Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Creeper (1977)

The Creeper

Written by Ian Sutherland
Directed by Peter Carter

Harry...Hal Holbrook
Mitzi...Lawrence Dane
Martin...Robin Gammell
Abel...Ken James
DJ...Gary Reineke

Five doctors (four of them in silly matching hats) strike out into the Canadian wilderness for a hunting and fishing getaway.  When they awake the next morning, everybody's boots have been stolen from their campsite.  And although they remembered to bring an inflatable sex doll, only one bothered to bring along a spare pair of shoes.  So D.J. heads up river to find help and/or footwear, leaving Marty, Abel, Mitzi, and Harry behind.


But D.J. doesn't return, and so after a long night of restlessness, the four head out in bare feet looking for their friend.  A series of unfortunate and escalating events leads them to believe that somebody is stalking them, although they don't know who or why.  Tension and fear turns rapidly to suspicion and paranoia, as it is wont to do, and it seems that if the titular Creeper doesn't kill them, they just may kill each other.

A very good, yet seldom seen, addition to the survivalist category of horror in the same vein as Straw Dogs and Deliverance, however it might be too much like Deliverance for some people's tastes.  However, it remains a fine alternative to those veterans seeking fresh blood.


The dialogue and acting were both solid.  In fact my only technical qualms are with the sound and picture quality, which surely lies not with the film itself but with the budget DVD edition that I watched.  Occasionally the image was far too dark to clearly see what was going on and the audio sometimes came off as muffled and difficult to decipher.

After years of obscurity, though, this film was finally given a legitimate release last year by Code Red DVD under it's original title Rituals.  I haven't seen their print, but I imagine that much of the damage has been corrected.


1977
Rated R
100 Minutes
Color
English
Canada/USA

"There's worse things in life than powdered milk."
--J/Metro

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