The Creeping Terrible! aka known as The Creeping Terror (1964)


This post is part of Movies Silently’s Accidentally Hilarious Blogathon!



I never pay attention to IMDb scores… I like to watch something and get my own feel for a film or television show. So I won’t mention that this film got a whopping 2.1 and is considered one of THE WORST films ever made. Yes, it’s true it’s terrible even when judged by the standards of the most elite cheesy films that have been dubbed a ‘turkey’… So terrible…. in that delicious, so bad it’s good way…It is inane on an Operatic level!

I mean a rambling patchwork carpet monster. The underside of this slow roaming rug whose cotton batting seems glued with excelsior having come unfurled after years of moths gnawed at it… make it look like the stuffing’s coming out of this film itself!

It’s ‘creeping’ head has little hardware coils like dread locks on it’s bulbous alien dome. Reminiscent of creative animator Art Clokey’s lovable green clay guy– it’s almost Gumby-seque face wearing a prairie bonnet of scrap metal or a mutated brussels sprout wearing curlers? One could even imagine a Venutian Raggedy Ann doll’s head…. geesh this creeping nightmare is a wonderful mess!

Gumby Alien

Gumby’s alien grandma Medusy?

not to mention…

When the thing rears up, it looks more like director Nelson, was working on some subliminal Freudian angst about giant gaping vagina’s eating him… a woven vagina I might add with a phallus shaped head! Wow talk about your double entendres.


Neither the acting nor the storyline matter since it’s all about the lumbering carpet monster on the screen… wow, this is sublimely brilliant in an unintentional way, or for the purposes of this blogathon, it’s Accidentally Hilarious!–So many scenes in fact are hysterical, so much so that the folks at MST3K couldn’t resist the temptation to lampoon it.

Let me say I adore this film. The same way that us cult fanatics worship Ed Wood’s filmsBecause they are endearing and engaging and utterly ludicrous yet engrossing. That takes a certain kind of distinctive potion to create a film that both stinks…. yet entertains ceaselessly.

There’s even a documentary called “Creep’ by Colorado film maker Pete Schuermann  which chronicles the behind the scenes going ons of seedy director Art J. Nelson, a con man, pimp, drug addict and purveyor of under aged girls who reportedly ‘auditioned’ for him. He was threatened with jail time.

I know people have written about MANOS: The Hands of Fate (1966) being the worst, or Plan 9 From Outer Space, and of course Phil Tucker’s awesomely ludicrous Robot Monster (1953) befit with a cockamamie ape suit, diving helmet and bubbles, lots of tiny little bubbles. And of course the ever popular ‘Jan in the Pan’, better known as The Brain That Wouldn’t Die 1962

Still… It’s this little creeping gem that gets under the skin a little like ring worm.

The Creeping Carpet

Worm… no more like slug. Yes, the Creeping Terror is a giant monster that looks like the prop department ransacked a decaying mansion’s attic and found Old Granny Holestead’s Persian Rug who mated with a Chinese Dragon Costume from the Chinese New Year’s Dragon Dance designed by Jim Henson.

The best part is the speed at which this monster…. well…. CREEPS. it actually does creep. So slowly, at a slugs pace, that it’s any wonder it gets to eat any people in the film at all.

There’s so much time to run away from this lumbering human eating carpet slug, but NO!!!!! people get devoured as if frozen in time, slowly caught in their fright scream–as they are consumed by this broadloom land shark, this gaping maw of an area rug on the prowl and the mostly female legs hanging out the hole to prove it!

From John Stanley’s Revenge of the Creature Features Movie Guide“It depicts an elongated alien monster resembling a clumsy shag rug which devours people through a gaping maw, overturns cars and takes forever to shamble ten feet!”

Yes that’s another fetish aside from the leggy part of the female anatomy that the monster is fixated on, it also has a hankering for cars. Loves to rub up against them, turn them over… and shamble after them…

creeping & car

this man is parked at lover’s lane by himself… hhmm





still just settin’ and smokin’ his pipe at lover’s lane









Something of interest for me is the fact that Byrd Holland plays the sheriff. He was responsible for the make-up in Lemora (1973) and The Baby (1973) starring Ruth Roman and Cronenberg’s Rabid (1977). Holland is a highly intelligent and talented artist, and I love to see someone with their own vision start out in such a uniquely either intentional or inadvertent timeless culty piece of artistic refuse.

Directed by A. J. Nelson aka Vic Savage the actor who plays Martin Gordon. The story is written by Robert Silliphant. The Beach Girls and the Monster 1965 & The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!! 1964

Martin and his new wife

Vic Savage (director A. J. Nelson himself) plays deputy Martin Gordon, Shannon O’Neil plays new bride Brett Gordon, William Thourlby is Dr. Bradford, John Caresio plays Col. James Caldwell, Brendon Boone plays Barney the Deputy. Jack King is Grandpa Brown, Louise Lawson is the blonde in the gold pants…. And Larry Burrell is our narrator… thanks Larry for the stirring police procedural or army training film like earnestness.

