05th Oct2013

31 Days of Horror: ‘Creature’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Mehcad Brooks, Serinda Swan, Daniel Bernhardt, Sid Haig, Wayne Pére, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Dillon Casey, Lauren Schneider, Amanda Fuller, Aaron Hill | Written by Fred Andrews, Tracy Morse | Directed by Fred Andrews

Mehcad-Brooks-and-Serinda-Swan-in-Creature-2011-Movie-Image

Local legend has it, that an inbred man by the name of Grimley once lost his family to a monstrous white alligator, driving him to insanity. Some believe that in madness he was transformed into the very creature that now lurks in the fetid depths of the Louisiana swamplands. Prowling beneath the shallows, it stalks its prey.

An old-school monster movie, Creature sees Ex-Navy seal Niles, his girlfriend, and their friends on a road trip through the backroads of Louisiana. Stopping at a roadside convenience store, the group encounter the sinister Chopper (Haig), who recounts the tale of Lockjaw a creature who is half man, half alligator and feeds off human flesh. Their curiosity aroused, the group choose to play along with the local tourist trap and journey deep into the backwoods in search of the desolate cabin, said to be the birthplace of the monstrous creature. As they set up camp for the night, they discover that Lockjaw is much more than just mere myth and they realise the locals are hiding a horrifying secret that puts them all in grave danger.

As I mentioned in the intro, Creature is very much an old-school monster movie, complete with copious (and I do mean copious) amounts of sex, nudity, violence and gore. In other words its a keeper! Directed by Fred Andrews, who’s best known for his work on TV’s CSI: Miami and Without a Trace and who, fact fans, also was a production designer on the 2006 slasher flick Dark Ride – an homage to Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse.

Here Andrews makes his directorial debut (he also c0-wrote the film) with a cast that includes many familiar faces, if not names; most of whom have their roots in TV. Including Mechad Brooks (True Blood), Serinda Swan (Breakout Kings), Dillon Casey (Nikita) and Aaron Hill (Greek). The film also reunites Red, White and Blue co-stars Amanda Fuller and Lauren Schneider – in more ways than one (cough). And despite being advertised as starring genre legend Sid Haig, the real star – at least for an action movie fan like myself – is Daniel Bernhardt. Yes, the Bloodsport sequel, Mortal Kombat series, starring actor appears in Creature as both Grimley and the titular creature which he became.

Speaking of the titular Creature, we get to see plenty of it once the film gets going. Looking like a modern interpretation of the Gorn from Star Trek by way of Planet of the Apes and Predator it’s not a frightening sight sadly. Thank god then that the less than stellar villain has a badass counterpart in ex-Navy Seal Niles who, unlike many a horror movie hero, takes no prisoners, not even stopping to hear excuses made by Chopper and his gang (usually a downfall of characters in horror flicks).

Any film that has full-frontal nudity in the first 30 seconds, sapphic scenes, decapitations, dismemberments and a man vs. monster fist fight gets major thumbs up in my books. Plus the added bonus of Sid Haig and Daniel Bernhardt? Creature is all win as far as this reviewer is concerned. Just a shame about the weak ending…

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