Starring: John Agar, Lori Nelson, John Bromfield, Nestor Paiva
Blurbage: In this provocative follow-up to the original, the Creature has been captured by scientists who will stop at nothing to uncover his secrets. Miserable in captivity, the Creature finds only one source of sympathy - a beautiful female researcher. Soon he escapes and kidnaps her, determined to take her to his underwater lair. Active legend Clint Eastwood's first screen appearance is among the surprises found in this clever sequel, directed by the original's Jack
Scene 01: We start by returning to a 'tributary of the Upper Amazon' with a flyover of the dense jungle canopy. Fading
away from the blurb, we are at river level and watching a boat making its way down the Amazon tributary. The ship is
the Rita II, piloted by our ship's Captain, Lucas, who piloted the Rita in the first movie.
Commentary: And when I say we see our ship's Captain, Lucas... I mean it. This is reused footage of the grinning Lucas from scene 06 of the first flick. In addition, we get a repeat of the 'cayman jumping into the river' and 'wild bird perching on branch' that we saw in the first, as well. Nice start, movie.
I also have to say, it looks like Lucas fell on some hard times, as his boat is smaller now. The Rita II is clearly a downgrade from her predecessor.
The ship anchors and we meet our two latest scientist-adventurers, who are bitchers. "Oh, we have to eat leftovers. Oh, we don't have any beer. Oh, it's too hot. Oh, we don't have any women aboard... whine, whine, Mc-Whiner."
We find out that these gentlemen are from Ocean Harbor. They're here in to look for evidence of the prior expedition's claim of a 'prehistoric monster' (which I don't see Drs. Reed or Lawrence using as a term in their reports). Apparently, in the aftermath of the deaths from that expedition, they and the Instituto de Biologia Maritima chose not to return....
Anyway, back with the Whiney-pants, the elder scientist is worried they've been suckered and the reputation of Ocean Harbor's institute will be tarnished. The younger assures him that if the gill-man exists, he'll catch it... and if not, well, that's their boss' loss.
By the way, we're anchored at the mouth of the Black Lagoon. Lucas has told them that they'll enter it the following
Lucas tells our adventurers that they may be sorry they found the beast... assuming its still alive (in reference to the fact that the last we saw of our Creature, he was sinking to the bottom of a chasm in the Lagoon, having suffered multiple gunshot wounds).
Scene 02: In the cabin of the Rita II, later that evening, the two scientists and Lucas sit and smoke after dinner. Lucas questions the sense in fooling around with the Creature, pointing out that they are risking their lives for what? A side-show?
But the scientists, of course, are not to be put off.
Commentary: I can see another parallel to the later 'Jaws' as well: Pay attention to Lucas telling the men that tomorrow they'll be in the Lagoon, that they'll be going into the water, the monster is in the water...
Doesn't this remind you of Robert Shaw's making fun of Cooper's shark cage when they're loading aboard the Orca.
Anyway, elder guy bitches about the heat here....
Lucas gives the men the rundown on the expedition from 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' pointing out that by the time they left, five men were dead and the Creature was still right where they found it. Lucas tries to impress on our two whiney dolts that they may be biting off more than they can chew, and then takes his leave.
The two scientists talk (and I still don't know their names... it's possible they mentioned them and I didn't catch 'em, but they're uninteresting so I don't care) with elder wondering if they should be putting their lives at risk for the institute (in Florida, we learn here), but the younger is more pragmatic. They're being payed to perform a job and he's going to do it. Elder turns in to nap, while younger deals out a game of solitare.
Scene 03: We pan over the quiet Lagoon, in what I thought was going to be more 'animal life' shots... we see a bird on a log waiting for fish. When the Creature reaches up and snatches it, dragging it underwater with the famously overused 'Creature-Sting-of-Danger' music... and, uh, that bird sure did look real being dragged under to drown!
Having assured the audience that the Creature is alive and the movie isn't about a wild goose chase, we pan to see Rita II coming into the Lagoon.
We get some eye candy provided by one of our anonymous Brazilian crewmen, but this scene drags a bit with more shots of the plantlife and the water and the Rita II drifting to a stop....
