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Film / The Creature Walks Among Us

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The Creature Walks Among Us is a Universal Horror film from 1956 and the last sequel to the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Following the events of Revenge of the Creature, an expedition by mentally unstable Dr. Barton set out to capture Gill Man in the Florida Everglades. Barton thinks experimenting on the Gill Man can lead to creating new forms of life and progress man to a superior species, fixing physical flaws and preparing them for life on other worlds. However, Gill Man is badly burnt during its capture with its gills destroyed. After it is discovered, it has an Adaptive Ability to become a terrestrial, it is given reconstructive surgery that enables it to breathe on land fully. However, problems soon mount as the boat takes the long voyage to Barton's estate in California, between the increasingly paranoia and emotionally abusive Barton, the arrogant ship operator Jed Grant who has eyes on Barton's wife, and Barton's long suffering wife Marcia. With the Gill Man treated to both human kindness and cruelty, it's only a matter of time before very human evil breaks the floodgates.

The film would later be added to the repertoire of Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumni Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff in their "The Mads are Back" live movie-riffing shows.

Has the examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Both Jed Grant and Dr. William Barton. The former is a womanizing piece of shit who tried to force himself on Marcia on their way back to civilization while the latter is a paranoid, cold-hearted, Crazy Jealous Guy who's prone to emotionally terrorizing his wife. When Barton murdered Grant, instead of accepting responsibility, he tries to stage a Frame-Up for the Gill Man to take the fall. When the Gill Man broke out, Barton attempts to run for his life like the squirming coward he is. No tears were shed when Gill Man throws the bastard off from a balcony.
  • Attempted Rape: When on their way to civilization, Grant tries to force himself on Marcia, but the escaping Gill Man breaks it up by sending Grant flying into a wall.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Gill Man of all characters gets one. He interrupts an attempt by Grant to force himself on Marcia by barging in, backhanding Grant into a wall, and calmly leaving after checking to see if Marcia is okay.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The newly airbreathing creature walks into the ocean to try to return to his element after being rejected by humanity. He may drown unless his vaguely explained evolutionary ability saves him.
  • Breaking the Bonds: When Gill Man wakes up after its surgery, it breaks the bonds on its hands before it falls back to unconsciousness.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Grant thinks he's God's gift to women. Marcia thinks otherwise.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Barton. Seriously, this guy is a real piece of work.
  • Dirty Coward: When Barton murdered Grant, instead of accepting responsibility, he tries to stage a Frameup for the Gill Man to take the fall. When the Gill Man breaks out and chases him into his manor, Barton attempts to run for his life like the squirming coward he is; not even caring when the creature briefly mistakes Dr. Morgan for him in the dark.
  • Disney Villain Death: Barton dies when Gill Man throws him off from a balcony.
  • Domestic Abuse: Barton is prone to emotionally terrorizing his wife.
  • Evolutionary Levels: The titular creature as "the missing link" between man and fish, being a clawed, super strong, bipedal amphibious creature from the Paleozoic. They even try to "evolve" him into near human as a test run for procedures Barton hopes to use to improve humanity.
  • Frameup: After Barton kills Grant in an act jealous fury, he tries to put Grant's corpse into Gill Man's cage to frame it for the kill. This provides the catalyst for its escape when the Gill man mentally puts two and two together and figures this out.
  • Harpoon Gun: When the creatures do its second attack on the boat, Grant shoots it with harpoons two times.
  • Hate Sink: Barton. And to an extent, Grant. It's really telling the Gill Man is treated entirely sympathetically compared to either of them.
  • Jerkass: Once again, Grant and Barton.
  • The Juggernaut: Once the Gill Man is let loose at the climax, nothing can stop him, and he rips through everything in his path to take his revenge on Dr. Barton.
  • Just Friends: Marcia and Dr. Morgan is friendly, but completely platonic towards each other for the whole film.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: When Barton murdered Grant, it was completely out of pure jealousy when the latter was hitting on his wife, but the guy totally had it coming when you remembered what he tried to do to Marcia and still attempted to make moves on her afterwords. So it was probably the only good thing Barton ever did in this movie (even though he's no better).
  • Mad Scientist: Even if Gill Man wouldn't have burned, Dr. Barton had already planned of making it a land creature.
  • Man on Fire: Gill Man is set on fire when it accidentally douses itself with gasoline and a lantern is thrown at it.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The Gill Man. He's never a bad guy and only lashed out at who hurt him. He never harms Dr. Morgan, who was the one doctor who didn't mistreat him and advocated for the Gill Man to be given kindness. He also only attacks those who hurt him first or were hurting Marcia. Even the recollection of a fisherman attacked by him early on before his transformation notes the Gill Man only attacked after being shot.
  • Only Sane Man: Dr. Thomas Morgan for the whole movie. He's the only scientist to repeatedly tell Dr. Barton's ideas are going to result in disaster, advocates for treating the clearly intelligent Gill man humanely as not to provoke it and sees right through Barton's ambition to see him for the jealous, control-freak of a scientist and abusive husband he is.
  • Panthera Awesome: Random mountain lion jumps into Gill Man's cage and attacks the sheep. It then turns to Gill Man who kills it in self-defense.
  • Scenery Porn: The underwater footage is just as pretty as in the first film.
  • Sensor Suspense: Used when Dr. Morgan and others set to capture Gill Man on a boat.
  • Sexy Silhouette: Shown when Marcia is undressing for a swim.
  • Super-Strength: While the Gill Man was established as being superhumanly strong, the climax of this movie showcases it the best. Once the electric is turned off, he casually crumbles the bars holding him, knocks the railing off a staircase with a casual move, easily lifts Barton overhead, and finally easily pushes over a brick pillar with minimal effort.
  • Tragic Monster: The Gill Man is brutalized and mutilated by the main characters and in the end walks off to his death into the sea, the only place he ever considered to be his true home.
  • Vader Breath: Gill Man's breathing when it is given lungs.
  • Villain Protagonist: Crazy Jealous Guy Barton can be considered to be one (simply because the actor who played him received top billing). The Gill Man, who received more focus than the human characters this time, can count too, but more bordering on the Anti-Villain variety, though it's debatable if it's considered a villain, as unlike its previous appearances, the Gill Man does not do anything deliberately malicious at all in the film.