Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Movie Month: Curse of the Swamp Creatue

Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966)
not rated

Curse of the Swamp Creature is about a mad scientist performing experiments on people in an attempt to create a more evolved creature to do his bidding.  The doctor also has a swimming pool full of alligators where he disposes of the failed experimental creatures.

If the brief synopsis and cover picture are not telling enough, this is an absolutely terrible movie.  But, the question is "what kind of terrible is it?"  Is it the kind of terrible that is almost painful to watch?  Is it the kind of terrible that is so bad it's good?  Is it the kind of terrible that you have such low expectations that you actually end up being pleasantly surprised by it?

From the very beginning, Curse of the Swamp Creature is pretty fantastically terrible.  There is incredibly cheesy acting, poor video quality, minor voodoo subplot, loose plot, loose transitions, and skinny mad scientist with a deep "ominous" voice.  However, because all of this terribleness is captured in the mid 60s, there is something endearing about it.  Each decade has it's own brand of terrible movies, but there is just something about late 60s/early 70s terrible movies that just makes them so much more fun than recent terrible movies.

While there is the endearing aspect of 60s B-movies, that is not the final verdict.  This movie is called Curse of the Swamp Creature, but until the very end of the movie, you really only ever see the hand of the creature (with good reason...that costume is comically terrible).  Even the dead, rejected experiments are thrown into the gator pit wrapped in a white sheet so that you do not see them.  If there had been more cheesy horror, it might have been worth multiple viewings.  But, as it is, this movie feels like it is all set-up without any payoff.  There is a sense that this movie would be more on the horror side, as opposed to the sci-fi side of things, but there are still a lot of classic sci-fi aspects.  This movie is somewhere between horror and sci-fi, but without ever really fitting into either.  There are some movies that are able to walk that balance in a way that breaks down genre walls.  However, this is not one of those movies.  

Rating and Recommendation:  1.5/5.  Curse of the Swamp Creature started out with an abundance of (terrible) potential, but it never really went anywhere.  There is over an hour of act one and then about 15 minutes total of acts two through five.  For the general audience, this one is a definite pass.  However, there is a caveat.  I watched a lot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 growing up, so I have a fondness for terrible movies.  There is something that can be a lot of fun about terrible movies, especially when watching with friends with whom you can joke throughout the movie.  So, if you are like me and enjoy riffing movies, then this one is worth adding to a riff list.  Definitely not worth spending money on - but you can find the entire movie (at the time of this review, at least) on YouTube.

Be sure to check back soon for more reviews in Halloween Movie Month!  In the meantime, leave comments on this (or any other) review, follow me here and on twitter (@GargyleReviews), and let me know what movies you'd like for me to review for Halloween Movie Month!

- The Gargyle

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