The Bubble Factory
September 9th, 2011
Release length: 1:33:00
When you think of Horror film companies, you wouldn’t expect that great a title coming from a production group known as The Bubble Factory. Fortunately, that playful introduction to Creature didn’t prove to be one as forboding as you’d expect, but it definitely doesn’t seem to lead to that great a film. This was released in late 2011, and has met with plenty of critically negative reviews around the internet. But, is this underground film really all that bad an experience?
Creature had a decent enough budget, set at an estimated three million US dollars, and it can really be seen in the film’s production. The visuals here are pretty crisp, obviously utilizing high definition cameras, or at least a standard definition equivillent of it. Set in the backwoods of Louisianna, the grittier b-grade atmosphere is present in the scenery, but that’s about as far as it goes. Much of the film is shot in the swamp lands, and many times over it can easily feel like they just reshot in the same spots, just with different angles. There’s no sense of isolation for the film, especially since much of the time they happen to be right near the highway, though when things start to go down, it seems as if none of them ever really get the concept of going out there and trying to flag someone down for help. Instead, they stick things out in order to deceive one another, and save others when applicable.
The start of this film just about sums up what you’ll see throughout the rest of its runtime. You’re greeted with a nude woman going for a swim in what seems to be swamp waters, an alligator crawling in, and her being attacked, eventually crawling out only to die just out of the water and show her legs devoured off. After that, it’s a long road trip where our six main characters talk to one another and begin to introduce themselves to the viewer with Oscar (Dillon Casey) behind the wheel, constantly honking the horn at the car in front of him to move faster instead of just going around it. This irritating start goes for quite some time before the car stops short, flips them off, and drives away. Eventually, the group stops at a run down gas station so the ladies can use the bathroom, and the men get some alcohol. This is where the Boutine legend is introduced, which unfolds later through a retelling by Oscar. We also meet two locals, and Chopper (Sid Haig), all of which end up relevant characters after a while. Oscar stole the old tourist trap flyer from them, and they all decide to check out the old cabin Grimley Boutine (Daniel Bernhardt) built “out of blood” thanks to a map provided by Chopper.
From here, it essentially becomes your generic creature flick/survival Horror film. Oscar is bitten by a group of spiders, and the IQ level of the characters are quickly established by getting the spiders off him, just saying he’s ok, then standing and sitting in the same exact spot all the spiders just fell off him at, ignoring the basic concerns to health and the possibility of a nest leading to everyone else getting bitten. The group does make their way to the cabin, then decides to camp out overnight. This is when the story throws constant red herrings your way and make things more difficult. Niles (Mehcad Brooks) and Karen Parker (Lauren Schneider) go off to be alone, Randy Parker (Aaron Hill) and Beth (Amanda Fuller) remain behind until Randy decides to go back and get some more beer. Karen eventually starts drinking a bottle of wine that Emily (Serinda Swan) began, Oscar tries to join in when he realizes what his sister is doing to Karen, but ends up being shrugged off. Karen and Emily end up in a tent, more frontal nudity, the possibility of a lesbian scene that never happens, all leading to Oscar spying on Niles and Karen, taking photos while pleasuring himself, then going into a incest scene involving Emily before Chopper appears and introduces the sub-plot for him, Oscar and Emily.
As all of this is going on, we find some of the locals are being attack and dying off, all the while pushing the story of Boutine and how he is now God in their eyes. Anyone who dies is considered lucky and chosen, all the while females of the residents in the town are offered up as wives, or a sacrifice if Boutine doesn’t take to her. Deceit starts to run in the group, as Randy witnesses Chopper and others kidnapping, as well as Boutine appearing and ravaging a tent, while Oscar tricks Niles into rescuing his sister. The action does start to pick up here, as the creature is now aiming at the main characters, and not just killing off random villagers with no real development that you just don’t care about whatsoever. However, much of the time it’s not really shown, but the aforementioned alligator going into the water is a sign that it’s near. Once you see the creature it becomes clear why its hidden for so long, killing off at the atmosphere of an ominous creature thanks to it’s Pumpkinhead appearance mixed with Aliens style double mouth and cheesy grin.
Surprisingly, some of the main characters do a rather good job as far as the acting goes. Niles does build up the tough marine attitude, never really showing much emotion, even when confronted with saving Karen, though you can tell he’ll stop at nothing to do it. Oscar ends up being a believable eccentric character until his sister is kidnapped, and then he just ends up being more annoyingly fake than anything else. Beth does a decent job at pulling off the cute girl next door kind approach that hates naughty words, always being stern to Randy when he uses foul language, and pulls a more believable drunk than Emily ends up being. Unfortunately, you’ll forget all about her the way the writers seem to until the end. However, the greatest fault comes from Sid Haig as Chopper, as his performance really doesn’t scream the backwoods stereotype the film is clearly going for, especially with the rest of the supporting cast. Considering he becomes a larger character towards the end, manipulating much of what is going on and being the man trying to wed Boutine with the chosen one of the three girls, you tend to be pulled away from the atmosphere the title once had. There’s plenty of false endings throughout the movie to make way for that wedding scene which allows Niles a confrontation with the Boutine creature. The conflicts are never too engaging unfortunately, and again show off the mentality of the characters to not think rationally when it comes to sink holes, a plot point hinted at by Chopper and the others in the store. This gives way to the final battle being waged underground, and off camera, concluding with two cliffhangers thanks to the lore of the Boutine creature’s creation, and not bothering to go back and search for survivors.
The story itself just ends up being rather uninteresting. It’s a simple tale of deception and incest with a monster that eats until he finds his new bride, one that could possibly replace his sister Caroline Boutine (Rebekah Kennedy) who was devoured by an albino aligater that he later ate and somehow fused with thanks to his rage inside to become the creature of the film. However, the pace ends up taking forever with plenty of tit shots to keep the male viewer attent in one way or another. Unfortunately, much of it feels forced, and in the sake of the first death scene rather unsafe and stupid to the point where you’ll scream at the woman to get out of the water for fear of everything else in there not related to the Boutine creature. The only time a frontal nude moment feels natural to the story is when Emily takes Beth’s top off in the tent to try to take advantage of her drunken state she’s in.
Creature wound up being a film that was moderately entertaining, but far from anything really good or enjoyable. The atmosphere quickly dwindles, many characters start losing their believability early on if they had any to begin with, and it all just seems to go on forever by throwing too many redherrings into the mix. It also doesn’t help that the final confrontation between the creature itself against the marine was all done off screen through a time lapse fade mechanic. This film tried to capture the spirit of early Slasher and creature flicks up to and including exposing every set of tits the female cast had to offer and more, and in many ways it does well enough, but unfortunately the final product becomes convoluted to the point where you’ll just stop caring about half way in. This isn’t a movie you’ll regret watching, and the lack of computer graphics in favor of the traditional man in a suit style really makes the whole experience a lot better. If you’ve got some time to kill and find it cheap or streaming on Netflix, it’s worth a watch, but even at it’s moderately economic pricing at your local chain retail store, Creature isn’t really worth running out to buy.
Overall Score: 4/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by Personal funds.