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Monday, February 27, 2017

'The Creature Below' DVD: Edgy Perverse Take on 'Sigmund and the Sea Monsters'

breaking glass pictures shows great love for mid-budget vintage USA network late-night horror movies regarding the February 28, 2017 DVD release of the 2016 film "The Creature Below." Writer/director Stewart Sparke basing the titular squidlike entity on the H.P. Lovecraft creation Kassogtha adds depth (no pun intended) to this ultimate guilty pleasure.

Folks who are unfamiliar with the legendary horror stories of Lovecraft likely will recognize elements of the classic big-budget scifi films the "Alien" series and "The Abyss" in "Creature." Folks with a taste for British television also will recognize elements of the fairly recent series "Primeval." (We do not speak of the horrible American version.) That Dinomite one centers around the prehistoric creature of the week wreaking havoc in 21st century England until the team charged with dealing with those threats neutralizes it.

A more retro vibe comes from the classic Sid and Marty Krofft '70s kids' show "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters." This one has child star Johnny Whitaker of "Family Affair" fame and his his reel-life little brother sheltering the titular kind and gentle seaweed-covered creature.

The YouTube clip below of the "Creature" trailer highlights the atmospheric creepiness of the movie while providing a good sense of the story.

The well-presented tale this time starts with acclaimed marine biologist Dr. Olive Crown successfully selling herself to suit up in experimental deep sea ware for the purpose of exploring an ocean ravine that is theorized to be the home of the first life on earth.

A mishap during this voyage to the bottom of the sea requires a dramatic rescue of our heroine. An element of this excitement that it unknown to the colleagues of this scientist is that she is not alone when she surfaces. The titular "monster" comes along for the ride.

Other than trafficking in the prehistoric squid trade, Olive is largely normal when she returns to her residential U.K. neighborhood. This routine includes a very welcome greeting from live-in boyfriend Matt. However, this highly significant other is unaware that the contraband ocean dweller now resides in his basement.

Of course, our not-so-friendly sea monster better run, better hide. Olive's gotta keep him outta sight.

The elements that combine for the perfect storm that lead to Olive going mad and creating mayhem begins with a defense mechanism by the ancient one, who could be called Audrey as aptly as Sigmund, increasing the symbiotic relationship between him and his caregiver. A further catalyst comes in the form of the arrival of Olive's free-spirited younger sister Elle for an extended visit. The large differences in the personalities of the siblings, Elle expressing increasing interest in Matt, and Olive developing a strong bond with her other houseguest are the things of which B-movie horror films are made.

Olive discovering that "Audrey" has a much stronger taste for human blood than the other offered sustenance prompts our mad scientist to go to extremes to obtain that substance. Of course, that makes it a particularly bad time for Elle to get on the bad side of her sister.

All of this leads to a climax that has the lunch meat of the day fending off an attack after Olive witnesses an event that drives her further into lunacy. This leads to an epilogue that in turn leads to a development that screams for a sequel.

breaking chooses wisely in selecting the wonderfully cheesy (no pun intended) 2013 Sparke-directed film "Rats" as the accompanying short for this one. IMDb states it all in describing this low-budget movie as "A young woman finds her home plagued with mutant Rats From Outer Space." One spoiler is that the creatures are not the sensei of pizza-loving crime-fighting turtles.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Creature" or "Rats" is welcome to email me; you also can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.