Today’s Best Of/Worst Of posting is for the second in the “Black Lagoon” trilogy – Revenge of the Creature!
Let’s be honest, the sequels to ‘Creature From the Black Lagoon’ is an exercise in diminishing returns… though not the extreme example of say “JAWS”, thankfully. In this second movie, our likeable leads from before are replaced by… well… dull people to be truthful. But we do get to see Captain Lucas again, so that was nice. And we have a true stalwart hero to cheer on in the form of a German Shepherd… who is far more engaging that our human characters.
Our Characters who will fall under our baleful gaze this time out are:
Captain Lucas: We only get to catch up with our captain for the beginning of the film as he leads the newest expedition to check out Dr. Reed’s report about the Gill Man. Of the three people on board, he’s the only one who isn’t a whiney pain in the ass.
Joe Hayes: Lead diver, young buck and pragmatic employee of the ocean park in Florida interested in obtaining the Creature.
Dr. Clete Ferguson: Clete is told by a colleague about the successful capture of Dr. Reed’s creature and finagles an invitation to study the Gill Man in Florida [with zero explanation as to why Dr. Reed never makes the scene]. Well, y’know – studying the Creature in those spare moments when he’s not busy chasing tail.
Helen Dobson: Helen is interested in the study of fish and she’s also very interested in the Gill Man’s capture.
Our Heroes Impress:
Captain Lucas: Our good captain tries to warn the scientist and diver about the Creatures ability to fight underwater, but isn’t listened to. And other than piloting the boat, he doesn’t have much to do. I’m afraid there isn’t any kudo to his scenes.
Joe Hayes: As much as I may not have liked Joe, mostly for his 1950’s brand of sexism, I must give him KUDO for diving back into the Creature tank to save a dayplayer on his staff who was injured.
Dr. Ferguson: While Clete is a major character, I can’t actually award him any kudos.
Helen Dobson: Though Helen is the second major character, I’m also unable to find any reasons to award her a kudo.
I have a pair of special KUDOS to hand out to the two dayplayer-assistants at the water park that dive in to help save Joe Hayes during the second attack of the Creature on him. One of these guys pays with his life [I think – he just kinda disappears].
I’m also issuing a special KUDO to the dog, Chris, who gives his life chasing off the Creature during its stalking of the unaware Helen.
Our Heroes Are Drips:
Captain Lucas: I’m not going to issue Lucas any demerits, even though personally I’m a little disappointed in him for letting money overrule his personal beliefs that the Creature should just be let alone.
Joe Hayes: Despite some real discomfort I have with Joe’s behavior toward Helen, I’ll not hold my values-dissonance against him and issue a demerit. Barring that, I find nothing for which he should receive a black mark against him.
Clete: Clete is also bogged down with some 1950’s sexist behavior, but like with Joe I’m going to have to place that to the side because of their time & place. With that, I can’t find any reason to issue Clete a demerit [other than making me nauseous with his flirting].
Helen: Helen doesn’t get any demerits, either. Her stupidly screaming and drawing the Creature to her when she could have quietly slipped away does bug me though. I almost issued a half-demerit, but I’m letting that blunder slide instead.
Hey, look! No demerits were issued. I wish I could say that this was due to our characters being such excellent people, rather than being due to blandness.