Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Monster of Piedras Blancas, Love and the Sea Creature

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON!!!!! Yeah...this isn't it.  However, 1959's "The Monster of Piedras Blancas" may be called the poor man's version of that Universal classic.  We are poor men, so what's the harm?  A seven foot tall gill man (looking a lot like the 1954 creature), damp caves, a beautiful damsel who likes to swim (naked), and lot of guys with rifles and nets (...most will die) are elements of this campy B movie.  Directed by concert pianist and dialogue coach, Irvin Berwick, this chilling tale will keep you entertained.
Something is ripping the heads off the fishermen of a quaint coastal town. A boat propeller?  Dr. Sam Jorgenson (Les Tremayne) believes it is a sea creature as scales were found near the corpses.  The town constable, George (Forrest Lewis) believes the town storekeeper, Kochek (Frank Arvidson) and the lighthouse keeper, Sturges (John Harmon) know more than they are letting on.  Oh yes, Sturges' daughter, Lucy (Jeanne Carmen, who dated mobsters, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra) who is the only babe in the town, and she likes to skinny dip.  Even though the men of the town are losing their heads, Lucy finds time to skinny dip by the moonlight.  While performing the freestyle, the creature fondles her undergarments (see picture above).  
Though legends have existed about a beast from the sea for the past 30 years, now it is wandering into town.  After it kills the town weirdo (see above picture) and a little girl, a posse is formed.  Led by Sam, George, and Lucy's BF Fred (Don Sullivan) the fiend goes through the gang like crap through a goose.  Now our trio concocts an unlikely plan to combat the creature.  As the trio plot, the fiend wanders through town and spies Lucy through a window.  Watching Lucy undress is too much for his hormones, and now the thing is in love.  Bent on abducting Lucy, our trio may not have time to put their plan in motion before coming face to face with their nemesis.  
Will these episodes of carnage convince Lucy to keep her clothes on?  What information is Sturges holding back that may shed some light on our creature's motives?  This film came out five years after "Creature from the Black Lagoon," but it is still a lot of fun.  Our gill-man is menacing and Lucy is shapely...does anything else matter? Available on YouTube as part of a "Dumpsterpiece Theater" episode, don't miss it.

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