High Strangeness: The Creature

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Creature

Last weekend I learned that the Patio Theater in Chicago was screening a restored 3-D print of the 1954 monster movie "Creature From The Black Lagoon." This sparked all sorts of nostalgic thoughts, not only of being terrified of the Creature as a kid, but also of being at a private 3-D screening of "Creature" a few years ago with another fantastic cinema icon, Mark Hamill. Long story how that all came about, but the screening turned into a sublime sort of "Mystery Science Theater" live event, with Hamill ad-libbing a hilarious new script and soundtrack as the movie rolled...

I didn't think anything could top that, but it turned out that the Patio was bringing in the star of "Creature," the beautiful Julie Adams, for a Q&A and book signing after the screening! I had to go, and my saintly wife agreed.

You see, it wasn't just the Creature that made this movie rock; it was also Julie Adams (aka Julia Adams), playing scientist Kay Lawrence, who spends much of the movie inadvisedly swimming alone in the titular Lagoon in a tight white one-piece:
Sure, she's smiling now...
How's a Creature supposed to keep his cool with that swimming around in its lagoon?
No lifeguard on duty... In this shot Ms. Adams is doubled by the equally-beautiful Ms. Ginger Stanley
Fair to say that the potent combination of Julie Adams+white swimsuit+Creature gave the movie some lasting resonance for me. Sure, she's starred in a lot of cool movies and TV shows over her long career, including the Elvis movie "Tickle Me," an episode of "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," and even the recent TV series "Lost," but "Creature" put her on the map and kept her there for 60 years.

Well, Ms. Adams turned out to be just as beautiful and charming as I anticipated, and after the Q&A my wife managed to get us to the head of the line for the book signing. When we got to meet Ms. Adams, she was sweet and funny and graciously posed for a picture with us. She also revealed a deep-dark Hollywood secret: The Creature and Elvis were equally difficult to get along with!
She still looks good in white! Me, Julie Adams, and my wife pose for the paparazzi.
Later on, as I happily paged through my new autographed copy of Adams' book, "The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections From The Black Lagoon," I came across a photo of the actress that completely bowled me over...

My God, what could it mean??

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too bad you couldn't have posed the question to Julie Adams directly about the UFO book.

Mark OC said...

She explains in the book that it's a publicity photo from the TV show "Steve Canyon." She guest-starred in a 1959 episode called "Project U.F.O." Here's the synopsis from IMDB.com: "Steve goes to Altora Kansas to investigate reports of a flying saucer sighting."

Sounds like an awesome episode!

Anonymous said...

I remember Steve Canyon from the weekday and Sunday comic strips from the sixties. I never knew he was on the trail of UFOs!