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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Black Lagoon" or "The Sea Monster" or "The Creature from the Black Lagoon")

 

Directed by Jack Arnold
USA 1954

 

Universal Pictures introduced audiences to yet another classic movie monster with this superbly crafted film, originally presented in 3-D. The story involves the members of a fossil-hunting expedition down a dark tributary of the mist-shrouded Amazon, where they enter the domain of a prehistoric, amphibious "Gill Man" -- possibly the last of a species of fanged, clawed humanoids who may have evolved entirely underwater. Tranquilized, captured, and brought aboard, the creature still manages to revive and escape -- slaughtering several members of the team -- and abducts their sole female member (Julie Adams), spiriting her off to his mist-shrouded lair. This sparks the surviving crewmen to action -- particularly those who fancy carrying the girl off themselves. Director Jack Arnold makes excellent use of the tropical location, employing heavy mists and eerie jungle noises to create an atmosphere of nearly constant menace. The film's most effective element is certainly the monster itself, with his pulsating gills and fearsome webbed talons. The creature was played on land by stuntman Ben Chapman and underwater by champion swimmer Ricou Browning -- who was forced to hold his breath during long takes because the suit did not allow room for scuba gear. The end result was certainly worth the effort, proven in the famous scene where the Gill Man swims effortlessly beneath his female quarry in an eerie ballet -- a scene echoed much later by Steven Spielberg in the opening of Jaws.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

***

The routine story - members of a scientific expedition exploring the Amazon discover and are menaced by an amphibious gill man - is mightily improved by Arnold's sure sense of atmospheric locations and by the often sympathetic portrait of the monster. Interestingly, the threat is perceived as partly sexual (notably in the scene where the creature swims mesmerized beneath the tightly swimsuited Adams), and thus the film can be seen as a precursor of Jaws.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 12th 1954

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Universal - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Only available, presently in Universal's 4K UHD Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection with The Mummy / The Bride of Frankenstein / Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:19:14.124         
Video

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 66,276,572,630 bytes

Feature: 59,058,634,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 90.45 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1992 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1992 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs:

DTS Audio French 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio German 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Italian 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Chinese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Universal

 

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 66,276,572,630 bytes

Feature: 59,058,634,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 90.45 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

Creature From the Black Lagoon:
Commentary by Tom Weaver
Back to the Black Lagoon (39:40)
Production Photographs (11:29)
Theatrical gallery
100 Years of Universal: The Lot
Digital copy of Creature from the Black Lagoon (Subject to expiration)

Blu-ray Disc

Creature From the Black Lagoon (+ 3D Version):
Commentary by Tom Weaver
Back to the Black Lagoon (39:40)
Production Photographs (11:29)
Theatrical gallery
100 Years of Universal: The Lot
My Scenes


4K Ultra HD Release Date: October 11th, 2022
Custom
4K Ultra HD Case

Chapters 18

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Universal 4K UHD (October 2022): Universal's have released another Universal's 4K UHD Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection. This one has The Mummy / Bride of Frankenstein / Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. The first boxset had Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and The Invisible Man. Like the first set, the titles in the second boxset will also come out individually - probably next year.

Jack Arnold's Creature from the Black Lagoon has always looked less film-like when transferred to digital. The grain textures have always been spongy and clunky. The image has both strong detail and sequences that are quite soft. The 2160P image is another step up - notably in the contrast with the day scenes and whites being brighter and the black levels and underwater camerawork being darker. Beside the 4K UHD presentation the Blu-ray looks dampened and the higher resolution has more depth. I think this is a very notable upgrade although the final image cannot improve on Jack Arnold's cost-cutting production measures or, most likely because it was filmed in three dimensions. Fans of the film - and there are many - will welcome this video upgrade and easily notice the improvement.   

