It’s no secret, at this point, that one of my biggest guilty pleasures is watching the films of Charles Band and his Full Moon imprint. While they aren’t the best films in the genre, by any means, they do manage to be highly entertaining every single time I press play. The most recent Full Moon feature I can cross off my watch list is the 1997 Charles Band-directed The Creeps.
Dr. Winston Berber (Bill Moynihan, Double Trouble) has created an ‘archetype inducer,’ which allows him to bring figures from history and literature to life. In order to bring the darkest monsters known to man to his side, he steals the oldest existing versions of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and other manuscripts dealing with the mummy and the werewolf. The librarian from which he steals his latest acquisitions, Anna Quarrels (Rhonda Griffin, Hideous!) hires a private detective and the two end up foiling Berber’s plans… sort of.
The monsters do indeed make their way into the real world, but at a much shorter stature. Now, to get back to their original, fictional sizes, the deformed monsters plan to kidnap and sacrifice Ms. Quarrels.
If you have had the pleasure of watching any film from the Full Moon library circa 1995, you know what you’re getting into, once again, with The Creeps (also known as Deformed Monsters). There are no award-winning performances here, but surprisingly, there are none that are really that awful either. Quite frankly, the casting for Charles Band’s earlier films was so much better than any of the newer releases. There were actually great actors in the older projects and this one has some on display, as well.
The entire cast does a great job, but my favorite is definitely Bill Moynihan as the antagonist that started this whole calamity, Dr. Winston Berber. His stuttering and spattering banter was silly at times, but Moynihan pulled it off wonderfully, and it was fun to watch. Not far behind him, in terms of performance, is Phil Fondacaro. This long time collaborator of Band has appeared in Blood Dolls, Sideshow, Dollman Vs. Demonic Toys, and many more. He fit right into this tall tale of short monsters, as he portrayed one of the most popular of all time, Dracula. I was surprised at how well Fondacaro filled the role, one you would not get to see him in, if it weren’t for the mind of Charles Band.
While the acting and story of The Creeps are worth talking about, I really want to dive into how impressive the special makeup effects looked. A script that tells the story of classic monsters, half their original size can be taken as a pretty silly idea. Because of this, Charles Band and his team wanted to lend a level of seriousness to the actual creatures we love so much. Gabriel Bartalos and his team of make-up artists managed to conjure up some of the best creature designs I’ve seen in Frankenstein and Wolfman history. I loved the way these little terrors looked, as it helped this story become a little more credible, while remaining rather lighthearted.
If you’re looking for a fun little genre flick to pass some time, look no further than the Full Moon Features library and The Creeps. I highly recommend picking up the newly remastered Blu-ray just released by Full Moon, as it features the best transfer of the film you’re going to find, to date. Like all Blu-rays these guys release, the original Videozone episode and tons of trailers are included as bonus content.
This one gets 3 virgin sacrifices out of 5 from yours truly.