Wednesday, October 24, 2012
31 Days of Halloween - Day 24 - Movie 2
A rocket ship crashes to earth and a huge creature escapes from it and crawls across the countryside devouring everyone it comes across, while police men and soldiers mill about helplessly.
You know you're in trouble when a movie begins with narration explaining who the characters are and what they're talking about and feeling, especially when much of that narration has little to do with actually supporting the visuals in relating the story on screen. I still shudder at memories of The Beast of Yucca Flats, which shared many of the same short comings to be found in The Creeping Terror (1964). The Creeping Terror is nowhere near as bad as The Beast of Yucca Flats, but it's bad, very, very bad. The "acting" is terrible, the filmmaking is terrible, the only credible thing in the movie were the scenes of people making out, of which there are many, and unlike other amateur feature film endeavors of the same calibre, the leading lady here was actually rather attractive, though she was subjected to numerous scenes of making out with the homely leading man, who also happened to be the director of this mess.
On to the important part of any monster movie; the monster. Much has been said about the creeping terror itself being little more than a moldy shag rug being walked across the landscape by operators whose feet are clearly visible. That is more or less true, and yes it's an incredibly successful predator in that it manages to eat dozens of people who could have simply walked away from it, and also still had time to make a sandwich, before it could possibly have caught up to them at it's glacial speed of locomotion which is accompanied by lots of roaring to warn any potential victims off. To be honest though, it's not the worst monster I've ever seen in a movie, and I do give credit to Jon Lackey, the monster designer for aspiring to make an impressive monster that didn't look like a man in a suit. The monster here is actually pretty huge, bigger than a late 1950s car, and was pretty otherworldly looking. But given what must have been a pretty pathetic budget, it's no wonder it wasn't state of the art in its realization.
I will also admit that I have a kind of guilty pleasure kind of fondness for The Creeping Terror, to the degree that I even wrote a story for Scooby-Doo ("The Creeping Horror" in issue #33, April 2000) which was heavily inspired by this movie. I am by no means going to recommend that anyone else subject themselves to this movie, unless you are really, really curious. You'd be far better off reading the incredibly amusing review that a reader sent in to Famous Monsters and which can be found on the opening letters page of issue #162 or #163.