Scene 04: Underwater, we see the Gill-man swimming near the bottom of the Lagoon. He surfaces to spot the intruders and we see that the costume has undergone a bit of a revision. Apparently, healing from gunshot wounds have caused it to develop googly-eyes. The costume is still well articulated and nicely 'real', but the eyes (for the actor's benefit) are worse off than in the first film.
Also, we get lots and lots of the Creature-Musical-Sting, telling us that Jack Arnold couldn't get enough of it and that it's overuse will match or exceed the first film's.
Anyway, the Rita II is dropping a net over the entrance to the Lagoon to trap the creature within it.
Scene 05: 'Joe' the younger adventurer is sealed into a diving suit, so he can secure the netting to the bottom and goes into the drink. And, I'm distracted by the hot Brazilian's well-toned back during this scene.
Lucas is worried that the bulky diving suit will make 'Joe' too vulnerable to attack, but the elder guy tells him not to worry about it. Joe drops over the side and sinks into the murk.
Scene 06: Underwater, Joe slowly stumbles his way to the net, while we see the Creature swimming in behind him, checking out what he's doing. Well, the Creature knows about nets from the last expedition and he doesn't like intruders.
He attacks Joe.
As the boat crew struggles with shaking the line (in an ill-attempt to look like they're trying to bring him up), below Joe tries to draw his knife as he and the Creature struggle on the bottom.
Commentary: Unfortunately, I couldn't get any clear shots of the action, because of the smeary, gray photography, but it's not a badly shot struggle.
Joe starts to surface, but the Gill-man grabs him around the head and dives to the bottom, again. As the diver again tries to get to the surface, the Creature goes for the air hose, but elder-scientist guy drives him away with a rifle.
With the Creature's retreat, Joe is able to make it back aboard the Rita II, his suit all slashed up (as elder-scientist helpfully informs us, in case we can't see that for ourselves).
Scene 07: With diving into the Lagoon being a relatively bad idea, we now pan over its surface where we see boxes floating on the surface. We're quickly let in on the fact that these boxes are floating small amounts of dynamite to stun anything below the surface.
Why the Captain of the Rita II is the one rowing the boat holding the dynamite is anyone's guess. Apparently the extra crewmen weren't being paid enough for speaking roles....
Scene 08: Shortly after the dynamite has been laid, Lucas kvetches about the danger to the Rita II by the explosives in the water, but elder-scientist guy rolls his eyes. He sets off the explosives.
Scene 09: And we pan across the surface of the Lagoon so we can see the fish floating on the surface, stunned. Just after elder-scientist guy complains about the lack of Creature, its spotted floating face down.
"Hi, Bare-Chested Brazilian Guy!!"
Scene 10: A fade-cut brings us to sometime after the Creature's capture. A newsman holds up a photo of the Gill-man floating in the Lagoon. He breathlessly informs his audience of the monster's retrieval. We find out through his exposition that the Gill-man lies in a coma. It is being transported as he speaks to the Ocean Harbor Oceanarium in Florida. We're also told that the Gill-man can only survive out of water for a few minutes at a time, which surely will become important later on.
Scene 11: Fade to a university-looking building. We visit a woman-scientist working with a finger-painting primate. But, she's not our focus. The doctor who visits her is, as he is Dr. Clete Ferguson (John Agar).
Commentary: For some reason, the 'blurbage' identifies John as the Creature - which isn't correct. I don't know how these things slip by during production of materials for DVD, but it's wrong. The underwater creature was performed by Ricou Browning again, while land-duty was by Tom Hennesey according to IMDB.
This university is involved in animal studies including testing for differences between chimp and human intelligence and the supposition that animals we think of as natural enemies (cat/rats) can co-exist just fine as long as both are well fed.
Commentary: And this gives us the cameo from Clint Eastwood that was so important, they included it in the blurb (insert my eyes rolling, thank you). It amounts to Clint as clueless lab tech with a rather large rat in his lab-coat pocket that he somehow doesn't realize he's lugging around... and it's a pointless use of screen time.
Hardy-Har-Har... thanks Clint the Comedian!
Some guy named Max rushes into the lab to excitedly tell Clete about the Gill-man being captured. The same one that Dr. Reed reported on 'last year', in a nice callback to 'Creature....', but alas, we get zero information on why Dr. Reed hasn't rushed to Florida. You'd think it would just be professional courtesy for him to have been invited to join the study after risking his life and losing his friend/rival to the Creature.
