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The Creep Behind The Camera

The Creep Behind The Camera

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Today’s flick is the newly-released docu-drama, The Creep Behind The Camera, which tells the astounding story behind the legendarily awful b-movie The Creeping Terror.

The Creep Behind The Camera was directed and written by Pete Schuermann, who has been behind a number of low-budget flicks since his debut in 1999. The Creep Behind The Camera was specifically funded via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, raising over $70,000 dollars from a horde of supporters.

The Creeping Terror, the inspiration and subject of The Creep Behind The Camera, is widely regarded as one of the worst monster movies of all time. The monster itself is particularly memorable, and could be accurately described as a carpet from outer space.

Further, the film is filled with bad acting, terrible narration, nonexistent sound work, and an earworm of a theme song, which have all combined to make it a sort of ironic classic. It gained even more of a following after being featured on a season 6 episode of the show Mystery Science Theater 3000, which was dedicated to digging up the worst movies of all time.

As bad as the movie itself is, the stories that have circulated about the film’s production have added an extra mythos to the flick. The Creep Behind the Camera is dedicated to digging into that swirl of outlandish rumors: that the director was a con-artist working under a false identity, that no one in the production had film experience, and that it was financed by having actors pay for the privilege of playing a part in the movie, and countless more. As it turns out, it appears that many of these legends about The Creeping Terror may be true (or at least partially so).

The Creep Behind The Camera is composed of a series of interviews and testaments from people involved with the production of The Creeping Terror, interspersed with dramatic recreations of the events. While most of the film is dedicated to The Creeping Terror, a fair portion of it is also spent on the miscellaneous misdeeds and antics of the film’s star and director, Vic Savage/AJ Nelson.

While the actual content of the information is the primary draw for this movie (and is certainly fascinating), the performances in the dramatic sequences are really what tie it together. Particularly, Josh Phillips portrays AJ Nelson with a mix of charisma, insecurity, violence, self-delusion, and conniving that helps build the larger than life persona of the eccentric swindler behind The Creeping Terror.

The Creep Behind The Camera interestingly doesn’t take place in chronological order, and bounces around throughout the pre-production, post-production, and filming of The Creeping Terror without any particularly coherence. However, I felt like this worked pretty well, particularly in the parts focusing specifically on Nelson. The audience should be just as flabbergasted and perplexed by this figure as his crew was, and that feeling definitely gets across in the movie. The fact that he is initially introduced naked in front of a mirror, wearing a fake Hitler mustache, and repeating “I am God” to himself is about the best way to sum up Nelson in a nutshell, regardless of when that event occurred in his timeline.

For bad movie fans, The Creep Behind The Camera is necessary viewing, and helps fill in the gaps and questions that were left in the wake of the train wreck that is The Creeping Terror. The flick is currently available on most Video On Demand mediums, and The Creeping Terror is fairly easy to dig up on YouTube.

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IMDb Bottom 100: The Creeping Terror

The Creeping Terror

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Ah, “The Creeping Terror”. This movie has to have one of the worst monsters in cinema history, and that is really saying something.

I’ve already mentioned this flick briefly when I covered the upcoming movie “The Creep Behind the Camera”, based on the bizarre story of how “The Creeping Terror” was made. To be honest, this is one of those rare cases where the story of how the film was made is far more fascinating and entertaining than the film itself. There are some that swear by “The Creeping Terror”, but before I started reading into the back story, I just found it to be another boring, repetitive Corman-esque monster movie. The only things that stood out for me on the first watch were the silly monster design and the inconsistent and perplexing use of narration. However, after learning some more about the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that spawned this film, I am way more intrigued by it. I still think the movie is crushingly boring, but there is at least a fraction  of intrigue as well.

First off, take a good, long look at the star of “The Creeping Terror”:

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Yeah, that’s the first problem. Carpets are not very scary, and this thing is about as far from intimidating as you can get. However, I believe that you can make a decent monster movie without a decent monster. You just have to be creative with the shots, build tension with the writing and music, and keep the embarrassing rubber suit off-screen as much as possible. Financial limitations can force artists to be creative to make their film work, and some directors actually work best under those limitations (Robert Rodriguez pops to mind). Or, y’know, they can do none of that at all, and make their film as boring as possible. Just like “The Creeping Terror”.

I would be hard pressed to find anything that was genuinely done well in this movie. I guess the infamous dance hall scene is sort of ok…except for the damn music.

…and, of course, it all goes wrong when the monster shows up.

I am not personally a big fan of “The Creeping Terror” as a bad movie, and don’t recommend it for group viewing. However, if you are interested in the machinations behind the scenes that produce crap movies, then there is perhaps no better tale than the spotty information available about star/director Vic Savage and “The Creeping Terror”. It sounds like a delightful brew of fraud, addiction, sex, bribery, and madness went into the making of this atrocious feature. Seriously, I am incredibly excited to hear what was put together for “The Creep Behind the Camera”. It is sure to be a blast, and I bet the trailer can sell you on it if you aren’t already intrigued.

 

The Creep Behind The Camera

Right now there is a lot of buzz in the bad movie world surrounding James Franco’s involvement in an upcoming film adaptation of “The Disaster Artist”, a recent book about the making of cult-classic bad movie “The Room”.

disasterI’m just as excited as everyone else about seeing “The Disaster Artist” translated to film, but I just came across another movie that is currently hitting film festivals about the making of one of the most notorious bad movies from the 1960’s: “The Creeping Terror”

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“The Creep Behind The Camera” is a dark comedy docu-drama that tells the story of the people behind “The Creeping Terror”, integrating interviews and stories with live-action reenactments. I’ve come across a few snippets of information about the making of “The Creeping Terror” while reading up on it for the IMDb Bottom 100 (coming up soon), and I am really looking forward to hearing more. From what I can tell, “The Creeping Terror” was a chaotic, low-budget disasterpiece run by a swindler/egomaniac who manipulated people into participating in the film. It also features one of the most perplexing, least convincing monsters that has ever hit the big screen. Needless to say, the “Creep Behind The Camera” crew had plenty to work with.

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Stand as close as possible to the monster to shoot at it

I highly recommend checking out the trailer for “The Creep Behind The Camera” (below). It doesn’t look like it will shy away from some really dark territory, but it still strikes as a comedic work at heart. Reviews so far look pretty promising, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it gets distributed soon.