Still Watching the Skies: Episode 34 “It Came from Outer Space & Creature from the Black Lagoon”
Robert, Nat, and Cody are joined by Sean Gerber of Superhero News to talk about one of the preeminent science fiction directors of the 1950s, Jack Arnold, and his first two science fiction movies, IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. Both these movies were released in 3D and both were big hits.
1953’S IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE is based on a story treatment by Ray Bradbury. With its 3D, desert southwest setting, loner, outsider scientist, and story of shapeshifting xenomorphs blending in with small town America, it’s notable for being the first science fiction film to explore many of these ideas and it’s influence was certainly felt throughout the 1950s.
It takes awhile for the discussion to get going, but when it does we take a deep dive into the xenophobia and anti-science themes of IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE. We talk about Richard Carlson, loner astronomer, and poetical telephone linemen. It’s not a favorite of anyone on the podcast, but there are some definite points of interest. IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE was one of the first 3D movies by a major studio, so how does the 3D hold up? And, since Russell Johnson is in it, can we resist making a GILLIGAN’S ISLAND reference? You’ll have to listen to find out how strong our willpower is.
After that, we turn our attention to 1954’s CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. If nothing else, we can say it had the most famous swimming scene before JAWS.
I don’t think it’s any spoiler to say that we enjoyed our river cruise to the Black Lagoon. In particular, everyone is a fan of the underwater sequences and the design of the Gill Man.
We touch on a wide array of topics. The relative balance of the film so that there are no out and out bad guys. The prehistoric vs. modern. Fish mating. Julia Adams. How CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON may have influenced JAWS. Why two actors as the Gill Man? Also, why not a blonde actress?
If that’s not enough, Cody quizzes Sean Gerber on the current state of superhero films and the rest of the 2017 line up.
If this doesn’t reach out and grab you, I don’t know what would. So give us a play below or Download the episode. Also, feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below or Email Us at [email protected] as we appreciate feedback.
Next month, we venture way outside our comfort zone with Sun Ra and his Arkestra in 1974’s SPACE IS THE PLACE. Nothing like a little bit of AfroFuturism to shake us of any complacency we may have. At the very least, we’re expecting a strong soundtrack to the episode. We hope you’ll join us.