Take a Drink: for every time Vic says he’s gonna make THE BIGGEST monster movie EVER.
Take a Drink: for each mention of Lake Tahoe.
Do a Shot: because, believe it or not, Ed Wood was squeaky clean by comparison. Heck – so is Michael Bay.
By: Bill Arceneaux (A Toast) –
Tinseltown isn’t just a place where magic happens, nor is it just a place where dreams come true. Sometimes, it’s the encouraging epicenter of sociopathic evil. The allure, the enticement, the seduction. Actresses off the bus from Ohio are easy prey – anyone with a hint of naivete make for easy prey – and the predators are the hucksters looking to exploit to get ahead. Some are big time, running movie studios even. Some are small time, working every angle available. But both big and small don’t come to the Golden State just to work their charms on the innocent; they actually love the movies, too.
What follows is a review of The Creep Behind the Camera, which tells the story of one such small timer. A manipulator of women, an abuser of life, a lover of film. Vic Savage – the director of The Creeping Terror.
Creep is a hybrid documentary narrative, cutting between occasional talking head interviews with the people who knew Vic, and a stylized semi-fictional, hyper-realistic string of sequences that put visuals to what the real people are talking about. Inspired by the infamous episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that featured The Creeping Terror, Creep certainly earns its name. A.J. “Vic Savage” Nelson was a horrible person. He’d use women and thrown them away like tissues. He’d lie, cheat, steal, and threaten to get whatever he wanted. He was also off the hinges crazy – like the bad guy from Bio-Dome crazy. Basically, his life story is perfect fodder for a film of this nature.
“I’m the god”
The production of his monster movie is the stuff of bizarre legend, involving the likes of Charlie Manson, believe it or not. He’d drug actors, con wannabe starlets, and screw with his producer. It seems like he always had some game up his sleeve, something always in the back of his mind. Don’t take this to mean that he was a step ahead of everyone – never. He was a mad dog off the leash.
Tonally, this movie is all over the place. In individual scenes, you’ll have dramatic and horrific content with almost Looney Tunes like music playing over it, cut to a whimsical insight from a former acquaintance. In ANY OTHER MOVIE, this would be a problem. But because the story of Vic Savage is so whack and improbable, the schizo feeling is not only ok, but necessary. A fractured man, a fractured timeline, a fractured resonance, a whole story.
Creep Behind the Camera really goes above and beyond, not only with mishmashed feelings, but with devilishly designed and disturbingly distressing imagery. Just when we think Vic couldn’t sink any lower, he does by, very suggestively and without subtlety, (CENSORED). I don’t want to give this away, but just know that it’s shot so cleverly, blending in what had been before just accusations into possible actions. Nothing is shown but a camera and lighting rig being set up. And it’s sickening.
“The kind of people that come to Hollywood”
Not just for MST3K fans, Creep is the exposed underbelly of noir-era Hollywood, where one man shows a seedy town what seedy really means. Entertaining, funny, and yes – creepy.