Clint Eastwood Becomes a Scientist
Among great movies, Revenge of the Creature (1955) is not one of them, but it has an interesting cameo from a very young Clint Eastwood and Flippy the Educated Porpoise. Revenge of the Creature is the sequel to The Creature from the Black Lagoon, made only a year prior in 1954, by Universal. It is a movie that might have been done by Seaworld if they were into that sort of thing.
Revenge of the Creature picks up right after its predecessor, and if anyone forgot what happened, they have some scientists huddle up to give a recap. Clint Eastwood is one of the scientists and actually has several lines. When his boss asks what happened to the hamster they were experimenting on, Eastwood finds it in his pocket. What’s a hamster doing in his pocket? lol.
Our main characters Helen, Joe and Crete get an opportunity to study the Creature, who has been captured. He apparently survived his machine-gunning in the original. He is hauled back to Florida and lifted into a giant fish aquarium, like that used for Dolphins.
We know this because one of the dolphins has a sign over the tank reading “Entertainment by Flippy the Educated Porpoise”. Flippy was a real dolphin used for entertainment at MarineLand in Florida. His tank is used for some of the shooting. The Creature is lowered into the tank and revived by the crack MarineLand staff. He is not very grateful though and attacks a couple of people while trying to escape. They hit the Creature over the head and decide to shackle it to the floor of the tank. The Creature swims around and the scientists study it for a while. A series of generic scenes take place where the scientists try to avoid the creature while swimming in the tank, which only serves to highlight the figure of the female lead, Helen. Helen was played by Lori Nelson.
As an aside, the underwater scenes were done by a different woman than Lori Nelson. The nice figure in the bathing suit was not Nelson at all, but a more experienced swimmer named Ginger Stanley. She was not an actress, but she was a model and performing swimmer.
The Creature must have taken note of her figure too, because he escapes and abducts her. Naturally, the male lead leaps to the rescue and the Creature is killed by police gunfire. The ending is exactly the same as in the previous movie. It is just as effective too, because there was another sequel made in 1956.
The creature design is also of note. It has been altered somewhat from the original, but the changes do not seem noticeable. The themes in this movie are similar to the first, but contain more references to human influence on the environment. The Creature is literally imprisoned, confined to a tank, just like a dolphin at Seaworld. If that’s not the most overt, opinionated theme in film, I don’t know what is. To further emphasize the unfairness of the “confinement”, the Creature is secured with a long, ridiculously large chain. It struggles and pulls on it at every opportunity, as you might expect. It also gets mad, escapes, and runs amuck, also like you might expect.
All in all, this movie isn’t horrible, but it’s not very good either. The exotic look and feel of the original is replaced by a more sterile appearance in the sequel. There are a few interesting shots, such as one of The Creature staring at Helen through the port-holes of the aquarium tank, but because of the static nature of the Creature’s mask, it doesn’t elicit a wide range of emotions. Not that it makes a difference, because there are no surprises anyway.