A new feature film by director Fred M. Andrews is based on reports of the Honey Island Swamp Monster, dating back to 1963 reports of a bigfoot/alligator hybrid seen in the swamps of Louisiana. Two hunters reporting seeing a 7 foot tall hairy creature. It was again reported in 1974 and somehow, local tales of the Letiche, an illegitimate child who was reared by alligators, and now has scaly skin, webbed hands and feet, and luminous green eyes combine with these reports to add mystery to the swamps near Pearlington, Louisiana.
Creature looks… well it looks like every other low budget monster flick from the past 30 years. I see pretty girls, I see spooky nature shots, I see monsters in the woods/swamps, but for some reason, Andrews tries to convince us it isn’t like every other monster movie.
But there was a problem. Horror has, in my opinion and with the rare exception, lost a lot of what attracted me to it in the first place. It has become formulaic and predictable. Even the ‘twist within a twist’ plot lines have felt stale to me for years and most offer little in the way of true surprise.
And I don’t think I need to mention the abundance of remakes fans have been subjected too over the past few years. I can name but a handful of films in the past 10 years that gave me that feeling I had when I was a kid; when horror was fresh, new, and altogether unsettling.
The ‘Creature’ is named Lockjaw, and looks a bit like Frank from Donnie Darko with out the ears. From Andrews’ blog describing the film, it does sound like he tried to work some crypto goodness into the film, but it sounds like it comes off as just a sasquatchploitation film with scales. Remember the new Boggy Creek Creature Movie? Well they weren’t even able to keep the domain name they bought to promote the film. Ouch.
It is playing at my local theater and honestly… I’m a bit tempted to go see it.
The most notable actor in Creature is horror film stalwart Sid Haig, mostly known for playing Captain Spaulding in the movies House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Sadly, Haig basically just plays a dumbed down version of Spaulding and sadly his is extremely underutilized because he’s the best thing in the movie. The “creature”, if you will, is not a computer generated image but is merely someone wearing a costume; similar to the way it was done back in the “good old days.” Regrettably the comparison to the “good old days” stops there. Yes, there’s the nudity, and quite a bit more than the standard gratuitous, there’s pot smoking and drunkenness; but, the shock factor is lacking. The kill scenes, if you will, show very little gore…if any at all. The characters are underdeveloped, giving you no one to relate to or to root for. The witty humor is dull and the dialogue isn’t much better. There really isn’t much that actually works.