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Creature Wasn't Nice, The
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by Jack Sommersby

"Soporific Sci-Fi Spoof"
1 stars

With a shortage of ideas and laughs, it deserved to die the box-office death it did.

The low-budget science-fiction spoof The Creature Wasn’t Nice is good-natured but lackluster stuff that managed to put a single smile on my face the entire time, and being that this doesn’t occur until almost the one-hour mark, that means you have to suffer through a whole lot of tedium to get to it. The movie takes place on the spaceship Vertigo, which consists of Captain Jamieson (Leslie Nielsen), Morale Officer McHugh (Cindy Williams), Science Officer Dr. Stark (Patrick Macnee), mechanic Rodzinski (Gerrit Graham), and chef John (Bruce Kimmel), not to mention the speaking supercomputer Max. Following the plot of Ridley Scott’s extraordinary Alien, they descend upon a strange planet that’s completely desolate aside from a tiny red blob of some godawful substance that they carry back with them and place it in an observation chamber. Not surprisingly, it soon grows to human size with one huge eye and grizzly-bear strength, looking something like a mutated amoeba, and proceeds to systematically pick off the crew one by one while emitting a banshee-like scream that could shatter copper plating. But the movie finds itself painted into quite the corner in that there’s no attempt at suspense and the imagination quotient is decidedly low, rendering it ineffectual at eliciting either scares or laughs. Kimmel, who also wrote and directed, also pulled triple duty on the much-funnier The First Nudie Musical three years prior, and whatever comic gifts he previously displayed are in direly short supply here. There are jokes about inedible processed food (the mere mention of and display of gross “synthetic turkey” is supposed to have us in stitches, and fails), and the viewing of the future’s television programming of an elderly Dirty Harry character doesn’t come off any better (it’s as if Kimmel thought throwing in everything but the kitchen sink would automatically show he has “audacity”). Throughout I kept thinking back to the Roger Corman-produced Alien clone Forbidden World, which made the most of its meager production assets and incorporated a genuine outrageousness that kept an audience entertained for every one of its seventy-seven minutes, whereas The Creature Wasn’t Nice makes the fatal mistake of thinking that mere acknowledgement of sci-fi cliches is in and of itself a virtue and enough to carry the show. While the actors are spirited and able, they’ve been given unfunny dialogue and haven’t been called on to put any physical comedy into the proceedings; the sets lack the desired tackiness, the padding in between the jokes is infinite, and Kimmel can’t even be bothered to work up anything of a spry rhythm that would propel us over the numerous dead spots. As mentioned there is one standout scene, and it’s when the full-grown monstrosity is hooked up to electrodes and a communication device translating itself to human speech, and in anticipation of this once-in-a-lifetime scientific event, the crew witnesses it break into a song-and-dance to the musical number “I Want to Eat Your Face,” with the encore, “It could just be so yummy, I’d like to have your face in my tummy.” While far from witty, it’s the only thing in the movie that jogs your senses and gives you an idea of what might’ve been.

I disliked Mel Brooks's "Spaceballs," but it's a masterpiece compared to this.

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originally posted: 06/21/15 08:31:16
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USA
  01-Jul-1983 (PG)

UK
  N/A

Australia
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Directed by
  Bruce Kimmel

Written by
  Bruce Kimmel

Cast
  Leslie Nielsen
  Cindy Williams
  Gerrit Graham
  Patrick Macnee
  Bruce Kimmel



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