“Here at Ocean City it will live — if it lives at all — and become the object of scientific study.”
After being captured and put into a Floridian marine park, the Gill-Man (Tom Hennesy and Ricou Browning) is observed by a psychologist (John Agar) and an ichtyology student (Lori Nelson) who meanwhile are falling in love; but when the Gill-Man escapes from his chains, Nelson’s life is in immediate danger.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Jack Arnold Films
- John Agar Films
- Mutant Monsters
- Science Fiction
This sequel to The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) — the second in a trilogy — primarily succeeds in showing off some nifty underwater photography as well as the new-ish spectacle of marine parks (key portions of the film were shot at Florida’s Marineland). Poor “Gill-Man” — happily existing on his own in the Black Lagoon before his capture — is treated terribly, poked and prodded and put on display as a tourist attraction while being studied like the specimen he’s become (echoes of King Kong are once again strongly present); it’s no wonder he gets pissed off and wants more for himself. Meanwhile, the dialogue between Agar and Nelson (repeatedly objectified as that “pretty young student”) is enjoyably laughable at times:
Nelson: “You’re not at all like I expected.”
Agar (smiling): “I’m glad I disappointed you.”
Nelson: (to Agar) “You know, sometimes I wonder how I got started in all this. Science, fish, icthyology… Where will it all lead me?”
With that said, the entire affair is once again solidly directed by Jack Arnold, who knows how to build tension, especially during the final kidnap and chase sequences.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Effective cinematography (both on-land and in-water)
No; you can skip this one unless you’re especially enamored by this series.