Flickchart Comment #26: Creature (1985) vs. Alone in the Dark (2005)


Back in the '80s, such was the impact of the original Alien upon myself and a few of my friends that we ended up seeing just about any knockoff of that film that hit our local screens. William Malone's Creature certainly fit the mold of Alien ripoff, making absolutely no bones about doing so, and it was thus that we ended up seeing it one night. Despite the fact that it hasn't an ounce of originality in its making, Creature became a part of the lexicon of our little group thanks to our then-infatuation with the actress Wendy Schaal, an infatuation we didn't really know we had until we saw this film (chiefly because we didn't know who she was). 

During moments of duress when it seemed her character was in imminent danger, a particular one of my pals would blurt out, in rapid fire speech, "Don't die, I love you!" This became her nickname from us, and any time we saw her in a film after that – she appeared in Joe Dante flicks like The 'Burbs (nice flowerbed booty scene) and Innerspace, as well as in Matthew Robbins' *batteries not included – someone that was not part of the original crew that saw Creature together would not quite recognize her and invariably say "Who's that?," and then one of us (often me) would go "That's 'Don't Die, I Love You!'"

Oh, yeah... the real reason I first wanted to see Creature, batshit insane Mr. Klaus Kinski, takes a while to show up in it, and he doesn't really help matters all that much quality-wise. It's slightly better than its pedigree might betray, but it is definitely not much more than a rote programmer, and I could mention a couple of Alien ripoffs I would much prefer to see, if only because their cheese factor is higher and more entertaining.

Still, it's a far cry above Uwe Boll's execrable Alone in the Dark. I have never played any of the video games on which this film is supposedly based, but then I have never read War and Peace either, and I have seen TWO different film versions of that book. So it matters little to me whether it sticks close to its source material (a contention from which a lot of the bile directed at the film seems to be derived) or not. The question should really be "How bad is this film?" and the answer can only be a resounding "Immeasurably so..." 

If you thought Denise Richards playing a nuclear scientist in The World Is Not Enough couldn't be topped in the "Department of Improbable Career Options for a Character Played by a Not Really Talented Hollywood Bimbette," then I dare you to try on Tara Reid as an archaeologist in Alone in the Dark and see how she fits. Want to see how deeply boring a film filled with "action" sequences can be? Welcome to what I call the "Uwe Boll Morass," where even the scenes not filmed in slow motion feel like even slower motion, like an elderly, crippled sloth crawling through molasses on top of quicksand. 

There is not a single step in this film that veers anywhere close to someone saying "Well, that wasn't too bad" and all Alone in the Dark does is make me want to buy Boll a blow-up doll and a flashlight, so at least something can shed even the slightest bit of light to him on something he is fucking up...

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