The director of photography is Andrew Janczak, A.J. Nelson did the editing and Clifford Stine is attributed with the special effects. Jon Lackey designed the monster. (Perhaps, After an all night drinking binge woke up under his Aunt Tilly’s Turkish Rug imagined he was being eaten and boom you got a monster!

The opening titles were designed by the uncredited visual effects specialist Richard Edlund.

Frederick Kopp’s scintillating musical score is perfect for the mood, with discordant jazz piano and troubled horns!

There’s some very funky sound effects actually and in spots a grim Hammond organ underscore the scenes with a ironic incongruous hilarity. Then a serious horn section cuts in with the anxious post modern piano stabs that accentuate the rollicking peril….!


Art Direction by Bud Raab… art direction? Teehee that’s a credit worth mocking!

Okay the plot rolled into one tiny little carpet runner– Actually filmed in Lake Tahoe

A rocket crash lands in the fictional Angel County, California. What comes crawling out of the busted hull of the craft is an alien monster that looks like a lumbering Cabaret Kafkaesque metamorphosized Turkisk Rug that mated with a caterpillar and moves at the rate of of 2 inches per hour– wreaking havoc in a small town. As it traipses through the country scenery and urban nite life it munches on all it encounters.

Now the newly married deputy Martin Gordon (the sheriff has been killed while investigating the ship, by a second little carpet monster still inside the spacecraft) must stop it from eating the entire town. Aided by scientist Dr. Bradford and Col James Caldwell and the military. (guys who can’t aim their guns in time or spread out enough or not trip over their own combat boots not to get eaten!) Caldwell gets orders to suppress the news about the monster.

This mindless ravenous rug is actually a probe that is on earth to take samples, analyze and send them back to their alien galaxy before they plan on conquering our planet!

The only film with no dialogue but tons of incongruous narration. Reportedly the original audio tracks were lost. What’s left are scenes that are guided by sober voice-over and the side step here and there to regard the virtues of married life…

Narrator: “Barney and Martin had been bachelor buddies for years. But now that Martin was settling down to marriage, they were slowly drifting apart. Barney, naturally, was still dating all the girls in town, and he couldn’t understand why Brett and Martin didn’t pal around with him more than they did. He couldn’t comprehend that married life brought with it not only new problems and duties, but the necessary togetherness of husband and wife as well. Despite Brett’s most tactful considerations, such as inviting him over to dinner quite often, Barney was growing resentful of her, or at least she felt that he was. Since time began this change in relationships probably happened to all buddies in similar circumstances. Life has its way of making boys grow up, and with marriage, Martin’s time had come. His life was now Brett, a life that he thoroughly enjoyed.

Deputy and Wife tre sexy
That’s okay guys, I’ll just let myself out. Thanks for the drink…
In a remote part of the county a first in a series of tragedies.. the narrator says with happy jazz underscoring it
Narrator-“In a remote part of the county a first in a series of tragedies..” delightful jazz score





Veiled warnings against the ills of sexual freedom and singlehood considering most 50s & 60s Sci-Fi/Horror films show that the victims are eaten while in the throws of youthful raging hormones or libidinous acts of desire. Evidenced by the shots of the female legs that lay sprawling out of the gaping orifice of the wonderfully asinine monster’s mouth. He also eats a girl in a bikini, several couples at a picnic, grandpa and little Bobby fishing!

Narrator: “That afternoon, in Mungreeve Park, a group of neighbors got together for a hoot-e-nanny.”

And of course the rudimentary neckers parked at the local lovers lane.

Trepsing at the hootenanny

Trepsing Terror

One of the most bizarre and ‘creepy’ scenes that stuck out for me is where the mother hanging her laundry is about to be the carpet-pillar’s snack, just prior to, she shows us the thermometer before she’s about to take her baby’s temperature rectally ‘off camera‘… Oy vey!!! No not that way please!!!!!

Betty Johnson blows a good bye kiss to her husband ... but for the last time
Narrator-“Betty Johnson blows a good bye kiss to her husband … but for the last time”

Poor baby let mommy take your temperature

the thermometer

the poor baby
why is this baby crying?
betty laundry eaten
Please don’t eat me now… my baby’s inside and he’s got a terrible temperature! Is that you junior?Mommy will be there in a moment darling! Nice to have met you carpet monster!

But perhaps the most surreal, and favorite scene for me is the killer (literally) dance sequence when the carpet monster invades the dance hall. People are twisting and gyrating all groovy and early rock n’ roll 60s like and this plodding monstrosity manages to devour all of these hapless souls who just stand there waiting to get eaten… remember the stampede from The Blob!!!!  this is the antithetical-flight– the languid stand there and wait to be eaten group death scene.

Grandpa and Bobby went fishing… poor Grandpa and Bobby… Bobby? Bobby? Bob–bee!!!!!



Swinging at the dance hall
Swinging at the dance hall!!!


