The official sequel to The Creature from the Black Lagoon, also shot in 3-D, this is a quirky fusion of subterranean imagery and social anxiety which has weathered as well as its predecessor. Here the Amazon gill-man is captured by a research team and taken to a huge tank in Marineland, Florida, from which it eventually escapes. Far from being a monster, it emerges as a strange, beautiful alien which the humans torment with crude behavioural experiments. The story of captivity and the creature's gradual reassertion of its identity is arresting enough, but in a flash of unconscious insight, the film also throws up a link between the creature's otherness and the identity confusion of the heroine. This is not just a question of beauty-and-the-beast sexual suggestion (though there's plenty of that). The two keep staring at each other through the glass tank as she begins to express doubts about abandoning science for motherhood; although fleeting, this notion of creature and woman as strangers in a male colony is something you won't find in King Kong. If the monster hunt at the end proves a little disappointing, it's only because, unlike so much of the rest, it has become familiar through imitation.
Cast and crew
Robert B Williams