Director talks Screamfest feature “CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA”Movies/TV,News Michael Gingold
Playing LA’s Screamfest this Sunday, October 19, THE CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA is a docudrama exploring the human monster behind one of the worst creature features ever made, THE CREEPING TERROR. Read on for a few comments from the movie’s creator.
In THE CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA, writer/director Pete Schuermann dramatizes the story of Art J. Nelson, a.k.a. Vic Savage (played by Josh Phillips), a con artist and sociopath who manipulated the 1964 Z-movie THE CREEPING TERROR into production and was also a monster to his wife Lois (Jodi Lynn Thomas). TERROR is notorious for, among other things, being narrated throughout (the soundtrack was lost) and a monster that’s cheesy even by schlock-movie standards.
CREEP, which also features interviews with folks who worked on TERROR (including Richard Edlund, who created its title sequence before going on to an Oscar-winning visual FX career), is a far more polished production. Following its North American premiere at this year’s Fantasia festival in Montreal, Schuermann told Fango, “We made it in Colorado, which, in my opinion, is an untapped resource for really, really good talent. We had a great casting director, Brian McCauley, who works out of Denver and recommended Josh to play Art Nelson. He said, ‘There’s really only one person I know who could play this role’; we were originally thinking of someone a little younger, but Josh just nailed it so perfectly. Jodi actually came out of New Mexico, and contacted me on Facebook; I thought she had a great look, so we Skyped her audition and she was just great.”
CREEP’s other “star” is its recreation of the ramshackle monster Nelson employed for his feature. “We went to a studio in Denver that did a lot of stage work; they built Audrey II for a production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS,” Schuermann recalls. “Cory Gilstrap is the guy who built it, and that was a fun, fun process. We had to study CREEPING TERROR, literally frame by frame, to try to recreate the two versions of the monster. [The original filmmakers] really did have to build two, and there’s one that looks a little more triangular in the head while the other’s a little more rounded, and we had to figure out a way to do both at the same time. That was one of the first things we did; we almost built it as a promotional gimmick. The whole idea of having an actual Creeping Terror to play with and feed my wife to was a lot of fun; she’s in some of the earliest publicity pictures, with her legs sticking out.”
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