‘Undersized, undead and angry!’
The Creeps is a 1997 American comedy horror feature film about a scientist that brings Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and Frankenstein’s Monster to life… but there’s a problem and they end up three feet tall! It was re-released as Deformed Monsters
Directed by Charles Band (over 150 features) from a screenplay written by Neal Marshall Stevens [as Benjamin Carr] (Thir13en Ghosts; Hellraiser: Deader), the Full Moon Pictures-Tanna Productions movie stars Rhonda Griffin, Justin Lauer, Bill Moynihan, Kristin Norton, Jon Simanton, Joe Smith, Thomas Wellington and Phil Fondacaro.
Mad scientist Winston Berber (Bill Moynihan) invents a machine that can bring mythic cultural archetypes to life. After Berber steals Mary Shelley’s original handwritten Frankenstein manuscript from her library, Anna Quarrels (Rhonda Griffin) enlists the help of amateur detective David Raleigh (Justin Lauer) to track down the priceless artefact… but they’re too late.
Berber uses his invention to bring Dracula (Phil Fondacaro, Troll), Frankenstein’s Monster (Thomas Wellington), Mummy (Joe Smith), and Wolfman (Jon Simanton, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie) to life, with hopes of ruling the world while his new minions do his bidding.
Unfortunately for Berber, something goes wrong. Rather than the hulking, imposing monsters of legend, they emerge as diminutive versions. To make matters worse, the uncontrollable creatures fail to obey his orders…
“There’s something embarrassingly entertaining about a three-foot-high werewolf, but that and a genuinely strong performance by veteran little-person actor Phil Fondacaro as Dracula are pretty much the extent of The Creeps‘ charms. It’s not all that funny, and not scary at all. However, like most Full Moon movies, it’s far from unwatchable…” AV Club
“The Creeps puts just enough of an original twist on well-trodden characters that have been on screen in hundreds of incarnation. The schlocky aspects largely add to the charm, though the film feels incomplete at 75 minutes. The set-up is there, but a big finale is sorely missed.” Broke Horror Fan
“The actors, recognizable from other roles, are quite good. The story takes a while to get going and the film’s running time is short, but the attack scenes are well done, particularly the one of the librarian at the altar.” Down Among the “Z’ Movies
“Rather flimsily-scripted and unevenly acted, The Creeps is redeemed by a touching performance by Phil Fondacaro (Meridian and TV’s Seinfeld) as well as a climactic argument about our cultural need for heroes and monsters (as well as the fangasmic name-checking of Jess Franco, Italian exploitation, Hong Kong crime films, and The Bad Lieutenant by filmmakers and actors who sound like they know what they’re talking about).” DVD Beaver
“While the acting and story of The Creeps are worth talking about, I really want to dive into how impressive the special makeup effects looked […] Gabriel Bartalos and his team of make-up artists managed to conjure up some of the best creature designs I’ve seen in Frankenstein and Wolfman history.” Repulsive Reviews
“The story itself is full of holes but it’s reasonably quick in its pace and the monster/makeup effects, as mentioned, are pretty solid. This is goofy stuff to be sure, but it’s entertaining in its own mindless sort of way.” Rock! Shock! Pop!
“Fans of Grade A cheese will definitely want to give The Creeps a go. Everything about it suggests it should be rubbish – the acting, the budget, the soundtrack, the ending – but in this case, multiple wrongs somehow do end up making a right.” That Was a Bit Mental
“With a lightweight tone and silly premise, this is certainly campy stuff and manages to be fairly entertaining despite the fact it’s really hard to be menaced by pint-size creatures (I mean come on, just push them out of the way and run!) […] Phil Fondacaro does decent as Dracula and Moynihan is amusing as the nebbish scientist.” The Video Graveyard
David Raleigh: “She had a mole on her thigh! She wore pink panties! Just leave me alone! What are you doing?”
Rhonda Griffin: “As much as we need heroes we need our monsters. Because you’re a part of us too.”
Cast and characters:
Rhonda Griffin … Anna Quarrels
Justin Lauer … David Raleigh
Bill Moynihan … Winston Berber
Kristin Norton … Miss Christina
Jon Simanton … Wolfman
Joe Smith … Mummy
Thomas Wellington … Frankenstein’s Monster
Phil Fondacaro … Dracula
J.W. Perra … Video Store Customer
Andrea Harper … Stella, Video Store Clerk (as Andrea Squibb)
Filmed in StereoVision 3D: The movie was shot in 35mm using Chris Condon StereoVision lenses.