MONSTER INVADES JACKSONVILLE! — “Terror is loose in the city!” screamed a movie poster. It happened one night in 1955: The Creature from the Black Lagoon made a River City appearance. The Gill Man lumbered into a crowded waterfront hotspot, plucked a pretty lady from the dance floor, and jumped back into the St. Johns River.
This was pivotal scene for “The Revenge of the Creature,” the first sequel for the sci-fi classic, “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Producers shot most of “Revenge” in Florida, and the Jacksonville locations included the Lobster House. This popular Southbank restaurant was located near the south end of the Acosta Bridge. The site is occupied by the River City Brewery. The Lobster House can be clearly seen during the film, as can too the night-time skyline of Jacksonville.
The movie monster may have made a clean getaway, but the real-life actor wasn’t so lucky. One of the men playing the creature, Tom Hennesy, almost drowned! He had to contend with jellyfish, strong currents, a heavy suit, & blinding movie lights.
The movie’s heroine, actress Lori Nelson, starred as the girl the Gillman grabbed. When the scene moved into the water, however, a stuntman in a dress doubled for Nelson. This proved wise, for this stuntman also experienced some difficulties and was assisted from the St. Johns by another performer.
Earlier, a lesser mishap had occurred when movie lights set off the sprinkler system of the Lobster House.