Creature from the Black Lagoon -- Jack Arnold
I follow a blog on Tumblr that frequently shows amazing images from Creature from the Black Lagoon. These inspired me to re-watch the film having only seen it once. And... meh. The creature is a great monster and perfectly realized but, as with most of these sci-fi/horror movies from the '50s featuring scientists at work, there is a TON of awful exposition, most of which is unnecessary. I don't know why this genre thinks its audience is comprised of morons who can't think for themselves but between the exposition and voiceover, very little is left to the imagination.
Maybe that's the biggest issue with Creature from the Black Lagoon. There is nothing subtle about it. Every time Gill Man makes an appearance, he's accompanied by an epic music queue. It's kind of cute at first, but by the end one wonders if the filmmakers had ever heard of building suspense. The music throughout is overbearing, so I guess it's par for the course.
One aspect of this genre that has become glaring (especially after Attack of the Crab Monsters and Invisible Invaders) is how little the women characters matter. Most of the time they could easily be written out. Women exist only to be objects for men to fight over/protect (count the number of times Julie Adams [bill as "Julia"] is told to "stay here" or "go there") or to be a victim of the monster. As a huge fan of the genre, this trope is really starting to get me down to where it's hard to enjoy the movies.
Great monster. Cool underwater photography (the little ballet between Gill Man and Julie Adams is justifiably iconic). Adequate execution.
This post taught me I cannot type lagoon without making a typo my first try.