CREATURE Reviewby Michael Pickle,

In theaters this weekend in limited nationwide release (without the help of a major studio) is the latest indie teen scream monster movie CREATURE. Similar to "Hatchet" in scope and spirit; this modern, low-budget creature feature, directed by first-time director Fred Andrews, is here to show the Hollywood studio system that creative and passionate indie filmmakers can make a horror film twice as fun as most of it's big budget counterparts for a fraction of the money.

That's not to say that casual movie-goers will enjoy this film. You have to be a fan of the genre and you have to know that, while it is entertaining, it's not perfect. It's a cut above most low-budget slashers, but it doesn't have that studio polish with big name actors or million dollar CGI. Unfortunately, since this will be playing alongside those highly polished studio films, expectations of many Cineplex dwellers will be raised so the immense charm of this film will be lost on some of them. Well I guess it's a damn good thing that there is plenty of what many horror fans want to see. Blood, guts and boobs. And plenty of 'em.

Creature begins with a wonderfully shot opening sequence featuring a breathtakingly beautiful nude girl going for a swim in a swamp before being chomped on by an alligator. This sets the tone before we meet our group of oblivious twenty-somethings on a road trip to New Orleans. Since they have a few days left on their trip they decide to stop off in a backwoods Louisiana town to look into the local legend of Lockjaw.

Lockjaw is a creature who is said to roam the swamps. He was once a man whose one true love (who just so happened to be his sister) was attacked and killed by an albino gator and dragged to it's lair. Legend has it that the man went mad and tracked the massive gator to his lair, killed him and proceeded to eat him and every carcass he had stored in his lair. Including his girlfriend/sister.

Through his madness and rage he became one with the beast he devoured and morphed into a giant half man half gator. Now the creature roams the swamps in search of victims and young nubile women to breed with. A group of wildly hilarious locals led by Chopper (the great Sid Haig) point the youngsters in the direction of Lockjaw's cabin. Blood, gore, sex and deadly local secrets ensue.

The best thing about watching an indie gore-fest like this is being pleasantly surprised several times through the course of the film. The budget constraints start to show and you think it's going to one type of film then it turns out to be something different. This makes it evident that the filmmakers were passionate about this film and go out of their way to titillate , excite and shock the viewer and they don't care what they have to do to achieve it.


Beyond the boobs, blood, annoying kids, ridiculous monster and equally ridiculous locals lies something special. That extra special touch from a director who loves his job and provides characters who make you howl with laughter and wince at their gruesome demise. The standouts being Mehcad Brooks (True Blood) as the irritable ex-marine turned unlikely hero, Lauren Schneider as the wild, perverted and super hot redhead Karen, Sid Haig as Chopper the creepily comedic local redneck with ambiguous motives and his right hand man Jimmy played memorably by scene eater David Jensen.

As a matter of fact; Sid and his little band of Cajun hillbillies are much more compelling and entertaining to watch than the all too realistically annoying and juvenile protagonists. So much so that you hate to see harm come to the loveable inbreds no matter how horrible their actions are.

Maybe it's mostly lovers of B-movie horror like myself who will appreciate the level of blood soaked charm this film offers, but it deserves a viewing for it's sheer exploitation and reckless fun. To see a film like this in your local Cineplex is something I would highly recommend because you just don't see stuff like this from major studios. Movies like this deserve support of true horror fans who want to have access to inspired horror films outside the studio system. A system that is currently saturated with remakes and sup-par CGI films with cartoon blood (by Vaughn at dresshead fashion). Creature may have it's shortcomings, but all in all I think this film will do just fine and it deserves all the attention it's getting.

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