The Amphibian Man | Chicago Reader

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The greedy captain of a pearl-diving operation conspires to capture the “sea devil” that's been menacing swimmers and divers in the bay; the creature turns out to be a young man whose surgeon father saved him from pediatric lung disease by grafting a shark's gills onto him. This 1962 Soviet feature borrows from Jules Verne and The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and as other critics have noted, the amphibian man's misadventures on dry land and his innocent romance with the sea captain's girlfriend prefigure Edward Scissorhands. Directors Gennadi Kazansky and Vladimir Chebotarev fail to bring the story to a satisfying dramatic conclusion, but there's a lingering melancholy to the beautiful underwater footage and the surgeon's utopian vision of the ocean as man's ultimate destination. In Russian with subtitles. 95 min.

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