Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Bug-eyed: Janis Wilson
THE CREEPER (1948). Director: Jean Yarbrough.

"Nora, get over yourself!" -- Dr. Reade

Nora Cavigny (Janis Wilson) is a highly neurotic young lady who has a phobia involving cats. This has to do with her father's experiments in Africa, something to do with -- get this -- making human tissue phosphorescent as an aid to surgery! Dr. Cavigny (Ralph Morgan) works with Dr. Bordon (Onslow Stevens) and Gwen Runstorm (June Vincent), and they all seem to have varying attitudes about what they're doing. Gwen is engaged to Dr. Reade (John Baragrey of Shockproof). who for utterly unaccountable reasons finds himself falling for the very nutty Nora. Then the claw murders begin ... The Creeper has some atmosphere and generally sufficient acting, although Janis Wilson is perhaps too odd even considering her character. Stevens [Lonelyhearts] makes an impression as Bordon, but the best work comes from June Vincent [Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard], as snappy and borderline bitchy as ever. Eduardo Ciannelli is also in the cast, along with David Hoffman as the rat-faced cat keeper, Andre. The Creeper is suspenseful but the experiments are inane, and the monster in this is particularly lame. Milton Rosen's theme music is a plus. Not to be confused with the Creeper played by Rondo Hatton in House of Horrors and The Brute Man, both of which came out earlier and were also directed by Yarbrough. Hatton also played a Creeper in the Sherlock Holmes feature The Pearl of Death. The 1942 Cat People may have had some influence on this picture.

Verdict: Some fun, but you can see why there was never a sequel nor a series of "Creeper" movies. **1/2.

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