Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Appreciation for The Creeper Part I

“Every 23rd spring for 23 days it gets to… eat. You’ve got something it likes… one of you. It eats lungs so it can breath, it eats eyes so it can see. Whatever it eats… becomes a part of it. I don’t know if it’s a demon or a devil… or just some hungry thing from some dark place in time… but when you hear that song you run, and I mean run! ‘Cause that song means something terrible for you, something so terrible you couldn’t dream of it… not in your worst most terrible nightmare.”

Let’s be honest here for a few minutes, how many memorable horror villains have come up within the new millennium? Sure, there is the charismatic yet elaborate Jigsaw who has become a huge household name but that’s about it. We haven’t really had a known or recognizable face in horror besides him and with all the remakes out; I doubt we will ever find one. That is if you consider The Creeper. Yes, I am talking about that creepy demonic thing that walks around long coat, stalks people via truck, and eats for 23 days on every 23 spring. I consider him to be one of the most underrated horror movie villains of the past 10 or so years and there are a number of reasons why. The main reason why I think that is, unlike Jigsaw, he doesn’t have morals and he isn’t trying to teach people lessons but rather hunts and kills because he needs to. I want to discuss why The Creeper is, or should be, one of the greatest villains to emerge out of the new generation and to limit myself I will be only discussing his trains as shown through the first movie… for now.

Jason Voorhees has the machete, Michael Meyers has the kitchen knife, Freddy Krueger has his glove, Leatherface has his chainsaw, but what trademark tool does The Creeper have? The answer to that question is nothing. The new generation of horror villains don’t need a trademark weapon, instead their reputation is their trademark. Think about it. What can be worse than having some thing hunt you because it’s starving, because you caught it’s scent, because it needs you and because you have the right amount of fear that it feeds off of? These traits are so barbaric and animalistic that it’s unsettling to know that it isn’t even an animal but some kind of creature that has been around for years. Some may argue that it is his physical appearance that is trademark but I disagree. If it has to be appearance it would have to be the way he is dressed. Wearing only boots, an Australian drover coat, a wide brimmed hat and gloves; his scarecrow like persona only adds to the fact that he inspires fear into those around him. His look is gritty and dirty. It’s a look that I haven’t seen since Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

In terms of abilities he isn’t a zombie, he doesn’t have some curse on him, he isn’t an entity that lives in our imagination and he isn’t just some hard-boiled psychopath so his abilities are somewhat limited. However, this means that he is a creature that is not of this Earth and that means he is closer to being demonic than anything. The Creeper has extreme stamina and strength, even though his appearance resembles and old man. It seems as though he has super speed, which may come from the fact that he is hiding giant bat wings under his jacket. I haven’t seen a serial killer jump on somebody’s car hood; grab them by punching the hood open, and than slicing of his head. Hell, I haven’t seen a killer sniff another person’s head right before biting his tongue out. Actually, that brings me to a point relevant to the above paragraph… perhaps The Creeper’s signature weapon should have been the giant axe that he wields right before cutting off the cop’s head and this was way before Hatchet came out. I also like the fact that he can regenerate limbs, organs and body parts simply by consuming them off of humans. It’s such a grotesque way of body reconstruction that the mere thought of it is repulsing. That also might be one of his trademark features as well.

Now, is The Creeper an emotionless zombie? Does he feel emotion? Is he a homicidal goofball? Is he mildly retarded? Or, is he a prick? His personality isn’t what you’d call charming but he isn’t emotionally cold either. Let’s compare him to Jigsaw for a minute. Jigsaw is a dick. He likes to watch his victims suffer and before he captures him and if he meets them before hand, he is sarcastic and sort of acts like a douche. The Creeper is a cock. He knows that he is unbeatable and he likes letting his victims know it. Take for example right before he blasts off into the night with Darry, Darry’s sister pleads with him and just when she things she managed to change his mind… The Creeper smiles and shoots off into the sky. I’m willing to bed that one of those cops, or even Darry’s sister, deep down inside said, “What a cocky son of a bitch.” But this scene also reveals another very important characteristic about The Creeper. He isn’t the emotionally cold monster we may think he is but maybe he understands the pain he is causing. However, I’m willing to bet that he understands it but realized that he can’t do anything about it so he embraces what he is. Still, he is a cock-hole.

But as I think about it, is The Creeper just some mindless demon with some remorse to human life? Some people will argue that he is quite intelligent and rather artistic. Let’s look at some of the things he enjoys. First off, given that he is some giant bat thing, it’s very strange to see him whistle. Perhaps he’s learned it from humans and if that’s the case, I’m sure he learned plenty of other things. His ‘House of Pain’ is lined with dead corpses, which, as sick as it may be, is very artistic and original. I’ve never seen a villain appreciate artwork so much. If I am not mistaking, his dens (both in the chapel and in that industrial park) are filled with artwork and sculptures that he apparently made. By looking at the bodies that he’s stitched up and what he did to Darry in the end… he has demonstrated that he has a profound love for sewing and patchwork. But, the best artistic trait of all is that he not only has an old phonograph but he has a great taste in music. C’mon, what other villain out there listens to Louis Armstrong? Perhaps, The Creeper is a little more cunning and creative than Jigsaw.

Combined with his love for nostalgia (I am specifically talking about the fact that he won’t give up his souped 1941 Chevrolet COE), his love for good old time music, his demonic Southwestern appearance and his persistent attitude, this villain was made for me at least in terms of new generation movies. He is cunning, he is iconic and very intelligent and it’s such a shame that he isn’t as big as he should be. The Creeper has the opportunity of becoming one of the greatest villains of the past 10 years and it seems that people are a little distracted by Jigsaw. No matter, but maybe I can persuade them into looking deeper into The Creeper. Join me next time where I will be discussing his characteristics from the second movie.

5 comments:

Scare Sarah said...

He is very cool. Although I recall feeling a little dissapointed when I first saw those wongs. I was hoping for a plain old human psycho at the time. But in Jeepers 2, I did enjoy all the sniffing.

Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

I can see where you were coming from but giving him a demonic persona sort of fit with the mysticism found in Southern states.

Wings said...

I love the Creeper! I love how 'otherworldly' he seems. Like, he is part of our world and looks human-ish, but he has a whole different brain going on up there. He just doesn't think or act like we do. And I love the scene where the siblings slowly drive by his place and he watches them watch him... CREEPY!

HorrO said...

I don't think anyone else could have written a better look at the Creeper, I know I couldn't. I completely completely agree with you. He is such a great character. I love both movies, and it is mostly because of him. Too bad the studio that owns his rights doesn't understand what an awesome character they have or we wouldn't have to wait forever for a 3rd movie. I know the studio had issues but I want no excuses, I want the 3rd movie already. And they better not screw it up either. I hope horror fans will come out to see the Creeper again. Can't wait for your second look at the Creeper. I probably liked him even more after the 2nd movie.

Free movies said...

Hey, Thanks for post ! The movie was awesome. it was brilliantly directed. I bought the DVd for this film on next day of watching :)

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