Sog.: William Alland. Scen.: Martin Berkeley. F.: Charles S. Welbourne. M.: Paul Weatherwax. Scgf.: Alexander Golitzen, Alfred Sweeney. Mus.: William Lava, Herman Stein. Int.: John Agar (prof. Clete Ferguson), Lori Nelson (Helen Dobson), John Bromfield (Joe Hayes), Nestor Paiva (Lucas), Grandon Rhodes (Jackson Foster), Dave Willock (Lou Gibson), Robert B. Williams (George Johnson), Charles R. Cane (capitano della polizia), Brett Halsey (Pete), Clint Eastwood (Jennings). Prod.: William Alland per Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.. DCP 3D. D.: 82’. Bn.
Jack Arnold, best remembered for The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) and several other s-f films, not only excelled in that field but also in several other genres, No Name on the Bullet (1959), Man in the Shadow (1957) and The Glass Web (1953) would seem evidence enough of the talent of this rather neglected filmmaker who made a lot of good movies before moving into television in 1959. Revenge of the Creature was clearly conceived as a commercial sequel to cash in on the success of The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), the previous Arnold movie, and in fact made more money for Universal. Both were produced by William Alland, an interesting producer who had played actor, assistant, and had some other odd jobs for Orson Welles between 1941 and 1948, but this second episode has lesser actors – John Agar and Sandra Dee look-alike Lori Nelson instead of Richard Carlson and Julie Adams – and a minimal plot (concocted by Alland himself), which seemingly did not harm the picture. It was a hit and did even better at the box office than the first adventures of the Creature, now called the Gill Man.
Part of the success is, no doubt, due to Jack Arnold’s very precise and dynamic direction, but beyond that, the Creature is not only visually impressive but also psychologically very interesting. This partly amphibious monster seems shockingly sexed, clearly heterosexual, perhaps even monogamous, very obstinate and even jealous in the pursuit of his desired paramour. He goes so far as to risk his own survival walking on the earth with Lori Nelson in his arms: he can only endure a short time out of water, but she would drown in it. This makes his adventure not only threatening, but also dramatic and even pathetic. And that encourages the audience to feel some strange sort of sympathy for this evolutionary forerunner of man, whose feelings we can understand and even share at the same time that we can find him hideous, violent and dangerously irrational.