The Creeps (film)

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The Creeps
The Creeps dvd cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Charles Band
Written by Benjamin Carr
Starring
  • Rhonda Griffin
  • Justin Lauer
  • Bill Moynihan
  • Kristin Norton
  • Jon Simanton
  • Joe Smith
  • Phil Fondacaro
Music by Carl Dante
Cinematography Adolfo Bartoli
Edited by Steven Nielson
Production
companies
Distributed by The Kushner-Locke Company
Release dates
  • December 16, 1997 (1997-12-16) (US)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Creeps is a 1997 American comedy horror film written by Benjamin Carr and directed by Charles Band.

Synopsis[edit]

Anna Quarrels (Rhonda Griffin), librarian in the Rare Books Room, is approached by Mr. Jamison from the University of Chicago who wishes to study Mary Shelley's original manuscript for "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus". After he's finished, Anna is about to return the manuscript to the the stacks when she discovers that Jamison has switched blank paper for the manuscript and walked out of the library with it. Investigating, she learns he used a fake I.D. to access the Rare Books Room and so hires Private Detective, David Raleigh (Justin Lauer) to track him down. David finds fingerprints on the sign-in sheet and discovers the man claiming to be Jamison is really Dr. Winston Berber, a unscrupulous scholar with doctorates in Physics, Mathematics, Folklore, and Philosophy. Berber (Bill Moynihan) is meanwhile gloating over his collection of rare manuscripts; along with the Shelley manuscript, he has obtained the originals of Guy Endore's "The Werewolf of Paris" (1933) and James Putnam's "Mummy" (1993). He now seeks the first edition of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (1897) to complete his collection. Berber has invented an "Archetype Inducer" and plans to use the manuscripts to bring the four greatest monsters from horror history to life to do his bidding.

David has been so busy at the video store he runs that he has not yet located Berber, but when Berber returns to the library looking for the first edition of "Dracula", Anna recognizes him, holds him at bay with a pair of scissors, and phones David and tells him to hurry over. Before David can arrive, Berber zaps Anna with a taser, steals the "Dracula" manuscript, and takes both the book and Anna to his laboratory. She regains consciousness and finds herself handcuffed to a table. Berber informs her that she is just what he needs: a virgin between the ages of 20 and 35 to be sacrificed naked in order to make the Archetype Inducer work. David breaks into the lab, having found Berber's address with an internet search. He overcomes Berber and releases Anna. She grabs the manuscripts, and the two hurriedly leave the lab. Unfortunately, Berber had already turned on the Archetype Inducer, and while David and Anna are making their escape, the four monsters step out of the machine. But strangely, The Mummy (Joe Smith), Frankenstein's monster (Thomas Wellington), the Wolfman (Jon Simanton), and Dracula (Phil Fondacaro) are all midgets. Dracula is unhappy that he has been brought to life three feet tall, but Berber assures him that he and the other monsters can be increased in stature if he can recapture Anna. The monsters offer to get her for him.

Anna isn't too happy either about the $6200 invoice presented by David for his services, and Anna's supervisor, Miss Christina (Kristin Norton), is herself unhappy because Anna keeps dodging her romantic advances. When her advances are again dodged, Christina stays late at the library in order to make love to the first edition of "Jane Eyre" in the Rare Book Reading Room. She hears a noise out on the floor, and in investigating falls prey to Dracula's net. Back at the lab, Berber is unhappy because Christina was not Anna, and insists he needs Anna. Dracula forces him to try the procedure anyway, and when it does not work, the antagonists set out again to find Anna.