NOTE: This package has eight discs - four 4K UHD and the four original 2012 Blu-rays as evidenced by the M2TS dates:

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 38 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: Bride of Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Amityville Horror  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The War of the Worlds (1953) (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Incredible Melting Man  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cloak & Dagger (software uniformly simulated HDR), Event Horizon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Get Carter (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Killing (software uniformly simulated HDR), Killer's Kiss (software uniformly simulated HDR), Out of Sight (software uniformly simulated HDR), Raging Bull (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shaft (1971),  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Double Indemnity (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Untouchables (software uniformly simulated HDR) For a Few Dollars More (no HDR), Saboteur (software uniformly simulated HDR), Marnie (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shadow of a Doubt (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Fistful of Dollars (no HDR), In the Heat of the Night (no HDR), Jack Reacher (software uniformly simulated HDR), Death Wish II (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Apartment (no HDR), The Proposition (software uniformly simulated HDR), Nightmare Alley (2021) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Godfather (software uniformly simulated HDR), Le Crecle Rouge (software uniformly simulated HDR), An American Werewolf in London (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Hard Day's Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Piano (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Great Escape (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Red Shoes (software uniformly simulated HDR), Citizen Kane (software uniformly simulated HDR), Unbreakable (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mulholland Dr. (software uniformly simulated HDR), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Hills Have Eyes (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Servant (software uniformly simulated HDR), Anatomy of a Murder (software uniformly simulated HDR), Taxi Driver  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Wolf Man (1941) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frankenstein (1931) (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Deep Red (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Misery (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Silence of the Lambs (software uniformly simulated HDR), John Carpenter's "The Thing" (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Cat' o'Nine Tails (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (software uniformly simulated HDR), Perdita Durango (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Django (software uniformly simulated HDR) Fanny Lye Deliver'd (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (NO HDR applied to disc),  Rollerball (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Chernobyl  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Daughters of Darkness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR) Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsing (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

On their 4K UHD, Universal offer the same English-language track encode (24-bit) - a DTS-HD Master dual-mono as found on their 2012 Blu-ray reviewed HERE. It is very effective and remains highly supportive in the lossless notably in the bombastic score. What is added are a three foreign language DUBs (French, German, and Italian.) The Henry Mancini (Days of Wine and Roses, Oklahoma Crude, Wait Until Dark, Operation Petticoat, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, Experiment in Terror, Charade) score can really be effective in intensifying situation in scenes with the creature. Loud brass adds to fear-factor conflicting with more placid atmosphere in the titular lagoon. Universal add optional English and many subtitle options on the Region FREE 4K UHD disc with still only English and Spanish on their included Region FREE Blu-ray from 2012.

Following the others in the package this has the duplicate extras from the Blu-ray and original Legacy DVD set with an amusing and educational commentary by Tom Weaver, a Skal documentary from 2000; 'Back to the Black Lagoon' runs for almost 40-minutes and has Julie Adams and other reminiscing about the production. There are some photographs, a theatrical trailer gallery and 100 Years of Universal: The Lot. The Blu-ray disc has the My Scenes referencing ability. NOTE: This Blu-ray disc still also has the 3-D version of the film - accessible from the main menu!

Universal's
4K UHD release of Jack Arnold's Creature from the Black Lagoon is another pleasing video upgrade. Scientists discover a piscine amphibious humanoid in the waters of the Amazon river. William Alland wrote story notes titled "The Sea Monster" using Beauty and the Beast as inspiration after he had heard, many years earlier, of the myth of a race of half-fish, half-human creatures in South America. The "Gill Man" spawned (figuratively) two sequels; Revenge of the Creature (1955) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956.) The 2017 film The Shape of Water was partly inspired by Guillermo del Toro's childhood memories of Creature from the Black Lagoon. In 2020, Universal was considering Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans for a remake. The original has a loyal fanbase embracing it as a quintessential
50's creature-feature... with just the right amount of cheesy-ness. It sports a very recognizable cast with Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, Whit Bissell... For many Creature from the Black Lagoon is a must own in the best possible video format. Well, this is easily it.

Gary Tooze

 


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More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Only available, presently in Universal's 4K UHD Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection with The Mummy / The Bride of Frankenstein / Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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