I'm not really sure how a movie with Sid Haig about a were-gator managed to escape my attention for so long, but I literally had heard/read nothing about it until I saw a banner on IMDB a couple of weeks before it's theatrical release. Not your regular theatrical release either, but a wide release, which is unheard of for this kind of movie, especially in a month that isn't October. I got a chance to see it this past weekend, hoping for nothing more than an entertaining creature feature. Turns out they only got one part of that right.
Creature doesn't have much of a plot to talk about, it's fairly generic monster movie fare. A group college kids together on a camping trip head out to the swamp (the fuck?) and get slaughtered by the local legend, a half man, half alligator who roams swamp searching for his bride. Honestly the whole thing is just a little bit silly. As per usual, one of these kids knows the legend, and shares with the rest of the group, who just laugh and blow it off. I couldn't help but wonder how this genius got his information about the legend though, as he seems to know the family history of said weregator and has a photographic memory of the events that led to his transformation from an incestuous swamp dweller to the titular Creature.
It's a monster movie though right? Silly nonsense is a staple of the genre, as long as it delivers on the creature and some nice kills, all will be forgiven. Unfortunately Creature misses the mark here too, and turns out to be it's most unforgivable sin. We never get a really good look at the monster, aside from a couple of shots of him brooding around the woods in the dark. When he is shown, particularly up close, you almost wish he had stayed back in the woods off camera. You can actually see the actor's eyes through the mask, like the skin surrounding them and all. The mask looks like a small step above what you find at Wal-mart around Halloween. This is absolutely ridiculous for a movie like this, especially one that somehow managed to get released theatrically. Almost every kill happens off camera, and none of them are in any way memorable. There's a little gore, a severed head or limb here and there, but most of it looks just as lazy and poorly done as the creature himself. I'm fairly easy to please when it comes to these things, hell I even like most of the stuff that airs on Saturday nights on SyFy. Creature is a bit of an insult to the hard work that people put into the SyFy Saturday fare, especially the slap in the face that is a theatrical release. I would much rather have seen Sharktopus on the big screen than this thing.
I really don't have anything positive to say about this one. I suppose Sid Haig die-hards will enjoy his performance as the local yokel owner of the swamp gas station (which has no gas), but even Capt. Spaulding himself couldn't save this one for me. While I'm glad that there are studios out there who are still willing to take a chance on a small horror movie like this, I can't help but wonder if anybody actually watched Creature before giving it the green light for release. It's hard to think of any reason why I would recommend watching this one, nothing really here works well. It almost felt like Creature was unfinished, especially in the effects department. I don't know if that's the case or not, but I do know that what we ended up with was a mess and not one that I ever intend to watch again.