I tell ya, they don’t make films the way they used to! Now days, you think the bad guy’s dead at the end of the picture and then there’s a sequel and he’s alive again!
Remember the ending of Creature from the Black Lagoon in 1954? The creature died and that was the end of it! At least it was until 1955’s Revenge of the Creature. But at least he died at the end of that! Until 1956’s The Creature Walks Among Us. But at least the creature doesn’t die at the end of that one! And that sets up the sequel — that was never made.
End of a Trilogy
On this day, 26 April, in 1956, the third and final film of the series, The Creature Walks Among Us, was released. It is arguably the best of the three although I really like all of them. (The only one with that Tor Johnson feel!) They are all competently made, well-acted, and beautifully shot.
The Creature Walks Among Us is certainly better than the second film, which was really just a retelling of the first film in a different location. This one turns things around and shows that the real monsters are humans — at least some humans.
The first two films were directed by Jack Arnold. He directed a lot of great psychotronic films like It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula! and the Richard Matheson classic, The Incredible Shrinking Man. He went on to direct A-features like No Name on the Bullet and The Mouse That Roared before ending his career in television.
By the time of The Creature Walks Among Us, Arnold was too big for the B-features, so veteran assistant director John Sherwood was put in charge. Sherwood had been AD on No Name on the Bullet. After it, he directed The Monolith Monsters. And that was it. He worked on a couple more films as AD and then died at the age of 56. (I haven’t been able to find a cause of death.)
If you are any kind of fan at all, I highly recommend getting the Universal Studios’ Creature From the Black Lagoon: Complete Legacy Collection. It comes on 2 Blu-ray discs. There are commentary tracks for all the films, a 40-minute documentary, and some minor stuff. The first two films come in 3-D versions.
The Creature Walks Among Us poster via Wikipedia under Fair Use.