|The Gill-man (Universal Classics)|
The Gill-man, as portrayed by in Creature from the Black Lagoon.
|First appearance||Creature from the Black Lagoon|
|Last appearance||The Creature Walks Among Us|
|Created by||Harry Essex|
Arthur A. RossMaurice Zimm
The Gill-man is the titular character of the black-and-white film Creature from the Black Lagoon and its two sequels Revenge of the Creature (1955) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956). Ricou Browning portrays the underwater Gill-man throughout the three films. Ben Chapman plays the Gill-Man on land in the first film, followed by Tom Hennesy in the second, and Don Megowan in the third.
The Gill-Man is an extremely famous Universal monster that first starred in the 1954 sci-fi horror Creature from the black lagoon it has often been noted as the "last of the Universal Monsters"
The Gill-man's popularity as an iconic monster of cinema has led to numerous, including in an episode of The Munsters, the motion picture The Monster Squad.
A geology expedition in the Amazon uncovers fossilized evidence from the Devonian period of a link between land and sea animals in the form of a skeletal hand with webbed fingers. Expedition leader Dr. Carl Maia goes to see his friend Dr. David Reed, an ichthyologist who works at a marine biology institute. Reed persuades the institute's financial backer, Mark Williams, to fund an expedition back to the Amazon to look for the remainder of the skeleton. They go aboard a tramp steamer called the Rita, which is captained by a rude old codger named Lucas. The expedition consists of Dr. Reed, Dr. Maia and Williams, as well as Reed's girlfriend Kay Lawrence and another scientist named Dr. Thompson. When they arrive at Dr. Maia's camp, however, they discover that his entire research team has been mysteriously killed while he was away. Lucas suggests it was done by a jaguar, but the others are unsure. The audience is privy to the attack upon the camp, which was committed by a living version of the fossil the scientists seek.
The excavation of the area where Maia found the hand turns up nothing. Mark is ready to give up the search, but David suggests that perhaps thousands of years ago the part of the embankment containing the rest of the skeleton fell into the water and was washed downriver. Lucas says that the tributary empties into a lagoon known as the "Black Lagoon," a paradise from which no one has ever returned. The scientists decide to risk it, unaware that the amphibious "Gill-man" that killed Dr. Maia's assistants earlier has been watching them. It, taking notice of the beautiful Kay, follows the Rita all the way downriver to the Black Lagoon. Once the expedition arrives, David and Mark go diving to collect fossils from the lagoon floor. After they return, Kay goes swimming and is stalked underwater by the creature, who then gets briefly caught in one of the ship's draglines. Although it escapes, it leaves behind a claw in the net, revealing its existence to the scientists.
Subsequent encounters with the Gill-man claim the lives of two of Lucas' crew members, before the Gill-man is captured and locked in a cage on board the Rita. It escapes during the night and attacks Dr. Thompson, who was guarding it. Kay hits the beast with a lantern; driving it off before it can kill Dr. Thompson. Following this incident, David decides they should return to civilization, but as the Rita tries to leave they find the entrance blocked by fallen logs, courtesy of the escaped Gill-man. While the others try to remove them, Mark is mauled to death trying to capture the creature single-handed underwater. The creature then abducts Kay and takes her to his cavern lair. David, Lucas, and Dr. Maia give chase to save her. Kay is rescued and the creature is riddled with bullets before he retreats to the lagoon where his body sinks in the watery depths, presumably dead (the creature's death was left open to allow for a sequel).