Book Reviews

Review: The Lady from the Black Lagoon


If you’re a fan of old monster movies, The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara should be added to your TBR pile.

I’m a big fan of Reading Glasses, a podcast about books and reading, hosted by O’Meara and actress Brea Grant. Both women work in the horror film industry, devour genre fiction, and are charming and witty, so the podcast is one of my very favourites.

Full disclaimer: I’ve never seen Creature From the Black Lagoon. I don’t think I’ve seen any classic horror films. To be fair, I also don’t watch current horror films. Sooooo… there’s that.

The Lady From the Black Lagoon is part memoir and part biography. O’Meara gets personal about her struggle to find out more about Millicent Patrick, the artist behind the design of the “Gill Man,” the fish-like monster and star of Creature From the Black Lagoon while also discussing the sexism O’Meara and Patrick experienced while working in the film industry, decades apart. Because of jealousy and sketchy industry politics, Patrick was hard to track down. O’Meara uncovers it all with wit and charm.

O’Meara treats readers to a deep look at not just Patrick, but also the golden age of Hollywood monster movies, what it’s like working behind the camera, and how the #MeToo movement has affected the industry known for protecting powerful and gross monsters—and I don’t mean the kind with scales and fangs.


Book Reviews


Jillianne Hamilton is the author of Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, its two action/comedy sequels, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. She is also a graphic designer, a history enthusiast, and a dog mom. Learn more.

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