Gill-Man: B+ Movie Edition, TheFeatured
When I watched "Creature from the Black Lagoon", I found a film that had its moments, but was generally pretty boring. The so-bad-it's-good experience was seriously "watered-down" by a crazy amount of filler - so I sought to remove that, along with the man-in-a-rubber-suit vibe.
If you found CFTBL boring, you should find this engaging. If you liked CFTBL, you may find yourself liking "Gill-man" even more. It was intentional that nothing immediately obvious should be removed, but that the film would simply come across as better paced and more entertaining as a result of the numerous tiny trims.
In summary, expect:
Less TALKING about diving.
Less man in a suit, and...
- My own Scribbling Man Logo
- theryaney's Netflix-style fanedit.org logo
- royalty free smoke footage (used as a backdrop for Gill-man title)
- Theryaney – for providing a 4:3 B&W version of his Netflix-style fanedit.org logo.
- jswert123456, for providing an alternative DVD cover spread.
- All who showed interest in the edit.
- All who contributed to brainstorming the title.
- TM2YC, for his swift viewing and approval, favourable review and technical assistance.
- My sisters for helping with my branding.
I can be a forgetful soul, so if I've missed anyone out please accept my apologies and thanks!
The new "Gill-man" title was created by using a similar font and resizing certain letters to match the style of the original titles. The smoky backdrop used was footage from the public domain which I then put through a film damage filter and adjusted until it matched the rest of the credits. I also adjusted the opacity of the letters so as to better blend them with the backdrop.
- Trimmed or removed various panning scenery shots throughout the film.
- Sped up underwater shots of creature to make him appear more agile than humans underwater.
- Slightly sped up selected shots of Creature on land in order to make him seem less sluggish and man-in-a-suit like.
- Trimmed minimal dialogue (literally, just a couple of sentences)
- Trimmed gaps in between certain lines of dialogue to make it seem more natural.
- Swapped out/altered shots and audio (dialogue and music) in various scenes, either due to preference or convenience.
- Generally went for a less is more approach. The less we see the creature, the less we realise it’s a man in a suit.
- Overall, nearly no scene was left untouched – however, no scenes were cut and maybe two lines of dialogue were removed. The main aim being to keep the entire narrative of the film exactly the same, but make it better - more enjoyable; better paced, snappier, more intense.
Semi-complete cutlist (everything I remembered to take note of):
- Added fanedit.org warning.
- Added theryaney’s fanedit.org logo.
- Added Scribbling Man logo
- Added new title.
- Excavator doesn’t say he will take another photo and then dig – just takes a photo and digs.
- When we see the creature place its hand upon the shore, we fade out before it slips back into the water.
- Cut opening shot of Marine Institute.
-Trimmed lengthy scene of diver resurfacing.
- Trimmed fish tank panning shot.
- Trimmed David’s speech.
- We don’t see the creature’s hand on the shore a second time, we fade straight to 1st person view approaching the tent. This entire sequence has been chipped and chopped. (Also, cut first shot of tent shaking)
- Trimmed opening shots of boat.
- Cut fade transition when Lucas frightens the alligators. Instead, we cut straight to David and Kay talking.
- Cut shot of them calling from the rowboat.
- Trimmed scene with creature reaching for Kay outside the camp.
- Trimmed shot of creature splashing away.
- Cut David telling Kay to get back on board.
- Trimmed digging montage.
- Trimmed shots of boat.
- Trimmed Mark arriving on deck.
- Trimmed arrival at Black Lagoon.
- Heavily trimmed diving sequence.
- Cut shot of creature grabbing for divers leg.
- Cut out about 1.5 minutes from the swimming/stalker scene, including the creature just floating around lamely and trying to touch the woman.
- Added shot of creature grabbing for woman's leg just before she gets on boat.
- Heavily trimmed creature caught in net.
- Added fade transition when Mark says to David “you’re still working for me”
- Heavily trimmed second dive.
- Trimmed creature’s attack on the boat and improved David’s response time.
- Water drugging scene is very heavily trimmed. I mean, man, this scene is long!
- Sped up panning shot of people guarding the boat.
- Instead of panning all the way, we cut to David early.
- Trimmed creature’s attempt to get on the boat.
