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Creepies

Directed by Jeff Leroy

Written by Eric Spudic

Starring Lisa Jay, Eric Flenner, Phoebe Dollar, Jeff Ryan

Produced by Eric Flenner, David S. Sterling

Not Rated

87 minutes

*

L.A. is under attack by giant spiders! Everybody run from the Attack of the Antiquated Storylines!

So what we have here is a very familiar story. Giant spiders. Spiders as “big as J. Lo’s ass”—which is probably my favorite line in the whole sorry mess. Created by various Secret Government Experiments in various Secret Government Installations. And naturally, they’re going to get loose.

And what follows is almost ninety minutes of a truly awful movie.

And the reasons to hate “Creepies” start just as soon as you put the DVD in your player. For some baffling reason, Maverick Entertainment / Creep FX has decided to put trailers ahead of the movie. Which by itself would not be so bad…except that there’s absolutely no way to skip them. Fast forward doesn’t work. Track advance, ditto. Menu, title, nothing works. You are locked…into…the…trailers.

But then we fire up the movie, and ohhhhh my. What we get are miniatures so poorly constructed that they look like toys with the decals ripped off, CG so blatant and poor quality that you can still see the polygons in some shots, and a storyline so antiquated that most DTV stopped using it back around the late nineties with “Spiders.”

The “Spider-vision” shots, first seen at two minutes and forty nine seconds, are laughable at best—why a spider would have only three compoundings in its vision, when it has eight or more eyes, is utterly beyond me. And then, join me for some fun at the thirteen minute four second mark.

Start frame advancing from right there and watch the Amazing Changing Handgun! Sergeant Benson (the character covered in spiders right here) inserts a revolver into his mouth. But then, advance right on up to thirteen minutes SIX seconds. What’s THAT?? No, not the dummy head exploding. What’s that HANDGUN he’s holding?? That’s no revolver! Looking at the underside of the grip shows—ta da!—a CLIP.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Not fifteen minutes in and already a stunt where the metaphorical wires are plainly visible.

Even better is right around the fourteen minute mark where, in a sequence so incredibly reminiscent of the Power Rangers, the tanks land. And please, for the love of God, tell me that’s not an AMERICAN flag at the fifteen minute mark. It’s got like EIGHT stars. We couldn’t afford the real thing, Creep FX?

And then, the ignorant rocker girl slips out and starts killing a beetle…all the while screaming about how she hates spiders. And that thing you’re smashing? It’s a BEETLE.

A half hour in contains one of the strangest sequences I’ve seen from direct to video fare in quite some time. The spiders…give SPEECHES. One spider decides to “rally the troops” and give a speech about lousy cover bands and the horrible music the humans can muster.

And yet, it is this truly awful quality that gives “Creepies” a little extra respect. It’s LOUSY. But it’s so fantastically over the top that it can’t help but elicit a little laughter at the cinematic tomfoolery running before our eyes.

This movie is, in fact, so mind-alteringly lousy that I could actually (and DID!) pick a sequence at random, mute the TV, and sing the “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” main theme and it would fit.

Worse yet, it DID fit! The spider battle at about thirty eight minutes worked surprisingly well.

I can’t believe what I’m seeing. The cop at the forty three minute mark is none other than lousy porn star Ron Jeremy! This is the SECOND Creep FX movie he’s been in to date!

The ending is actually quite a surprise as an all-girl rock band manages to destroy L.A. I’m laughing despite the mushroom cloud! At least until the sequel gets set up…

The special features include Spanish subtitles and trailers for “The Evil One,” “The Wickeds,” “Darkhunters,” “Side FX,” “Centipede,” and “Demons at the Door.”

All in all, never mind that the plotline is so antique they stopped using it seven years ago. Never mind that you’ve seen better miniatures at a Warhammer tourney. Never mind that the spider effects are so fantastically cheesy you could melt them for nachos. This is still pretty funny stuff, and you should probably have a rental just to see the new bottom of the barrel.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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