16 October 2017

THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US and REPTILICUS: REVIEW OF 2 CLASSIC B-MOVIES BY SANDRA HARRIS.




THE KILLER B-MOVIE COLLECTION FROM FABULOUS FILMS: 9 CLASSIC MOVIES IN A UNIQUE DVD COLLECTION.
THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US and REPTILICUS: A DOUBLE REVIEW OF CLASSIC B-MOVIES FOR FABULOUS FILMS BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US. (1956) UNIVERSAL PICTURES. DIRECTED BY JOHN SHERWOOD. WRITTEN BY AND BASED ON A TREATMENT BY ARTHUR A. ROSS. MUSIC BY HENRY MANCINI.
STARRING JEFF MORROW, LEIGH SNOWDEN, REX REASON, GREGG PALMER, RICOU BROWNING AS GILL-MAN (IN WATER) AND DON MEGOWAN AS GILL-MAN (ON LAND).

REPTILICUS. (1961) AMERICAN-INTERNATIONAL PICTURES. ENGLISH VERSION WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY SIDNEY W. PINK. STARRING CARL OTTOSEN, ASBJORN ANDERSEN, ANN SMYRNER AND MIMI HEINRICH.

'What's that coming over the hill, is it a monster, is it a monster...?'

Those short lines from pop-rock outfit THE AUTOMATIC are certainly apt in the case of these two fantastic B-movies from what is now officially the last century. Imagine, the twentieth century was the last century! How old does that make all of us, haha. 

Anyway, FABULOUS FILMS are releasing no fewer than nine of these terrific old classic B-movies in one super-slick box-set, and today I want to talk to you about two of 'em in particular, THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US and REPTILICUS.

THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US is sooooo sad. It's the third movie in the UNIVERSAL PICTURES CREATURE TRILOGY, following on from THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, made in 1954, and REVENGE OF THE CREATURE from 1955.

The incredibly handsome Ricou Browning once more plays the Creature when he's underwater, like the Little Estonian Man in THE SIMPSONS who's 'only Milhouse when he gets hurt...!' This, of course, is in the episode of the show where Milhouse plays Fall-out Boy to Rainier Wolfcastle's Radioactive Man, much to a jealous Bart's chagrin.

The poor Creature is once more being pestered by that most annoying of species, humans, in this final outing. A boatload of humans, to be precise, determined not to allow the Creature to be left alone to swim in peace in his little lagoon, is hunting him down with all the determination of a lady bargain-hunter on the first day of the sales.

They're scientists, of course, as if that excuses their relentless persecution of the Creature, with whom I imagine all of the audience's sympathies lie. There's quite an interesting back-story developing on board the Science Boat, as well, that has nothing much to do with the Creature.

Marcia Barton is a hot little piece in a tight bathing-suit who's unhappily married to the insanely jealous Dr. William Barton, who's a good bit older. She's like the Lana Turner or Jessica Lange character in THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, the bored, lonely and sexually frustrated wife who, given half a chance, will go off with the first half-decent bloke who rocks up with a confident swagger and lead in his pencil.

In fact, she's being actively pursued by the sexually aggressive Jed Grant on board the boat, but she might be better off putting her eggs in Dr. Thomas Morgan's basket instead. Dr. Morgan is a handsome Stewart Granger-lookalike who looks positively divine in his swimming trunks. The men here are all typically beefy burly 'Fifties beefcake in their little togs. I surely wouldn't mind bagging me a slice or two...! Most appetising-looking, I must say.

The underwater sequences are beautifully shot and choreographed. It looks like ballet at times. The Creature, also known as Gill-Man, is a tragic figure who, like King Kong, would've been absolutely fine if he'd been left alone. Bloody humans are to blame for all the ills that befall him and I'm sure he damn well knows it too, bless his little gills. 'Ills' rhymes with 'gills,' by the way, an interesting fact which I've just realised. I could've made a bit more of that if I'd had more time, haha.

It always pisses me off inordinately when film-maker Carl Denham nods sagely at the end of KING KONG and says: 'It was Beauty killed the Beast...' No it bloody wasn't, Carl Denham, I always want to yell at the screen.

It was you, Carl Denham, ya lousy creep. you who brought him from the island in chains just to line your pockets. Oh, and of course to get you into the history books for being the man who brought such an extraordinary creature to civilisation for the delectation of the curious masses.

The Creature in captivity here is a sad, sorry sight. Those mental patient or escaped convict pyjamas they've lent him don't do him any favours. The ending is so, sooooo sad too. As for the humans, well, does Marcia Barton deserve a second chance at life and love? Personally, I'd send her to hell for shooting those two sharks just for sport at the start of the film but whatever. What will be, will be...

REPTILICUS is a marvellous old Danish-American monster movie which has a large cult following now, on account of its being pretty much Denmark's one and only monster movie ever. The version in the box-set is in English with subtitles, after some rather heavy-handed dubbing has taken place...!

It sees a giant winged snake, a cross between a dinosaur and an amphibious reptile, running amok in downtown Copenhagen after a bunch of scientists have been ill-advised enough to nurture and nourish it in a huge tank. This is after miners find a bit of its tail while drilling in Lapland, the home of Santa Claus and the elves, if you please.

The bit of tail regenerates itself, much to the surprise of the scientists, who apparently haven't been informed that they're in a B-movie where such activity is commonplace, haha. When the monster is fully grown and causing scenes of chaos and panic across Denmark, a stern, grim-faced army man called Colonel Mark Grayson is drafted in to sort things out.

Grayson's answer to everything, much like Kurt Russell's in John Carpenter's THE THING, is to apply firepower to it. The giant prehistoric reptile cannot be blown to smithereens as the army would like, however, because of the danger of its body parts individually regenerating. Then there'd be, like, a million little Reptilicuses wandering freely around the place and they don't want that, as cool as it sounds to us viewers...!

Another solution will have to be found, worse luck. Reptilicus is an absolutely darling creature, somewhat reminiscent of the superb work of stop-motion animation maestro Ray Harryhausen, and is worth a dozen stern, grim-faced army Majors any day of the week, in my humble opinion.

There's a lot of blonde-haired, pointy-bosomed 'Fifties ladies in this wonderful old monster movie. When they run or hurry, as they have cause to do sometimes, their pert pointy bosoms jiggle delightfully and they take tiny little mincing steps due to their high-heeled shoes and tight pencil skirts impeding the freedom of their movements somewhat. There were many benefits to being a man in the late 'Fifties and early 'Sixties. I'd put money on this particular sight being one of 'em...!

THE KILLER B-MOVIE COLLECTION, containing 9 separate films and discs, is available to buy now from FABULOUS FILMS. It contains the following superb old classic B-movies:

THE BLOB.
DR. CYCLOPS.
THE ANGRY RED PLANET.
THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US.
REPTILICUS.
THE TIME TRAVELLERS.
THE DEADLY MANTIS.
THE BEAST WITH 1,00000 EYES.
THE MAN FROM PLANET X.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







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