Creep (2004) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Director Tim Ritter’s shot on video magnum opus, “Creep,” carries the dreaded Sub Rosa Studios designation. Anyone remotely familiar with Sub Rosa knows that this company distributes the most appalling Grade Z schlock ever conceived by the human mind. What can you say about a film distribution company that unleashes films like “Peter Rottentail,” “Feeders,” and “Shatter Dead” on an unsuspecting world? Precious little that’s good, unfortunately. Sub Rosa makes Troma look like the Criterion Collection. What particularly sticks in my craw about this firm is how they hype this shot on video junk, how they seem to equate every release with the latest Sundance Film Festival winner. Believe me when I say that a film like “Creep” will never win any substantive awards. I should admit I liked a couple of Sub Rosa films, specifically “Meat Market” and “Ice From the Sun,” but I liked them more for what they could have been than what they actually were. “Ice From the Sun” was probably the best of the batch, a film with an inventive idea and occasionally interesting special effects. “Creep,” on the other hand, fails on so many levels that writing a review of the picture feels like an exercise in pointlessness.
Ritter’s film centers on the character of Angus Lynch (Joel Wynkoop), a lumpy, sweaty serial killer type recently escaped from prison. We see the big break at the beginning of the film, a sloppily shot and sloppily edited car crash and foot chase resulting in the demise of a few corrections officers. Lynch follows up his leap to freedom with a cheesy double homicide involving a girl and her boyfriend parked out in the Florida backwoods. The story shifts at this point to introduce us to Officer Jackie Ketchum (Patricia Paul), a severe looking cop with a chip on her shoulder a mile wide and ten deep. For example, when she catches some nut putting something in bottles of baby food at the local gas station, she beats the man senseless and then forces him to eat his own poisonous treats. Jackie’s behavior lands her in hot water with her cop father, Captain David Ketchum (Tom Karr), who promptly suspends his daughter until the inevitable investigation wraps up. Jackie’s problems stem from childhood when she witnessed the heinous murder of her mother. You’ll quickly learn that every character in “Creep” is damaged in some significant way.
Angus Lynch’s crime spree continues after he reunites with his buxom sister Kascha (Kathy Willets), an exotic dancer married to an obnoxious slob of a husband. It turns out both Kascha and Angus underwent severe emotional and physical abuse as children, so the reunion is a lot like putting a match to gasoline. The two siblings immediately engage in the most despicable of behaviors: there are weird dancing games, bloody carnage, and a jaunt out in the country as brother and sister pay a lascivious visit to Mom in the cemetery. Lynch henceforth strikes out alone, robbing a pawnshop, using a blowtorch in an inventive way, and generally making a nuisance of himself. All the while, Jackie Ketchum comes closer and closer to the answers behind her mother’s gory demise. I will say this much about “Creep”: the film does involve a few plot twists and turns that one usually does not see in super low budget shot on video productions. Either my mind is turning into mush from watching too many claptrap movies (a distinct possibility), or video camera toting filmmakers actually are improving their efforts. A few twists does not make “Creep” an engaging or good film, however.
I don’t necessarily blame Tim Ritter as much as I should for the failures of “Creep.” He seems like an articulate, enthusiastic young man in love with actualizing his visions. I just wish he would do one simple thing: SHOOT YOUR NEXT FILM ON CELLULOID! Please, I’m begging all experienced shot on video filmmakers to start using actual film on their next production. I know using film stock costs more, will require you to save up a bit more money, but this small step will clear up a host of technical problems. The picture will look cleaner, you won’t have all that background video camera noise plugging up the audio, and audiences will take you more seriously than they do now. Of course, film stock would have never improved the acting in this film, not in a million years. About the only believable character in “Creep” is Jackie Ketchum—played competently, not expertly, by Patricia Paul. Everyone else couldn’t act his or her way through a kindergarten play. Kathy Willets, whose infamous scandal in Florida put her name in the headlines over a decade ago, injects just enough energy into the Kascha character to convince an audience that she might, MIGHT, be an actual human being. Joel Wynkoop generates more laughs than scares as the unbalanced Angus Lynch. And Tom Karr’s Captain David Ketchum achieves an incredible sense of blandness, to the point that he’s in danger of blending into the wallpaper on more than one occasion.
The “Creep” DVD comes with a bunch of extras. You get three separate commentary tracks. You get a lengthy documentary covering the production of the film, Willet’s notoriety, and Tim Ritter’s career. The soundtrack to the film comes from some group named Alucarda (a reference to the cult film of the same name, perhaps?). An amazingly banal film considering the subject matter, “Creep” has somehow managed to lodge itself deep into my head. I can see the movie unfolding in my mind as though I watched it mere minutes ago, a deeply disturbing revelation indeed and probably due to Kathy Willet’s surgically enhanced attributes more than anything else. Novices to low budget filmmaking might want to take a step back before watching “Creep.” You’re probably not ready for it yet.
About Creep (2004)
Starring: Kathy Willets, Joel D. Wynkoop, Patricia Paul, Tom Karr, Dika Newlin
Runtime: 91 minutes
Director: Tim Ritter