- Wide Release
- Director: David DeCoteau
- Written by: David DeCoteau, Buford Hauser
- Running Time: 65 minutes
- Language: English
- MPAA Rating: R - Restricted
- Cast: Kim McKamy, Linnea Quigley, Richard L. Hawkins, Joi Wilson, Michael Aranda, Ken Abraham
Clearly designed and marketed as a post-modern post-apocalyptic Mad Max facsimile, Creepozoids plays more like a slow witted "Aliens", only without the acting talent or the kind of budget that can sustain such grand ideas. Following a confusing opening segment, the audience is quickly conscripted into an assemblage of five army deserters who have abandoned their posts and are trekking the isolated pockets of the now six year old post-apocalyptic World War 3 landscape. The five move from place to place like nomads hunting food all while trying to stay clear of the rain – a rain that is so laced with radioactive material (from all the dropped nuclear bombs, they theorize) that it burns the skin upon contact. The group, led by Jake, Richard L. Hawkins (1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”) is a rag tag bunch which includes a pair of barely trained and not too bright soldiers, Bianca, Linnea Quigley and Butch, Ken Abraham (1990’s “Girlfriend from Hell”), a studious but shy computer geek, Jesse, Michael Aranda and a brilliant and beautiful technician, Kate, Kim McKamy.
The burned out rubble where an American city once stood works as a startling and beautiful post-apocalyptic urban backdrop. Sadly, it doesn't last. The group notices a storm cloud bearing down on them and immediately seek shelter in an old abandoned building nearby -- and it is this building, with it's cramped darkened rooms and long corridors leading seemingly nowhere that marks the setting for the remainder of the film. Lucky us. To the group's surprise, the facility appears to have all the comforts of home including heat, a working shower, clean water, beds, plenty of food and even a computer that still works. Paradise? Well, not quite. They soon realize that someone or something might be lurking in the shadows watching them. Adding to this tension is an ominous journal entry found by Jesse, left by a previous tenant, which works to illuminate the danger around them and caution them about making this a permanent place to reside. Setting into motion the film’s second half, we soon learn that, as expected, the group is not alone. The facility, as it turned out, was the staging ground for a secret government experiment to help the human body produce its own amino acids thus eliminating the need for food – perfect for the hungry soldiers on the battle field. As it turns out though, one of the experiments had gone awry and it in turn gave birth to a large genetically altered monster that appears out of the shadows to scare, kill or infect all of those who come in contact with it. Since the cast is only five strong, it doesn’t take long for their numbers to dwindle.
The action isn’t very imaginative or sensible and, at times, it borrows from other more superior horror movies namely "Evil Dead" and "Alien" to keep it going. Writer’s DeCoteau and Hauser don’t spend a lot of time developing the characters beyond their various functions in the eccentric family-unit and, of course, to the whims of the plot, but they do have their moments. Linnea Quigley’s humanizing confession, “The rats, I couldn’t handle the rats,” of the rodents eating the dead soldiers on the front line, seems to contradict her sexually charged tough girl veneer, adding at least a subtle dimension to an otherwise one-note character. This was refreshing. For the most part though, the characters seem driven more by the even flow of the script than anything bordering on common sense and occasionally act strangely -- and never in accordance with their supposed military training. Count how many times a character stands back, watching in horror, as another character is attacked. Only after several minutes do they make an attempt to intervene. This is bizarre. Harkening back to the 1950's drive-in movies, the "Creepozoid" monster is essentially just a guy in an over-sized suit – a suit so large, in fact, that it seems to seriously limit his mobility. He appears awkward and clumsy anytime he even so much as moves. Hardly something that will cause nightmares, this is sure to garner more than a few laughs from a disbelieving audience.
Jumping the shark with the introduction of a giant mutated rat, the incarnation of Quigley’s battlefield trauma, about mid-way into the movie feels more like the writers attempting to manipulate the film’s running time, and provides very little by way of genuine excitement. What’s worse, after McKamy’s character has had her jugular ripped open by the giant rodent, she immediately mutates into a rabid grandmother-like zombie hell bent on killing Quigley. They never explain why or how? Did the amino acids change her? Did the rat’s bite change her? Who knows? The same silliness is true for the final conflict when the mutated monster literally gives birth to a small, combat-ready baby. Why? Where did the baby come from? Was the mutated monster a woman? See, this is the problem for me. There are so many questions asked for a film that runs only 65 minutes. Sadly, the writers opt to leave the audience hanging rather than offer at least some kind of explanation. Unlike "11:11", which also offered few explanations but was better for it, this film simply isn't smart enough to pull it off. Much praise has been lauded on the film for the campy “killer baby” scene but for me, it just felt like another way for the writers to prolong the film’s running time. It was neither suspenseful nor frightening and, yet, it is considered a classic moment in b-cinema.
Linnea Quigley’s (1995’s “Assault of the Party Nerds 2: The Heavy Petting Detective”) appearance is clearly the most fan-celebrated aspect of the film and maybe wrongly so, as she, minus showing her breasts in one long gratuitous shower scene, doesn’t really have much to do. As I stated above, despite a few moments of profundity, her character (and most of the characters for that matter) were too underwritten to garner any kind of sympathy or interest. The odd exception being Kim McKamy (1987’s “Lunch Meat”), the only cast member that I reserve any kind of praise for. An ex-pornstar who went by the name Ashlyn Gere, Kim does something truly impressive by taking a simplistic under-drawn character and turning it into something of genuine substance. McKamy craftily molds a character that is both vulnerable and strong – a true equal to Jake, the group’s leader, in every way. She is the unofficial den mother and the presence of reason and because of this her death is the most harrowing of the film. Her secret crush on Jake, something of which she relates to Quigley just seconds before she meets her demise, is just another interesting piece to her character.
Also, Michael Aranda’s (2002’s “Barrio Wars”) performance of a paranoid computer nerd is really quite good considering the limited amount of screen time he’s given. Speaking with a soft voice and carrying himself with an easy demeanor, he seems to represent calm. His death, the first and easily the most shocking of the lot, helps to kick start the film on the right foot. It’s too bad the writers weren’t able to follow-through on this unsettling opening death scene. All in all, I'd say, don't be in a big hurry to pick this up. You'll surely be disappointed. You can find this at most any retailers namely Amazon.com. You can also check out the trailer by clicking here.