Directed by Fred M. Andrews. Written by Fred M. Andrews and Tracy Morse. Cast: Mehcad Brooks, Serinda Swan, Dillon Casey, Lauren Schneider, Aaron Hill, Amanda Fuller, Sid Haig, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Daniel Bernhardt, Lance Nichols. (R, 93 mins)
I saw a trailer for CREATURE late last summer before DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, and I wasn't alone in thinking "Uh...no way that's opening in theaters." To everyone's surprise, it opened in early September as one of several new films hitting theaters nationwide on the same weekend. Horror fans, having seen CREATURE on the cover of Fangoria as well as through numerous online ads, instantly gave it their blind seal of approval on internet discussion boards, declaring it the must-see movie of the weekend, essentially saying "Screw CONTAGION! CREATURE looks like a real horror flick for the fans!"
CONTAGION opened in first place that weekend, and CREATURE opened...in 19th. It pulled in $327,000 on 1507 screens, giving it the worst opening weekend of any film on more than 1500 screens. Ever. It averaged $220 per screen, giving it the second worst per screen average of any wide release. Ever.
So what happened, fanboys? I thought CREATURE was the movie to see.
|Sid Haig in CREATURE. Or any one of|
the last 15 movies in which he's appeared.
The convoluted and rather perverse plot involves a group of obnoxious vacationers heading to New Orleans, driving through an off-the-map podunk town and finding their trip detoured by the backwoods legend of Lockjaw. Lockjaw is a half-man/half-gator who was once inbred local Grimley Boutine (Daniel Bernhardt). How he mutated into Lockjaw doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but does it need to? The vacationing idiots want to check out Grimley's cabin, abandoned for 100 years, and after setting up camp, end up coming face-to-face with Grimley/Lockjaw, who pursues them through the surrounding bayou area.
|Mehcad Brooks vs. CREATURE|
Equal parts THE DESCENT, THE WICKER MAN, and HEE HAW, CREATURE throws in some twists and has a weird incest theme throughout, so it gets points for earning its R rating with gusto, and in all fairness, it's hardly the worst thing that's ever played in theaters. It only made headlines and gained its notoriety by bombing so spectacularly that it earned cult status as soon as the weekend grosses posted on Box Office Mojo by Sunday night of the opening weekend. It's really nothing more than the kind of trashy, on-the-cheap, by-the-numbers splatter flick that gets dumped on DVD every week...just one with enough pull behind the scenes to somehow make it into theaters.
|Amanda Fuller, presumably looking|
for a way out of CREATURE
CREATURE's dismal box office performance set new standards for bombing in theaters. But it's really just your ordinary bad DTV horror movie that accidentally made it to the big screen. We're not talking about an MST3K-worthy yukfest here. There's a nice shout-out to Jack Hill's SPIDER BABY (1968), which featured Haig. But mostly, it's indifferently acted and slow moving and the best that can be said about the work of first-time director Fred M. Andrews is that he keeps the camera pointed in the right direction.