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John’s Horror Corner: Creature (1985; aka Titan Find), another Alien (1979) rip-off that aims high on set design, middles on succubus-like drone themes, and low on creature features.

June 5, 2018

MY CALL: A solidly entertaining B-movie that aims high everywhere except its creature effects. Recommended to bad movie connoisseurs. MORE MOVIES LIKE CreatureFor more low budget Alien (1979) rip-offs, you should seek Contamination (1980; aka Alien Contamination), Alien 2: On Earth (1980), Scared to Death (1980), Galaxy of Terror (1981), Forbidden World (1982; aka Mutant), Inseminoid (1982; aka Horror Planet), Parasite (1982), Creepazoids (1987), Blue Monkey (1987), Nightflyers (1987), Deep Space (1988), The Terror Within (1989), The Rift (1990), Dark Universe (1993) and Zombies: The Beginning (2007).

IMDB synopsis: “An expedition to Titan uncovers an alien being, that goes on a rampage.”

This movie opens with a scene paralleling the alien ship recon in Alien (1979), as a corporate space crew unwittingly discover alien life and… presumably, all of them die. Then our next crew (this movie’s protagonists) have set out to investigate the site and, apparently, the women brought loads of hair and make-up products.

Written and directed by William Malone (Scared to Death, House on Haunted Hill, Feardotcom), Creature tries to follow more closely in Alien’s footsteps than most of its copycats. And like Alien, this mission is all business and the crew is largely ill-prepared for what they discover. We also enjoy some ambitious model-work for the space ships and ground vessels, and the rocky set design is definitely hitting above its weight.

As soon as our crew lands, they hit a sink hole and are stuck there. When they investigate a competing corporation’s vessel (that beat them there), they discover dilapidated laboratories, mangled dead bodies and torn air vents. Not exactly a good sign.

The cast includes Wendy Schaal (Batteries Not Included, Munchies), Lyman Ward (Sleepwalkers, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2), Diane Salinger (Dark House), Annette McCarthy (Twin Peaks) and Klaus Kinski (Nosferatu the Vampire, Venom, Schizoid).

The tone is inconsistent at best. Everything seems standard until we’re hit with an oddly sensual, warm-filtered sex scene that came out of nowhere. Later in the film, we learn that little parasites (perhaps like mini-Facehugger-parasites applied to the head) control the minds of those infected, creating a sort of hivemind pod person drone a la Alien 2: On Earth (1980), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) or Screamers (1995). These infected drones act totally human and can mislead, convince, or sexually lure our protagonists to their doom.

The special effects are largely blood sprays, large wounds, after-the-fact corpses, a solid face-rip and exploding head. As for the monster—the “creature” of the title—it’s quite xenomorphic in form and drool-dripping presentation. But we don’t see nearly enough of it as the rubber suited beast clunkily lumbers down hallways. Truth be told, our “creature” was the weakest link of the movie, even if it did enjoy one or two good shots of its menacing face.

Like the monster and the plot, the ending is dumb but fun.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2018 7:59 pm

    My third favorite Alien rip-off film. I love alien rip-off films, so that’s high praise.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 8, 2018 8:00 pm

      But what are your #1 & 2? Do tell…

      • June 8, 2018 11:18 pm

        Galaxy of Terror and Forbidden World. I’d include Xtro, but that’s not exactly a “rip-off.” It’s so uniquely weird that it’s unfair to say it copies any other film.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 9, 2018 9:39 am

      I’m in the same boat on Xtro. I view Xtro as sampling concepts, but adopting none of the thematic model or Alien play-by-plays. PS, LOVE Xtro!

Trackbacks

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