Rewatching the Universal Monsters. The ones on the Blu-ray box set, at least. We’ve come to the end, as Universal’s so-called “monster office” was on its last legs by the 50s, but the good news we get The Creature Walks Among Us.
Here’s what happens: The heroic Dr. Morgan and the unhinged Dr. Barton capture the Creature in the Florida everglades. Barton experiments on the Creature, turning it partially human. Overprotective of his wife, Barton goes into a murderous rage, with the Creature caught in the middle.
Monster! The big deal here is that the Creature mutates into a half-human Creature. Frankenstein is clearly an influence, as the monster spends a good chunk of the movie bandaged up in the lab. Then they put him in a broad shouldered coat, making him look even more like Frankenstein’s monster.
Also a monster! Described as “deeply disturbed,” Barton rubs everyone the wrong way. He tries framing a murder on the Creature, which is what sets of the movie’s finale.
Our hero: Morgan is the classic 1950s manly man of manliness, so much so that I almost wonder if this is an intentional parody of ‘50s movie science-heroes.
Hapless humans: Marcia is Barton’s fun-loving wife, who seems a little too unaware of how rotten Barton is. Jed is the poor sap who romantically pursues her. Another scientist, Dr. Borg, provides some nice everyman charm to his scenes.
Thrills: The first half of the movie is a rough remake of the first one, with everyone on a boat hunting the monster through the swamp. They’ve clearly made an effort to improve the underwater photography, which looks great. There’s a great fight where the Creature gets shot up with harpoons and then catches fire. His final rampage is also a good one, with him showing off a lot Hulk-like strength.
Laughs: This is a sad, somber movie, so no room for comic relief.
Thoughts on this viewing: While there’s a lot of monster action and human drama, the signature visual of the movie is the Creature staring longingly at the ocean, wishing he could return to the water. Kind of a fitting final sendoff for the Universal Monsters, looking back at another time…
That’s a wrap on this series. What should I watch next for this blog?
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