Anyway, it takes little effort to convince Clete to get himself assigned to study the Creature when it arrives in Florida.
Scene 12: Which he does, as we're informed by a screen label that we are now in Florida. The Creature arrives aboard the Porpoise III to Ocean Harbor. Alas, we have to watch as the Gill-man is slooooowly unloaded from the ship's hold. And while I appreciate the two divers in their tight-shorts in the water - well, let's move on to where something is going to happen, yes?
No. We get the thrilling sight of the Gill-man sloooowly winched up and then transported to a truck with a bed of water
in the back and then sloooowly lowered into the truck o'water. AH - Joe is Joe Hayes... diver extraordinaire.
Anywho... the scene of moving the Creature from the Porpoise III to the holding take at Ocean Harbor takes about 2 min, 36 sec. which is far too long. A little editing would have been nice, since we're going to spend more time in the holding tank with Joe 'walking' the Creature, anyway.
Scene 13: The Gill-man is transferred to the holding tank at Ocean Harbor and Joe Hayes walks the Creature to keep oxygen circulating over its gill slits (told you!).
We get the whole explanation from Helen Dobson, who studies fish and has come to the Oceanarium for the Gillman.
We get a sense that time has passed and the Creature remains comatose by the reporters all looking bored waiting. In the water, diver Joe Hayes continues his vigil. We get a time stamp of 2 hours later by some random reporters.
We get a few shots of the critter twitching, revealing that its coming around. The Gill-man revives and Joe is quick to get out of the tank, but now they have to move it to a deeper enclosure. We're assured that all of this action is exciting by the bombastic music playing over the scene and a random reporter yelling that it could kill someone... long after no one is in the shallow tank with it.
Well... that shows me: The Creature is able to make a leap and jump clear out of the tank, grabbing the sides of the holding tank and pulling itself over the edge. As reporters scatter, Joe grabs a hooked pole from random worker (since obviously No-Name can't play the hero) and rushes over to confront the Creature. This proves to be a mistake, since he doesn't stand out of the Gill-man's arm reach and ends up going back over the side of the tank with the Creature.
Both fall into the water, with Joe - for the second time - getting himself mauled. Thankfully, two other no-names are there to give him a chance to climb to safety, while they take his punishment in his place.
Commentary: Actually, I like the scene after Joe goes over the side. The Creature is really given a sense of danger here and watch the guy get grabbed, picked up and slammed into the water as he tries to get up the ladder behind Joe. It was a well done scene.
From above the holding tank, a net is thrown over the Creature. While it struggles with the net, Joe jumps back in to haul the injured to the ladder, where he's helped to get the guy out of the water. Now, there is a second guy in there, and I don't think we actually see him get retrieved. I guess we have to assume that he was able to reach the ladder on his own... or he was dead anyway and acted as a Creature-treat for later... one or the other.
Scene 14: Some unspecified time later, Helen and the reporters watch as the netted Gill-man is manhandled through an underwater gate into the main display tank. We get a view of a shark, a barracuda, multiple fish... and the coolest of 'em all, a Sawfish! I love those guys. Finally... and I do mean FINALLY, they get the Creature chained by the ankle to the bottom of the tank, which just seems cruel to me.
Scene 15: Cut to sometime later and the Gill-man is officially ready for display to the public. We view scenes of public, hear loudspeaker guy telling them the Creature should be viewed and then move on so everyone has a chance to see it, see some losers checking out regular old fish in some tanks... you know, fish -- instead of everyone mobbing the Creature tank?! Yeah, right....
We also see some diver (I'm assuming Joe since we're watching him so long) hand-feeding dolphins from underwater and I wanted them to maul him and rip him apart, but it didn't happen. At least we get more man-skin... like with the first movie, with so many underwater scenes, we get plenty of men in tight swim trunks and little else on display.
Scene 16: From within the Oceanarium's viewing room, Helen is busy scribbling notes about the Creature who the loudspeaker guy informs us isn't eating the fish swimming all around him (convenient!) and scientists are still working on figuring out its diet. And, I'll point out here that Helen isn't being crowded, jostled or pushed out of the way by kids who want to see..., Yeah - right.
Anyway, John Agar is there, too, filming the Gill-man through the port hole next to her. And, he's not being crowded out either. Helen and Clete do some nauseating flirting thing here, so let's move on....
