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Great Moments in Horror Actressing: Margot Kidder

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Entries in Creature from the Black Lagoon (2)

Friday
Oct 14 2016

Jack Arnold Centennial

Tim here.Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of director Jack Arnold,and if your response to hearing that name is a polite look of blank incomprehension,I wouldn't feel bad.Arnold's not exactly a household name and never has been,but you wouldn't want to imagine what classic sci-fi would look like without him.For a short time in the 1950s,Arnold was possibly the most admirable genre film director in Hollywood.I can't think of any better way to demonstrate how singularly iconic his work has been than to point out that he's the only filmmaker to have two different films named dropped in "Science Fiction/Double Feature",the opening number fromThe Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Undoubtedly the film for which Arnold remains best-known isthe 1954Creature from the Black Lagoon(and it's dimwitted first sequel,Revenge of the Creature,but it wouldn't be sporting to hold that against him),and it's fairly easy to argue that it's his best work,too.

on the set of The Black Lagoon

But however impressively he handled that last gasp of the Universal Horror machine,it's by no means his only noteworthy achievement...

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Monday
Aug 24 2015

The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954)

A couple of weeks ago news spread around the internet that Universal might reviveThe Creature From the Black Lagoonas part of their planned Classic Monsters universe (every studio wants their own connected franchises now post Marvel Studios).It didn't seem like much of a news story at the time,full of "mights"and "possibly"and "they're interested in Scarlett Johannson."Scarlett for the buxom conquest,notthe amphibious creature of course!

You know the type of "news"I'm talking about.The type we get when there's no story at allyet.But since we're celebrating 1954 next week with the Smackdown,why not travel back in time to the original to see if it's worth reviving at all?

I may or may not have seen this old horror flick as a child on TV but if so I had no recall whatsover so this would be like a first screening.I imagined from the posters that it would be like a watery King Kong,a tragic beauty & beast story.This was quite wrong.

Thoughts I had while screening...

• Rather unexpectedly the film begins with a brief "Creation of the Earth"myth complete with Biblical narration and visuals of explosions,clouds,and an earth-like sphere,followed eventually by more nature footage of stormy oceans and sand.

It's surprisingly easy to picture Terrence Malick at 10 years of age agog at a drive-in in the Midwest when the movie arrived in early 1954.(10 might be the ideal age for this.)

More after the jump...

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