I’d never even heard of this 2011 film until I read Stephen Bissette’s recent write-up of it in the second issue of Monster! Stephen’s enthusiastic (and extensive) piece got me curious enough to track down a copy of the film down and give it a go.
Written and directed by Fred M. Andrews, Creature apparently has the dubious distinction of having the lowest-grossing ever opening weekend for a film appearing on over 1500 screens. While the cinema may not have been the right place for the movie to find an audience, it worked quite well as a late late Saturday night DVD, just what I needed to wash the grime and seediness of William Friedkin’s Cruising off of me (see previous post).
Set in the Louisiana Bayou, Creature is an old-fashioned pulpy monster movie at heart, and built on a thoroughly cliched premise - a bunch of kids on a road trip decide to go off the beaten track in order to investigate the local legend of Lockjaw, a half-man/half-alligator who prowls the bayou. Andrews dresses up his basic idea with enough gore, lesbian sex, incest and Southern Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style inbreeding and family craziness to make it all luridly entertaining. There’s some really twisted and sick themes and images on display at times, and the titular creature is a pretty cool looking creation that seems at least partly inspired by the comic book character Swamp Thing (I’m beginning to see why Stephen liked it so much!).
Flawed, but still worth checking out if you are a die-hard monster movie fan, and especially if you enjoy that special steamy sub-genre of bayou exploitation cinema...