At first watch most viewers find many of the sequences in The Creeping Terror so unbelievably awful and ineptly executed that the movie transcends the sci-fi and horror genres and delves into the realm of comedy. But the story behind the film contains all of the elements of classic movie-making that director Art Nelson would have killed to have in The Creeping Terror. It's the sci-fi Ed Wood told by the actual people who helped bring The Creeping Terror to life, recounting the desperate tales of Art Nelson by those who knew him best. There are rather elegantly produced scenes to set up the actual, and hilarious, footage from The Creeping Terror, also included in CREEP! The real monster was behind the camera.Written by
The Creeping Terror was in production from 1962-1964, when Charles Manson was in federal prison. Manson was not released until 1967 and did not live at the Spahn Ranch until he and his "family" were evicted from their San Francisco living quarters in 1968. See more »
THE CREEPING TERROR is considered by many to be one of the very worst films ever made. THE CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA tells the story of its making. We meet Art Nelson (Josh Phillips) who is your typical con man who decides that he wants to break into show business. He finds someone willing to put up the money and he sets out to make the greatest monster movie ever made but falls well short.
THE CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA apparently started off as a regular documentary on the making of THE CREEPING TERROR but somewhere along the way they decided to do much more than that. This film is pretty uneven and a bit all over the place but there's no question that it's very well-made and features some great performances. Part of it is a documentary on THE CREEPING TERROR as we get interviews with many of the cast and crew. The other part of this is a re-enactment or actual film about its director who is best known as Vic Savage.
To be honest, I wish this thing had been two separate movies because when you mix an actual documentary with an actual film it just doesn't quite work as well as it could have. I really loved the B&W interviews with the original cast and crew but sadly there's not too much of this. I would have really enjoyed seeing these interviews put together in the form of a featurette to where we could have gotten to hear more of their stories about what it was like on the set of THE CREEPING TERROR. I'm sure there were many more crazy stories that could have been told but instead we get the re-enactment stuff.
As far as that goes, it seems the main goal of this movie was to show you what an evil person Vic Savage was. Throughout the re-enactment footage we get clips of him physically, mentally and sexually abusing his wife. We learn that he liked nine-year-old girls and we learn that he was a druggie, a loser and just not a very good person. Whenever that isn't happening we get behind-the-scenes footage of them making THE CREEPING TERROR. Again, this re-enactment footage makes for a great film but then you've got the previously mentioned B&W clips from the real people commenting. I just don't think the two went well together but separately they work.
I will add that I thought Phillips was extremely good in the lead role and that Jodi Lynn Thomas was also excellent in her part of the wife. Bill LeVasseur and Brian McCulley are also very good as are the rest of the supporting cast. THE CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA is certainly flawed and somewhat uneven but at the same time I give the filmmakers credit for trying to do something different.
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