Tuesday 13 September 2011

Review : Creature (2011)



Fred Andrews

In the back country of Louisiana, a group of friends unearth a terrible secret that unleashes a monster from the depths of the swamp. 

Louisiana bayou. Rubber monster suit. Lesbianism. Pretty girls getting butt naked. Incest.

If all the above terms and words sound appealing, (perhaps not the final one), then you've came to the right place. CREATURE is a film so unashamedly bad, so ridiculously plotted, paced and edited, that its a miracle it ever made it anywhere near the silver screen, never mind 1,500 cinemas. This film does just about everything it sets out to do with an almost artistic level of ineptitude. Its trash from beginning to end, and anyone who enjoys this sort of nonsense needs their head looked at. I recommend it wholeheartedly. How could I not?

I'm something of a fanboy when it comes to creature features. The good, the bad and the ugly. Send 'em all my way and I'm liable to lose all sense of critical insight and respectability, and sit there, goon-like with a sliver of drool running down my vacantly grinning visage. I love a good monster movie, but I equally love a bad monster movie. When they're good, (KING KONG, JAWS, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, GOJIRA, THE HOST), then they can change the face of horror. When they're bad, (JAWS : THE REVENGE, GODZILLA), they make you wanna eat your own eyeballs, but when they're ugly....

I'm talking down-in-the-dirt ugly. I'm talking, THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON and BRIDE OF THE ATOM ugly. I'm talking about films so bad that they become something close to masterpieces. Film's that your adult brain refuses to acknowledge, but which have your inner kid jumping for glee. CREATURE is, of course, one such film.

Lets start with the goodies. First of all, and most obvious, its a RUBBER SUIT MOVIE. No terrible CG to fuck the whole thing up, no terrible green screen matting to ruin the vibe. What you get is a guy in a cool looking rubber suit, doing his best to actually move around in the thing, while narrowly avoiding knocking himself out on trees. I didn't realise just how much I missed this sort of thing. I still appreciate B-movie creature features that rely on CG. I understand that its often seen as a necessity, and as fun as they can be, they lack a certain charm that only a cumbersome green latex suit can muster. The monster looks good too, besides having the amazing ability to scream, growl and roar without ever moving his floppy lower jaw. He's great, and it'll take the hard of heart to not appreciate the big lug.

The swamp setting is also inspired too, (inspired by HATCHET?), and the film often looks nice. The few sets are fun, and the nighttime shots are filmed with minimal 'fuck-am-I-looking-at' O-vision. I particularly loved the scene in the backwoods store. The set was great, Sid Haig was on top form and the whole thing has a lightness and sense of fun that hearkened back to the opening scenes in HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. Perhaps I'm being a little kind here. In truth, its the same scene, going so far as to feature Haig playing a character who is essentially Captain Spaulding without the makeup, but hell, its fun.

Speaking of Haig, he's not the only notable actor here. Theres a number of fine players in this bad boy. I can only assume these guys are as soft on monster movies as we all are, and couldn't resist being a part of the senseless fun. Amanda Fuller is a fantastic actress, and has star power in spades, and she's every bit as magnetic here as you'd expect. Sure, she has no real character as the screenplay is so badly written, but she does what she can and rises above being just another pair of tits in the movie. I love this gal, and have a feeling the whole world will soon.

Lauren Schnieder is also great as a sex-crazed incestuous redhead. She throws herself into her part with a real sense of gusto that its hard not to love. And her scene with Fuller in the tent is among the hottest damn scenes I've seen in many a moon cycle. Mehcad Brooks plays his part with something akin to superhuman arrogance, (intentionally?), and comes off as a massive dick in every scene he's in. Doesn't help that his 'hero' character is written as a self righteous prick who you wouldn't spill your pint on. The other performances are fine too, they're stock characters but that's not a problem.

Now onto the good stuff....the bad stuff.

The plot is so convoluted that by the end I had no idea what the hell was going on. I don't wanna spoil any twists, (and there are a few), but they make no sense whatsoever. I couldn't get my head around any of the characters motives at all. For the first half the film is a simple, HATCHET-esque folk-tale come true, and then, one hand job later and the whole thing turns into THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE meets THE LAST EXORCISM. The downward spiral begins in epic style, and its just great fun to watch.

You'll notice by this 45-50 minute point that you've yet to really see the 'creature' of the title, which will piss off a lot of viewers. Seems like they created they're groovy monster and then realised there was fuck all to do with it, so they threw in a crazy sub-plot about inbreeding cultists or something. Why they didn't just have the beast running amok slaughtering the cast is beyond me. Thats why we're watching after all. But nope, this creature likes to watch and wait, Myers-like, as the kids get carnal. Who can blame it, when Amanda Fuller is one of 'em. This is a horribly paced film in terms of being a monster driven thriller, but as a backwoods, sex driven slasher, that's another story.

When the violence does erupt, its mostly tame stuff. Its charmingly old school and a lot of fun, but the film would have benefited from some serious viscera. Many kills happen off-screen, and we often don't even see the aftermath, but at the end of the day, its not really a worry. Theres enough gore on show to keep you from pressing 'stop', but its very strange that for an 'R' rated Horror film, they avoided violence and went for naked flesh. The film opens with a full frontal shot of a female bather, for fuck sake. Yet they can't find the balls to show us someones face getting eaten? I aint having it.

What we get instead, alongside the copious nudity, is some insane editing choices and plot holes that leave you shaking your head in disbelief. One scene of note which had me in stitches featured our asshole 'hero' being shot through the leg, falling over screaming, then rising three seconds later and proclaiming 'I'm fine', then sprinting off to save his lover. The wound is never seen or heard of again. This is Ed Wood level nonsense we're dealing with here.

Anyway, it all comes together for a thoroughly stupid finale that sees 'Wolverine Asshole Hero Guy' battling 'Creature with floppy jaw' in a boxing match, and taking a serious beating that would kill a fucking Mumakil, yet fighting on UNTIL.........hell, I wont spoil it. Theres very little chance your going to miss this film, after all. Its too damn bad to pass up on, and you know it.

CREATURE is inept, ridiculous, badly paced, and downright batshit crazy in places. Its also got great performances, beautiful girls, a drunken lesbian seduction scene, a guy in a rubber suit, Sid Haig, a swamp, an asshole version of Wolverine and a big white crocodile that eats a bride. Is it worth seeing? You do the math.

6 Sisterly Hand-job's out of 10


  1. This was a rather amusing review here Mr. Kyle :) I had a smile plastered to my face the whole time :) Thank you once again for an awesome review!

  2. You get it and I get it but I don't think alot of these youngins today get it.... Awesome as always my man.

  3. Your whole review was hilarious! I kinda had a feeling that this movie wouldn't be too good but it wasn't because the lack of advertising... The creature was a dead giveaway, it looked shamelessly cheesy--HOWEVER I adore cheese...but this maybe too much for me. :x Hmmm...

  4. hahaha..thanks guys. It takes a strange type of weirdo to dig this sort of bullshit. Aparently stiles and myself fit the bill, and the ladies are far too smart to go near it. Tells me a lot about male maturity :D
    As for the ladies, watch it if your baked, or avoid like yer sanity depends on it, which it does..;)

  5. I think I'll give this one a miss. What a shame.