Archive for the ‘The Creeping Terror’ Tag

Monster-a Go Go (1965)   3 comments

aposter

A rocket crash lands on Earth and a helicopter flies out to check for survivors. When the brass arrive, they find the burned, too-small-to-hold-a-human rocket with no astronaut in sight and a dead helicopter pilot. Oh well. They go back to the lab so they can stand around awkwardly and a narrator says things. That’s pretty much Act One.

rocket
“Hey Hank, is this what you were looking for?”

Later, a bunch of forty-something college students dance at a boring party. That’s the a-go-go part. A couple leave the party to go neck and a creature with a pituitary problem and a bad oatmeal masque attack them. The narrator says more things. That’s the monster part.

oatmeal
“Do my pores look smaller to you?”

Now, we’re in a lab manned by quasi-Annette Funicello and an accountant wearing Groucho glasses. They discuss radioactivity and office politics. After Annette leaves, Groucho does sneaky stuff with the antidote she just made and the narrator tells us this scientist is hiding the monster. Groucho goes out for a sandwich and when he comes back, he finds the lab has been destroyed. The narrator lets us know this is the monster’s doing and soon Groucho is getting a good talking to by his boss, Colonel Somebody. He meant well though so they kiss and make up. The monster runs amok again and I lose the will to live. That’s Act Two, I guess.

annette
You could cut the tension with a knife.

Stuff and things and running. Anyway, they corner the creature in a sewer. Do sewers have corners? They’re just about to grab him when…absolutely nothing happens. You’re not surprised because the film has established that pattern already. The End.

aapic
“Lady, I’m tellin’ ya. This is the only way out of the movie.”

What can I say about Monster-a Go Go? Hmm…Herschell Gordon Lewis didn’t want credit for it. A military guy in one scene has no insignia. Budget issues? Another high-level conference scene looks like it’s taking place in a laundromat. Good call, @FanForumsTV ! Oh, the music! The music sounds like it’s being performed, on found instruments, by Yoko Ono’s less talented cousin. In one scene, you can hear someone making a ring sound with his mouth before the guy picks up the phone. I’m not kidding. Actors stand around awkwardly waiting for each other to talk and I swear one guy’s cue cards were on the floor. No one in the film can act and the plot doesn’t move forward…or sideways…or even backwards. It just lies there like a slug waiting to be salted. If it weren’t for Captain Exposition (the narrator) you’d never know what anyone was doing or why. Actually, you still don’t, but at least he doesn’t mumble like the rest of the cast who sound like they’re talking into a tin pail full of mashed potatoes. At least the cinematography holds up. Just kidding.

anyuk
“Why did I order clams in Omaha?”

Bill Rebane directed this muck and The Giant Spider Invasion. Yep. Monster-a Go Go came out a year after The Creeping Terror which set the bar so low you’d think it would take the trophy for crappy, poorly-acted films with too much narration, but no. Monster-a Go Go wins. Painful.

aaout
“I’m outa here.”

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The Creeping Terror (1964)   2 comments

creep poster

Wow.  Where do I begin?

Police in tiny Angel City, California see a rocket crash on the outskirts of town. Immediately they crawl into the rocket for a look and we hear screams of agony. Other cops watch from outside the ship, but just stand there and cringe as their brother officer turns into a cube or a pile of salt or some pus and a femur. We don’t know. Since the producers of The Creeping Terror believe in tell, not show, we see nothing. Even more mystifying are the cops’ reactions. They shake their heads and go home. Someone calls a scientist, but no one alerts the good citizens of Angel City and they continue to fish, picnic, neck, and have a hootenanny all in the feeding grounds of the space monster. As weird as this may seem, it doesn’t approach the level of weirdness displayed by the producers in terms of the narrative style of this film and the creature itself. The narrative style consists of a narrator. That’s it. There’s almost no dialogue. We see characters talking to each other, but can’t hear them. We just hear a guy describing what happens. It’s bizarre. He not only describes the actions, but the motivations and feelings of each character. That makes sense because no one in this film can act. You need someone to tell you what they’re feeling, because you certainly can’t tell by looking at their faces.

face

“I feel things.”

Then there’s Mr. Creeping Terror himself. If you asked a group of elementary school children to build a scary monster out of things from the landfill, they’d do a better job than these guys. The monster looks like a guy inside a suit made of cardboard and bath mats dragging a canvas tarp behind him.

creeping terror

“I’ve been sick.”

You can even see the guy’s feet. The beast moves at a snail’s pace so it’s amazing that it catches anyone.  My best guess is that the Bath Mat Monster so stuns those who see it, they’re paralyzed with disbelief. It then opens its gaping maw about waist high and devours all who cross its path. The victims have to help him by climbing into his weird opening and you see the effort they have to make to get all the way in. A few times the meal’s legs stick out the Bath Mat Monster’s mouth for a while.

help

“Does anyone know the Heimlich?”

You’d think after such an effort, he wouldn’t have to eat again for a week, but no. Soon he’s out carousing again. He shows up at Lovers’ Lane and even crashes a dance at the local VFW. The horrifying shots of the people at the social waiting in line to wrestle with a bunch of shag rugs made me shudder. Well, actually they didn’t. What did make me shudder were the shoddy production values and the complete lack of a story. The entire plot consists of a hungry bath mat eating people and humping cars, and a scientist arguing with a heavily eye-browed Army colonel about whether they should kill it or capture it to learn its ways.

car

“Vroom vroom!”

Another big feature in this dud is all the making out. The main character, a policeman, just got married and takes his new bride along in the squad car as he patrols the countryside. Sounds legit. On a break from the search for our favorite pile of ambulatory bath mats, the two make out in the police car. Couples make out in Lovers’ Lane, during picnics and on the sofa sitting next to another guy. It’s strange. I wonder if the makers of The Creeping Terror wanted an excuse to get a little action going with some girls so one of them said “Hey! My dad has a movie camera. Let’s tell these chicks we’re making a movie and see where it gets us.” I doubt they were the first.

creepy

“Uh, guys? I’m still here.”

Vic Savage directed (?) The Creeping Terror based on a script. Shocking, I know.

vic

Yeah, not really.

Robert Silliphant wrote the script for this and The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? Unfortunately, that’s another cool title/crappy movie combo but at least Incredibly Strange Creatures has Ray Dennis Steckler to keep things moving. No such luck here. Aside from its status as number one in the worst film of all time competition, The Creeping Terror has the dubious honor of being one of the few non-Tom Mix cowboy films shot at Spahn Movie Ranch. The ranch gained fame a few years later as the hide-out for Charles Manson and his family during the Tate/LaBianca murders. So while The Creeping Terror isn’t the worst thing to happen at Spahn Ranch, it’s definitely the worst film to happen there.

never

Nevermore.

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