|THE CREEPING TERROR
|Copyright 1964 Metropolitan International Pictures.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 12 April 2003.
- Martin & Brett - A deputy sheriff and his new bride. They are poor examples of main characters (especially Martin, he tends to slouch when sitting).
- The Narrator - Here is the movie's true main character.
- Dr. Bradford - The world's leading expert on communicating with aliens.
- Col. Caldwell - Young for a senior officer, but the inexperience explains both his lack of leadership and two left feet.
- Ben - The old and gruff sheriff who gets eaten early on.
- Barney - Deputy and bachelor friend of Martin's.
- Jeff - Forest ranger. The only person to beat Ben in the race to the creature's maw.
- Almost Everyone Else - Monster chow.
- The Creeping Terror - Ahhhh! A hideous monster from outer space! It is coming after me, crawling, lurching its way down the hall! Look at it! See how it hungers for my flesh as it drags itself inexorably closer! (Growing bored.) Yup, still coming.
|The movie's first warning signs of impending boredom and doom can be seen early on. First, the Narrator starts talking and rarely pauses for breath until the ending credits. Second, the alien rocket lands on Earth. Landing is accomplished by running the launch of a real rocket, possibly a Gemini mission, in reverse. And third, the Creeping Terror crawls out of the rocket, thus providing the audience with a clear view.
Some people describe the title monster as a killer rug and that is pretty darn accurate. The Creeping Terror does look like a mound of upholstery or carpet. It also sports a stalk which, if found growing on the edge of a garden, you might mistake for some sort of weed. It moves so slow that moss appears fast in comparison. That the creature somehow manages to catch people and ingest them (via a gaping orifice in the front) can only be attributed to special effects. There are many shots of feet disappearing into the Terror's maw. Yeah, those sort of special effects.
The time is around 5:30 AM, Martin and Brett are returning from their honeymoon when they see the Sheriff's vehicle speeding down the road. The cars pull over and the occupants talk about what Jeff reported. The forest ranger said that he thought a plane had crashed in the woods. Proceeding to the location, they find Jeff's truck abandoned outside the rocket. Ben crawls in to see what is inside; Martin and Brett hear the sheriff screaming and gunshots. They wisely back away and call for assistance. An Army unit is dispatched to secure the rocket, but the soldiers have to move a tree that mysteriously fell across the road. I have no idea how it got there.
Up to this point the characters have said all of six sentences. The damn Narrator is explaining everything else, while we watch the actor's lips move. Complaining about this is a double-edge sword. The filmmakers do try to dub in dialog when Dr. Bradford arrives. Their efforts make Hong Kong kung fu films appear professional. I ended up having a love/hate relationship with the Narrator's unending contribution.
Bradford examines the rocket and its contents. The ship is filled with instruments (suspiciously familiar to my human eyes) and, to beat all, another monster is tied to the wall like some sort of pet dog. The scientist attempts to communicate with Creeping Terror #2, but only succeeds in frustrating himself. Meanwhile, the other Creeping Terror wanders the countryside, gobbling up random people. A woman necking with her boyfriend: eaten. Another woman who is hanging laundry, with a clothespin on her tongue (weird, and I bet she is some sort of closet masochist): et. A boy and his rotund grandfather: also et.
At long last the bingeing beast finds the smorgasbord, I mean dance hall. You really have to see the people dancing to believe this. There is one girl wearing a dress more befitting June Cleaver in the kitchen, but right next to her is "Hoochie Mama." Sparkling skintight pants, a bare midriff, and all sorts of jiggling gave the latter dancer her name. There is also a man who appears to be suffering from some sort of mental illness (my wife informed me that he was sane, just not a competent dancer). The Creeping Terror drags itself into the club and backs the crowd into a corner. It eats every single person, including two patrons who were not cornered and wisely waited around until it could eat them too.
Next stop on the entree express is the local park 'n' smooch. A few couples become monster chow. What is puzzling is the time of day - it appears to be early in the afternoon. People making out in cars and a club full of customers at lunchtime?
The Army platoon attempts to stop the rampaging Terror (I feel funny calling it a rampage when the thing moves like cold molasses and only eats stupid people), but they soon become kibble. This is facilitated by the soldier's use of outdated tactics. They clumped together like a bunch of civil war veterans! The creature swallowed them all in just one bite! Caldwell finally destroys the Creeping Terror with a grenade, though he hurts himself.
Performing an impromptu autopsy on the alien, Dr. Bradford shoves his hand into the heap of dead flesh and pulls out a mass of circuitry. The discovery causes the scientist to panic. He jumps into a vehicle and rushes back to the rocket. Once there, he attempts to access a console and a small explosion results. Creeping Terror #2 is freed by the blast. It chases Bradford, but he avoids becoming chow by crawling away. (Why didn't anyone else think of that?) Martin arrives just in time; he rams the Terror with his vehicle, killing the monster.
