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Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
November 8, 2002

The Creature returns to Wakulla Springs tonight

Mark Hinson
Tallahassee Democrat

Pack a radio if you want to hear The Creature roar.

"Everyone forgets to bring a radio, no matter how many times you remind them," said Tallahassee Film Society co-founder Dan Wester.

He was talking about this weekend's outdoor screenings for Creaturefest 2002 at Wakulla Springs Lodge. The sound for the "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" and other movies is being broadcast on the FM band while viewers stretch out on the lawn of the lodge.

This year's tribute to The Gill Man also boasts visits from actors Julie Adams, Ben Chapman and Ginger Stanley, who appeared in the original 1954 film.

All the underwater scenes and jungle backgrounds were shot at Wakulla Springs.

The festival also is paying tribute to the movies of the late Jack Arnold, the director of "The Creature From the Black Lagoon." Other Arnold movies include:

*"It Came From Outer Space" (1953): One of the classic sci-fi flicks from the paranoid Cold War era. An astronomer believes that a meteor that crashed in the desert was actually a space ship. He knows he's right when his neighbors begin acting very oddly. Richard Carlson, who also starred in "The Creature From the Black Lagoon," played the star-gazer. Look for Russell Johnson, who played The Professor on "Gilligan's Island."

*"The Revenge of the Creature" (1955): Arnold directed this sequel to the original, which was shot at Florida's Marineland. The Gill Man is captured and placed in a giant fish tank. Can he be tamed? Clint Eastwood got his first screen role playing a lab tech.

*"Tarantula" (1955): Leo G. Carroll is over a barrel in this definitive giant-insect flick. After a scientist's lab is trashed, a 100-foot-tall spider roams the desert eating cattle and people. Meanwhile, Carroll morphs into a monster. Look for Eastwood in a tiny role as a fighter pilot.

*"Monster on the Campus" (1958): When a radiated prehistoric fish arrives in a college lab, it transforms a bug into a giant rubber dragonfly, a peaceful dog into a snarling beast, and an egghead professor into a murderous caveman. Big fun.

The lineup also includes a non-Arnold short called "Abbott and Costello Meet The Creature" that's a comedy skit culled from TV's "The Colgate Comedy Hour." Here are the showtimes and billings:

*7 p.m. today: "Tarantula," "Monster on the Campus" and "Abbott and Costello Meet The Creature."

*7 p.m. Saturday: "The Creature From the Black Lagoon," "The Revenge of The Creature" and "Abbott and Costello Meet the Creature."

*7 p.m. Sunday: "It Came From Outer Space," "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" and "Abbott and Costello Meet the Creature."

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