Monday, June 25, 2012

Creature Feature

I didn't get to post all weekend. I hate when that happens.

I missed you so.
I spent a bunch of time with Precocious Daughter this weekend. One of the things we did was go to the mall, since it's a bajillion degrees in Texas and walking indoors is preferable to getting your head burned off outside. She ducked into a candy store and continued her quest to eat every sticky, chewy, gummy food she couldn't have for two whole years before her braces came off two weeks ago.

Like gummy butterflies. Not bears, not worms, not penguins,
but butterflies. Because there's a huge difference, apparently.
She also beat me mercilessly, time after time, playing Wii tennis. Eventually I got so frustrated that I ended up taking a long walk and getting my head burned off outside. Yes, I let myself get upset by a little girl and a video game. I am that mature.

You're grounded until you're 26 or I learn a decent backhand.
PDaughter also beat me at pinochle, a game she had never played until last weekend. Beloved Spouse beat us both, but really, my performance was pretty miserable. It's mostly because I'm no good at counting suits, winning tricks, pulling out trump, or strategizing on the bid. Other than that, I love pinochle.

Pinochle is totally cool. If you could play pinochle,
you'd appreciate this clever and mildly naughty jape.
But the best thing PDaughter and I did this weekend was watch The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Please put on your old-school 3D glasses now.
Alas, we didn't watch it in its original glorious cheapo 3D. But no matter. It was high time for PDaughter to be introduced to this cinematic classic, and I hadn't seen it in years, either.

Don't tell me you've never seen The Creature from the Black Lagoon. No, don't tell me. I prefer to believe the world is a better place than that. Because if you haven't seen, then you probably haven't seen its sequels, Revenge of the Creature and the totally terrible/awesome The Creature Walks Among Us.

In which the Creature invents voguing.
It's on Netflix, people. Go watch it. I'll tell you why.

1. For a cheapo 50s horror flick, it's got suprisingly sophisticated underwater photography.

2. Ricou Browning as the Creature gives perhaps the best movie-monster performance of all time.

3. Julia Adams is the curvacious Elizabeth Tayloresque heroine who, despite being on a cramped barge floating down the Amazon River, wears a different outfit in literally every scene in the movie. Take that, ladies of "Gilligan's Island."

4. Richard Denning is the greedy, credit-hogging scientist who is a total dickhead before finally ending up dead in the water (pun absolutely intended).

5. Nestor Paiva is a hoot as the batshit-crazy barge captain Lucas.

6. Whit Bissell plays a pipe-smoking scientist who serves no function in the movie and eventually ends up below deck and swathed in bandages, leaving me to wonder if Whit Bissell went on a bender in the middle of filming and had to be written out, which would be way cool.

7. The movie has a good-if-ridiculous script that actually draws a decent parallel between the work of marine biologists and man's dream of space travel.

8. The movie features mostly Latino actors playing the Latino roles, a pretty big deal for a movie made in the 1950s, considering West Side Story wanted us to buy Natalie Wood as a Puerto Rican several years later. (OK, Nestor Paiva was Portuguese, but definitely in the ballpark.)

9. There's an awesome prologue that - pretty damn daringly for the time - presents a mixture of creationism and evolution to explain the origins of the Earth.

10. The first glimpse of the Gill-Man's hand coming out of the water and then slowly going back down scared me crapless when I was a little kid and is still a money shot almost 60 years later.

Next up for PDaughter and me is Revenge of the Creature, starring B-movie god John Agar and featuring a tiny scene with a young Clint Eastwood in his first screen role. "Mystery Science Theater 3000" did this one back in the day. Not sure if we're going to take in that version or the un-MSTd original. Not sure it matters.

Love me some Gill-Man.

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