New horror movies give me hope and, from the looks of it, Creature had guilty pleasure, drive-in homage stamped into its very existence. At first, it seemed like my prayers had been answered, but to my dismay, this flick proved to be a lame, excruciatingly cheap slasher with no soul and one ridiculous, disjointed scene after another.
It's funny that when your dreams are shattered early on, something else comes along to take their place. The best part by far was my movie theater experience. Right when Creature's climatic shit was about to hit the fan, the film stopped, flinched a little, then burned into a big char hole on the screen. No, this was not Rodriguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse techno splicing tomfoolery; this was an actual breakdown, as some movies are still shot on real film, shown on real projectors and require actual people to bolt in to fix problems. Ten minutes later, the projectionist gave me and the one other guy in the theater the thumbs up and we were off to see how wretched the ending really was going to be. Until the film industry goes all digital, there's still hope for a good time at the movies.
Creature begins with initial promise: in the first 30 seconds a chick takes off her top and goes inexplicably (like all good/bad horror movies) skinny dipping in the middle of a swampy bayou and is promptly chomped up by an alligator. Then a road trip for three couples goes awry when they take a shortcut into a bayou that's home to the creepy legend of Lockjaw, a man-gator that's somewhat of a cross between something from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Pumpkin Head. The couples, one just as irritating as the next, are formed from the depths of movie stereotypes. We have the practical joker, token black dude, beer guzzling marine, the slut, the stoner slut and the prude-turned-slut. You can't help but root for the demise of each of these sluts (both male and female).
Overtly low-budget, Creature's blood-letting action takes place off camera with splattery sound effects while people either get sprayed with blood or wield a bloody stump. Creature does, however, fulfill one of my all time horror movie requisites: creepy psycho inbred hillbillies.
Headed by Sid Haig (reprising his House of 1000 Corpses' Captain Spalding antics) and Pruitt Vince-Taylor (channeling Neville Brand in Eaten Alive), this array of backwoods numbskulls gives Creature its spunk. Although it feels somewhat futile and even masochistic to derive any pleasure from something this cheesy, as bad as Creature is, at least it gives me hope.
Starring Mehcad Brooks, Serinda Swan, Dillon Casey, Lauren Schneider, Aaron Hill
Directed by Fred M. Andrews