The Creeps. Film Review

wpd95be627_05_06THE CREEPS
Director: Charles Band
Screenplay: Benjamin Carr
Starring: Rhonda Griffin, Justin Lauer, Bill Moynihan, Kristin Norton, Phil Fondacaro
Running Time: 75 Mins
Certificate: 18
Format: DVD
Reviewed by Guy Adams

Another in 88 Films Grindhouse series, from the same merry lunatics that brought you HIDEOUS. Oh how I miss the days when such nonsense as THE CREEPS dropped regularly onto our VHS shelves. Like many of my cinematic loves you will either adore it as much as I or run a mile. Let’s find out, it’s easy enough, I’ll just give you a brief précis: Mad scientist, Winston Berber (Moynihan) has developed an ‘archetype machine’. With the aid of some original novel manuscripts and a human sacrifice, he plans on bringing Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman and the Mummy to life. When the process is interrupted he comes knee to face with the result: while these paragons of Gothic horror have been brought to life they are now dwarfs. Can he remount the experiment and restore them to their full size?

Imagine trying to pitch that to a studio. Hear their shocked silence followed by their swift beckoning of security.

Of course, being a Full Moon production, nobody has any intention of taking it seriously (frankly, who could?) but what we get is a jolly romp of an hour and loose change packed to
the rafters with in-jokes and absurd setpieces. Phil Fondacaro, as the diminutive Dracula, gets all the monster’s lines and he speaks them with eastern european relish. Rhonda Griffin (last seen being lactated by a mutant foetus in HIDEOUS) is the librarian trying to get her rare texts back while avoiding being sacrificed, Justin Lauer is the part time private detective/full time video store owner (who has uncut versions of BARBED WIRE DOLLS and VAMPYROS LESBOS in stock, Franco fans) trying to earn a living and get a date. It’s light, fun and a good chuckle throughout.

As an extra, the disc contains a bonus feature THE BEST OF SEX AND VIOLENCE (and it’s here the disc as whole earns its eighteen certificate). A trailer compilation hosted by a barely-alive John Carradine. For those of you wondering whether you should track down DR BLACK AND MR HYDE or TRUCK STOP WOMEN, here are the trailers to swing you either way. 88 Films don’t heavily restore any of their releases but it must be said that THE BEST OF SEX AND VIOLENCE is a particularly bleary watch. Still, it’s a bonus and I
don’t think for one minute the sight of a woman having sex with a man in a monkey suit (TANYA’S ISLAND) is something that would be improved by restoration.

As well as this, absurdly welcome bonus, THE CREEPS comes with customary Grindhouse extras of trailers and reversible sleeve.