece white bathing suits in cinema history, takes a rollicking swim- never realizing that the Gill Man is shadowing her, with her barely escaping it’s claws!
More evidence that their quarry is not yet fossilized comes when something is caught in the ship's net- tearing it apart, and leaves an ominous -looking claw stuck in it. It becomes apparent to the party that the fabled Gill Man still exists, and may be the attacker that left the campsite in shambles.
Faced with further savage attacks, the logical conclusion is that they should leave the lagoon- but Williams, unwilling to give up the chance of a big money windfall, demands that they attempt to capture the Creature, regardless of the danger to his constituents! They end up in a battle between man -and the creature that evolution could not change- with all of them in danger of becoming one more statistic in the list of those who have never returned from the Black Lagoon!
This 1954 film established the Gill Man as the last of the great Universal monsters, and we’ll tell you about his background and the movie’s cast, while providing a Sven song, a commercial for a scent sent from the Amazon, and more- an encore of a chat we had at one of the C2E2 comics and entertainment conventions- with a woman who most certainly changed the definition of women in pro wrestling - WWE Hall of Famer Lita, Amy Dumas!
"Creature from the Black Lagoon" surfaces tonight on MeTV at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, or check for time and channel in your local listings and or www.metv.com . Chicago area viewers get an encore look at Ray Harryhausen’s Ymir in “20 Million Miles to Earth" at 11 am on WCIU, the U.
ATTENTION! In answer to so many requests- yes, finally, there IS a new Sven action figure available in our store! The new limited edition figure features me in the long-sleeved Sven t-shirt, just like I wear in our mail segments, with the glow-in-the–dark Sven graphic on the shirt! Yes, it glows! Last year, the first figure sold out in just under a week- this time, we have ordered more inventory, but the time to order is now, to make sure you won’t get shut out! (Also, ordering now give you the best chance of having it in hand for holiday gift-giving!) Check it out under our store tab!
Tonight- join us for thrills with the Gill Man on MeTV!