Thursday, November 21, 2013

Creature: Wha Happon'?

The podcast featuring Director Fred Andrews got me curious about the 2011 film CREATURE. For those who are not aware, Creature was a somewhat low budget (ok, really low budget) horror film that got a major studio release. So major that it failed miserably, dying on the vine and earning a mere $327,000 from the 1507 screens it was shown on. Evidently, it was the lowest grossing first weekend ever for  film being shown on over 1500 screens and the second worst per location...ever. I had to see it.

FROM MOVIELINE:  $220 per screen and 6 people per showing

Now, in the interest of the new mantra of THE HORROR SHOW, there will be no bashing of this film. On the contrary - it's really not as bad as some I've seen.

The plot is super basic. Group of 20-somethings go off for an outing. Said trip sees them wandering too far off the path. There's a monster and "hillbilly bad guys". ::::shrug:::  Stop me if you've seen this before. And, they start dying. Nothing new. Nothing major. The monster design and makeup were fine. I mean, it's a dude in a suit and it's obvious and the lighting doesn't help in hiding the fact. This film is lit up all sorts of ways and in all sorts of dramatic styles. I'm not saying that they work for this film, but...they are there. The story was interesting - a good mix of reality and "it just happened through some sort of magic" that appealed to me. No need to go into the micro-details of how a sad man became this alligator monster man. I'm good with magical unknowns. Sure! Why not? It's an alligator man for cripes sake.

The cast is...there....being the cast. Sid Haig Sid Haigs things up as usual - always fun. "That black dude from True Blood" Mehcad Brooks and "That hot brunette girl...from something I've seen before" Serinda Swan (turns out it was SUPERNATURAL) turn in performances. There's another girl that I'll call "NOT the delicious Linda Cardellini" Amanda Fuller and Lauren Schneider who couldn't hang on to her accent, but was intriguing in that redhead showing her breasts sort of way. The rest, like I said, were there being the cast and saying their lines. :)

Everything was going along just fine as I watched Fred Andrews work his directorial magic and the plot unfolded before me. It was going so well that I found myself saying, "Man, this film REALLY got a bad rap! I bet it was just marketed incorrectly - it's not bad at all."  Then it happened. Everything started to fall apart in a rather spectacular way. 

People were taken away and tied up to be offered to the creature...and their foot was cut off? Um...why? Why did they do that? I...

There were six people in the group. Two couples and a brother and sister. The guy and girl from the couples were brother and sister as well. When the S goes down, the guy asks his buddy to save his sister...but doesn't seem to remember that he had a friggin GIRLFRIEND there as well! LOL "Get my sister safe! To hell with the girlfriend. I can always get another girlfriend!" No, he didn't say it, but he thought it! :)

WHOLE GROUPS OF PEOPLE APPEAR...then just WALK THE F AWAY and DISAPPEAR. People that might have been able to DO something had they stayed. And...where did they go? They just wander away into the swamp area.

The creature bites NUMEROUS people through the film, but proceeds to punch and pummel the guy who fights him in the end instead of just...eating him, really.

It goes on. I'd love to go on as well, but it starts to get mean after a while. :::grin:::  Above all, I was not mad about the time I spent watching this film. (Granted, I was doing other things as well most of the time) I had some laughs. I had some WTF?! moments. I found myself talking at the screen like crazy at the end with a big smile on my face saying things like, "Wait...they keep leaving these women around for the creature to find..." and "HA! POP GOES THE CREATURE! Didn't see THAT coming, did you, Buddy?!"

I had a good time, but I'd NEVER think about sending this thing off to the masses in a friggin theater! A few small theater showings around Halloween - sure, maybe. heheheh

WHAT the HECK was the studio thinking here? It's really their fault that this film failed in the theater. It shouldn't have been there. This would have done well released to DVD and Netflix, doing it's thing and being fine. If anything, it might have done better with more camp and less seriousness, but that's just a personal opinion.

Again, from the MOVIELINE article found here:
"Chalk the failed experiment, perhaps, to the elder Sheinberg's past successes; while at Universal Pictures, Sid Sheinberg released the game-changing Jaws and in the process birthed the blockbuster by forgoing small-scale roll-outs in favor of national release. Creature seemed to similarly attempt to launch a wide-scale release with but without sufficient awareness efforts among a proportionate audience, and as a result the film arrived without enough of a trumpet blast and lacking enough of a draw (great reviews, buzz) to make the gamble work."

I hope that Fred Woods recovers and makes more films. It looks like he's still going strong as a production designer. 

CREATURE is not the problem here and is well worth taking a look at over pizza, beer and popcorn on Netflix some rainy night for fun. It's just a shame that it was pushed out into the world like it was.

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