Following in the wake of the PUPPET MASTER and DEMON TOYS films, this is yet another Charles Band movie concerning little creatures, an offbeat, entertaining revival of the classic movie monsters.
A man steals Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein manuscript from a rare book annex, and librarian Anna Quarles (Rhonda Griffin) hires wannabe detective David Rawley (Justin Lauer) to recover it. David discovers that the thief is Dr. Winston Berber (Bill Moynihan), who shows up again at the
library, steals Bram Stoker's original Dracula manuscript, and kidnaps Anna. Berber has created an "archetype inducer" with which, using original horror texts and Anna as a sacrifice, he plans to bring literature's greatest monsters to life. David interrupts the ritual and rescues Anna, and
Dracula (Phil Fondacaro), Frankenstein's monster (Thomas Wellington), the werewolf (Jon Simanton) and the mummy (Joe Smith) emerge from Berber's machine as midgets.
Berber sends the creatures out to get Anna back, but they return with her boss, Ms. Gristina (Kristin Norton). The attempt to use her to finish the ritual and restore the fiends to full size ends in failure, and the mini-monsters subsequently succeed in abducting both Anna and David to Berber's
lab. As the doctor prepares to sacrifice them both, Anna tries to convince the creatures that they can only remain immortal if they return to the realm of legends. David frees himself and Anna and turns the tables on Berber, who ends up being transported to the netherworld. The monsters follow
him, persuaded that it is there that they can live on forever.
Perhaps it's simply the law of averages at work, but THE CREEPS proves to be several notches above the rest of Full Moon's run of '90s quickies. Part of its success stems from its hewing to the tradition of the best horror/comedies, from ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948) onward, in
which the monsters aren't the butt of the jokes. The fiendish quartet may be midgets, but their size isn't exploited for obvious schtick, and Fondacaro does a fine job as the three-foot Dracula. Even when speaking lines like "If memory serves, I was significantly larger when I was fictional," he
retains the character's dignity and menace and provides an anchor for the outrageous goings-on.
Among the full-sized cast, Moynihan is fun as the stammering would-be mad genius, but Griffin and Lauer are grating as often as they're ingratiating, partially because their repartee is the script's weakest element. The movie was originally filmed in 3-D--complete with objects occasionally thrust
directly at the camera--but only received a handful of theatrical playdates. Ironically, the fact that the video has sometimes clearly been cropped from a widescreen image gives the movie a veneer of class missing from the bulk of Full Moon's straight-to-tape productions. (Violence, nudity,profanity.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: Following in the wake of the PUPPET MASTER and DEMON TOYS films, this is yet another Charles Band movie concerning little creatures, an offbeat, entertaining revival of the classic movie monsters. A man steals Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein manuscri… (more)