‘Creature’ (1985): The Creative Forces Behind the Film

William Malone’s Creature is bound to draw comparisons to Alien or even Aliens, although this 1985 film has enough to set it apart. While the alien itself (or the “Creature”) does have some similar characteristics to the Alien Queen, it also has some distinguishing features. In fact, this creature can literally insert itself into its victim’s heads and make them do its bidding. In effect, it has the aspects of an alien/zombie hybrid.

While the alien might not look as convincing as the xenomorph from the Alien franchise, it should be noted that two members of the effects crew — Robert and Dennis Skotak — worked on Aliens, which indicates a lack of enmity between the two monster movies. Dennis Skotak would also do effects work for other blockbusters like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Batman Returns, and even more “normal” films like Charlie Wilson’s War.

The Actors

The acting in Creature is actually pretty good. Then again, many people have a snobbier, higher standard than me, so you might find yourself scoffing at this point. Still, you will definitely find worse performances in more superior films. Although Creature stars Stan Ivar (Little House On The Prairie TV series), Wendy Schaal (Innerspace 1987), Lyman Ward (Young Winston 1972), Robert Jaffe (Nightfliers 1987), and Diane Salinger (Carnivale TV series), all of whom do a fine job, I have to say Klaus Kinski (Nosferatu The Vampyre 1979) stands out as the menacing Hans Rudy Hofner.

On that note: If you haven’t seen Klaus Kinski before, you owe it to yourself to check out a few of his movies, if not his whole filmography. The guy was a maniac for his craft and has often been accused of being a maniac in general. In fact, feel free to also check out Director Werner Herzog’s documentary, My Best Fiend, about Herzog’s tumultuous, creative relationship with Kinski (seriously, it’s one of my favorite documentaries ever).

That aside, other actors in Creature may be familiar to you, too. For example, Diane Salinger played the Penguin’s mother, Esther Cobblepot, in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. Lyman Ward plays Grady’s dad in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, as well as Ferris Bueller’s dad in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If that’s not enough, there’s a great chance you’ve heard Wendy Schaal, who voices Francine Smith in the animated comedy television series, American Dad!

More On Similarities

I;m not going to add a plot summary of Creature here, but I will say that, yes, it does piggyback a little bit on the original Alien movie, as you’ve surely heard again and again. What separates this movie from Alien is, ironically, the creature itself. It is probably more original than given credit for due to the brain-invading parasites that trick living humans. Basically, this creature is a little smarter than the prototypical xenomorph, and it ends up making Creature more of a psychological picture than it would be otherwise.

Oddly enough, Creature is perhaps more of an action movie than the original Alien, as the latter film is a bit more of a slow burn. Still, let’s be real here: Had there been no Alien, it’s doubtful there would have been Creature, and that’s okay. Also notable: character Hans Rudy Hofner is an obvious tribute to H.R. Giger, who played a huge role in the design of the xenomorph and overall style of Ridley Scott’s masterwork. In other words, William Malone never tried to hide the connection. Ultimately, whether you find it to be a glowing tribute or a blatant rip-off, you can still find creature online, as it falls in the public domain.

Here it is!

What do you think of Creature? Let us know in the comments!

About wadewainio

Wade is a wannabe artist and musician (operating under the moniker Grandpa Helicopter), and an occasional radio DJ for WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton. He is an occasional writer for Undead Walking, and also makes up various blogs of his own. He even has a few books in the works. Then again, doesn't everyone?

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