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Creature (2011)

(18) Running time: 94 minutes

Director: Fred Andrews

Writers: Tracy Morse. Fred Andrews

Starring: Mehcad Brooks, Sid Haig, Serinda Swan, Daniel Bernhardt, Dillon Casey, Lauren Schneider, Aaron Hill, Amanda Fuller

Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic

Creature has been labelled one of the worst movies of all time, and even made the evening news in the US because of its reputation and almighty disaster at the cinema. Firstly, I have no idea what bright spark thought it would be a good idea to show this film in cinemas, but the word of mouth surrounding the film, bad as that word of mouth is, has probably sold the movie better than any trailers or images could. Now fans want to see it to simply find out if it really is THAT bad, and the film should do a whole lot better when it arrives on DVD. So, the big question is, is the film really that bad? The simple answer is yes, however, I do feel that some of the reviews I have read and critics calling it one of the worst films of all time, is unfair.

Christ, I have seen many many seriously bad films in my time, and Creature aint one of them. In fact, Creature pretty much falls into the category of ‘so bad its good’ type of film. All I will say is that if you do plan to see this, don’t expect great things from it. It is very simple, very basic with very little gore or likeable characters. However, I am a sucker for good looking ladies in horror, and Creature has three of them, two of which give us a brief lesbian scene, so my interest in the film was probably helped by this. The opening scene is great too, as another gorgeous girl strips naked and goes for a swim on the rivers of the Louisiana Bayou’s. A crocodile enters the water and then some bizarre splashing may indicate that the croc was actually attacked by something else, the something else which kills the girl by biting off her legs. Either way, its a little messy in the editing but starts the film well.

We meet the cast of six friends who are heading to the same place to go camping, and on their journey they stop off a one of those dodgy roadside gas stations that seems to sell everything that you have never seen in shops before in your life, apart from the alcohol of course. Run by a bunch of creepy back woods chaps, including Sid Haig, things get off to a bad start. The chaps are friendly enough, but there is something not right about them. Once back on the road, one of the friends tells the story of a man who impregnated his sister in the Bayou, and on their wedding night, the great white croc took her away, he gets revenge, eats the croc and becomes a sort of Croc-Man that stalks the swamps. Funnily enough this story comes true as the Croc-Man, or the Creature of the films title, make an appearance and the friends begin dying.

The first half of the film is actually OK, with the friends being an above average bunch of victims, the dodgy chaps in the dodgy gas station all being intensely creepy and disgusting, but sadly they all have such bad scripts to work with everything feels mighty painful to endure. Sid Haig is probably the stand out here with his odd mix of humour and anger, and his performance will delight his fans. The film really goes down hill once the Creature arrives, the small budget meaning the makers want the man in a suit to look good but can’t. He has the same facial expressions, floppy fingers and never really comes across as scary. A nasty ritual where the locals offer him a sacrifice never really develops the way it should, and all of a sudden the screen is filled with a large number of locals. You have no idea where they have come from, and quick as they arrive, suddenly they’re gone again. All the deaths pretty much happen off screen, even a girls feet being chopped off is not shown, and it is not until you see her foot that you actually realise what has happened. In fact, all the deaths are guess work as it is so badly choreographed. And while on the subject of the deaths, this film, had it not been for the wonderful nudity, would easily have passed as a 12A.

The second half just becomes silly, and it felt like the director even ran out of ideas, ran out of steam, ran out of budget or all three. It becomes careless, very amateurish and any horror aspects are lost by the fact you never actually see anything. Not only do people appear and disappear, but a gun shot wound to a guys leg is all but forgotten as he runs through the forest, and then a final scene involving a doll which is supposed to be a newborn baby is embarrassing. I actually hope that this particular scene was intended to look fake, because if that was actually supposed to look like it was real, then God help us all! Creature is silly, a bit crap, daft, badly written, badly scripted and terribly directed, however, it does have its charms and if you sat down with the intention of laughing along at something which is so incredibly bad, you just might find some enjoyment out of it.

Rating: ★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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