Creature’s Box Office Debacle Makes News on ABC’s Nightline; Director Derides Film’s Critics

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Here I was planning to do a story posting this past Friday night’s “Nightline” segment about Creature’s box office apocalypse when I find out the film’s director did an interview lashing out at every online critic that didn’t like his movie in a way not seen since Uwe Boll’s famous online tirade following the release of House of the Dead.

Creature opened last weekend on 1,507 screens and barely made more than $300,000. That earned it the distinction of being the worst opening ever for a movie released on 1,500 or more screens.

In an interview with Fangoria (they gave it a positive review, FYI), Creature director Fred Andrews doesn’t have much to say about the disastrous opening weekend, but he certainly has some choice words for people like myself that didn’t like the movie (read my Creature review here). The entire interview reads like the first two stages of the Kubler-Ross model for the Five Stages of Grief. Here’s the money paragraph:

Oh no, the negative reviews have been in no way disappointing; in fact, I am impressed with how many different and creative ways people have been able to express their distaste for the film [laughs]. But seriously, of course I anticipated a lot of negative reviews just given the very nature of the film. It’s not a film for critics; I mean, come on, it’s called CREATURE, for God’s sake! But on the other hand, I was happily surprised when the LA Times gave us a good, honest review; they got it. As have a number of other reputable critics and publications like FANGORIA, Nuke the Fridge, Killer Films and Unwinnable. Those lowbrow sites that have trashed it and bloggers who harshed on the film were no surprise to me, man. Come on, what kind of critic are you if you use the word “titties” in your review, or you’re still talking about my film when you’re reviewing another one. You can’t take those guys seriously, man; they’re bottom feeders.

Funny how none of those “lowbrow” sites were “bottom feeders” when they were practically doing all the promotional work for the film by reporting on Creature prior to its disastrous release. Rotten Tomatoes currently has 3 positive reviews and 20 negative so I guess the New York Times and the Boston Globe now also toil in the realm of lowbrow bottom feeders.

The ABC News “Nightline” episode in question concluded with a short but amusing segment about Creature’s box office boondoggle. Director Andrews is nowhere to be seen or heard from during it, probably because he wouldn’t have taken too kindly to the segment’s “Worst Movie Ever?” moniker and snarky tone. Actually, he probably shouldn’t complain at all since is the most mainstream publicity the film has gotten to date.

An ex-Navy seal, Niles (Mehcad Brooks), his girlfriend Emily (Serinda Swan) and their friends head out on a road trip to New Orleans. When the group decides to stop at a roadside convenience store owned by Chopper (Sid Haig) they are introduced to the legend of Lockjaw, a Creature who is part man, part alligator…The Legend has it that an inbred local man by the name of Grimley (Daniel Bernhardt), lost his family to a monstrous white alligator, and because of the devastating loss of his family was driven to madness and was transformed into the Creature. Their curiosity peaked, the group decides to head deeper into the swamps to check out the birthplace of this Creature legend. As they journey further into the backwoods the group arrives at an old dilapidated cabin and decide to camp there for the night and inadvertently unleash the Creature who terrorizes the group.

Creature's Box Office Debacle Makes News on ABC's Nightline; Director Derides Film's Critics

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  • Shambling_in_Bandages

    “It’s not a film for critics; I mean, come on, it’s called CREATURE, for God’s sake!”

    So the director admits that his movie isn’t exactly high art, then insults reviewers who didn’t like it as being “low brow”. Uh… that’s some really strange logic at work.

  • Cinemascribe

    In the Fangoria interview Foy excerpts from here, the director also alludes to the fact that he hasn’t heard much from the people who backed the film since it came out, but that he feels his relationship with them is still solid.

    Uh-huh. Keep reaching for that rainbow, man.

    And, can somebody somewhere please intervene and guide the unquestionably talented Sid Haig to a better agent? Between this current debacle and that misbegotten piece of 3D shit that had the audacity to call itself Night of the Living Dead a few years ago, my heart is breaking for this guy. He’s better than this.

  • Uncle Creepy

    Everybody keeps wondering how this got 1,500 screens. My best guess? The filmmakers four-walled it into theatres. Meaning that they spent lord knows how much to rent out each facility to have the movie shown there. The filmmakers then split the take with theatres – usually they get the ticket sales cash and the theatre keeps the concessions cash. It’s very similar to what Kevin Smith did with Red State only he was smart enough to do a tour one theatre at a time instead of pushing for hundreds of theatres and hoping for the best.

    A major studio like WB who distributed Trick ‘r Treat would NEVER resort to four walling. No studio would.

    No Mr. Andrew’s didn’t mention anyone by name, he just kind of lumped everyone who gave his movie a bad review into one camp … low brow. Sad really. You make a movie and it doesn’t fly, hey, shit happens. You don’t resort to lashing out at anyone. You just try and make a better one next time.

    Yes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity and that’s how Andrews is obviously trying to spin this, but there’s a way to do things … such as not alienating the fan base or its mouthpieces. Sites like DC, Bloody Disgusting, Shock Till You Drop, etc, all covered the hell out of Creature. We were paying attention to it way before it became the butt of the mainstream media’s joke. We did everything we could to support it and everyone who worked on it in the most positive ways possible.

    In the end a lot of people, both fans and critics alike, didn’t dig the flick. Not because of what it was trying to be or its subject matter. We love that stuff. People didn’t dig it because it just wasn’t a good movie. Hell, it wasn’t even a fun bad movie and that’s the problem.

  • MichaelRAllen

    Haha, did he mention Dread Central?

    Blame the critics when your film is bad in a weak attempt to keep the film in good standing.

  • Nomad

    One day we will look back on this particular opening weekend and wonder how the hell movies like Creature and Bucky Larson made it onto the big screens in the first place.

    • cthutube

      Exactly. Trick Or Treat doesnt make it to the big screen but this did? WTF!