CREATURE

creature

CREATURE (2006)

Tagline: “Two Brothers. Two Colours. One Nightmare!”

IMDB Rating: 4.1/10

And so it begins. Two men. 1 sofa. A stack of DVDs 5 feet high. What adventures lie before them? What dangers lurk inside?

The decision as to which film gets the honour of being chosen first is all important. Do we go all out to try and pick the worst of the worst – starting low in the hope that D:Ream were right all those years ago? Or do we aim higher, selecting something of a banker that will slowly ease us into the horrors that are to come? Being the cautious fellows we clearly are, the decision is made to come down smack bang in the middle of the two – to effectively rock the boat but not tip the boat over….

It must be tough if you are aspiring director Christopher Coppola. Your uncle just happens to be Francis Ford, a writer and director of some of the greatest films in the medium. Your brother, Nicolas Cage is an Oscar winner and one of the biggest film stars on the planet. Auntie Talia Shire starred as Connie in her brother’s epic ‘Godfather’ trilogy as well as playing Adrian, Stallone’s true rock in ‘Rocky’. Cousin Sofia Coppola also has a gold statuette to prop open her downstairs toilet, having directed and written ‘Lost In Translation’. Cousin Jason Schwartzman is a darling of the indie scene having starred in ‘Rushmore’ and ‘I Heart Huckabees’. Cinematic success is most definitely in the family, though from the look of Christopher’s ‘Creature’, not necessarily in the blood.

christopher coppola - creature director
Chris Coppola- O Brother Where Art Thou?

 

Familiar names abound in front of the camera as well. A pair of legends from the world of small screen super-hero-dom (we don’t care if it’s not a word) fill out the supporting cast. Lynda Carter (TV’s Wonder Woman and still looking pretty Wonder-ful) plays a maneater with a mysterious past, while Frank Gorshin, still recognizable despite the severe ravages of time and the lack of mask, tights and quizzical punctuation he sported so memorably as Batman’s most enigmatic, riddlesome foe, is on suspicious form as a trailer park manager whose general creepiness is bound to pay off somewhere down the road.

Frank gorshin as the riddler
Riddle me this- Why did I appear in ‘Creature’?

 

The first 20 minutes are disappointingly average. We were hoping for, and indeed expecting, much, much worse. Two brothers, one black and one white who are unaware of each other’s existence, are invited to a seedy trailer park after the death of their estranged mother to deal with her affairs and explore their potential inheritance.

OK- so we have fraternal and racial tensions, greed, mistrust, and a vague air of mystery in an isolated trailer park filled with eccentrics. Damn. This might have potential. Have we completely misjudged these films? Will they all just be breathtakingly dull? Safely and soundly vacuous? Because we don’t think we can sit through them all if that’s the case. It would resemble being held in solitary confinement and forced to watch Kate Garraway interviews on a 24 hour loop.

………and……. relax. There we go. Nothing to worry about here. After 20 minutes, the film reassuringly fulfils its promise by suddenly turning brilliantly and stunningly rubbish.

The ‘creature’ which haunts the trailer park is revealed much too early and in far too much detail- it resembles an angry tramp who has been rummaging in a sex shop’s wheelie bin. At this point, we check the duration of the film to see how much longer we have to endure this dud. It’s longer than we had hoped. About 65 minutes longer.

Any subtleties promised by the film’s opening disappear like a puppy in a tornado as the plot descends into a thoroughly predictable yet interminable farce. It culminates in the inhabitants’ of the trailer park attempting to sacrifice the brothers in a pit of fire to appease the tramp. Just when we thought our brows could furrow no more, the brothers, now reconciled, make their escape in beach buggies. Then it ends.

This was a solid start. Extremely bad in a pleasing and reassuring way. A marker of some sort. Like setting out for the summit from Everest’s base camp, knowing it hadn’t been easy getting that far, but accepting that greater dangers lie ahead. We are suddenly unsure if we are up to this ludicrous challenge but one thing is most definitely for certain- ‘Creature’ is a monstrosity.

‘Bloodhead’ AKA ‘Creature’ – “Hey Uncle Francis, come and see what I made. It’ll make you proud…”

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