I have been busting my ass to nail down a new sub-genre in the horror world. Movies like Creature seem to be trying to revitalize the old B movie horror VHS clamshell features that many of us grew up with a few decades ago. The sub-genre I am helping to coin is “New American Horror”. Creature falls into this category along with movies like Behind the Mask and Hatchet I and II. Creature seems ready to bed down with these other titles but does it make the cut? Time to see if we get the 80’s VHS vibe from this new comer.
The story is a pretty worn one at best, following a group of friends headed to New Orleans for a little R&R. One stop at a local store leads to the tale of a local monster called Lockjaw (oh the jokes that could have been) that is claimed to still roam the bayou. A well told tale by the always creepy Sid Haig sends these kids into the swamps to find Lockjaw’s palace and have a little fun.
The story here is veil thin so we can only pray the acting and/or effects can hold this sucker above water. I really liked the fact that the movie never attempted to take itself too serious. The flashback story of how Grimley became this half man half alligator was a laugh all it’s own. If that was not funny enough how about the fact that a disease called Squaids caused the poor man’s mutation.
The characters and acting are right on par with the B movie feature this title yearns to be. The characters are forgettable and so many things happen that just seem pointless. There was a scene where one of the characters gets bitten by spiders. We never know the point for this scene and I do not remember it being referenced later on but the scene was long enough to seem like something we needed to remember. To call the characters stereotypical is almost a compliment.
Ok so the story stinks and the acting/characters are a bust but wait, we have the effects to fall back on. I have two words for anyone checking in to this film, rubber suit. I know they tried hard and it took 4 or more hours to get the character into this suit but it did not work. All too many times you could tell it was a man in a costume. These guys could have benefited from filming the suit a lot less. If you complained about the killer in Hatchet looking fake the creature in Creature will have you screaming foul the first time you see.
The gore is not bad at all and probably one of the few reasons to watch the entire movie. I was impressed with the detail in some of the kills and also how realistic they looked. The poor rubber suit may have me giving more credit to the blood and guts of this film, but so be it. Pairing the decent effects with a little T&A also takes things up a notch or two.
This movie tries so hard to hit that nerve of Saturday night VHS horror rental that it actually misses the mark. There are some brighter moment through the decent gore and neat kills but the horrible stereotypical characters and wacky story actually drag things down. I love a good schlock fest like every other fan but this movie is so middle of the road bland that recommending a rental feels wrong.
Decent gore and kills
Some T&A for the pervs
Overly stereotypical characters
Flipping rubber suit
Lacks a solid story
If you want a better version of what this movie was trying to attempt go rent Hatchet or Behind the Mask. If you must see Creature do like I did and enjoy it for free via Netflix streaming.
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