Creature (2011)

Depending on which Horror news service (did I just coin a term?) you frequent, Creature is either the greatest thing ever to hit celluloid, or it's the biggest abomination unleashed on the film going public since Ishtar. Truthfully, it's neither. Creature is a bad movie. Creature is a really bad movie. it's not the worst movie I've ever seen. it may not even be the worst movie I've seen this week (I'm looking at you Candy Stripers). It does however have enough redeeming qualities to make it...lets say, interesting, to most horror aficionados.

We are introduced to most of the main cast via the long car ride along a deserted road. The proverbial "group of kids" in Creature feel like they've been paired up by the casting agents from the Amazing Race. Oscar and Karen - brother and sister and maybe more? Randy and Beth dating two years. Randy is also Oscars best friend. Niles and Emily, newly dating. Niles is an ex-Navy Seal. Emily is Randy's sister. These six will have the chance of a lifetime to travel into the swamps of Louisiana, but only two of them will survive...The Amazing Race (Phil lifts eyebrow).

Horror film 101 says that said group of kids must encounter a group of (possibly) inbred locals on their way to their primary destination. This particular group of inbred locals is is lead by Chopper (Sid Haig). It's his job to divert the group to a towards a different far more sinister destination. Successful, it's up to one of the group, this time its Oscar, the defacto leader, to recount some legend revolving around their new destination...So good so far right? Enjoy it while it lasts folks because as they say in the 'hood "shit's about to get fucked up."

Oscar tells us the tale of Grimley. See Grimley live in the swamp with his sister/ bride. Getting her knocked up was proudest moment. Until a big albino gator ate her....whole. Grimley tracks down the gator, kills it and proceeds to eat everything in the cave. Flesh, gator parts, everything. In doing so he turns into some half man, half gator hybrid. Still with me? Need to clear your head? Here you go...see you in 4 minutes:

O.k. were back. Things will get better right? Sorry, I can't make that promise. I've watched the film twice now and can't make heads or tails of the last 45 minutes or so. What we do have is some random incest and lesbianism - from the same girl mind you. Our hero gets shot in the leg from 3 feet away, falls down in pain, gets up declaring himself o.k. and runs after his shooter. One character gets her feet cut off for some reason. Sid Haig turns out to be someones father. A bizarre Creature/Human mating ritual and a cult making it happen. The creature falls down a man hole covered in mud and that's the last we see of him. There's also a human/gator hybrid baby from a mother you haven't seen in the last 30 minutes of the film.

All right, take a breath. It's not all bad. The acting from the main group of kids is far better than it has any right to be. Sid Haig is well, Sid Haig, so we know that's going to be at least passable. The creature itself is actually pretty cool looking when it's on screen, which unfortunately is far too infrequent. There is some decent blood and gore, just not at the right times or when you'd expect it.

The truth about Creature is that there are elements of good horror and creature type films here. But when the filmmaker puts them together it's a mess. The fact that most of the creatures kills happen off screen is embarrassing. I know films have budget constraints, but when you are making a film called Creature you should probably, I don't know show the Creature killing things. Add to that the fact the script makes almost no sense whatsoever and I can understand why people were upset that this movie somehow got a wide theatrical release while more deserving (i.e. well made) films were dumped direct to DVD.

Creature is maddening to watch. Everything is there, but its too much of a disaster to really take seriously, even as a campy monster movie. Check it out, but do so at your own risk.

As always thanks for reading.

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