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[Video] The History of the Gill-Man in Movies and Television

Creature stole my Twinkie.

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, being widely released in theaters across the country on December 22, was very obviously inspired by Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, an iconic monster movie itself inspired by the classic Beauty and the Beast fairytale.

But Del Toro’s latest is far from the first film the 1954 classic paved way for.

This new video from Alamo Drafthouse, titled Meet the Creature, tracks the history of the gill-man in movies and television, providing a six-minute rundown of every notable appearance from the Creature and, well, creatures inspired by the Creature!

The video highlights sequels, ripoffs and homages, providing clips and trivia tidbits along the way. A fun watch while you wait for The Shape of Water, so check it out below!



  • biff

    Neat stuff. However, while they mention Rick Baker’s Octoman, they neglect Rob Bottin and Chris Walas’ contributions to Humanoids From The Deep and Stan Winston’s Studio with The Monster Squad.

    • Saturn

      It’s a bloody crime if they didn’t mention Monster Squad!

    • HalesTales

      I didn’t get to watch it yet, but THEY DIDN’T MENTION MONSTER SQUAD?! That’s a great Gill-man!

      • biff

        They’ve got him in there. And yeah, one of the best ever.

  • DukeStKing

    Wasn’t Clint Eastwood in The Creature Walks Among Us? Anyway, Creature from the Black Lagoon, my favorite Universal monster ever. Sure wish Del Toro would have done that instead. And adapted the same features of the original costume. That design is flawless.

    • Christopher Nickerson

      He was in Tarantula. He is the pilot that napalm the giant tarantula at the end

      • DukeStKing

        You’re right! He was in Revenge of the Creature.

  • Batcat

    Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of the great horror films from the 1950s and the best monster of that very monster filled decade. It’s still a flawless design. The original film is very reminiscent of King Kong, in that it conveys both terror and sympathy for the monster, while melding a story with shades of Beauty and the Beast.

    The Shape of Water looks to be excellent and I’m glad Del Toro did it. He seems to have a genuine love for these monsters.

    It’s odd that Humanoids from the Deep wasn’t mentioned. While that film would certainly warrant a bad taste award, the costume designs are remarkably creepy and echo those described in the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

    • Marla

      “Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of the great horror films from the 1950s”

      I never really viewed it as a horror film at least not in the traditional sense. The movie had significant environmental and social issues and the “creature” was more or less an allegory for nature itself. Plus, no CGI overkill, just an overworked actor in a rubber suit who was creepy as hell. Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of my favorite movies of all time.

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