Thursday, 28 August 2014
The Creeping Terror (1964)
I've seen some comically bad monster movies in my time, but this has got to be one of the top contenders for the title of worst. It's staggeringly inept on so many levels that I'm hard pressed to know where to begin.
So I'll begin where the movie does: with narration. Wikipedia indicates that the movie may have been shot without regard to sound quality, and the dialog was intended to be dubbed in afterward. That would appear to have been too difficult though - syncing lips with audio is like, effort - so what we see on screen is actors acting, but silently, while a narrator drones on and on and on over the top of them. It would also explain why some of the few scenes with dialog repeat things the narrator has already said.
Narrator: "Martin was introduced to Dr Bradford."
Guy on Screen: "Martin, this is Dr Bradford."
Now let's talk about the monster. Or monsters. Because there are two of them. However, in a cunning act of cinematic and financial genius, they are (1) identical and (2) never on screen at the same time. My word, the Machiavellian brilliance of the film-makers is breathtaking!
Anyway: the monster. It's kind of slug-like. And clearly a couple of guys underneath a canopy. Think of a Chinese festival, and the dragons there, but without any of the grace or speed.
Nope, you're still imagining too much grace and speed. Dial it down from there.
Have you got to the point where a one-legged man could hop away faster than this thing moves? If so, you're in the right ball park. There are literally scenes in the film where people walk away from the thing and are outpacing it. Not walk hurriedly, or anything: just kinda amble. Of course, then they find that they're at a door or something and can't remember how door knobs work, so they get eaten. Good riddance, I say.
Are there any other things I could complain about? So, so many. But I'll just mention the last of the film's Trifecta of Things Even More Stupid Than the Rest of the Film. This is a scene where the helpful narrator advises us that the monster was en route to the local dance hall. It arrives seven minutes later. Seven minutes of shots of people dancing, and shots of the monster shuffling across the landscape and nothing else. Well, there's one line of dialogue that has nothing to do with the plot. But nothing else. For seven minutes.
Maybe seven minutes doesn't sound like a lot to you, but try watching seven minutes of credits - a Peter Jackson movie should have you covered there - which is just about as interesting as what's happening on screen in the film during this time, and see how long it is before you're itching to check your phone for messages or to punch yourself in the face for buying this DVD.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find a steak to put on my eye.