Doomsday Reels
Creepozoids (1987)



David DeCoteau

Linnea Quigley (Bianca), Ken Abraham (Butch), Michael Aranda (Jesse), Richard L. Hawkins (Jake), Ashlyn Greene (Kate),

Nuclear War

“1998 – Six years after the superpowers have engaged in a devastating nuclear exchange, Earth is now a blackened husk of a planet.  Tiny clusters of survivors eke out a miserable existence in the ruins of the cities, and bands of deserters roam the barren wastelands. . .  Hiding from mutant nomads and seeking shelter from the deadly acid rains.” – Opening text crawl.

We’re finally done with robots in our coverage of Charles Band’s doomsday films.  Now let’s move on to genetically altered freaks.

Creepozoids concerns a war-torn future where nuclear weaponry has reduced the world to a wasteland populated by (never actually seen) mutants and radioactive acid rain.  Our protagonists, deserters from their military unit, duck into an abandoned building to get out of the rain.  The building is well-fortified and appears to be a bomb shelter (we’re told, there is no visual indication that getting inside was any harder than turning a door knob) and is stocked with clean running water and a good supply of food.

Unfortunately the facility was a testing ground for an agent which causes living creatures to manufacture their own amino acids, causing them to live indefinitely without food.  This agent is likely airborne and mutating our protagonists already, it’s probably already in their systems.  Even more unfortunately, a giant bug-dog-man-thing is loose in the facility which was why it was locked up to begin with.  The weevil-man is killing people. . .  sometimes, other times it just kidnaps them and vomits black shit on them which causes them to die.  There’s also a big mutant rat, I guess that these two are collectively the creepozoids.

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This is an ensemble piece, not due to the strength of the dialogue or onscreen chemistry, but because all the characters are too devoid of distinguishing features to stand out on their own.  There’s the brave hero type, the tough-but-sensible woman, the bubbly girl with hidden depths (and I’m using that term generously), the smart guy, and the meat-head.  The least dull of these five is the first person to die and the movie continues in that vein, offing each character in order of most compelling to least.  By the time we get to the final showdown between Weevil Man and our last surviving lump, you don’t even care who lives or dies.

The acting is generally adequate and occasionally awful.  Linnea Quigley is the only memorable cast member and not just because she appears sans clothing as tradition dictates.  Quigley’s character Bianca is shallow, but energetic and more animated than the rest of the cast, owing to the fact that she’s a charming, if not particularly skilled, actress.

The Weevil creature is like the off-brand K-Mart version of H.R. Giger’s alien and is completely stupid-looking when we finally get a good look at it.

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This movie makes no sense.  What is Weevil Man?  Why does he kill some people but vomit goo on others?  Is he trying to make them like him?  If he is trying to change them then why do they just die?  Why does one character turn into a mutant after getting bitten by the rat but another character gets bit and nothing happens?

What is in the syringe that the final survivor uses on Weevil Man?  Why does the dead Weevil Man give birth to a human baby with sharp teeth?  Why does the baby immediately want to kill our survivor?  Is the agent airborne like the characters think?  Are our characters turning into mutants like Weevil Man and the rat?

Much of this movie feels like it was being written as it was being made.  It feels like Charles Band just showed up at David DeCoteau’s house one day with a truck load of props and some actors and said, “Here Dave, go make a movie.” “Okay, what’s it about?”  “Doesn’t matter, just make something, we’ll figure out the story in post.”

This is a movie that culminates in a person strangling a giant shark-toothed baby, and that isn’t nearly as hilarious as it sounds.  I’ve seen third-tier Roger Corman movies that had their shit together better than this movie does.  Up From the Depths is a more professionally made movie than Creepozoids!

Fortunately Charles Band never met an idea that wasn’t good enough to use at least three times, so you can happily watch Crash and Burn or Shadowzone and pretend to live in a world where this movie doesn’t exist.

Creepozoids is available on DVD.

“Call me Scarface one more time and I’ll blow your nuts off.”

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