I am doing the 31 Days of Horror Challenge. Every day in October, I will watch a different horror film I have never seen before and write about it here on the blog.
There are films that fall into a mediocre no-man’s-land of not being good enough to care about and not being bad enough to either enjoy as unintentional comedy or hate for its awfulness. Not only do these films inspire apathy in me as a viewer, they leave me wondering just what the hell I am going to write about. Creature is one of these films.
In the distant future, the crew of a corporate spacecraft is sent to Saturn’s moon, Titan. Their mission is to find and bring back a dead alien life form that was discovered by a previous expedition. Everyone in the crew seems to under-estimate the danger of this situation, even when they know that the members of the previous expedition wound up dead or missing. Complicating matters is a rival corporation also trying to find the alien creature. That everyone seems surprised when the alien turns out to be alive and hostile shows how little co-writer/producer/director William Malone thinks of his characters.
Creature is the type of film that was made to fill the rapidly expanding need for cable programming and home video releases in the mid ’80s. While it didn’t premiere on cable—believe it or not, this thing actually got a release—that was the target for such a cheap production in the days following the downfall of drive-in theaters. Unfortunately, most of these films—Creature included—didn’t even have the anything-goes bad taste of their drive-in predecessors.
A boring Alien knockoff that is occasionally spiced up by the odd, vampy performance of Diane Salinger as a supposedly badass crew member, the story is paint-by-numbers, the characters are complete idiots, and the direction by Malone is flat. The only entertainment value comes from the sudden introduction of Klaus Kinski in the second act as a lecherous crewmember of the rival corporation. He barely registers as a creepy asshole before he is written out just as quickly as he was introduced—with a double wearing an obvious Kinski mask to film his final scene. The question of what led to Kinski’s apparent dismissal from the film became more interesting to me than the actual movie.
I’ve seen many films that are worse than Creature, but that doesn’t count as an endorsement. It’s put together with as much competence as its obviously limited budget allowed, but that competency also makes it dull as dry toast.
Here’s a trailer for the film when it was called Titan Find which includes one of the the most gloriously stupid taglines I’ve ever come across:
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