REVENGE OF THE CREATURE

Most Creature From The Black Lagoon fans have long been aware of the musical similarity between the three Creature pictures.  After all, the BAH-BAH-BAHHH! of the “Creature theme” isn’t an easy thing to forget, especially after you’ve heard it over a hundred times in a picture. 

As important as music was to Creature From The Black Lagoon, it was even more important in the first sequel, Revenge Of The Creature, as it had to add atmosphere to all the scenes taking place in civilization, far from the first film’s Amazonian locale.  While underscore covers a substantial 63% of Creature From The Black Lagoon’s running length, a whopping 73% of Revenge Of The Creature contains music.   Herman Stein sneaking up on the Creature!

There are 44 cues listed on Creature From The Black Lagoon’s cue sheets, whereas Revenge Of The Creature sports a dizzying 72 cues.  The main reason for all the extra pieces is because many of Creature From The Black Lagoon’s cues were originally written for that picture and were composed to fit lengthy scenes.  For Revenge Of The Creature, snippets of many previously-written cues were re-used in a pasted-together fashion, so many of the sequel’s cues were quite short, with 39 of them being under :35 in length.

The remaining 8 original Revenge Of The Creature cues were composed by William Lava, who did not work on Creature From The Black Lagoon.  Despite his not getting many Universal sci-fi assignments, Lava was one of Universal’s best “monster scorers,” contributing excellent material for The Deadly Mantis and Cult Of The Cobra.  He wrote about 12 minutes of music for Revenge Of The Creature, and his cues were spread throughout the picture, providing the score with some musical originality at some timely moments.  While using the “Creature theme” in much of his writing, Lava put his own stylistic spin on things.  Henry Mancini's The Gillman Stomp

Lava’s first cue, “Jungle Boat,” follows the “Main Title,” and the brassy “Chained” and playful “Exhibit Of The Prehistoric” occur when the netted Gill-Man is first moved to his permanent tank and then put on display.  The moody “Physical” accompanies the laboratory analysis of the Creature’s metabolism, when John Agar (as Professor Clete Ferguson) is forced to utter more scientific words than he probably had to in the rest of his personal and professional life.  Lava’s “Romance Disturbed” plays while Clete is relaxing at the beach and decides to make a move on shapely (yet also brainy) assistant Helen (played by  Lori Nelson).  “Newspaper Montage,” with FIVE “Creature themes” in it, sounds after the Gill-Man escapes from the Oceanarium, and it’s soon followed by “Gillman On The Prowl,” heard when the Creature attempts to take a shower with Helen, and “Where Is Chris?” which covers the action when Clete and Helen look for her dog. 

Revenge Of The Creature also borrowed music from earlier Universal films that Creature From The Black Lagoon didn’t re-use.  Among those cues were Frank Skinner’s “Psycho Nurse” and “Peter’s Painting”  from Francis Joins The Wacs, both heard during the laboratory sequence featuring Clint Eastwood and a chimpanzee.  Nick Nuzzi’s “Charlie McCarthy March,” from You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man, plays at Ocean Harbor while Flippy, the “educated” porpoise, struts his stuff.  The songs “I Am, Are You?” and “Nice To Know You” (both written by Everett Carter and Milton Rosen) served as source music, as did the standard “I’ll Remember April.”  Sci-fi fans might also recognize Mancini’s “Rescued” and Stein’s “Sand Rock,” both from It Came From Outer Space.

Many of the cues recorded on our Creature From The Black Lagoon (and other jungle pictures) CD were also used in Revenge Of The Creature, and so were most of Hans Salter’s Creature From The Black Lagoon cues that appeared on the Intrada CD.  Here is a listing of where the released Creature From The Black Lagoon cues can be found in Revenge Of The Creature.

Stein’s “The Webbed Hand” plays in Revenge Of The Creature when the Gill-Man first swims to the surface in the Ocean Harbor pool, and the cue reprises when the chained Creature stares longingly at Helen through the tank window because he wants to get his webbed hand on her.  Mancini’s lovely

“The Diver” is heard in Revenge Of The Creature when the microphone is lowered into the Creature’s tank. 

Stein’s “That Hand Again,” always a great source for BAH-BAH-BAHHHS!, appears near the beginning of Revenge Of The Creature when we first see the Creature swimming.  It plays again a short time later when the Gill-Man first attacks diver Joe Hayes (John Bromfield)  and makes a third appearance at Ocean Harbor, after the Creature is prodded with an electric current and he swims down to try to yank the chain holding him.

Mancini’s lovely “Unknown River” is heard in Revenge Of The Creature when Clete arrives to go on a date with Helen while the Creature watches through the tank window, and the cue reprises when Clete and Helen are on the “Porpoise III.”William Lava's Exhibit of the Prehistoric

Milt Rosen’s “Salvage Of The Lady Luck" (originally written for City Beneath The Sea) is used five times in Revenge Of The Creature:  It makes its first appearance near the opening when Joe prepares to enter the river, and is reprised shortly thereafter when Joe dives in to seal the entrance with a net.  Later, it plays in Ocean Harbor when a diver brings the Creature a basket of fish (but no chips).  The cue is heard again when Clete and Helen first go into the tank, and then right after the Creature plays footsie with Helen, who's swimming near the “Porpoise III.” 

