Hooptober 9.0 – Creature (1985)

Being Film #11 for Hooptober 2022

If nothing else, Creature should impart just how influential Alien was to the science fiction and horror landscape. The film wears Ridley Scott’s classic (as well as Howard Hawks’s The Thing From Another World) on its sleeve, and there’s no denying this was a film writer/director William Malone felt passionate about. Alas, there’s also no denying how awful the film as a whole is, despite one or two absolutely stunning moments of gore. One incredible head explosion doth not a good film, though.

THE QUICK SUMMARY: The world is competing for mining rights across the galaxy. NTI, the American branch finds something on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn before crashing into their home base. The startup Shenandoah is launched to discover what was found and crashes not too far from their German competitors from Richter Dynamics. What’s worse, being attacked by an interstellar creature with the ability to control the dead, or being stuck on a spaceship with Klaus Kinski? I know which one I’m picking…

creature movie poster

Despite the obvious lifts from Alien, Malone crafts an interesting story in concept: the thing that is discovered on Titan is an ancient menagerie of hundred of different lifeforms. And it just so happens that one capsule holding the titular creature has cracked, allowing it to come to life. Buried in that idea is a fun little movie where with the right budget and directorial vision you can craft some real excitement.

But Creature doesn’t have either the budget or vision to realize that concept into anything remotely interesting. The script has characters disappearing completely, only to return at the end with – I kid you not – an explanation of “I got lost.” There’s the obligatory love scene, terrible dialog made even worse by acting that if described as “wooden” would almost serve as a compliment. There’re poses made here that will cause you to laugh, and not in a polite way. The only thing that really brings life to the film is Kinski, who immediately comes off just as exasperated with the case as the audience is. Gross and inappropriate as he is, though, he brings more life to his character as the lone survivor of the German crew than anyone else in Creature.

As for the creature itself, this is very much Man In Suit™ territory and for the few seconds of screen time we actually see it, it’s…fine. The effects, rough as they may be, are probably the highlight of the film.

I really wanted to like Creature, so much so that I subscribed to Fandor so I could get away from Amazon’s pan and scan version for the cleaned up widescreen director version called The Titan Find. The widescreen helped but not enough to make me every want to revisit Creature.

If anyone asks, just tell them I got lost…

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