Bradford tells Martin and Brett that he now understand the creature's purpose: it was designed to eat people and analyze them. The information is relayed back to a data bank aboard the rocket. With both of the gathering units dead, the ship will probably transmit the collected information to the intelligence that designed the system. The deputy rushes to destroy the machinery before it is too late.
Oops, too late.
The pity here is that the creature's ultimate purpose, consuming humans to sequence their DNA and RNA, is actually pretty thoughtful. Why fight a war against mankind when a genetically engineered virus (it could cause a deadly plague or sterilization) can do the job with less effort and risk? Unfortunately, the idea is wrapped in this boring movie. The budget is probably to blame as much as any particular person.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Sometimes the credits do not really matter.
- The sun is directly overhead at 5:30 AM.
- Even being halfway down something's digestive tract will not muffle your screams.
- Marriage = instant social death.
- Guitars are not effective as weapons.
- Clumsy people should not be issued grenades.
- The extraterrestrial version of a firewall is very literal.
- Attempting to vandalize an alien spaceship is a good workout.
- 4 mins - That does not look like the rocketship we watched "landing."
- 10 mins - And they walk quickly away from whatever it was that ate the sheriff (this is a pretty effective measure).
- 26 mins - No wonder the kid is unhappy...
- 30 mins - Congratulations on catching a very dead fish.
- 38 mins - Did he just say, "Hootenanny?"
- 41 mins - The clouds have not moved in the last two days. Riiiiggghhht.
- 75 mins - Try being an optimist for once, Bradford. For example: 25% of your body is not covered in burns.
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Narrator: "Brett is his and he feels no man could ask for more. Now, without warning, their honeymoon was to become a nightmare."
||Ben gets et.
||Narrator: "Martin was outraged by the government's intellectual approach to a monster that had already killed and caused the disappearance of his two close friends. Caldwell tended to agree with him, but stated that he had to follow his orders."
||Narrator: "Within forty-eight hours, Dr. Bradford had closely examined the creature and the spaceship and reached a number of conclusions. He was sure the creature had come from beyond our solar system."
|Theme Song|| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack. |
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Watch in stark horror as the Creeping Terror ingests this poor girl. And to think, if she ran away I would never have known that women have two throats.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
|The Creeping Terror
Reply #33. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Allan Silliphant
I wrote the original nine page story outline. Art Nelson,
who I understand was a Mohawk Indian from New York State,
came to my sound stage rental studios, in Glendale, to
discuss renting my facilities. Somehow, I mentioned that
my older half brother was very famous screen&tv writer,
Stirling Silliphant. Nelson had made a film in New York,
a couple of years earlier called "Street Fighter". He
confided that rather than make a follow on sequel to
his first film that he would consider doing something
else...perhaps a sci-fi movie. My half-brother had written
the MGM (english) classic, "Village of the Damned" and
was famous for creating "Naked City", "Route 66", and
writing so many of the "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" shows.
I mentioned that I was also a writer...This pushed his
button... he asked me if I'd like to come up with a
story line, for the princely sum of $1500. I was a 23
year old struggling to start a studio business,so the
money(same as $10,000 now) seemed like a very good deal!
He, asked me, almost casually..."What kinda monster am
I 'gonna deal with?" I had to think fast, as the conver-
sation had been almost chit-chat, until I realized we was
offering my a deal. Something really ugly!(still thinking)
...an kind of giant slug that eats people! Great! says
Nelson, almost salivating. There are two of them,that
crash in a space ship, One remains in the ship and eats
the scientists who come to reason with it,the other
escapes into a mountian lake...Lake Tahoe! I was making it
up as we spoke. He liked the pitch! I was half kidding but
he really wanted a story and was really going to pay me!
"The one that is in the Lake, will keep coming out and eat
a lot of people, first isolated, like a grampa and kid
fishing, then maybe raise havoc in a Tahoe Casino",
Nelson was eating it up!"The thing can come into a drive in
movie theater,(the likely venue for the movie to play in)
and pull down the windows and suck the folks out of the
cars!" Why is he doing this eating, so much?" Nelson asks.
"Because he's not the creature who built the ship...he's
just a mindeless, voracious, invertebrate animal who has
to eat. The irony comes out in the end that they were sent
here to "sample" the available protein, and send back the
data to the home planet, who might want to take over the
earth at some future date." A further irony mentioned was
that the ship had transmitted the data to a place millions
light years away...so even since the transmission went out,
it wouldn't likely lead to an invasion, any time soon!
I guess Nelson asked me, because he thought people might
think my brother was involved some way. He never worked
with a finished script, I'm told. From what I heard, he
lots and lots of people being eaten to get them into the
movie after investing. I'm told the whole thing was finally pulled together to avoid prosecution! The tracks
hadn't been tranfered properly for one reason or another.