The Creature is left some dead fish in a basket by a diver, but after a small bite, throws it away uneaten. For some reason, this strikes Helen as funny. Because watching a valuable scientific find of a one-of-a-kind nature slowly starve itself to death in captivity is all shits and giggles, apparently.
The smooth Dr. Ferguson tells Helen they should "get out of here before the crowd runs over us"... which is hilarious because they both have their own port holes to themselves... and when Clete does step away from his, no one rushes forward to grab his spot.
Clete makes more nauseating attempts to set up a date with Helen, which she accepts because... I guess, 'cause she's a girl. Honestly, I don't know what she's finding so attractive, but what the hey... at least she'll get a free meal out of the deal.
Scene 17: Outside the Oceanarium, we have more repulsive scenes of Clete basically trying to monopolize Helen as Joe Hayes rushes up to woo her, next. Really, she's like a piece of candy between two children... the very dynamic that 'Creature From the Black Lagoon' went out of its way to avoid - *shudder*
Anyway, Clete tries to tell Joe that he's already gotten to her before him (rude! pig!!), but Helen invites him along for dinner with the two of them... which he declines with, "No thanks. I'll give the Professor his chance. I don't like to take advantage of amateurs."
Commentary: Jeez - and this was acceptable in the 50's? I should also point out that both men are grabbing at Helen's arms like they're about to get into a tug-of-war with her as both rope and prize. Somehow, she doesn't remind both of them that she isn't an object.
Scene 18: With the repugnant scene of 50's sexism out of the way, we get to spend some empty and pointless screen time with Flippy, the educated Porpoise... which means the dolphin show where it jumps for fish and such that you can see at any water themed park (think Sea World). I'll point out that the stands are relatively full, despite the fact that the Oceanarium is SHOWING A LIVE, PREHISTORIC GILL-MAN THAT HAS NEVER BEFORE BEEN SEEN BY ANYONE IN PUBLIC!!
But, no, by all means, let's spend more time with Flippy..., another 2 minutes, 18 seconds of screen time we'll never get back.
It's not all Flippy-fun (thankfully) though, as Clete, Helen and Joe don't have anything better to do with their time than check out the porpoise show... you know, despite the fact that they have a once in a lifetime chance to study a creature that has never been seen before. We also meet Helen's pal, Chris - a beautiful German Shepherd... who for some reason is allowed to roam free in the Oceanarium.
Scene 19: Some time later (next day? later that afternoon? I'm not sure, we haven't seen Helen or Clete go on their date though), we get to see John Agar and Lori Nelson in their swimsuits as they're going to go into the tank to work with the Creature (you'd think!).
We get to watch every exciting second of "lowering the mic/speaker device into the pool sloowly" action. Naturally the Creature is curious about the voices (which actually sound awfully a lot like they did out of the water as in the water), and swims over to check out the microphone.
Being a scientist, Clete has to issue orders so he tells random helper guy, "Be sure to keep that speaker volume up!" As if the guy's first thought was, "As soon as you go over the side, I'm gonna turn that speaker off."
Commentary: Can you tell that there is a lot of dead-space in this movie? There are inserted scenes that are obviously designed to offer free advertising to the Marine Park that the movie was filmed in and there are other scenes that are just in need of editing something fierce.
Scene 20: Finally... and I do mean FINALLY, they get into the damned water to start their first experiment. The point is to test the Creature's ability to learn by pushing a basket of dead fish toward it. As it reaches to investigate, Helen is to shout 'Stop' through her throat mic, while Clete gives it a shock with a prod. Clete has the decency to at least express reluctance to torture the Gill-man this way, but you know... science and knowledge and all that. He wants to know how intelligent the Gill-man is and how quickly it can learn.
The experiment lasts all of three rounds of 'Stop' and then Clete, consumate professional that he is, decides "whelp, that's enough for one day!" ... and Helen? Completely superfluous to the experiment, of course.
Clete also plans that he and she will be the only ones to feed it from now on....
Commentary: Of course, since they already established earlier that he wouldn't capture the live fish in the tank and won't eat the dead fish offered, I'm not sure what Clete and Helen plan on using for food... anonymous Oceanarium crewmen, maybe? They can start with the Flippy trainers!