- Trimmed finding the creature with searchlight.
- Trimmed creature’s response to the light.
- Improved David’s reaction time in going after the creature.
- Trimmed David and Mark swimming to where the creature was.
- Trimmed David diving after mark.
- Trimmed David and Marks exploration of the lagoon.
- Numerous little shaves made here and there to the beach attack scene, adding up to approx. 12-15 sec, including:
- Shots between Kay and creature are quicker, and Kay's reaction time is improved.
- Improved reaction time of henchmen after Kay screams. I did this by speeding up the clip of him bracing himself.
- Extended pause before Kay says “… But he didn’t” and added shot of creature to create a greater sense of empathy.
- Cut several shots of the creature during when the doctor guards the trapped creature.
- Also, cut dialogue from this scene, partly because it was pretentious (“some are afraid, like humans whistling in the dark” – really?) and partly to eliminate more shots of the creature.
- Sped up creature smashing lantern.
- Fixed strange pause when captain says “You wish to say something, mister?”
- Trimmed shots of boat attempting to leave Lagoon
- Trimmed winch scene (my gosh, this drags…).
- Trimmed David diving to fix winch.
- Trimmed David and Mark fighting with the creature. This is now less than half its original length.
- Quickened Kay’s reaction to Mark’s body.
- Trimmed David retrieving Mark’s body.
- Trimmed drug mixing scene.
- Altered fade transition.
- Trimmed scene with David drugging the creature underwater.
- Heavily trimmed second winch scene.
- Trimmed creature climbing aboard.
- Improved Kay’s scream reaction and sped up creature diving with her.
- Trimmed creature and Kay arriving in Lagoon.
- Trimmed David looking for creature in Lagoon.
- Trimmed David fighting creature.
- Trimmed creature getting shot to make it more relentless and less sluggish.
- Trimmed creature’s escape.
- Trimmed people following creature.
- Trimmed creature’s death.
What can I say really, this edit just makes the film feel a lot more compact and entertaining for me.
Effective trim of an already shortish horror film. The editor's aim was to carve out the slack bits, and thereby boost the pacing. Nicely done.
Video - 1280 X 720p. Black n white, with good contrast. The underwater photography in this is outstanding, and the final interior cave shots are fine. Cuts went by unnoticed.
Audio - 224 Kbps 2-Channel, AAC. No subs. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout. One might argue the finest element of this film is the soundtrack, which is dramatic and effective.
Narrative - Tell the truth, I did not notice any change in the narrative. And yes, quit a bit was excised. The story flows fine, I did not notice missing passages. This is a light edit and, because of the brevity, easy to digest. Boy meets girl - boy chases girl - conflict.
Enjoyment - Of all the "classic" Universal monsters, the Creature has always been one of my least favorites. Possibly because there is next to no history or backstory for the guy. He's existed for thousands of years in his isolated bachelor pad? Is the Creature even a he? If the Creature is actually a "she" then the sequence where it kidnaps Kay has a whole new dimension! Otherwise, the Creature comes across as this lovesick sap. Where were the village maidens? Countless manfish mutant fishpop offspring?
Yeah, kicking a rock, sorry. Nevertheless, compared with the original feature, Scribbling Man's edit is much preferred. Enjoy with your favorite fish sticks!
not too much to say here, overall pretty good. slimmed version is worth watching.
I vaguely remember seeing this film as a youngster so I went into it with an open mind, as a result the only thing that made it obvious this was quite a streamlined cut was the runtime itself. I didn't notice any jumps in narrative, each scene flowed naturally from the previous one and video and audio seemed smooth for a low budget film from the 50's. I have had a look since at some of the untouched scenes and really appreciate how much chaff the editor has managed to eradicate from film which works in the films favour even if it does make the runtime quite brief for a main feature. Where the edit really shines though is in how with clever and quite intricate editing it manages to give some menace and agility to what is essentially a clumsy bloke in a rubber suit who can't see where he is going. It's not a stretch to say the film now has quite an affinity with Jaws and I remain convinced a young Speilberg was heavily influenced by this film. It's certainly evident in this edit that it has some striking similarities and now has a more Jaws like pace too. Highly recommended for any fan of old B movies, it's also an excelent quality print for its age. I give this B+ edition an A-