Tuesday, March 27, 2012
So - big surprise - I bought it when it came out on DVD last week... and I liked it.
A group of young people including a Navy SEAL named Niles (Mehcad Brooks, TRUE BLOOD) and his girlfriend, are on their way to party in New Orleans. They stop for beer and snacks at a small Louisiana roadside store, where the proprietor, Chopper (Sid Haig, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS, JASON OF STAR COMMAND) tells them about a local, legendary swamp monster called "Lockjaw." The kids set up camp that night in the swamp, and it isn't long before they come to realize that the half-man/half-alligator monster is no mere myth...
CREATURE is, actually, a pretty nifty little low-budget horror, with a twisty, nasty, slightly kinky screenplay by director Morse and Tracy Andrews, slick photography and editing, a terrific man-in-suit monster, no obvious, obnoxious CGI, and plenty of female nudity. Unlike most genre flicks these days, CREATURE plays out like a genuine, old fashioned exploitation flick, rather than a made-for-cable, Saturday-night, inoffensive time waster. In fact, CREATURE would have been right at home on a 70s drive-in movie screen - and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why it's been so viciously savaged by critics and so-called horror fans.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a great movie. It has its problems. The pace could be a little snappier, and the filmmakers are surprisingly shy about splashing around the red stuff - but I thought it was an honest attempt to do something a little more imaginative than your usual modern monster mash, and I'll also admit that they scored a lot of points with me by using practical effects (rubber suit!) rather than a cartoon CGI beastie.
Arc Entertainment brings CREATURE to DVD with a flawless, crystal-clear, 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby 5.1 Stereo. The only bonus features are three behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Bearing well in mind that I'm in the definite minority here, I recommend that horror fans give CREATURE a try on DVD. Many of the negative reviews online seem to be more about how the movie wasn't "worthy" of a theatrical release. Maybe watching it on TV at home will keep expectations at a reasonable level. Me, I enjoyed it. I thought it was fun, creepy and even disturbing at times - all good things in a B-horror film.