The Creature Walks Among Us is the third and final film featuring the Gill-man and follows the second movie as once again, a group of men seek out the creature, this time for a completely different and nefarious purpose. Do they want to kill him or seek vengeance? Nothing could be further from the truth. No, instead of anything so kind, they decide that they are going to try and use their science to turn him into a human simply because they can. What follows is horror and sadness as the once proud creature is no longer so. It is probably a good thing that the series ended on this film because after this, there really was no place else to go unless they had him regrow his scales.
The good thing about this film is that the script is a lot stronger than the previous film and the horror more prevalent, at least in one particular way. The story itself is even fairly original when it comes to a Universal film starring one of its famous monsters and even though it is compelling it is not as exciting as the other two as the focus of the film is more on the human drama than on the creature. That was probably the one main flaw that took away from this film, that and the fact that the creature was not really itself anymore after they transformed him. The one thing that made the creature as appealing as he was, were his looks. He looked like and was a monster from the deep. Once that was removed, he simply resembled a guy with a skin problem and that was not nearly as frightening to look at as he once was.
Changing the monster’s appearance was one of the moments that added to the horror of the film. Not because the Gill-less man was scary, it was the act of transforming him that was horrific. Even in fictional monster movies, mankind cannot let nature take its course and they must find a way to tamper with it for what they see as the betterment of humanity. The Gill-man definitely was not a happy camper after being transformed and while he was now living in a world he did not want to belong to, the men were standing around back-patting one another on a job well done. There was a little suspense to make the film move at a fairly decent pace, but it had more to do with seeing whether Marcia played by the gorgeous Leigh Snowden would cheat on her husband or not. In the end, there was very little real horror which was a bit of a shame considering how the series started off on such a high note.
The direction by John Sherwood was good and the film looked sharp in black and white with good performances by Jeff Morrow and Rex Reason, but in all the film was lacking even if it was put together well. The best part of the movie was its most tragic and that was the ending which gave it an air of finality, but also left it open for the possibility of another entry in the series. Perhaps it was a good thing that there was not as Universal and the makers of this movie got away from what made the Gill-man so unique, as well as toning down the classic aspects which defines horror so as to be almost non-existent. If nothing else, The Creature Walks Among Us was a solid drama, but a drama with very little of its titular character.