Friday, February 24, 2012

Putting the CREEP! in The Creeping Terror!

When I try to explain to folks my unwavering fondness for thee gloriously hare-brained sci-fi and horror epics of the 1950's and early '60s, being a nuts and bolts kinda film buff, I never fail to mention my fascination for all those people who seemingly crawled out of the woodwork and slapped together a film with spit, bailing wire and no delusions (-- or any apparent aptitude in a lot of cases) as to what they were making and the real reason for making it in the first place: $$$. And, with hard work, dumb luck, or chicanery of the most dubious order, not only did they get these demented films made, through more hard work, dumber luck, or chicanery of an even more dubious order, they managed to find a distributor to unleash them on the viewing public. Which is why, more often than not, the story of the making of these cinematically-challenged films is usually a lot more entertaining than the finished product.

Art Nelson's The Creeping Terror (1964) is probably an apex example of what I'm talking about. Nelson also took the lead, under one of his many nom de plumes, Vic Savage, and edited this fractured flick together. And though scripted by Allan Silliphant (-- brother of fellow screenwriter, Stirling Silliphant ... and a check of credits reveals who landed in the shallow end of the gene pool), who penned Ray Dennis Steckler's marquee-busting monster musical, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies, and with Jon Lackey being credited with constructing a monster, whose shambling, shag-rug texture cannot hide its bizarre sexual organ-connotations, that took a long walk off a short credulity pier before it even creeped its first creep, this film would not have happened without Nelson's misguiding hand. And now, this felon, grifter and certifiable sociopath's story can be told. But not by me...

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"CREEP! chronicles the outlandish story of director Art Nelson in his audacious effort to produce a monster movie in 1964. The result was the obscure yet cultish film, The Creeping Terror. Considered to be the worst movie ever made, it also became one of the most mind-boggling scams in the history of celluloid."
-- the company line
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Producer Nancy Theken and director Pete Schuermann and their Slithering Carpet Films are in the first stage of a three stage process to bring this docu-drama on Nelson and the making of his magdumb opus, with interviews with bad film buffs and key members of the cast and production crew from The Creeping Terror. And along with these clips and interviews, Scheurmann intends to film a bio-flick on Nelson with many highlights -- eh, make that lowlights of his seedy film career and even seedier personal life, topped off with some hilarious re-enactments during the making of what many call the worst film ever made -- some of which can be seen in the extended trailer for CREEP!.

For the record, I don't find The Creeping Terror to be all that bad. Ineptly endearing and monumentally stoopid, sure, But worst movie ever? Nah. Not even close. Still, Theken, Scheurmanm and Co. promise to win that particular argument, augmented by a mind-boggling making-of tale that includes "sex, drugs, rape, money scams, high comedy, pedophilia, heartbreak, bank robberies, Nazism, missing persons, suicide, false identities and a tie-in to the Manson murders" means I for one cannot wait to see the finished film.

Right now, however, CREEP! is kind of on hiatus, and, in true, independent B-Movie fashion, they're efforting to raise completion funds. And if you'd like to help out, the filmmakers have started a Kickstarter campaign to get CREEP! creeping again. Until then, feel free to check out the website for more details.

Pertinent Links for CREEP!:

Website :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Kickstarter


Purple mage 7 said...

wow...definitely need to find out more about both the film, and the film about the film...awesome stuff!

W.B. Kelso said...

Thanks. I honestly had no idea about the background on the flick either until I stumbled upon the trailer for CREEP! early last year. Glad to see they're making another run at finishing it.

There has been a ton of fantastic docs on fringe cinema lately. Can't wait to see the whole thing, here.

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