Book Review: The Creature Chronicles

creaturechroniclesThe Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy
Published by McFarland, 2014. 408 pages.
By Tom Weaver, David Schecter, & Steve Kronenberg

This should be a very simple review. If you want to know anything about Creature from the Black Lagoon, or its two sequels, Revenge of the Creature and/or The Creature Walks Among Us, then just buy this book. Just about anything and everything you need to know about those films is in this book. Tom Weaver, along with Schecter and Kronenberg, have researched and compiled so much information, from the cast and crew, premieres, design teams, press, music, down to all the screenwriters involved in them, all here in this book. It even has an introduction by Creature star Julia Adams.

Weaver and company have dug deep into the waters of the Lagoon, finding so much information about this series, from original drafts of the screenplays (which differ quite a bit from the final product), to biographies of the cast and crew, how the films got started to how they were released. The book is filled with photos, some stills but also plenty of behind-the-scene shots, including some test shots of the original “pollywag” design of the creature! There is also a huge section on the music of the films as well. There is even a little section of the descendents of the Gill Man, such as Octaman (1971)!

When you see Tom Weaver’s name on the cover of a book, then you should know you’re going to get facts upon facts, most of it taken right from the mouths of the people that he’s interviewed over the last few decades. But Weaver will also call out the slight discrepancies that might occur with the talent’s memory being a little fuzzy. Weaver also doesn’t pull punches on historical information on these stars, such as some of the trouble they would cause or get into. So while we all love these movies, facts are facts. Kudos to Weaver for not glossing over such things.

Bottom line, as I said in the beginning, if you’re a fan of those movies, these you simple need this book. It might be a bit pricy, but well worth the investment.

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