By: Oberst von Berauscht (Six Pack) -
Six friends are headed to New Orleans through the backcountry of Louisiana, looking for roadside attractions. They pull over to a gas station owned by Chopper (Sid Haig) who tells them how to find the house supposedly owned by Lockjaw, a half man/half alligator who supposedly terrorizes the countryside. Naturally, they decide to make camp for the night at the foot of the house, getting drunk and generally acting sinful, when they find out that horror movies generally start out this way.
All I’m saying, is if you’re taking sightseeing advice from this man, maybe it is time to rethink your priorities…
Following the rather traditional setup, I was pleasantly surprised by the proliferation of practical special effects. The blood and gore all feels more believable when you know it is actually there, and not a cartoon. CGI has its place in special effects, but all too often lately it has become a crutch to fix every little issue in post-production. While “Lockjaw” was anything but believable, I confess that I have a soft spot in my heart for rubber suit monsters.
The moments that truly make this kind of trash worth watching though, are the scenes with Sid Haig and his band of Cajun rednecks. Not since Southern Comfort has the Cajun community been so cruelly stereotyped, or hilarious. While it may be unfair to the Cajun community at large, I have heard no public outcry against the reality show Swamp People. So being the enlightened, liberal-minded, and compassionate individual I am, I will just assume that all people in the backwaters of Louisiana are so evolutionarily disadvantaged that they can’t see the downsides of having a stump for a family tree. One character in particular by the name of Grover thinks potato chips are the only kind of food, and carries with him a speech pattern that makes you nostalgic for Bobcat Goldthwait.
But only just… *shivers*
The actors who play the six friends are surprisingly not terrible. While at times the dialog can feel a bit overly expository, a few of them manage the difficult task of being likable. That they manage this at all is a mystery given the decisions they make, which range everywhere from dumb, (investigating strange sounds deep in the woods one person at a time without the machete they brought) to just plain retarded (choosing to have 20-something sex in the woods in a horror movie).
Apparently there are no mosquitoes in the Bayou. I don’t know how come I was so bothered by this… But even up here in the Midwest you cannot walk into the woods in summer without being enveloped by thousands of the pests.
Creature wins an award in my book for throwing in a plot twist that was genuinely surprising, and allowed the movie to make a truly messed up U-Turn. And while I cannot talk too much about it, for fear of ruining one of the few elements that satisfied my inner horror-film-geek, I can say that it involves incest, voyeurism, and amputation. Your interest in watching this film depends almost solely on how disgusted and/or intrigued you are by the previous sentence.
Inbreeding isn’t funny, but sometimes it is hilarious
If not for the rather clumsy ending, Creature would have had a place in my heart as a “so bad, it’s good” kind of movie. Why the filmmakers chose to allow the final confrontation to drag on for so long is beyond me, apart from the fact that the movie would have been only 75 minutes long otherwise. It has become such a cliché for the monster to be killed off and come back to life that it is no longer shocking.
Let this return to the swamp it came from.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a shot: to keep track of the death count
Take a drink: when you can’t understand a word the Cajuns are saying
Take a drink: for every “casual” mention ofNiles’ military experience (which totally isn’t going to come in handy later in the film </sarcasm>)