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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
John Sherwood
Cast:
Jeff Morrow, Rex Reason, Leigh Snowden
Writing Credits:
Arthur Ross

Synopsis:
A scientist captures the Creature and turns him into an air-breather, only for him to escape and start killing.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 78 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 8/28/18
Available as Part of the “Creature from the Black Lagoon Complete Legacy Collection”

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Film Historians Tom Weaver and Bob Burns
• Trailer


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RELATED REVIEWS


The Creature Walks Among Us [Blu-Ray] (1955)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 23, 2018)

For the third and final film in a series started by 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, we head to 1956’s The Creature Walks Among Us. At the end of 1955’s Revenge of the Creature, the title character took up residence in the Florida Everglades.

Wealthy Dr. William Barton (Jeff Morrow) decides to disturb the Creature’s solace and he mounts an expedition to capture the beast. Once this occurs, Dr. Barton turns the Creature into an air-breathing land-dweller. This doesn’t sit well with the Creature and sends him on a rampage.

Why do I suspect that the decision to make the Creature able to inhale oxygen stemmed from financial considerations? It’s cheaper to shoot on land than in the water, so this development allows for a less expensive production.

Not that this really adds much to the equation, as the Creature could always spend time on land – limited time, perhaps, but it’s not like he needed to stay in the water 24/7. The Creature created plenty of land-based terror in the first two movies, so the change to air-breathing really does strike me as nothing more than a budget-related gimmick.

Not that the film totally avoids underwater material, as it spends a reasonable amount of time there during its first half. Perhaps the Creature’s change doesn’t relate to a desire to save some dough, but my suspicions remain – especially since some of the underwater footage recycles shots from earlier films.

This doesn’t make Walks a bad movie, though, and like with Revenge, I appreciate the film’s willingness to stretch its boundaries – to a degree, at least. Also like Revenge, Walks offers a few novel conceits while it regurgitates a few old themes.

In the latter domain, we once again find a Creature motivated by lust for a sexy blonde. While that idea seems tedious, Walks spices up matters somewhat due to the nature of the female lead.

Whereas the first two movies featured fairly passive women, Walks brings a much more dynamic love interest. Barton’s wife Marcia (Leigh Snowden) exhibits bravado and daring to the point of recklessness, factors that make her both more interesting and more of a wild card than her predecessors.

In addition, the typical romantic side of the story comes with complications, as we see ruptures in the relationship between Dr. Barton and Marcia. This opens the door to a love triangle that adds a bit of drama.

None of these elements feel especially novel, but they give Walks more bite than the often toothless Revenge. The latter seemed mushy and bland too much of the time, whereas the edgier characters of Walks manage to allow the film a little added oomph.

Despite all these factors, Walks suffers from one major flaw: the dopiness of the decision to make the Creature a land-dweller. Eventually he feels like little more than a big lunkheaded dude without much personality. He simply pouts and lumbers around in a dull manner that neuters a lot of his prior menace.

Even with these drawbacks, I still think Walks provides a decent sequel. It manages to go its own way and offer a twist on the Creature template.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

The Creature Walks Among Us appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. After the mushy visuals of the prior film, the taut presentation of Walks came as a relief.

Sharpness looked consistently positive. A few shots showed a little softness, but those remained modest, as the majority of the flick displayed nice clarity and accuracy.

Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects created concerns, and the presence of natural grain implied the absence of heavy-handed digital noise reduction. Print flaws failed to appear, so this remained a clean image.

Blacks appeared dark and deep, while shadows demonstrated nice smoothness and definition. All in all, the movie looked very good.

With the film’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack, we got an era-appropriate affair. Speech seemed slightly metallic but the lines wree easily intelligible and didn’t suffer from edginess or other concerns.

Music showed reasonable heft and punch, while effects appeared clean and acceptably accurate. No source flaws like hiss or noise caused concerns. Given the age of the material, the audio worked fine.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get an audio commentary from historians Tom Weaver and Bob Burns. From 2004, both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and crew, locations and sets, costumes and effects, music, and related domains.

Two guys who know a ton about the Creature franchise and horror flicks in general, we get an amiable conversation between Weaver and Burns. They cover a lot of appropriate ground and make this a fun, informative piece.

One interesting note: during this chat, Weaver and Burns refer to circa 2004 thoughts about a potential Creature from the Black Lagoon remake, and they note that Guillermo del Toro wanted to do one. Del Toro never formally remade Creature but 2017’s Oscar-winning Shape of Water certainly borrowed heavily from the series’ characters and lore.

As the third – and final – film in its series, I expected little from The Creature Walks Among Us. However, the movie manages some interesting choices and it becomes a moderately enjoyable – albeit flawed – experience. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture as well as more than adequate audio and an enjoyable commentary. Walks proves watchable and reasonably engaging.

As of winter 2018, The Creature Walks Among Us can be purchased as part of a three-film “Creature from the Black Lagoon Complete Legacy Collection”. In addition to Walks, we find The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature.

In addition, Walks comes in the “Universal Monsters Complete 30-Film Collection”. It actually packages the Creature set mentioned above with similar compilations for other Universal Monsters.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main