Scene 21: Clete reminds Helen about her dinner obligation to him for that evening. And, I don't know what it is exactly, because this is the 50's after all, but John Agar just bugs me in this. He's so... oily....
Anyway, having been shocked multiple times, the Gill-man has had just about enough and tries to break its ankle chain. It's unsuccessful, but I think we can see how its going to go on its 'Revenge' later.
Scene 22: Helen waits for Clete in her little black dress at the Oceanarium (instead of at the hotel that they're both staying at for some reason). The Gill-man stops yanking its chain (no, that's not a euphemism) when he spots Helen looking at him.
Commentary: And I must call foul here. This is the point in the story where the monster becomes infatuated with the beauty... a well worn trope even by the 50's. But here, it's much more galling than in the first movie because the only contact that its had with Helen up to this point is when it was being electro-shocked. The only thing you'd think it would feel toward her is aggression and wanting to carve her up, but of course, that's not what it's after. It makes me wonder if its into masochism... chain on the ankle, Helen yelling at it, electric shocks, starvation....
Or, perhaps it's just the power of the boobies clouding its mind.
Anyway, her and Clete go off arm in arm with the Creature watching.
Scene 23: Cut to the following day, where Joe and Clete are injecting tranquilizers into a dead fish carcass... you know the dead fish that we've been told and shown that the Creature won't eat? Well, apparently somewhere along the line it got hungry enough, though we don't get even a throwaway line to explain that.
Anyway, we get more male swimtrunks action here, and uh, John Bromfield's dinger is really pretty obvious in those trunks. They might have wanted to give him something more... concealing to wear. But, too late now!
This time, the Creature - probably famished, gulps down the drugged fish. It swims around for awhile and then passes out artfully draped over an underwater log. The point of this is to strap sensors on to him, so they can study the electric impulses of its brain and nervous system, as Helen gets the job of informing us through more exposition.
Scene 24: Later we see Helen and Clete performing random experiments with test tubes and shark blood samples (uh, okay?) in one of those montage scenes. Ah, I see - they were comparing blood samples of the Creature (which we didn't see them collect) with those of other large fishes... like the shark.
They are amazed to discover that the Gillman "just misses being human" and is far closer to mankind than to other fish.
Scene 25: Day off at the beach! More swimsuit modeling by John Agar and Lori Nelson and more pleasantly, more of Chris.
At first the scene is okay... Clete mentions he'll be leaving soon and all, but then Helen starts to swerve into the "woman's true purpose in life is to get married and breed" spiel and I'm begging her not to offer to give up her career if only he'd stay.
We do get some mention that it isn't really fair, but the gist is does Helen want a career or to be a wife and mother, because being the 50's, she obviously can't have both. Clete needs to know before he goes, because he's really come to care for her in the last two weeks... talk about whirlwind romances! (And he doesn't care enough to tell her that he wouldn't make her give up her career)
They kanoodle and I feel barfy, but then My Hero, Chris the Wonderdog, shakes his wet fur all over that scene and breaks the mood... a little late, but I'm grateful none-the-less.
Scene 26: Once again, Helen is waiting for Clete in front of the viewports to the Creature's tank. It seems to sense it's being watched and once it realizes it is HER, it dashes over to the ports and follows her as she looks in while walking.
It is a nice little scene, even if it pales next to the swimming-fascination scene of the original. It still doesn't adequately explain why the Creature is interested in her though - I guess she's just a 50's kinda gal, and he's a 50's kinda monster, so whatta-ya-gonna-do?
When Clete joins her, we find out that he's been having second thoughts of her getting into the tank with the Gill-man, now that they're an (barf) item. She tells him... wimpily, but she at least she does... that replacing her with Joe would slow down his research (why?) and he's leaving very soon - he doesn't have time to waste.
Scene 27: (The following day?) Clete and Helen are in the tank again, he with his electric prod and she standing there with a ball on a pole. We find out that this is part of the "draw him in and then shock him" experiments they've been running that has made the Creatures so interested in Helen (see, Masochism - not that I'm trying to discount the power of boobies, of course).
Of course Helen was right - there's no way that Joe would be up to speed on such a complex experiment. It's a good thing she convinced him that he needed her down there.