A local radio news man did the famous narration.
|Re: The Creeping Terror
Reply #34. Posted on May 16, 2007, 09:26:06 AM by Nikki
Great review! My favorite line, the same one MST chose for the stinger - "My God! What is it?" The way it is delivered is fantastic, in fact I used it as a greeting on my answering machine for awhile. It amused me to no end. I also love the dance hall music 'ba da da da da da, ba da da da da da, ba da da da da da'. "I gotta get in there- it sounds so hot!"
|Re: The Creeping Terror
Posted on May 17, 2007, 10:58:30 AM by Flangepart
The only way you will ever get me to watch this movie would be to play the MST3K version. I think without Mike and the 'Bots, I'd feel the urge to poke my eyes out. I think the highlight of this movie is the Dance Hall Massacre. That one nameless character who looks and dances like Jerry Lewis was pretty hilarious. Especially when ypou have Crow doing his Jerry Lewis impressions.Oh, yeah...definatly need the bot on this one.
Actualy, we need them on most of the films reviewed here....
But, i can't watch this with out Mike and the Bots. They realy shine with a turkey like this.
|Re: The Creeping Terror
Reply #36. Posted on June 30, 2007, 01:45:40 PM by mrgb46
The only way to watch this is with Mike and the Bots of MST3K,but you can watch it without them,too,but trust me,would you really want to?? What I don't understand(and maybe it doesn't matter)is why the director would allow his actors to get "eaten" instead of running away?? The woman hanging her laundry outside,the couple sitting on the rock and so on..Was this suppose to create horror?? Maybe it was a turn on for the director to show the women's legs while the monster is eating them.Who knows!! It makes for a so-bad-it's-good monster movie and I'm glad MST3K was there to help me get through it...Thanks guys! Gb
|Re: The Creeping Terror
Reply #37. Posted on January 23, 2008, 11:55:47 AM by Drew
I was amazed at how SLOW the creature was. The people in the film stood and looked at the creature as if to say, "Hurry up and eat me!". Honestly, how did they NOT escape? Al it would take is to casually walk away. In fact, I spent most of the film yelling and screaming at the TV for the people to walk away.
Things I learned from this film:
-Women DO, in fact, scream with the assistance of another woman while being eaten. This is displayed in the video - listen, there ARE two people screaming!
-Narrators are annoying. I think this guy was worse than "Future events affect you in the future" guy from Plan 9.
-The acting in this is worse than the acting in Plan 9. Seriously, I thought the people in Plan 9 were bad, but at least they didn't speak in monotone. "My god, what is it..." was about as convincing as the dogs in Killer Shrews.
-Plan 9 is no longer the worst film ever.
Sure, this may not have flying saucers that are 6 inches wide (Watch the graveyeard landing scene - the 'gravestones' are bigger than the ship) or "That's nothing from this world", but that monster is HILARIOUS.
And I'll say it again: WHY DIDN'T THE PEOPLE WALK AWAY? I said walk, not run - you could move an inch a minute and it wouldn't catch you. Instead, people just stood there. I can understand the girls not running though - in old horror films, they always fall over a perfectly placed tree branch.
|Re: The Creeping Terror
Posted on March 13, 2008, 02:31:07 AM by DeepRed
This movie is like a drug of sorts its bad for you but yet you can like it. have aslow speed copy on vhs from
late 80's when i worked at a local Video Store and became addicted to it.CT is a Narrated sixties lowest level possible sci fi(?)
Becomes apparent it's got to be comedy(?) It warped my brain which brings me to sites like this craving that obscure and unseen movie that will give me a 'B' RUSH!!
We all know the music da da da da da da..... and the funny wail of the well ,creeping terror.
"Oh my god ! What is it?
|Re: The Creeping Terror
Posted on March 14, 2008, 03:08:38 AM by GoHawks
... it was just unrelentingly, hypnotically bad, for every frame, all the way to the very end.
... Even really bad movies have occasionally adequate moments, but not "The Creeping Terror." Not one good frame. Not a single one. It is pure.
I have to disagree slightly with this. Go to about 58:12 into the MST3K version (don't know about the uncut time), where some people are trying to escape from the dance hall. A woman is trying to get out, but a man grabs her and violently pulls her away from the door. He accidentally rips her dress off, and there are several frames of her bare breasts!
So there are
about 30 good frames in this movie.
I have to admit I didn't catch it myself; I read about it on another movie site. I have looked, though, and they are there. The woman obviously knows her breasts are showing, as she covers them up, but the other "actors" keep on "acting".
|Re: The Creeping Terror
Posted on March 29, 2010, 01:53:17 PM by Jed Siple
Another great quote:
Narrator: The Sergeant, a shaken man, returned babbling about what had happened. Realizing the full danger of the situation, decided he had only one means left to stop the monster: Grenades. Now Bradford made a drastic move. Acting on his superior authority, he forbade Caldwell to destroy the creature. The Colonel, more concerned with saving human lives than advancing Science, told Bradford to "Go to Hell."
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