The J Files is an article series where we take a look at some of the weirdest, wackiest, and most random facts and stories from Jacksonville’s history.
In 1954, the black-and-white horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon was released to positive reviews and enthusiastic audience reception.
It did well enough to warrant the commissioning of a sequel just a year later, which was named Revenge of the Creature.
The plot of the new film involved the titular creature being held in an oceanarium. Those scenes were filmed at Marineland, the marine mammal park located just south of St. Augustine. The park had originated as Marine Studios, a niche studio specializing in underwater filming.
In fact, much of Revenge of the Creature was shot in the Northeast Florida area. The St. Johns River filled in as a substitute for the Amazon River. When they needed underwater scenes, Marineland was their spot.
Lobster House, a popular Jacksonville restaurant along the Southbank, was featured prominently in the film as well. The restaurant was destroyed in a fire less than a decade after filming, with its land now being occupied by Friendship Fountain and River City Brewing Company.
Jax residents were utilized as extras for the scenes shot at Lobster House, while St. Augustine locals were used for Marineland scenes.
Unfortunately, Revenge of the Creature was not as well-received by critics as its predecessor. It was, however, successful enough commercially to justify a third film that was shot in various spots throughout the state.
Today, Revenge of the Creature is mostly remembered as the first on-screen role for a young Clint Eastwood.
If you’re a fan of old horror films, the movie is available for purchase on YouTube.