Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before. The other day I snagged a used VHS tape of a movie I had vague negative memories towards at one of my favorite thrift shops because what the hell? It was only a dollar. But halt the presses! After watching the movie, I ‘m pretty sure my bad memories of it must be false implants of some sort because I suddenly love it! The movie in question is 1985’s CREATURE. Am I sure I even watched this before or am I mixing it up with a sloppy fusion of ANDROID (which also featured KLAUS KINSKI) and boring INSEMONOID (which also featured a pissed off space monster)? As it turns out, CREATURE is one of the more entertaining ALIEN wannabes and from now on, I’m going to think of it in the same high regard as say FORBIDDEN WORLD (1982) and GALAXY OF TERROR (1981). Good lord is there anything more fun than a sci-fi horror hybrid riding the coattail exhaust fumes of the unmitigated masterpiece ALIEN? Doubt it.
And you know what’s really weird? As much flack as CREATURE gets for being an ALIEN clone when you watch it now, it’s actually more like a psychic precursor prediction of PROMETHEUS (try saying that a hundred times fast). Seriously there’s some kind of DEAD SPACE death disease bouncing around this flick that transforms KINSKI into a black-eyed, space helmet headed zombie-oid who could easily have been lifted right out of that semi-recent spooky space jam. Plus you want stars? I’ll give you stars! CREATURE boasts cinema’s greatest father, LYMAN WARD!!! He’s the dad of both FERRIS BEULLER and ELM STREET 2’s Ron Grady (ROBERT RUSLER). And how about sophisticated glamour-puss DIANE SALINGER? Not only did she star in both PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE and PEE WEE’S HOLIDAY, she was also married to PEE WEE as Penguin’s ma in BATMAN RETURNS! She’s a total badass in this and probably the inspiration for that Kay-Em 14 character (LISA RYDER) in JASON X. Not that you need more than KINSKI.
I guess now is the part when I’m supposed to plead to the powers that be that CREATURE be released on Blu-ray but nope, I gotta say I’m all set here with this rusty and crusty VHS tape! The picture is actually way better than what I had prepared myself for and there’s something so fitting about watching low-tech science fiction on tape because it comes across as an intercepted transmission of some sort. Plus I’m a horror fan not a horror consumer and yes, I really dig the nostalgia factor. Folks keep trying to make nostalgia a bad word but that’s never going to work on me. Perhaps the most retro reaction I’m going to have toward CREATURE is I’m going to watch it again! Does anyone remember when a movie rental was so special that you tried to get as many views as you could out of it before you returned it? In closing, this is one of the best dollars I ever spent. CREATURE delivers all the eighties goodness you could ever want plus it’s never stingy on the blood and gore and it’s kind enough to treat you to a decent view of the big bad monster. What more can you ask for? Should I have told you the plot? C’mon you know the plot.