A Life Aquatic

Movies such as Creature from the Black Lagoon -- in 3-D no less -- are the reason the midnight screening was created. Something a little clunky takes on a certain majesty when played on a large screen in front of a cinephiliac crowd at the witching hour. A monster movie where the monster is definitely the star, even though he’s just a dude in a rubber suit, seems quaint now, what with our massive CGI budgets and name-brand action stars spitting out one-liners amidst endless explosions. But the Creature creates menace through restraint: His most terrifying moment is a beautiful piece of underwater cinematography, a shot that reveals him swimming directly beneath bathing-beauty Julie Adams. There’s pathos, there’s horror, there’s the magic of 3-D, and there’s a dandy little story all wrapped up in just over an hour. Sure, it’s a B movie. But it’s a solid B-plus, maybe even an A-minus at times. The Tivoli’s Reel Late series screens Creature from the Black Lagoon in glorious 3-D at midnight Friday and Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday (August 17 to 19) at the Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-995-6270) Tickets are $6.50.
Aug. 17-19