Well, the Creature manages to prove two things to the audience at this point: 1) It isn't naturally aggressive toward Helen, even though it should be and 2) it has learned to understand 'Stop!' as a command to avoid the shock.
On an attempt to repeat the experiment, the Creature bats the pole from the too close Helen and grabs her, attempting to swim away with her. Clete charges with the shock-pole, but it is also batted from his hand and the Gill-man sets upon him as Helen ineffectively yells, 'Please!' and 'Stop!' in a far-from-authoritative voice. It's no wonder it gets zero result.
Alas, it lets go before Clete drowns and he and Helen are able to make their escape from the tank.
The Creature, frustrated again that he can't reach the fleeing Helen, yanks on his ankle chain some more. This time, the chain finally snaps and the Creature is free.
As it charges the surface, Joe falls into the water - and is mauled for the THIRD time! Sorry Joe - your luck has run out!
As the creature leaps from the water, Joe Hayes is left at the bottom of the tank.
Scene 28: Random woman screams in horror as the Gill-man climbs over the tank wall and out into the water park.
Commentary: AH-HA! THIS is the scene I remembered that I mentioned in my review of "Creature from...." and was surprised to not see. Wow, this whole movie and this is the only short sequence I remembered out of the entire thing. Is that more sad for me, or the movie?
Anydo, the Gillman is loose, so the Park Announcer causes a full blown panic by shouting breathlessly over the PA to evacuate the park immediately - and all of those people in the Aquarium viewing place who should have had a ring side seat to the entire action, now choose to run out into the open screaming and yelling and waving their arms as if the monster was right behind them, instead of you know... out where they're running TO. Morons.
Naturally, little Susie-cute-Pigtails trips over her own clumsy feet on the only tiny patch of grass in a sea of concrete. Mother-of-little-Susie dives on top of her with both females screaming as the monster roars over them. Before it leaves them be... drat!
Funnily, we hear the Announcer telling people not to head toward the beach as that is where the Gillman would logically be headed, and we see an entire crowd of people run right for it. The Creature on their heels. Alas, no women in heels fall here, so the best the monster can do is tip over a car (which because it was built in the 50s, rather than the 70s, 80's or 90's - fails to spectacularly explode immediately).
The creature heads to ocean.
Scene 29: Back in the seaside park, we get confirmation that Joe is dead as Helen throws herself into Clete's un-hunky embrace. He sees the Creature vanish out into the surf.... And, I swear that John Agar is gut-sucking in this scene.
Commentary: This actually would have been a good ending for the flick, but Helen hasn't been abducted yet and we're only 55 minutes in, so....
Scene 30: SPINNING NEWPAPER HEADLINE!
Our headlines let us know that the Gillman has been spotted from Norfolk down to Miami and at least one person additionally has been killed. The Coast Guard and Navy are searching. We fade into a television news reader basically reiterating for those of us who don't know how to read NEWSPAPER HEADLINES!
Scene 31: Random Horny Teens are parked near the water and kissing, when the gropefest is broken up by a cop. They're told to be on their way. Panning over, we see the Gillman leaving the water and climbing an embankment.
Somehow, it has managed to find its way to the exact motel that Helen and Clete are staying in (and its brought along that damned overplayed, musical sting with it, too). In her room with Chris, Helen is removing her stockings dressed in a robe.
Unnoticed, the Gillman spies on her from a window as she heads to the bathroom to run a shower.
Commentary: We get some undewear shots of Lori Nelson, for those into that sort of thing. But more importantly for me, we get a good view of the Creature out of the water, and I hate those eyes. Screw the actor, he should have been made to suck it up and they should have kept the costume as it was. More positively, they are still having the Creature's mouth gape when breathing air, which adds to its creepiness.
Being the 1950's, also notice that Helen goes in to take her shower, while leaving the screen doors leading out to her veranda completely unlocked and opened to the night air. You sure wouldn't want to be doing that nowadays... we've become barbarians.
Scene 32: Helen turns on her shower, while the Creature pushes her screen door open and lets himself in. Chris, god bless him, barks out a warning with all of his heart. In a room nearby, Clete hears the racket, but as we already know from studies of the physics of sound waves, Helen is in the shower and ergo, effectively deaf to everything happening outside of her bathtub.
