Friday, June 09, 2006



Recently I saw in one of the news organs that the most extensive underwater scan ever of Loch Ness has uncovered no sign at all of anything large enough to be Nessie. They scoped out the entire space and found, well, a big hole in the ground full of murky water. In other words, ladies, OUR LITTLE PLAN IS WORKING.

Much has been made of the fact that a creature as large as Nessie could not possibly hide herself decade after decade, especially if she breathes air. I always get a smile out of this tiny-minded human thinking. As you all know, Nessie is actually a collective of wee Scots fishies who form up into a lake monster as needed. Why they need to is classified and can’t be put on the Internet, sorry. But as soon as the monkey people lower a camera, fish finder or similar puny instrument of technology into the loch, the fish just scatter -- chuckling, I tell you! LAUGHING AT YOU ALL!

Similarly, not one specimen of the Nessie fish has ever been caught. The Scots don’t even know they are there. They would not consider them worth eating even if they did catch one, but none of these special operatives are silly enough to go after a worm on a hook.

The other monkeybrained argument against Nessie is that an animal that large could not possibly keep herself fed in a body of water that size. Again, no problem. Nessie fish eat EACH OTHER and thus pass on the racial memory of their task to the next generation. Indeed are the ways of the Deep Ones mysterious as all get out.


This movie takes the viewer well beyond the worst-case scenario of one of our operatives being captured, tortured and killed by the landscum. It takes us into an insane, impossible territory where fish turn into men, instead of the other way around, as it happens in the natural order of things. YECCCCH.

Plot summary: hero-type guy falls for yet another pretty girl in a white one-piece bathing suit, this time the discontented young wife of a wealthy, insanely jealous scientist who is out to capture and study a Gill Man of his very own. They search for him in the Everglades, using the scientist’s incredibly luxurious research vessel. Another successful capture leads to tragedy for everyone but the girl as the Gill Man penetrates deeper than ever into landscum, I mean human, society, and winds up half-human himself, looking strangely more and more like Mr. T as his transformation progresses. Things get ugly soon enough, in more ways than one, and once the Gill Man is framed for murder he gets really mad and kicks some Pink Monkey butt.

>> You know right away that the Insanely Jealous Husband is not truly committed to the Scientific Method. He is too caught up in petty, unscientific emotions like love and possessiveness and stuff. He’s going to go under, but will he take the Gill Man down with him?

>> And look at this research ship of his! Glass cases full of leather-bound books! A drawing room with a piano! Martini shakers! Statuary everywhere! A BUTLER, are you kidding me? Would you call a research ship the Vagabondia III? Would you make your wife host cocktail parties there in her white one-piece cocktail dress? Is this science? I ask you.

>> Since when do Gill Men live in the Everglades, anyway? Are they telling us he survived the last picture only to be recaptured in this one? Well, there may have been a colony of them there in the Fifties. WE KNOW THERE IS NOW. But back to the subject at hand. Apparently the word has spread among these Everglades Gill Men that they should stay the heck away from girls in white one-piece bathing suits. There is such a girl in this movie, sure enough, and she does everything possible to put herself in the path of our unlucky operative. The Gill Man looks, but he never touches, and a good thing, too.

>> Notice just how much trouble this girl goes to to tempt the Gill Man. After being warned repeatedly to be careful, because the menfolk know how reckless she is, they abandon her to try her luck scuba-diving. They are nearby, armed to the teeth to hunt the ferocious Gill Man. The girl immediately dives too far down and succumbs to "the rapture of the deep." She might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says "TAKE ME, I’M YOURS." Any aquatic lifeform behaving this way would be voluntarily sacrificing herself to the Elder Gods for consumption, and you’d better believe the Gill Man knows it. But he also knows that she is clueless about the message she’s sending. This, like the Naked Ape male who has the restraint not to force himself on a drunken female of his own species, shows the clear signs of a good upbringing and a clear sense of right and wrong. Ultimately, even intelligent caution does not help the Gill Man.

>> I’m not sure he’s just being chivalrous in not putting the munch on this girl. My thought is that the Gill Man would realize immediately that she’s is pretty unbalanced or she would never stay with a husband like this one. The girl proves it almost immediately upon arriving in the Everglades, when the men rush up on deck in response to the racket of someone firing a gun repeatedly. Sure enough, it’s her, all decked out in her hunting togs, ventilating sharks for laughs. She’s a real dream date.

>> The intrepid scientists warn each other over and over to take the Gill Man alive for the purposes of Scientific Study. Once they spot him, however, they open fire with a pistol, shoot him twice in the midsection with a speargun, and finally manage to set fire to him before they drag him aboard, ventilated in half a dozen places and sporting 3rd-degree burns.>> The intrepid scientists realize quickly that with all his skin burned off, the Gill Man starts to look a lot more human. They conclude from the depths of their Fifties scientific theoretical foundation that he was only a fish on the surface – THERE WAS A MAN WAITING INSIDE ALL ALONG. I personally find this idea just plain insulting.

>> Luckily for the idiots caring for him, the Gill Man has a set of lungs ready for emergencies -- they discover it by accident after keeping him swathed in dry gauze on a table in the ship's operating theater for several DAYS, wondering vaguely why he isn't dead yet. Once they pry off the bandages, we start to see the changes better -- he suddenly has eyelids and squinty little monkey eyes instead of the come-hither fish eyes we swooned over in the previous movies. His claws drop off, and he has fingernails underneath. The arrestingly lovely gills are scorched away, so there are only little tags left in the shape of...monkey’s ears. And there's a ridge running down the back of his noggin that, along with the permanent, miserable scowl and the steroidal build of the kidnap victim, completes the resemblance to Mr. T.

>> Talk about man’s inhumanity to fish. They not only half-kill and permanently disfigure the Gill Man, they then proceed to keep him in a bone-dry holding pen and give him no access to food, water or shade. If this really is the same Gill Man we saw in the previous movie, I have to say he’s the politest, most long-suffering operative I can imagine. A credit to our race, if you ask me.>> After the scientist coshes one of his younger, better-looking rivals in a jealous rage, he decides his best move is to put the victim in the enclosure where they are keeping the Gill Man, who is kept (terribly symbolically) with all the other experimental sheep on the premises...And can someone please explain to me why they are keeping a flock of sheep behind a 20'-high electrified fence in the Everglades?

>> Well, the Gill Man finally sees his moment, widows the discontented young wife, rips the enclosure to shreds, takes a few bullets in the chest, and staggers off towards the ocean...a piscatorial figure of selflessness and sacrifice if ever I saw one. There's a distinct possibility that he can no longer survive underwater. The look on his face suggests that this may well be a suicidal beach stroll. We never find out for sure.

>> The key roles were played perfectly by all concerned. What a couple of fantastic actors these are. As always, Ricou Browning does the underwater scenes. This time we saw Don Megown in the tragic, tragic role of the transformed Gill Man, standing helplessly on land and wishing so hard to get back home. You just want to, I dunno, DO something for poor Megown but it’s too late. This terribly sad movie was as well-acted and generally well-made as the other two Creature features. Like the other two, it is more about Science than Nature running amok. Encouragingly, Nature does not take this lying down.


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