Thursday, August 18, 2016

Moviestopped: Night Creature (1978)

I know my own rules and generally try to stick by them.  One of the big ones back in the day when you could go to Stores and rent Movies was 'Check the Box.'  If you are seeing a Monster Movie, for instance, and there is no shot of the Monster, it is going to be bad.  They wouldn't hide a good thing, right?  That leads to today's Film- Night Creature.  The Film has sat in my Queue on Netflix for years without me 'pulling the trigger.'  Well, when Movies are Buy 3, Get 10 Free (really), you can take the risk.  So now I own this Film's not great.  As mentioned, this Film has no real shot of the Monster- which is just a Panther- and, in fact, no shots of the Film.  No picture of the Leads- nothing.  That is a very bad sign.  The Plot involves a Big Game Hunter- Donald Pleasence- who's life is changed by a dramatic incident.  Some years later, he tries to recover from the incident in a pretty bad way, putting others accidentally at risk.  I suppose I can't blame the Filmmakers for the Print being so bad, but I can fault them for making a surprisingly-dull Film.  To find out why free is sometimes still too much, read on...
Some Narration just pretty much dumps us into the Story awkwardly, so I will too...

A Hunter is called out to catch a killer cat.  He's basically the prototype version of The Most Interesting Man in the World here.
He also sucks as a Hunter here, having to be saved pretty much right away.
Many years later, Donald has a plan: capture the Panther that wounded him, release it on his Island and hunt it, with 9 bullets (once for each life).
Unfortunately, his kids, a new man and a kid show up.  Awkward!
After some kind of boring stuff, the kid wanders off at night.  The Mother tries to help her and they kill the tension of the Panther attack with...a Batman-style spin-out shot?!?
So yeah, she dies.  It is really odd to see Films back when people would do awkward stunts with animals, as opposed to just using CG.  Better?
The odd thing here is that you get the 2 extremes of Pleasence.  He's either in 'oh, this sucks, so why bother?' mode or 'MEGA-ACTING' mode.

Do I need to bring back the Acting-gasm thing from Amityville Horror?
The Film kind of settles into a 'Oh, I've done bad things' bit with Pleasence and he...doesn't sacrifice himself to save anyone.  Instead, the rest of the Family escapes on a boat and he...blows up the dock.
Don't worry- the Panther somehow knew their plan and left, leaving us with this subtle Symbolism.
All kinds of misleading.  For one thing, the Panther does nearly all of the action during the daytime.  Admittedly, its only kill is at night...but whatever.  On top of that, the DVD Box and Menu are intentionally left free of shots to let you know what to expect visually.  Imagine getting any of those DVDs with an intentionally-misleading cover.  Now imagine if the Film was also, say, black and white.  Mind you, I've watched Films in all sorts of colors from normal to sepia to gray to even blue sometimes.  For many people, they do kind of need to know these things.  This one is just all about going 'Ha ha- fooled you.'  I suppose I should talk about the actual Film now.  It is kind of dull.  To be fair, it could be that I just can't make out half of what I'm seeing due to the VHS Rip or Pan and Scan.  Even if I could, there's just not much Story.  Panther exists, guy is crazy and then all gets sorted out.  Pleasence does what he can here at times, but it isn't nearly enough.  Oh and your symbolism is stupid.  All in all, Night Creature is about what I feared, but also worse than what I expected.  I mean, just look at this Menu...
Next up, more random stuff from a (sadly) failed business.  What else did I basically get for free?  Stay tuned...

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