Miami Herald, The (FL) - May 28, 1985

Author: BILL COSFORD Herald Movie Critic

Creature is a clone of Alien (1979), even down to the advertising art work, which shows the creature bearing a marked resemblance to the alien -- something of a cross between an alligator and an anteater with an overdose of implacable evil thrown in. This makes Creature something of a genre straggler, the market for horror -in-space having peaked a couple years ago, and the film would be unremarkable except for the presence among the cast of Klaus Kinski, who is undeniably the weirdest star in contemporary motion pictures.

Kinski could probably name his project, but with very few exceptions -- Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo the most recent and notable -- he seems to prefer potboilers; as he said several years ago, "I like bad cinema."

Creature is indeed pretty bad, though it does have some competent effects work, including one of the better exploding- head sequences since Brian De Palma perfected the art in The Fury.

As it happens, however, Kinski's screen time is not large. He plays the lone survivor of a German deep-space research mission menaced by the creature, and as is so often the case in his "special-guest" appearances, his character acts according to motives that are at best obscure. His first move upon making contact with a rival American research team is the attempted rape of their security chief, a towering dominatrix named Bryce. Only after she whaps him around her neon-and-chrome boudoir does Klaus settle down and warn the rest of the folks what they're up against: a 200,000-year-old carnivore that controls its victims by putting little brain-eating crabs on their heads and letting them burrow for the cerebrum.

The only time Creature is at all fun is when the Kinski character reverts to form, lunging at Bryce while they're on patrol, cackling happily when she cuffs him across his life- support system. It's a shame when the braineater finally gets to him, and his head swells up.

By that time the movie is irredeemably formulaic, departing
from the plot of the far superior Alien only in minor detail. As usual, Kinski is ill-used by his pot-boiling bosses, who always miss the point: He makes a far better villain than the most fearsome of anteaters; he's even implacable.

Creature (R) **


Stan Ivar, Wendy Schaal, Marie Laupin, Lyman Ward, Robert Jaffe, Annette McCarthy, Diane Salinger, Klaus Kinski.


Director: William Malone. Producers: William Dunn, William Malone. Screenwriters: William Malone, Alan Reed. Cinematographer: Harry Mathias. Music: Thomas Chase, Steve Rucker.

A CFR Corporation release. Running time: 92 minutes. Vulgar language, nudity, sexual situations, violence and gore.

Herald movie critics rate movies from zero to four stars.

**** Excellent *** 1/2 Very Good

*** Good ** 1/2 Worth Seeing ** Fair

* Poor Zero: Worthless

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