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Creature Unknown

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
Razor Digital
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Michael Burnett
Chase Masterson
Chris Hoffman
Maggie Grace
Bottom Line: 

  What do you get when you mix the girl who played the space hooker on Deep Space Nine, the guy who did that show's creature effects, and a cast of unknown, untalented, soon-to-be softcore porn actors??
You get a movie so bad it would make Ed Wood cry.
Filmed with the production values of a Cinemax late-night grindfest, Creature Unknown takes us into the woods with a group of high school friends who reunite to honour the memory of Wes (M.Hoffman), their buddy who vanished in the woods on prom night. Meanwhile Kat (Masterson), a doctor whose bizarre experiments led to her losing her medical license, is hunting some sort of lizard-man thing she created. It's only a matter of time before the lizard-man spies the nubile nymphs staying at the remarkably well kept cabin (seeing as how "no one goes there anymore"), and begins offing them one by one. Meanwhile, Wes' twin brother Steve (C.Hoffman) suspects that Kat knows what, or, more precisely, who this creature is!
The film's claim to fame is the fact that it's the directorial debut of creature make-up SFX master, Michael Burnett, which begs the question; Why does the creature look so stupid?! He looks like a rubber suited throwaway from a Godzilla film. He's also filmed in "Six Million Dollar Man-o-Vision" as, every time he jumps, runs, or moves, the film cuts to a low angle, slow motion sequence that only highlights how crap this all looks.
The cast is, for the most part, horrid. Chase Masterson does her best Linda Hamilton impersonation, but an impersonation is all it amounts to. It's like a cheerleader dressing up as a biker for Halloween. The rest of the cast run the gamut of decent to awful, with Maggie Grace (as Amanda) and Chris Hoffman turning in the best performances of the lot (a mighty small victory).
Burnett is probaby a great FX guy, but he should call this one a mulligan and try again. For a horror movie, there's nary a lick of suspense, a pretty low amount of gore, and not a shock to be had. Creature Unknown looks like one of those awful Sci-Fi Channel original movies; all dumbed down for television consumption, with distinctly small-screen production values (it was shot on the same sort of high-end HDDV).
As bad as the film looks, the script is that much worse. Eric Mittleman and Scott Zakarin claim the idea came as a result of tripping on hash brownies many years ago. I, too, have had great ideas when stoned. The difference is, when I sober up, I realise they are shite. Mittleman and Zakarin clearly did not.
Razor Digital include a behind-the-scenes short featurette, a look at the special effects, as well as a blooper reel. The film is presented full screen (as it was shot), and features a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack.

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