Well, Chris jumps at the monster as we jump-cut back to Clete who hears the horrible death howl of our brave, beautiful canine hero. He rushes off to Helen's room, but too late to intervene on Chris' behalf - damn him. I'm sure he dragged his heels on purpose, the jealous wanker.
Also note - Helen's room door to the outside is also unlocked. Clete rushes inside, but Helen is still in the shower and so she hasn't heard anything. Also, she didn't wash her hair, either - it's dry. Clete asks after Chris, not seeing the noble dog anywhere.
Clete and Helen search the area and call/whistle for him, but he never shows (sob) and a camera pan lets us know that he isn't going to be back (sob). I don't think that Helen ever does find out what happened to him, either.
Instead of worrying about her hero in fur-armor, Helen disrespect's Chris' noble sacrifice by having an icky romantic moment with Clete outside in her robe and he in his jammies... disloyal tramp!
The real point of the scene though is to let us know that they're going to be followed down river the following day by the Creature tracking Helen down....
Scene 33: Aboard a boat to Jacksonville, Clete and Helen enjoy the sunlight - as poor, forgotten Chris rots in the bushes.
From the tall lake grass, the Creature watches (with musical sting, 'natch). It takes off after the Porpoise III in the footage from when it was after the Rita I in the first movie. We get some intercutting between the two humans discussing the missing Chris, them dancing and them (ew) making out while the Creature is behind the Rita I and following ... er... I mean following along behind the Porpoise III.
Scene 34: With the Porpoise III temporarily waylaid by a mechanical problem, Helen and Clete go for a swim in the river... dah-duh-DAHHHHHH!
The Creature watches the two swim and splash and... go attack already! But no, they're left more than enough time to make out some more. Finally, the monster starts to move in, but because Helen has no peripheral vision, she doesn't see that it's literally right next to her... somehow.
As she cavorts with Clete, the creature begins circling them and basically replaying the balletic and romantic scene of the Creature and Kay Lawrence's swim in the original... and utterly failing to recapture that magic.
In the meantime, the Porpoise III's problem is resolved and the two (gag) love-birds head in. The Creature almost repeats its climb aboard the boat maneuver, but the ship pulls away before it can get hold of a dangling rope. It's forced to follow underwater.
Scene 35: That night, we get to see 1950's nightlife in Florida as Clete and Helen enjoy dancing and dinner. Somehow, despite the fact that the Porpoise III is clearly NOT docked at the riverside restaurant, the Creature knows just where they've chosen to go out to.
Commentary: Again, this scene pre-Creature showing up, goes on just a tad long. And there's a woman and later a guy who can't help themselves and look right at the cameraman....
Clete complains the restaurant is hot and he and Helen go out onto the river-veranda to talk. The monster, again, doesn't attack fast enough and we get more romance-heavy dialog about love and its mysteries and another smooch-session. Finally, the Creature climbs up onto the pier juuuuusssst as Helen and Clete turn their backs to return to the restaurant.
Scene 36: I swear if John Agar doesn't quit flashing that insipid cheesy grin... anyway, we have to spend several seconds watching the monster stalk closer and listening to some jazzy-jazz music. And then, the Gill-man finally makes his move and clobbers Clete a good one... YES!
Helen is quickly scooped up and taken away screaming...he leaps into the water with her. AND JAWS ALERT!!
Helen and the Gillman swim out to - A BUOY! Where Helen dangles from it, screaming for help... just like Chrissie Watkins!
But Helen comes out far luckier than the unfortunate nude swimmer - maybe because she kept her dress on. Anyway, Helen climbs up the buoy, but the Gillman yanks her back into the water. In the meantime, a police boat plucks Clete from the water (he's really huffing and puffing - I don't think he'd be able to make it back in). Alas, no giant shark shows up.
Let me point out too, that a random boating couple seeing what has happened uh... vanishes... apparently they got the hell out of there leaving Helen and Clete to their fate. Thanks random-boating couple!! The female half of the couple's screaming and spilling her drink as she throws herself into her date's arms made that scene entirely needed!
Scene 37: Police are ordered 'to the waterfront' and citizens to remain indoors while we revisit news guy so he can tell us what we just got done seeing ourselves. Thanks news guy!!
Scene 38: Two guys in their convertible are driving along the waterfront (they don't have the radio on, so they missed the bulletin) and talking about their father's complaining about them not going to college. "A college degree is the new High School diploma" one of them quotes their dad....
