Creature from the Black Lagoon

All posts tagged Creature from the Black Lagoon

Va-Va-Villainess: Mara Corday

Published May 23, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Mara Corday (1954)

“A disgusting turn of events, Mr. Gunn. You’ve wasted everybody’s evening. It’s going to cost you!” – Emily (Mara Corday)

Keep Smiling, the 26th episode of Peter Gunn, the suave jazz flecked detective series created by Blake Edwards, has to be one of the hippest half hours of television ever produced. Directed by the legendary Jack Arnold (Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Incredible Shrinking Man), this episode accentuates its coolness most fully at the story’s midpoint. As acclaimed drummer Shelly Manne manipulates the skins on stage, Gunn (Craig Stevens) puts the hooks into Mara Corday’s sexy serial blackmailer while an eager whistleblower (played by The Addams Family’s Jackie Coogan) looks on.

Mara TarantulaCorday, of course, efficiently and naturally played a series of valiant heroines in such science fiction-horror pictures as The Giant Claw, The Black Scorpion and (the Arnold directed) Tarantula. Here, she obviously relishes being the bad girl, biting into her lines with acidic menace. It’s a tart performance that radiates with a calm evil, proving that Corday was a step above many of the other model-actresses who played similar roles in that same period of time.

The 90-year-old Corday, who parlayed her longtime friendship with Clint Eastwood into roles in several of his films, is still active at http://maracorday.com/. Those wishing to indulge in the full ecstasies of her presence can find Keep Smiling on Amazon Prime, as well.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

mara

Hopelessly Devoted to: Gloria DeHaven!

Published March 11, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

DeHaven & Thompson

DeHaven & Thompson

Filmed in Harshaw, Wisconsin in 1978 (but not seeing the light of day until the early 1980s), Bog allows Hollywood musical royalty Gloria DeHaven (whom appeared in Step Lively with Frank Sinatra and played her own entertainer mother, Flora Parker DeHaven, in Three Little Words) to add a true (‘n truly goofy) monster flick to her aged coterie of television dramas, soap operas and afternoon hosting appearances.

In her dual roles, hyphenate Ginny Glenn (described as a coroner, pathologist and biologist by various sources from within the film) and ageless woods hag Adrianna, DeHaven simply and authoritatively illiterates scientific jargon as the former and adds a sense of mysterious menace as the former. Still lushly attractive at 53, the flaming haired singer grounds the film’s outrageous occurrences with quiet dignity and honesty. A bit of Hollywood posing does leak in when Ginny’s romance with the local sawbones (Marshall Thompson – late of It! The Terror From Beyond) reaches its peak and as she Fay Wray’s it in the fish-beast’s arms during the final moments, but as a whole DeHaven is restrained and powerful never sinking to ‘how did my career come to this?’ pathos.bog

DeHaven’s thankful subtlety grounds the film itself, which concerns a (supposedly) prehistoric sea creature brought to the surface of a small country town by illegal dynamite fishing, with a professionalism and sense of fun that allows the audience, fully, into the proceedings. Filmed almost documentary-style (like many 1970s swampland creature features such as Creature from Black Lake and Return to Boggy Creek with Dawn Wells from Gilligan’s Island) by director Don Keeslar (whom obviously embraced the outdoors – his only other directing credit is The Capture of Grizzly Adams), Bog, also, serves as a historical document – allowing one to experience small town life circa the late 70s as many locals, both professional (such as Carol Terry, of low budget cult film god Ted V. Mikels’ The Doll Squad) and not, are used in the proceedings).

In fact, the vicious creature is enacted by a 6’7”, 247 pound resident, Thomas “Jeff” Schwad. Of course, Schwad’s creature, when fully revealed, looks like a flapping, winged Creature of the Black Lagoon prototype with a massive fish for a head – making it one of the most hysterical and oddly memorable creatures of the mutant beast genre. Designed as part ecological statement (don’t blow up the fishies!) and part horny aberration (the creature survives on the blood of women and somehow, utilizes them to conjure up a boatload of fertilized, ocean bottom caviar), Bog is outrageous, choppily edited and a wonderful document of the drive-in cinema of its time. In between its bouts of monster mania, it is, also, as laid back and slow going as a long country day in the summer. If said day included a comical shot of a deputy’s hand, sinking into the drink, a la Excalibur, with a wrinkled fish’s mouth wrapped around his elbow, that is!

