If you’re looking for a good old fashioned horror film with a man in a rubber suit painted to look like one ferocious motherfucking monster, you need look beyond “Creature.” What is “Creature” but a poor man’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” a movie about a bunch of tourists, and a backwoods monster in New Orleans who has a hefty appetite for attractive women and muscle bound men. Shocking enough, “Creature” is a theatrical release in 2011, and tells the tale of a bunch of American tourists–a few of whom happen to be Navy Seals (this is important for the second half of the film)–who happen in to the back woods of New Orleans in search of adventure. Little do they know that if you come across Sid Haig on any adventure, you’re bound to find trouble and terror. It’s just common sense. Granted, Haig is an icon of the horror culture, but he should be in the horror rule book as a word of warning to anyone seeking adventure.
Nevertheless the group is led in to a tourist trap to find the great Lockjaw, a monstrous bastard of beast who is said to lurk the swamps of New Orleans and surely enough where the tourists go seeking they inevitably find Lockjaw in all of his rubber suit and prosthetic glory! It’s hard to take a movie like “Creature” so seriously because it’s so damn stupid to sit through. Everything about it is rushed and paced at breakneck speed to keep the movie chugging along before the director runs out of a budget. So we’re never given enough time to settle down before our tourists are confronted by shopkeepers who warn them to be careful where they go looking in the woods lest they be gnawed on by the Lockjaw.
Sadly the budget shows to a great pain as “Creature” is very short on the creature affair and very heavy on the scantily clad women bouncing around and giggling. At least with Adam Green’s low budget “Hatchet” we had an unforgiving merciless monster who tore people limb from limb, but the monster here seems to bide his time for reasons never quite explained. He knocks off a few of the local yokels here and there but there’s never enough blood or carnage to write home about. When the creature finally decides he’s had enough watching and strikes down upon the hapless tourists, the action is slim to nil. The performances for what they are, are competent enough for a film of this ilk. Folks like Serinda Swan and Lauren Schneider walk around near the buff engaging in girl on girl while the creature watches from a hefty distance.
They’re manageable enough characters, but there can never be enough of explanation why the film becomes “Caligula” once the tourists settle down in their camp sight. For a long time Andrews focuses on the sexuality of the characters and does little else with them until he finally brings out the monster in all its rubbery glory. I wish “Creature” was as fun as it looks in the promos, but really it’s just a mediocre glorified straight to television affair with nothing remarkable about it. Unless you have to absolutely see it for the extended supporting role by Sid Haig, there’s nothing “Creature” brings to the table that you can’t find by shuffling through Netflix and finding a random creature feature from Lionsgate or The Asylum. Tedious and overly complicated, “Creature” is the dumb monster movie that takes itself much too seriously and never has fun with the source material. Folks looking for dumb monster romps would do better to look elsewhere.