A successful but straightforward blend of 50s sci-fi movie and creature feature that's almost as familiar as it is fun. Film-lovers versed in the language of such things will even be able to predict the timing of zooms and cutaways. What helps distinguish it from a hundred others is that it's set in a small fishing village in Southern Sicily, not in America, and, best of all, the creature FX are amazing! Also to its credit it takes cues from the more sophisticated entries in the genres, which means we're given an opportunity to develop a sympathetic bond with the creature, one that ties in with the obligatory philosophically poignant line of closing dialogue. If the script hadn't been cookie cutter elsewhere the film could've been great for more than just visual reasons.
A colourised version exists if you're allergic to B+W; I've not watched it.