Classic DeHaven!

Classic DeHaven!


Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Julie Adams, Fangoria calling!!

Published September 27, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

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Who can forget sneaking Fangoria in the house as a 13 year old, getting caught by your parents and then being sent to counseling for loving all that was violent and gory! Memories.

Well, Fangoria can’t be too bad if the classy Julie Adams agreed to be interviewed by moi for the online edition! Check out what this accomplished lady has to say about rewriting Creature from the Black Lagoon and more!

http://www.fangoria.com/new/julie-adams-talks-creature-from-the-black-lagoon-special-3d-chicago-screenings/

And if you’re in the Midwest, be sure to come and meet Adams at (one of) two 3-D screenings of the Creature at the historic Patio Theatre on September 28th: https://www.facebook.com/events/437861749665419/

As always, until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Julie Adams: Away All Boats with the Creature’s Fabulous Heroine!

Published September 26, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

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With a generosity of spirit to match her exquisite beauty, actress Julie Adams has graced audiences with performances of depth and keen perception since her earliest days in Hollywood. Well known for her portrayal of the heroic character of Kay in the legendary Creature of the Black Lagoon, Adams recently has written about all of her performing adventures in the well received The Lucky Southern Star. In anticipation of her upcoming appearances in Chicago on the weekend of September 28th, 2013, the vibrant Adams took a moment to speak with Big Gay Horror Fan about some of her activities as an actress outside the lagoon!

BGHF: Julie, viewers are very aware of your role in Creature, but you have participated in an amazing variety of projects. If you could pick one or two people to re-visit from your career, who would they be?

Julie Adams: One would be James Stewart; I had the good fortune to work with him a couple of times. Once, when I was very young, in Bend of the River and again, about twenty years later, when I played his wife on The Jimmy Stewart Show! Another film star that I adored was Tyrone Power, whom I worked with in The Mississippi Gambler in 1953. Sadly, he died of a heart attack five years later at the age of 44. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to be in another film with him.

????????????????????????????????????????BGHF: You, also, worked with George Nader, whom is known to terror freaks for his role in Robot Monster, a number of times. Can you talk a bit about working with him?

Julie: I liked working with George Nader a lot. He was a wonderful person and a real professional. You could always be focused on the work with him and still have a good time doing it. There was one scene we did together that was particularly fun in Away All Boats. My character Nadine did a little hula for her husband, Navy Lieut. Dave MacDougall (George Nader) while he strums a ukulele — it was such a cute moment in the film! I fondly remember all of the scenes I played with George. He was handsome, charming, and a fine actor.

BGHF: That’s so nice to hear! In one of the beloved episodes of The Night Stalker, “Mr. R.I.N.G.” , you played the very spirit happy Mrs. Walker. What do you have to do with your body chemistry to portray a believable drunk?mr. r.i.n.g.

Julie: I didn’t really think of Mrs. Walker as a drunk. I just thought she was a rascally character who liked the finer things in life, whether it be a drink in the afternoon or wearing fancy clothes. One key to playing a drinker convincingly is not going too far with it. A little goes a long way. I tried to give Mrs. Walker an attitude; she certainly didn’t care much for the government program that got her husband killed. So I tried to let that attitude come out with her flippant behavior. Of course, playing dark comedy with Darren McGavin was a dream!

BGHF: Naturally! You were vigilant in 1988’s Black Roses and expressed stern concern in 1978’s The Fifth Floor. Though not as well respected as mainstream films, do you feel exploitation and genre projects have given you a wider range to express your skills as an actress?
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Julie: Genre projects often have an other-worldly element to them. As an actress, I always tried to ground my character in reality, even when fantastical things were happening around her. However, films of this nature usually have scenarios that aren’t typical of more mainstream cinema, so that presents certain challenges. So in this regard, these films did expand my range as an actress.

Be sure to visit the legendary Julie (and son Mitch Danton)this weekend in Chicago at the historic Patio Theatre for two 3-D showings of Creature of the Black Lagoon.

Information on the event can be obtained here: https://www.facebook.com/events/437861749665419/

Big Gay Horror Fan, meanwhile, is forever worshipping the divine Ms. Adams at http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE!