Shadow’s Monster Survival Guide: The Gill Man – By Timothy Martinez

Name: The Gill Man

Monster Genus: Fishmanus Walkonlandus

Notable Appearances: Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), Revenge of the Creature (1955) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

Height: Somewhere between six-and-a-half and seven feet. Unfortunately we just don’t know for sure how tall the G-Man is, as everybody who has tried to get close with yard stick in hand has ended up a bloody pulp with said measuring implement shoved up their…well, maybe it is best not to dwell on that. The few times the G-Man was a “guest” in America (i.e. – prisoner and marine-life park attraction) his hosts most likely measured him while he was unconscious, but that info seems to have been misplaced along with Jimmy Hoffa. So what that means is we must guestimate his height by comparing it to those Humans who got too close and ended up the recipient of “The Squish Treatment.” Given that the average height of a male Human is six feet (prior to The Squish Treatment, of course) and the fact that the G-Man is somewhat taller than those around him and we arrive at our estimated figures. Suffice it to say that if it wasn’t for those webbed feet and need to breathe through gills, he might have made a good NBA player (god knows it wouldn’t have hurt the Clippers). Keep this in mind in case you attempt to climb a tree in order to get away from him.

Weight: Our dear friend the Gill Man weighs in somewhere between 250 – 300 lbs. Keep in mind that this is only a rough estimate, based upon his height and appearance. He seems pretty fit for his height, which probably can be attributed to all the swimming he does. I know that back in my days as a surfer I was in pretty good shape, so I can see the correlation. His fishy figure certainly can’t be the result of running or even power walking. This guy makes the old man with the walker slowly moving about the grocery store look like Speedy Gonzalez. Though he can put on a burst of speed when needed, it is usually only when in close proximity to others and he is offensive or defensive mode. Unless you are a sumo wrestler, trying to prevail against the Gill Man by wrestling him into submission is a patently bad idea.

Intelligence: 2/5 Sadly the Gill Man, despite the word man in his name, is nowhere near as intelligent as your average Homo Sapien specimen – and this includes those fruit loops who absolutely insist on buying Yanni albums. Despite having a cranial capacity on par with we land lubbers, he seems more driven by instinct and doesn’t show any signs of higher thinking or basic reasoning. Of course, the Gill Man is a man after all, and we all know how men are ruled by their….tackle. Well, the Gill Man is no different. It has obviously been an awfully long and lonely time in that lagoon, because once the first female shows up, BAM – our Gill Man is terminally horny and out to score. Now if he could just work on his technique. Pick-up lines may be corny as hell, but I’d venture to say that they work much better that snarling at a woman, grabbing her and then diving into a body of deep water. Then again, if the results are all that count….um have you seen my wetsuit? The Gill Man’s level of intellect…or lack of it, is a positive asset in any efforts to either avoid him or capture him. It should be fairly easy to trick him into following a misleading sound or scent. Just keep in mind that once he realizes that he has been duped, he will be quite upset and looking to bestow The Squish Treatment on anyone nearby, so be sure to not dally once you fooled him…or at the very least, have some annoying people close at hand to push at him.

Description: Basically, your standard run-of-the-mill Gill Man resembles a cross between a man, a frog and a number three at Long John Silvers. He has an outer layer of green marine scales which cover a layer of mammalian epidermis, large webbed hands and feet complete with dagger-like finger and toenails, a smooth head, full red lips (collagen perhaps) and a distinct lack of visible sexual organs. No wonder he is always in such a foul mood. All that time in the water has resulted in some major shrinkage!

Origin: This guy is really a geezer when you think about it. He is the last known member of his species of fishmen, which were thought to have existed fifteen million years ago. Now, either that lagoon of his is the fabled Fountain of Youth and old Ponce de Leon was off by several thousand miles, or his species has been slowly dying off for eons, the last few (presumably his parents) passing away fairly recently. Given that the only remains of fishmen found in the vicinity were from the Devonian period, and it appears that the G-man really is one old dude. That at least lends credence to the “awfully long and lonely time in the lagoon” reasons behind his lustful rampage.

Habitat: Home for the Gill Man is a dark little Lagoon at the end of some isolated tributary deep in the Amazon. He is something of a homebody and doesn’t seem inclined to venture far from home. That is probably a good thing, given the reception he usually gets when entering a crowded area. Still, he is quite at ease in all bodies of water and will seek them out whenever possible. This is a handy nugget of information to keep in mind in the event he is on the loose. Not getting between him and whatever body of water he is heading for is strongly encouraged.

Behavior: At heart, the Gill Man is a peaceful soul, it is just that people keep invading his space and that sets him off, all the little things that bug him finally exploding in a fit of rage. He likes to swim…a lot. Of course, swimming is necessary if he wants to continue to draw in oxygen through his gills, so he really doesn’t have much choice in the matter. Its either swim or die, which doesn’t leave much time for sleep (no doubt another reason he can get so cranky). His diet consists of fish so he spends some of his time hunting and catching his meals. Leaving the water is a rare occurrence and is usually undertaken because he is after someone to either A) Kill them or B) hump them. In the unlikely chance I happen to run into the G-Man , I’m hoping for a definite “A” and so should you.

Special Abilities: Aside from the ability to swim really well, the Gill Man also has strength superior to that of Humans. He has been seen overturning cars with ease (who knew he was a Raiders fan?), so one hit from this guy can kill. Don’t let him get his hands on you in any way. Crushed skulls, broken limbs and hideously bad lacerations will only be the result – if you’re lucky. As mentioned before, the Gill Man may be in the mood and have things other than violent death on his mind. In that case, it may be best to just kill yourself as quickly as possible.

Weaknesses: The Gill Man has been known to react adversely to bright light. He also cannot remain out of the water for very long before going into his gasping, raspy impersonation of a Gorn because of a lack of oxygen. Also displays a weakness for the cute ladies, but since that is true of nearly every male on earth, we really can’t list that as a real weakness – just something that can be exploited when outsmarting him.

Relatives: Has a cousin who appeared in The Monster Squad (1987). The horny fishmen from Humanoids From the Deep (1980) are also similar, though that group tends to take a much more harsh and violent approach with the ladies.

What to do if you encounter: The optimum course of action would be to run like hell, unless of course you happen to encounter the Gill Man in the water, when “swimming like hell” would make for the better plan. Unfortunately, he is at home in the water and can easily outmaneuver you so you are pretty much screwed unless you are awfully close to land. The next best thing to do is distract him somehow. Throw some fish at him and maybe he’ll chow down. At the very least it might confound him long enough for you to make a break for it. Bright lights directed at his face will also work, but while it may hold him at bay, it will also get him quite peeved, so do you best to get away while he is blinded. Guns will not always work, as his thick scales offer him excellent protection and the bullets will only serve to enrage him even more. The same goes for knives or most sharp objects – which using may be foolish as getting close enough to the Gill Man to utilize them will only put you in range of his long and powerful arms. Save yourself a whole lot of trouble and avoid isolated Amazon tributaries.

Endorsements: H. Salt Fish and Chips, Mrs. Paul and Aqua Lung.