Thursday, July 20, 2017


Born of the original movie filmed in 1954 the Gillman went on to appear in two sequels. The title character, however iconic was the result of some good old Hollywood trial and error. The Creature heads that are most represented in our culture on posters or toys are the “land head” worn by Ben Chapman and the “underwater head” worn by Ricou Browning. The Creature was initially conceived as a homage to the Oscar statuette and the first designs to come out of Bud Westmore's Universal Studios make up department were sleeker and more human like. The Creature Prototype head has been the subject of much conjecture over the years. At one time the theory was presented that there might have been plans for a “female version” of the Gillman. Although it's original or subsequent use is unknown its provenance is clear. This Prototype Creature head is from the same mold used to create the mask worn by Ricou Browning in the very early test stages of the film. The foam filled head is the original as it was pulled from the original mold. The first sequel made to cash in on the success was The Revenge of the Creature in 1955. This time around the monster was played by Tom Hennesy above the water and, once again, Ricou Browning swam the part below the water. For reasons lost to time the Universal Studios make up department altered its iconic Gillman design for the sequel. The once sleek Creature head was re-imagined in a “boxier” form. This Revenge of the Creature head was clay pressed from an existing Revenge of the Creature head many years ago. That clay press was meticulously cleaned up thus refining all of the original folds and bumps so evident on the actual screen used mask.


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