Take half a dozen good-looking but under-credited actors, surround them with horror hacks and turn them loose in the bayou to be hunted by “Lockjaw,” a half-gator/half-man beast who feeds on skinny dippers and those stupid enough to camp next to haunted houses, and you’ve got yourself a movie.
Or so production designer turned co-writer and director Fred Andrews thought.
It’s the sort of script that embraces its obviousness.
“Where are we?”
It’s the sort of cast — Dillon Casey, Mechad Brooks, Lauren Schneider, Aaron Hill, Serinda Swan Amanda Fuller — that has to pass for so gullible they don’t recognize “Chopper” as Sid Haig (“Halloween,” “The Devil’s Rejects”) when they show up at his backwoods general store. A movie rule — Where Sid Haig goes, incest and slaughter follow.
The travelers — a couple are just out of the military — decide to detour from their trip to New Orleans and see a local sight, this legendary house where a legendary creature was born. A sales pitch from a couple of fingerless, toothless (Well, there are some yellow teeth showing) rubes in the store convinces them.
“You have no idea what a real monster looks like,” one of the locals spits out in an actorly version of Cajun-flavored English. It’s a dare. It’s a challenge. It’s a bad line, one among many.
What not to do in a screenplay? Have characters sum up the stupid plot points by saying, “So, tell me again” about this or that.
What not to do in a performance. Lauren Schneider, as Karen, sister of Oscar (Dillon Casey), lifts her top and mumbles, giggles and sputters in some sort of sub-moronic torpor, from first scene to last. Is she meant to be stoned all the time, or was that just what it took to get through every day and night on this shoot?
There are a couple of built-in audiences for “Creature,” though. Parents should have it on their Netflix instant queue, ready to buttress their “If you go to acting school, you COULD end up taking your clothes off for some hack for a movie like this.”
And perhaps the voters, taxpayers and legislators of Louisiana should take a look. Cut-rate horror flicks from the state that has the most generous taxpayer giveaways to movie makers are legion. But when outsiders roll in to make a “Shark Night” or “Creature,” the Louisianans in their films come off as murderous in-bred cretins. This has been going on for years. You’re giving away money to be ridiculed.
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence and grisly images, some sexual content, graphic nudity, language, and brief drug use.
Cast: Dillon Casey (Oscar), Lauren Schneider (Karen), Sid Haig (Chopper), Mehcad Brooks (Niles), Amanda Fuller (Beth), Aaron Hill (Randy), Serinda Swan (Emily)
Credits: Directed by Fred Andrews, written by Andrews and Tracy Morse. A Bubble Factory release. Running time: 1:30