The Unlikely Inspiration For The Creature From The Black Lagoon

The Unlikely Inspiration For The Creature From The Black Lagoon

Learning what inspired various movie monsters throughout the years has been an interesting proposition for a while since it would appear at times that some of the oddest moments and visuals have managed to help create some of the most iconic moments in film history. The Creature from the Black Lagoon is actually a favorite of many horror fans but apart from The Shape of Water and Monster Squad, the creature hasn’t really had a lot of great representations throughout the years. The creature was also featured in Hotel Transylvania, lest I miss another important moment in this character’s history. But the inspiration behind this human/fish hybrid was kind of odd to think about since it came about in a way that a lot of people might not have expected. The director of the original movie, Jack Arnold, actually admitted that the creature’s design came from the Oscar statuette, surprisingly enough. If you’re sitting there wondering how such a thing could happen, you’re not alone, since trying to figure it out is exceedingly simple, but a lot of us are bound to sit and wonder why for a moment.

The overall shape of the creature is humanoid after all, but his exterior is scaled and fish-like, which is something that might make sense to a lot of people since from his big fish lips to his gills, the creature is something right out of a nightmare. The fact that Guillermo Del Toro made a type of love story using this template isn’t hard to imagine, but it’s still a debatable subject when saying that it was entirely effective. Regardless of this, however, it’s amazingly simple to see how the creature came to be since it’s almost like dressing up a department store mannequin in that regard. The statuette offered up a blank template for Arnold to use and that’s just what he did. The form of the creature was likely the easiest part to decide on, even if it wasn’t the easiest part to make, while his motivations as a character in the story were likely harder for people to reconcile with.

For quite a while, movie monsters were objects of terror no matter how many still wanted to try to understand them. The fact that Frankenstein’s monster was a little more capable of gaining sympathy made it easy for some to think that movie monsters were just misunderstood, but the ferocity of the Wolfman and the cunning of Dracula, and of course the madness of the Invisible Man, made it hard to believe that all movie monsters could possibly be seen in a different light. The creature however is one of those that a person can’t help but think might have been just fine in his own environment had humans not come waltzing in as part of an expedition. This kind of brings into light the need of humanity to know more and more about the world we live in while failing to understand that certain parts of this world don’t want to be known and will fight back when provoked. If anything, this particular story makes it easier to see that humanity tends to become the villain at some point while attempting to be heroic.

Movie monsters aren’t always so complicated since some of them are fairly easy to figure out. But the motivations and attitudes that humanity grants them tend to make them better or worse than they might naturally be. The Gill-Man from the movie is one of many movie monsters that has been given this type of motivation since his obsession with the only woman in the original movie kind of complicated things. He was either smitten by her beauty, wondering why she was different from the others or had some other reason for carrying her away. It’s been debated more than once over the years, but almost always from a human perspective, since that’s what we know and what we’re comfortable with. But when it comes to this particular creature it’s easy to wonder if there was more to its actions or if it was simply because humans don’t always look outside of our experiences and motivations.

Whatever the case, the Gill-Man, or creature, has gone down in history as one of the best ideas for a movie monster to ever be brought to theaters, and there have been rumors of a remake, but so far nothing appears to have happened. It’s likely that there will be much more CGI if a remake does come, but one would hope that the story would be preserved in order to pay some respect to this time-honored story. It’s simply amazing what led to the creation of this creature, and how exceedingly simple it started out as. Sometimes things don’t need to be so complicated obviously, we just need to look around.

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