Creature

CREATURE

 

By Gary ‘Monster Mash’ Murray

 

Starring Mehcad Brooks, Serinda Swan, Dillon Casey, Lauren Schneider, Aaron Hill, Amanda Fuller Pruitt, Taylor Vince, Daniel Bernhardt and Sid Haig

 

Written by Fred M. Williams and Tracy Morse

 

Directed by Fred M. Williams

 

Running time 95 min

 

MPAA Rating Not Rated (hard R)

 

Selig Film Rating Matinee

 

Many years ago Joe Bob Briggs was the king of reviewing drive-in movies.  As a nationally syndicated writer and ‘horror host’ on cable television, he was the guy who rated films on three “B” criteria—Blood, Breasts and Beasts.  The reviews were always about flicks that traditionally never played at the multi-plex but in more of a grind house setting.  The new film Creature is definitely a tribute/homage/total rip-off of those films from so long ago.

 

The film starts with a naked woman swimming in the swamps.  In a Jaws style of tribute, she becomes food for ‘something’ in the murky waters.  Then we get to the meat of the story.

 

A group of six young people are taking the back roads to the Big Easy.  Stopping at a small store called Choppers, they meet the owner Chopper (Sid Haig).  All around the shop are references to a beast called Lockjaw—a cross between a man and an alligator.  It is said that the inhuman creature inhabits the swampland around the area.  Chopper draws the kids a map to the actual house where Lockjaw is said to have lived.  After the youngsters leave, the residents around Choppers begin to make nefarious plans.

 

Before one can say ‘bad idea’ the kids go down the deserted road to see the old house.  One tells the others of the legend of Lockjaw who was part of the inbred Grimley family.  The group is led by an ex-Navy Seal Niles (Mehcad Brooks) and his girlfriend Emily (Serinda Swan).  Her brother Randy with his girlfriend and Oscar and his sister Karen round out the cast. 

 

They decide to camp near the Grimley cabin, drinking and doing drugs.  Before anyone can realize it, members of the party begin to disappear.  In another drive-in convention, anyone can die.

 

This bit of cinema is basic filmmaking at its finest/worst.  While the film snobs would never take any kind of notice to something so silly and low- budget, the film works much better than one would expect.  Not just being a straight out horror flick, there are some surprising elements to the story with characters not being exactly one thinks they will be.  With the crazed locals elements, it becomes a bit more than a straight out creature feature. 

 

While the cast is basically around to be chum for the beast, Serinda Swan did try to rise about the material and give a performance with depth.  She delivers her lines a bit more acting heft than her co-stars.  Sid Haig, the new horror icon, is outstanding in the part of Chopper.  He has been making a career out of strange little horror parts and this role will consolidate his rabid fan base.

 

Director and co-writer Fred M. Williams gives his audience exactly what they expect—a big fanged monster and kids to kill.  This is not the kind of film that will impress the artists in Hollywood, but it is the kind of film that the money-men like to see.—low budget with a high rate of return.

 

Creature is a silly little low-budget thrill ride that is put on the world for only one reason, to entertain.  There is no hidden agenda with the film, it just wants to scare.  To put this is Joe Bob terms—a Gallon of Blood, 6 Breasts and 2 Beasts (if one counts Sid Haig).  In other words—check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

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