Of all the disappointing third acts in all the trilogies in film this is my measuring stick. Let others pitch a bitch about Ewoks, Bruce Wayne’s mysterious teleportation powers, or whatever the hell it is you all hate soooo much about Godfather III. I always come back to The Creature Walks Among Us, a film almost as depressing as the era that created it. Made for the sole purpose of matching Revenge of the Creature‘s million dollar take, Walks Among Us isn’t the worst third act of a trilogy I’ve seen…but it is the shoddiest, the least-thought-out, and the most mind-bogglingly off-putting. The kind of movie that makes you shout, “What idiot signed off on this?” A movie that dares you to find something good about it, making the presence of a few genuinely good things almost painful. If they weren’t there I could hate the movie outright and maybe then it would stop haunting me.
Sure, 1956 was the year Godzilla first came to America, but most cinephiles choose to remember it (if at all) as the year of The King and I or The Ten Commandments. Big, loud, annoyingly long epics were the blockbusters of their day and it’d be seven years yet before Cleopatra finally proved their day was done. Everyone else’s budgets shrank to accommodate their excesses and Universal’s monster movies were no exception. The studio that basically built Horror as a genre now contented itself releasing stuff like The Mole People…and this. Demonstrating they’d learned nothing from the 1940s.
Once again: a rushed production plus a reduced budget equals a bad movie. A string of bad movies equals a franchise no one remembers, save as a punchline. The problem’s exasperated when your title character is so one-note, even compared to his elder brothers in the Universal stable. Dracula usually wanted blood. Werewolves usually want cures. Mummys usually want some artifact or the reincarnation of their dead girlfriend. Frankenstein’s monster just wants to be left alone…something he and the Gillman have in common. All of Gilly’s movies hinge on invasions of his domain by hairy man-animals and their hot girlfriends…but unlike Frankenstein’s monster, you can’t keep bringing the Gillman back to life. Continue reading The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)