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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 207: Creature

There's so much suck going on in this poster

Horror has a long history of incorporating local legends into plots. There are countless movies about the Yeti, Sasquatch, the Mothman, the Boogeyman, and all sorts of critters. Some legends transcend borders and countries while others are limited only to an area or town. When people already know a legend, the movie is forced to differentiate itself from other films of the same subject. Using a more obscure legend allows for a freer storytelling experience and can be a fun watch. Of course, when you completely make up a legend, you can do whatever you want. Sometimes that is not a good thing.

Creature is a 2011 horror movie starring Mehcad Brooks (In The Valley Of Elah, Glory Road) as ex Navy SEAL Niles and Serinda Swan (Breakout Kings, Recoil) as his girlfriend Emily. They go on a road trip to New Orleans with their friends Karen, her brother Oscar, Emily and her boyfriend Randy. On the backroads of Louisiana, the group stops at a local shop run by the strange Chopper (Sid Haig, House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects). Inside, Oscar finds a flier for a local legend Lockjaw, a half-man, half-alligator. He tells the group the tale of Lockjaw who was a local man named Grimley Boutine. Grimley came from a family of inbreeding and with the family line coming to an end, he impregnated his sister. Before he could marry her, she was captured by a giant albino alligator called Anon. Enraged, Grimley tracked down Anon, and discovering his dead sister, killed the alligator. In a stupor, he began to eat Anon, as well as his sister, and mutated into a horrible alligator creature. The group finds Grimley's home. They set up camp for the night and indulge in drinking and debauchery which includes, and no I am not kidding, sex, attempted female-on-female sexual assault, voyeurism, and incest. As Karen is walking in the woods, she is knocked out and tied up by Chopper, who is revealed to be her and Oscar's father. Chopper is actually the leader of a local cult that worships Anon and Lockjaw and they intend to provide Lockjaw with brides to produce more family members. Will the group be able to survive?

You're weird, but hot, so it's cool

Wow. For the first 30 minutes of the movie, I thought Creature wasn't that bad for a straight to DVD movie. Not good, but not bad and it had the added advantage of having a legend I had not heard of. It turns out I was wrong on both counts. Creature was actually released in over 1500 theaters and made a record low $327,000 it's opening weekend. Due in part to targeted marketing to horror fans instead of trying to attract a wide audience, the movie swallows a whole bunch of crazy pills and does a 180 and dives headlong into the insane abyss. The movie includes scenes of consensual incest and attempted sexual assault, neither of which are portrayed in a negative light. It was truly stupefying to see that on screen. The movie also has a large amount of nudity for a relatively wide release, including seeing all three leading females topless. I'm not really complaining, but it wasn't necessary. All of these things just distract from the story being incredibly stupid and boring. A man eats an alligator and then suddenly becomes one? Really? They couldn't say it was toxic waste or a meteor or something? That's just lazy.

The creature itself looks still and cartoonish. They couldn't even get it's mouth to move when it lets out a yell. There is some action, but not as much as you'd expect from a monster movie, with a few shots of blood and gore. Sid Haig is very entertaining, but his character is too similar to Captain Spaulding from House of A 1000 Corpses/Devil's Rejects. The rest of the cast is passable, but the dialogue is so stiff that they can't work around it. The director came off as amatuerish with scenes being too dark and a final action scene shot in slow motion for no particular reason other than to torture the audience praying for the movie to end. 

"Hey, can't we talk this over?"

Monster movies are supposed to be simple, but fun. Creature starts out that way, with a basic story of sexy young people going to an isolated area to find a monster. It's been done a million times and that's perfectly fine. The movie then decides to go nuts, showcasing incest as a main theme of the movie. If they wanted to imply it, that would have been fine, but no, they had to show it. The movie lacks the proper amount of action and violence and the monster does not look good. The script is weak along with the directing. Do yourself a favor and skip this abomination. There's a good reason why it bombed so hard in theaters.


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