At David's house, Dracula is unable to get Anna's address from David, and tries to bite his neck. David exposes his crucifix and races out the door. Assuming that he will lead them to Anna, the monsters and Berber follow as David leads them to the library. When the monsters attempt to capture Anna, David grabs Berber and threatens to break his neck if they don't leave Anna alone. David pulls out Berber's taser to threaten Dracula, who simply zaps it and causes it to explode. Anna and David are taken back to the lab and Berber prepares for the procedure. Dracula asks for assurance that it will work this time, but Berber won't guarantee it because Anna is not a virgin. Dracula suggests that they find another virgin in order to go through the procedure, but Berber says that will unbalance things. The only way to keep everything balanced is to find a male virgin opposite of Anna. After asking, Dracula is assured that David is indeed a virgin, and the preparations continue while David tries to come up with a idea. But at the last minute, it is Anna who has an idea. She points out to the monsters that, if they stay in the real world they will eventually die like all humans do. But if they return to the pages of the novels from whence they came, they will live on forever as the legends they are. Berber pushes the red button to start his machine, and David and Anna escape from their cuffs. Rather then the two being sucked into the machine, Christina reappears as a Viking, grabs Berber, and they both disappear. Anna and David conclude that the machine turned the two into archetypes of a Viking and a mad scientist. Having had a little time to ponder Anna's idea, Dracula tells David to press the red button again, as the monsters have chosen to return to their own lands as the legends they are rather than to die in the real world. Before the four are sucked back into the pages of their respective novels, Dracula tells Anna that she is wise "for someone who has not yet lived a single lifetime. But do not fear," he adds, "we will always be with you... in your nightmares."

Anna later shows up at David's video store, gives him a check for $6200 and informs him that Berber's lab has been torn down. She also gives him a book, the first English language edition of "Venus in Furs". David thanks her and admits that he saw the movie in "1970, directed by Jess Franco (Jesus Franco), starring Klaus Kinski. Actually, there was an earlier version directed by Larry Buchanan, the guy who did Zontar: The Thing from Venus (1966). Actually, I think there's a '94 version but it's all in Dutch...," he drones on. Anna interrupts him with a kiss.

Cast[edit]

  • Rhonda Griffin as Anna Quarrels
  • Justin Lauer as David Raleigh
  • Bill Moynihan as Winston Berber
  • Kristin Norton as Miss Christina
  • Jon Simanton as Wolfman
  • Joe Smith as Mummy
  • Thomas Wellington as Frankenstein's Monster
  • Phil Fondacaro as Dracula
  • J.W. Perra as Video Store Customer
  • Andrea Harper as Stella, Video Store Clerk

Reception[edit]

Critical reception for The Creeps has been mixed.[1] Fangoria wrote that the film is "moderately successful" and "one of things to The Creeps‍ '​ credit is that while the filmmakers do indulge in the 'minuscule monster' angle, the movie doesn't sink to a series of tasteless short jokes or repetitive and sophomoric humorless indignities aimed at the diminutive actors."[2] HorrorTalk commented that "No matter how you look at it, The Creeps is a bad movie" but that "Regardless of the minefield of faults, in the right hands The Creeps can be an entertaining film. It certainly isn't the Monster Squad meets Time Bandits you may have envisioned, but the special effects required some effort to produce and corners were definitely not cut."[3] A reviewer for the British Fantasy Society also praised the film and wrote that it was "light, fun and a good chuckle throughout."[4]

Keith Phipps wrote for A.V. Club, "There's something embarrassingly entertaining about a three-foot-high werewolf, but that and a genuinely strong performance by veteran little-person actor Phil Fondacaro as Dracula are pretty much the extent of The Creeps‍ '​ charms." While he wrote that the film was not funny and not scary, he qualified it was "far from unwatchable, and if you really need a cheesy horror movie, especially one with tiny monsters, you could do a lot worse."[5]

Steve Miller heavily criticized the film in his book 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See, as he felt that the film was homophobic and made fun of people with dwarfism.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Creeps (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Dart, Alan. "Fango Flashback: “THE CREEPS”". Fangoria. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Sheady, Ilan. "The Creeps DVD Review". HorrorTalk. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Adams, Guy. "The Creeps. Film Review". British Fantasy Society. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Phipps, Keith (April 24, 2002). "The Creeps, DVD review". A. V. Club. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  6. ^ Miller, Steve (2010). 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See. Adams Media. pp. 185–186. ISBN 1440503621. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 

External links[edit]