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'The Creeping Terror' (1964): A Review

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The Creeping Terror

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The cinematic onslaught of the dreaded Mole People is unrelenting and terrifying. Time and time again they have assaulted us with their purposefully awful movies out of envy and spite for our ability to see and, therefore, enjoy the well-crafted and classic films of Hollywood, both old and new. Their servants are many and dedicated, and though human puppet Vic Savage may have only released one film under their evil direction, the scar it left on humanity was so deep and debilitating that Savage’s one effort makes the entire oeuvre of other Mole-puppets look “competent” by comparison.

A film that was audaciously filmed without dialogue, actors or coherence, Vic Savage (using the pseudonym A.J. Nelson), with funds provided by the Mole People, unleashed upon the world ‘The Creeping Terror’ (1964), a film so brazenly awful and stupefying that no abysm of screaming madness can adequately contain its loathsome and weird composition.

Vic Savage casts himself as Martin Gordon, a newly-wed deputy whose made sheriff of Angel County, California soon after the original Sheriff (Byrd Holland) is consumed by the eponymous creature — a nigh-mindless alien entity who takes the form of a giant, slithering Afghan-blanket that slowly (painfully slowly) creeps along the countryside of California consuming any and all persons it happens across.

With the help of an inexplicably handsome scientist named Dr. Bradford (William Thourlby) and army Colonel James Caldwell (John Caresio), Sheriff Gordon attempts to contain and kill the monster, though not before the Creeping Terror makes a meal out of several soldiers and the unfortunately participants of a local “hootenanny.”

The film’s title – ‘The Creeping Terror’ -- is half-honest, in that the “creeping” portion of the title is certainly displayed and captured on celluloid, though the second half of the title remains conspicuously absent from the entirety of the film. Savage’s monster hobbles across the Californian landscape so feebly and sluggishly that, in real life, no person would have to fear the alien save for those unfortunate souls who were trapped in a coma, or born without legs.

However, within the world of Savage’s ‘The Creeping Terror’, the concept of “moving one foot ahead of the other and then repeating the process over and over again” does not appear to be common knowledge among the people of Earth, as time and time again the people of Angel County are inexplicable mowed down and eaten by the clumsy, goofy and half-immobile beast.

In fact, there are several incidents throughout the film wherein characters seem to go out of their way to make themselves an easy meal for the creature, either by climbing into the monster’s mouth as it consumes them, or (as is the case of the soldiers) bunching up together in a shoulder-to-shoulder formation not used by the US Army since the Revolutionary War and then toppling over each other just as the creature barrels down on top of them and eats them.

This suicidal behavior of the people of Angel County is only made more bizarre by the fact that the film has practically no dialogue in it, the action being commented upon and analyzed by a disembodied voice (Larry Burrell) that could not sound more bored or uninterested in what is taking place before it.

This, coupled with the long (and poorly exposed) stretches of silent celluloid create an atmosphere that is neither tense, interesting, nor coherent. Rather the entire film appears to be composed of a 1950’s educational short on the state of California sliced together with old home movies and a hastily shot monster flick, with the overall effect and tone of the film being that of “shambolic ennui”.

Ultimately, ‘The Creeping Terror’ is a mindless, inchoate, boring composition of un-synched sound, overexposed shots, and production values so low that one could fund a better film using only the loose change found under the cushions of one’s couch. There are no frights, no suspense, no humor, no moment that can be described as being in any way, shape or form as sustainably entertaining. If the Mole People were capability of sight, they would be truly proud of their human-servant’s diabolical efforts, for few, if any Mole-made films can compare to the sheer awfulness and brazen boredom that is Vic Savage’s ‘The Creeping Terror’.

Find the nearest Blockbuster (assuming they still exist) near your home so you can rent this film almost immediately. Or, if you prefer that movies came to you instead, set up a Netflix account and start your ordering as soon as possible.

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