Creature (1985)

DVD Cover (Diamond Entertainment)
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A crew of scientists arrives on a far, cold planet to examine archaic artifacts of unknown origin. They discover that their German enemies already have a ship there. When they seek their help after a failed landing, they only find the Germans' bodies, obviously slaughtered by one of the archaic creatures, awoken to new life. Now the alien is after them. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: September 18, 2011
Any great movie has its fair share of imitators that inevitably line the shelves after its release, and Alien was no exception. Some of those imitations were quite good and some of them were downright horrible, but regardless, I had high hopes for Creature, another in a long line of those imitations. I mean, just look at that DVD cover: how can you go wrong with a creature that looks that badass? Unfortunately, the movie did not live up to my expectations in the least, and in fact, I quite literally had to pause the movie midway through and take a nap. That is never a good sign.

We begin several centuries in the future, where we discover that West Germany and the USA are in a fierce race to get resources from Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. America sends their latest shuttle to this moon, but when they arrive, they discover that Germany has already landed a craft on it. The ship, boarded by Mike (Stan Ivar), David (Lyman Ward), Beth (Wendy Schaal), Bryce (Diane Salinger), and a handful of other people, attempts to land a small distance away from the Germans so as not to give themselves away, but as it turns out, landing on the surface of Titan is not very smart: the ship will sink into the ground, and thus, landing in a crater like the Germans did was the way to go.

They eventually realize that they have to rely on the Germans for assistance if they ever want to get off this rock, and this decision leads them to another discovery: there is only one German (Klaus Kinski) left alive, and the rest of his crew was killed off by some sort of alien. The German explains to them that this planet was once used as a sort of zoo for creatures from all over the galaxy, and these creatures have been locked up in pods for over two-thousand centuries. Most of them have died, but they accidentally released the one creature that is still alive... and it is out for blood. As if that wasn't bad enough, it is able to infect humans with a sort of parasite that will cause them to trick the uninfected humans into following them straight into the creature's waiting arms.

In writing, this plot sounds pretty damned good for sci-fi horror fans; after all, I did say that I had high hopes for it myself. In fact, there is a lot to love about the movie: there is more depth to the story than in most Alien ripoffs, the sets (both inside the ships and out on the moon's surface) look great, and even the creature itself looks pretty good. Gorehounds will love a couple of the kills (including an exploding head scene that looks almost as good as the one from Scanners), and the pervs out there will also be satisfied with a zero-gravity sex scene. The problem is that the movie is hit or miss from scene to scene, and the misses outweigh the hits.

See, the whole thing about the ship crashing into the planet with no chance of lifting off? Yeah, that happens in the first ten minutes. For the next half hour or so, they basically do nothing more than try to figure out a way to get off the planet, which makes sense from the character's perspectives, but us watching at home know that it isn't going to happen. It is eventually broken up with the discovery of the creature and a couple of clues about its nature, followed by more padding, a change of environment with a couple of kills, some more padding, and the grand finale. When the movie hits one of those spots where things are actually moving along, it is good, campy fun. In between those spots, however, you're going to want to hit that fast-forward button.

With some tighter editing or a shorter running time, Creature could have been a fantastic film. Like I said, the storyline is inventive and the sets look absolutely great, and yes, the creature itself looks just as good as the DVD cover would lead you to believe (even though it doesn't show up until the last fifteen minutes). The acting is pretty wooden in some spots and way over the top in others, but it's nothing bad enough to drag the movie down. Unfortunately, when you try to take all of the good aspects of the film and stretch it out to ninety minutes, it just doesn't work as well as it could have. It isn't a horrible movie by any means, so check it out if you love sci-fi horror, but don't expect to find a hidden gem or a new favorite. 5/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added February 11, 2012 at 5:45am
Eh, it did what I needed it to. This is perfect for a MST3K night.
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