Movie Review by Greg Goodsell
In cult film fandom, there exists an echelon of maverick filmmakers who get their outlandish projects done in spite of a lack of money and no real discernible talent. Far, far, far removed from the studio system, upstarts such as Herschel Gordon Lewis and Edward D. Wood Jr. whip up colorfully inept motions pictures that people still treasure to this day.
There is a dark side to all of this admirable gumption and verve, however. The making of any independent feature film, from Sundance favorite to shot-on-video zombie epic is fraught with broken promises and unpaid bills. Case in point: Friend and bad movie director extraordinaire Larry Buchanan, for all of his old school charm and gentility broke quite a few eggs to make his omelet. To this day, actors on his Grade-Z stinkers such as Curse of the Swamp Creature (1967) have quite a few horror stories to tell – unrelated to the horror stories the films themselves were trying to tell! Just ask actor Francine York, who starred in the aforementioned Swamp Creature … but that is a story for another time.
This dynamic is illustrated profusely in the quasi-documentary Creep Behind the Camera, the story behind the many-named Arthur Nelson, the cracked auteur behind The Creeping Terror (1964). Imminently familiar to the readers of this Web site, The Creeping Terror is about a vaguely phallic walking carpet monster that eats a few people and disrupts a dance down at the union hall in a small Californian town. Atrocious as it gets, the entire soundtrack to The Creeping Terror consists of narration from Wham-O! Toy commercial pitchman Larry Burrell and canned music. While celebrated by bad movie fans, there's no denying the fact that The Creeping Terror is best left as a late-night sleeping aid.