Commentary: Wow! The exact same argument that we hear today! It's like full-circle!
The two see Helen lying in the sand near the shore and stop to check on her condition. Bad move. No good deed goes unpunished, and the punishment is going to be rather harsh.
The Gillman takes it personally that the two guys are making eyes at Helen and deals with them both.
Commentary: One of the guys gets a really good death scene for a 50s movie... he gets picked up and thrown into a tree! It's awesome.
The second guy just gets the usual throttle with claws. Helen gets picked up and hauled away.
Commentary: Interestingly, the Creature seems to understand that she requires air because it drops her off on the shore when it returns to the water (which recall, it has to do every few minutes) keeping her from drowning. In the original film, after it dove into the water with Kay, it was only going to a secret entrance in a grotto, so we didn't know if it was aware that it might have drowned her - here, it seems to know that Helen isn't amphibious.
Scene 39: Meanwhile, Clete is in the police boat who rescued him. He's changed into dry clothes and hears over their radio that the two dead guys have been found - they race for the scene.
Scene 40: Back to news man who gets us up to date on the police plan of action. The police split into teams with flood lights and flashlights, but naturally our hero Clete will also need to give them some extra instruction because he's the star, so can't just stand by and let the police do their jobs.... And, this scene is draggy, too. Let's just wrap this up, shall we?
With the search on, its only a matter of time. In the meanwhile, the Creature has put down unconscious Helen again to return to the water for a few.
Commentary: I like how the Creature pops above the surface here, so he can check on her and then sinks back down.
Helen is located, but the Creature sees the huge spotlight lighting her up and comes out of the water to menace the search team... one of them fires a flare to draw the others (especially Clete) to the area for the final confrontation.
Now, Helen comes around and instead of lying still and allowing the Gill-man to be distracted by the spotlights, of course she feels the need to scream her bloody head off and thereby drawing the monster's attention right back on herself. But, I do have to give her credit for not tripping and falling over her own feet while trying to run away ala Kay.
Thankfully, Clete and reinforcements arrive 'in the nick of time', and remember those conditioning sessions? Clete yells for the Creature to stop a few times over a loudspeaker and it instinctively lets go of Helen, allowing her to make a dash to Clete's side. With Helen now out of the way, the police open fire and the wounded Creature dives into the river.
We see the Creature floating down through water that in no way matches the shot we just had of it on the river bottom but would match quite nicely with a shot of it floating down toward the bottom of the Lagoon in the first movie....
And, thankfully, we close out without any moralizing from our heroes.
END (only not, because there's "The Creature Walks Among Us" coming up)
The Good: The Creature costumes remains very good for a man in suit creation. I don't like the new eyes, but it doesn't ruin the creature any.
The underwater shots remain good for the most part... some of this is because it's reused footage, but the new stuff in
the Lagoon is really good. Especially, the attack on the diving suited Joe near the beginning is pretty tense.
The plot is an advancement of the original story, rather than a re-hash which is nice (there is a caveat in The Bad).
It was nice that they revisited Captain Lucas and he got quite a bit of screen time, too and since he had to use a
different boat at least they gave it the name Rita II instead of trying to pass it off as the same previous vessel.
Some of the attack sequences are really good, including the second attack on Joe and the guy who got thrown into a tree.
The Bad: Well, mostly it has to do with pacing. There are way too many scenes that seem unnecessary or are unnecessarily padded out including Clete in his lab/ Klint's useless scene. Watching the Creature get himself transferred from the Porpoise III to the holding tank is also dragged out needlessly. Flippy the Porpoise takes up too much valuable time and the scenes of the Creature trying to break its ankle chain are repetitive.
What really annoys me though, is when they blatantly try to copy Kate's swimming unknowingly with the Creature scene.
We also get too much of the drippy romance of Klete and Helen, who have only known each other a few weeks by the time the Creature breaks free and goes after Helen.
The Score: Other than the pacing and the copy-cating, this is a pretty good movie that's pretty easy to watch. The attack scenes are especially good, but like the vast majority of sequels it suffers in comparison to the original. An averagely told story with some interesting new elements in showing the Creature can learn... and quickly... earns this a respectable 3.25 out of 5 stars.
Spoils are present.