Revenge of the Creature

Revenge of the Creature (a.k.a. Return of the Creature and Return of the Creature from the Black Lagoon) is the first of two Universal-International sequels to Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was the only 3D film released in 1955 and the only 3D sequel to a 3D film released during "the golden age of 3D". Produced by William Alland and directed by Jack Arnold (the director of the first Creature film), the film stars John Agar and Lori Nelson. It marked Clint Eastwood's film debut.

Revenge of the Creature
Directed byJack Arnold
Produced byWilliam Alland
Screenplay byMartin Berkeley
Story byWilliam Alland
StarringJohn Agar
Lori Nelson
Music byHerman Stein
CinematographyCharles S. Welbourne
Edited byPaul Weatherwax
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • March 23, 1955 (1955-03-23)
(Denver premiere)[1]
May 13, 1955 (general release)[2]
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.1 million (US)[3]

Revenge of the Creature premiered in Denver on March 23, 1955[1] and a "flat", non-3D sequel, The Creature Walks Among Us, followed in 1956. Revenge was released as a double feature with Cult of the Cobra.


Having previously survived being riddled with bullets, the Gill-man is captured and sent to the Ocean Harbor Oceanarium in Florida, where he is studied by animal psychologist Professor Clete Ferguson (John Agar) and ichthyology student Helen Dobson (Lori Nelson). Helen writes a journal entry about the Gill-man that is dated 7/10/1954.

Helen and Clete quickly begin to fall in love, much to the chagrin of Joe Hayes (John Bromfield), the Gill-man's keeper. The Gill-man takes an instant liking to Helen, which severely hampers Clete's efforts to communicate with him. Ultimately, the Gill-man escapes from his tank, killing Joe in the process, and flees to the open ocean.

Unable to stop thinking about Helen, the Gill-man soon begins to stalk her and Clete, ultimately abducting her from a seaside restaurant where the two are at a party. Clete tries to give chase, but the Gill-man escapes to the water with his captive. Clete and police arrive just in time and when the creature surfaces, police shoot him as Clete saves Helen.


John AgarProf. Clete Ferguson
Lori NelsonHelen Dobson
John BromfieldJoe Hayes
Nestor PaivaLucas
Grandon RhodesJackson Foster
Dave WillockLou Gibson
Robert WilliamsGeorge Johnson
Charles CanePolice Captain
Robert F. HoyCharlie
Brett HalseyPete
Ricou BrowningGill-man (Underwater)
Tom HennesyGill-man (On Land)
Jere A. Beery, Sr.News Photographer (tank side)
Patsy Lee BeeryGirl Necking in Car
Clint EastwoodLab Technician Jennings (Uncredited)


Using the working titles of Return of the Creature and Return of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, filming took place at Marineland of Florida which played the part of the film's Ocean Harbor Oceanarium. The St. Johns River stood in for the Amazon in the film.[4]

The Lobster House restaurant where the Creature kidnaps Lori Nelson was located in Jacksonville, Florida. It was destroyed by fire in 1962. The Diamondhead Restaurant (now the River City Brewing Co.) was built adjacent to the site where the old Lobster House once stood. Friendship Park was built on the vacant land near where the Lobster House stood.[5]

Revenge of the Creature marks the screen debut of Clint Eastwood, who appears uncredited as a lab technician named Jennings early in the story. He is shown having a discussion with Professor Ferguson, accusing a test subject cat of eating a lab rat, only to find the rat in his lab coat pocket.[2]


Critically reviewed in The New York Times, Revenge of the Creature was dismissed as a fourth-rate sequel with the comment, "... away we go, as before." Other than some interesting sequences involving the setting, "What is probably the most unusual aquarium in the world makes a nice, picturesque background indeed ..." the review was dismissive of the production.[6][7]

Although Revenge of the Creature has been broadcast on television in red-and-blue-glasses anaglyph form (e.g., in 1982 in the San Francisco Bay area), it was originally shown in theaters by the polarized light method and viewed through glasses with gray polarizing filters. A "flat" version without 3D was also released.[8]

In 1997, Revenge of the Creature was mocked on the comedy television series Mystery Science Theater 3000, marking its first episode on the Sci-Fi Channel.[9]

Home media

Universal released Revenge of the Creature on VHS in Universal Monsters Classic Collection and DVD in a boxed set, along with Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Creature Walks Among Us. A bonus behind-the-scenes documentary was added for the set. The film was re-released on Blu Ray, along with both other films in the "Creature" trilogy.

See also



  1. Furmanek, Bob and Greg Kintz. "An In-Depth Look at Creature from the Black Lagoon.", 2012. Retrieved: November 19, 2013.
  2. Schickel 2012, p. 283.
  3. 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
  4. "Locations: 'Revenge of the Creature' (1955)." The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved: July 4, 2015.
  5. "Former site of The Lobster House (Jacksonville, Florida); destroyed." Wikimapia. Retrieved: July 4, 2015.
  6. Thompson, Howard, H. "Movie review: 'Revenge of the Creature' (1955); Gill Is loose, again." The New York Times, May 14, 1955.
  7. Weaver et al. 2014, p. 205.
  8. Weaver et al. 2014, p. 203.
  9. "Episode Guide: 801- Revenge of the Creature". Satellite News. Retrieved March 17, 2018.


  • Schickel, Richard. Clint: A Retrospective. New York: Sterling, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4027-9704-0.
  • Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies, American Science Fiction Movies of the 50s, Vol. I: 1950 - 1957. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 1982. ISBN 0-89950-032-3.
  • Weaver, Tom, David Schecter and Steve Kronenberg. The Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc., 2014. ISBN 978-0-7864-9418-7.
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