“Duke's Little Helper” (originally written by Mancini for East Of Sumatra) fulfills the same role in Revenge Of The Creature it did in Creature From The Black Lagoon -- linking together two used of “Salvage Of The Lady Luck.”  It occurs near the beginning of the sequel, as Joe climbs off the boat to secure a net in the river.

Milton Rosen’s “Brad Rescues Tony, Part 2,” also from City Beneath The Sea, is heard in Revenge Of The Creature three times, but the details of these uses will be the subject of a future Monstrous Movie Music Contest!

Herman Stein’s “Kay And The Monster, Part 1,” which contains music from City Beneath The Sea’s “A Whale Of A Catch,” is heard in Revenge Of The Creature when Clete and Helen frolic in the water after diving off the “Porpoise III.”  Additional music from Stein's “A Whale Of A Catch” that wasn’t used in Creature From The Black Lagoon can be heard during this sequence.

Stein’s “Kay And The Monster, Part 2" is heard in Revenge Of The Creature when the Creature swims beneath Clete and Helen, in a pale imitation of Creature From The Black Lagoon’s underwater ballet sequence. 

Mancini’s “Monster Speared” from Creature From The Black Lagoon appears three times in Revenge Of The Creature, and again, the details about this cue’s sequel locations will be the subject of a future Monstrous Movie Music Contest!  [See Creature From The Black Lagoon (and other jungle pictures) liner notes for information about this important cue.]

City Beneath The Sea’s “Brad Rescues Tony” is used four times in Revenge Of The Creature, first near the beginning when the Creature swims away from the boat, then after the Gill-Man floats unconsciously to the surface of the river.  It’s heard once more when the Creature eats from a basket of fish in his Ocean Harbor tank, and makes its final appearance when Clete and Helen first climb out of the Creature’s tank.

In Revenge Of The Creature, “Henry's Trap” is heard when the dynamited dead fish float in the river, a similar situation to how the cue was used in Creature From The Black Lagoon.  “Henry’s Trap” reappears in the sequel after the Creature is netted in the Ocean Harbor tank.

Rosen’s “Clay Meets A Badman” is used three times in Revenge Of The Creature.  It’s first heard when Joe tries to revive the unconscious Creature in the tank, and is used twice more when Clete drops a doped fish into the Gill-Man’s tank and he and Joe go underwater to investigate.

“Monster Attacks, Part 3” is heard in Revenge Of The Creature when the Creature looks out the tank window after Clete and Helen leave for their date, and  “Monster Attacks, Part 2” and “Monster Attacks, Part 3” play during the scene when Clete and Helen train the Creature with the bull-prod in the bottom of the tank.

Short excerpts from Mancini’s “Monster Caught” are heard thrice in The Revenge Of The Creature, first when the Creature begins to regain consciousness while being walked through the Ocean Harbor pool; then when Clete and Helen leave for a cruise on the “Porpoise III;” and finally when the Creature swims toward the lovestruck couple while they dance on the boat.

Portions of Mancini’s “Monster Gets Mark, Part 1” and “Monster Gets Mark, Part 2” are used a total of six times in Revenge Of The Creature.  First, when the Creature grabs the unwary bird at the beginning of the picture, then when the Creature fights with Joe in the river, and again when the injured Joe climbs back into the boat.  In Florida, it’s heard when the Gill -Man first tries to yank the chain out of the bottom of his tank, again when he kills Joe, escapes from the tank, and overturns a car, and the cue makes its final appearance near the end when Helen and the Creature are caught in the police searchlight.

Salter’s “Doping The Monster” appears twice in Revenge Of The Creature, first when the Creature abducts Helen from the nightclub, and then when the police boats are alerted to head to Pier 9.

Salter’s “The Monster's Trial,” originally written for The Ghost Of Frankenstein but re-used in Creature From The Black Lagoon, appears in Revenge Of The Creature when Helen climbs onto the ringing buoy with the Creature close behind.

Another Salter cue, “Kay's Last Peril,” is heard three times in Revenge Of The Creature, all near the end.  It first sounds when Clete and the police arrive at the buoy, then when the Creature kills the two students by the river , and finally when the gasping Gill-Man sets Helen down on the beach and the police arrive on the scene. 

The last 1:13 of the sequel’s action was scored with Creature From The Black Lagoon's “End Title,” some of it at a slower tempo than in the original, beginning when Clete yells “Stop!” to the Creature as it carries Helen off into the ocean.  As in Creature From The Black Lagoon, part of this “End Title” contains music Salter originally wrote for Bend Of The River.

Indeed, without Creature From The Black Lagoon’s music, Revenge Of The Creature would be a very different animal.

 

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