Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Creature (1985)
Lightning Home Video | Review by Dan Taylor

In the near future, the race for commercial supremacy of space has come down to two companies: Richter Dynamics of West Germany and NTI of the United States. As the film opens, two guys from NTI who have never seen ALIEN are inspecting a large box they have found at a site:
GUY #1: "It's a skeleton of something."
GUY #2: "Whatever's in here has probably been dead a hundred centuries."
CYNICAL FAN WHO SAW ALIEN: "Then again, maybe it's going to thrust it's slimy tentacles into your spine and paint the inside of your helmet crimson red."

After this suspense-filled opening we're thrown into another in the long line of ALIEN rip-offs which came down the pike in the early 80s. CREATURE has the distinction of being one of the more entertaining ones.

THE MISSION: Claim a geological site of alien origin. Now that doesn't sound tooooo dangerous does it? Well, don't ask the psychic chick, 'cause she has "bad feelings" about the trip. How bad???

PSYCHIC CHICK: "I'm not coming back."
HER LOVER: "Of course you are."
PSYCHIC CHICK: "No, I'm not. I can feel it. Make love to me. Please."
END OF DISCUSSION!!!

And so, the doomed crew (whoops! did I spoil anything?) sets off with all of the required stereotypes on board. Davidson is the tough-as-nails ship's pilot. The navigator is the woman who just wants to be treated like any other guy and not like a breast-sporting hunk o' love. Perkins is the NTI employed mission commander who usually plays a cop or an FBI agent. Brice is the leather-wearin', gun-totin', silent wench from Hell who looks like she could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch, but never got close enough to any man to try. Along for the ride are the usual characters who should simply be listed in the credits as "Alien Chum."

Once the mission reaches the designated planet and the crew disembarks onto the soundstage with flashing lights, er, I mean the surface of the planet, they come across two mutilated bodies and one freshly-killed crew member. Do we turn back and go to our ship? No, but then again, the scenes on the planet and in the ship are so poorly lit that we can't even make out what they're afraid of. For all we know it could simply be Ernest Borgnine in a strapless evening gown...Ew! that actually is kind of scary.

By this point we all know what is going to happen (that is, if you've seen ALIEN, ALIENS, GALAXY OF TERROR, FORBIDDEN WORLD, etc.) and we're chomping at the bit for a little of the Double K action...and our prayers are soon answered as the Kinkster comes up behind the leather babe, grabs a breast and says, "I see you like guns. What else do you like?"

K2, as Hans "Rudy" Hofner tells the crew that he was originally aboard a ship with 22 crew members, but now it's just him. Then again, if I was a shape-shifting creature with (as K2 puts it) "zoom kind uv collactive intelligence" I wouldn't go near him either.

At this point, Kinski teams up with the now-dwindling NTI expedition, and we viewers begin to ask ourselves some questions: One...Is Kinski the alien? Two...Would you trust Kinski even if he wasn't the alien? Three... Why do all the chicks look alike? Four...If you take 24 Vivarin at once, will you stay awake for the rest of your life, or will your brain simply shut down and mutate you into a cross between Iggy Pop and those guys at the bus station who drink kosher wine from a paper sack?

From here on out CREATURE is a rocking & rolling humans vs. aliens tale as we get mutilations, mutations, exploding heads, a lounge lizard Kinski-creature, a rip-off of the ending of THE THING, and a finale that nearly borders on imaginative B-filmmaking.

The acting all around is pretty wooden (especially from the guy who plays Perkins), with only K2 attempting to breathe some life into lines like "This creature is sly..."

Then again, the script by director William Malone and Alan Reed doesn't give anyone much to do while they sit around and wait to get turned into a face-sucking sack of shit. Gets the nod just for having a sense of fun and Kinski.


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