Trepsing toward the dance hall 2

girl in the gold pants
credited as the girl in the gold pants!


"My god what is it?" that's what we'd all like to know!
actress flew in from Newark NJ for this memorable piece of dialogue-“My god what is it?” that’s what we’d all like to know!








when a giant alien carpet monster invades the dance hall festivities it just goes without saying… there should also be a bar room brawl!


Clear the dance floor… Hot soup coming through!-And did someone order the Lobster Newburg?
Yummy… another pair of female gams to crunch on!




CapturFiles_56 the third pai r of ladies legs jutting out of the monster's hole
He’s on his third pair of lady legs!!! just loves ’em!



no survivors
though the crowded dance floor scrambled to get away as fast as mannequins in a store window-there were no survivors!
At Perswigian’s Rug Bazaar there’s no rug too big for our craftsmen to appeal to your good taste!–we deliver even on Sundays!
CapturFiles_62 there were no survivors lol
Oh gosh… these men’s slacks always repeat on me!
Traipsing…. shamble… traipsing… shamble… plod along… traipse some more….



And of course that oh so awkward scene of the giant Persian rug, or pieces of rugs sewn together that attacks an automobile with passengers… looking like it’s actually making whoopee with the car spray painted 23 Skiddoo— for the third time we see a pair of female legs (an obvious fetish of director Nelson’s, being consumed by the great sluggish beast–oh my this film’s got so many wacky tid bits.



This creeping carpet thingy just leisurely eats it’s way through people til you’re scratching your head asking why and how? because the pace it shambles is more emblematic of a Bergman character contemplating life and not a 60s sci-fi monster. Well with the exception of Corman & Blaisdell’s cucumber monster in It Conquered the World who sort of just trundled out the cave barely flapping it’s rubber arms at the flame throwers!

Martin was outraged by the governments intellectual approach to a monster that had already killed and caused  the disappearance of his two close friends.

Narrator- “Martin was outraged by the governments intellectual approach to a monster that had already killed and caused  the disappearance of his two close friends.”

Aside from the moral message, get married… the film isn’t somber, intense or foreboding. It’s not nostalgically exhilarating or dreary or even tragically triumphant… it’s just darn hilarious! And there you have it….

So much carpet monster eating carnage!!!


Narrator: “The Sergeant, a shaken man, returned babbling about what had happened. Realizing the full danger of the situation, decided he had only one means left to stop the monster: Grenades. Now Bradford made a drastic move. Acting on his superior authority, he forbade Caldwell to destroy the creature. The Colonel, more concerned with saving human lives than advancing Science, told Bradford to “Go to Hell.”






From IMDb trivia-

  • According to rumors, a more impressive looking monster was originally designed and built for the movie. However, only a few days before shooting was to begin, the monster was stolen. Pressed for time and out of money, director Vic Savage and his crew hastily threw together the infamous “pile of carpets” monster that appears in the film.
  • The stock audio of the monster’s growling was also used in Battle Beyond the Sun (1962) and Jack the Giant Killer (1962).
  • Filmed at the Spahn Ranch infamous Manson gang residence.
  • The opening titles were done by then-unknown Richard Edlund. He is uncredited in the film.
  • Evidence is lacking that this film ever received a theatrical release. There were no advertised theatrical showings in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, or The Chicago Tribune before it began to be shown on television circa 1976.



Lemora: a Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973) & Dream No Evil (1970) Journeys of: The Innocent/Absent Father Archetype & Curse of the Lamia or “Please don’t tresspass on my nightmare!”

Lemora, Lady Dracula

“For some nights I slept profoundly; but still every morning I felt the same lassitude, and a languor weighed upon me all day. I felt myself a changed girl. A strange melancholy was stealing over me, a melancholy that I would not have interrupted. Dim thoughts of death began to open, and an idea that I was slowly sinking took gentle, and, somehow, not unwelcome possession of me. If it was sad, the tone of mind which this induced was also sweet. Whatever it might be, my soul acquiesced in it.”
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, ‘Carmilla’



Run, little girl! Innocence is in peril tonight!

The Light in the Window … The Lock on the Door … The Sounds in the Night! A Possession is Taking Place!


A while ago I double featured Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) and The Night God Screamed (1971). I made it clear that I felt Let’s Scare Jessica to Death was the superior film but somehow they made good companion pieces. And since I’m a child of the 70s, those days of the double bill, musty theaters, milk duds, and groovy posters, I’ve decided to pair these particular films. And once again, I’ll emphasize now that I believe Lemora to be by far not only the superior film but one of the MOST uniquely beautiful horror/fantasy films I’ve ever seen.

Lemora Bathes Lila 2

Because the film hit a very bumpy road on its release, it wound up being passed around like an orphan from one distributor to another. Thus is the reason for several titles over the years. It has been called The Legendary Curse of Lemora and Lemora, Lady Dracula, the latter hoping to ride the wave of low-budget vampire films that have now also attained cult status such as Bob Kelljan’s authentically potent Count Yorga Vampire 1970 starring Robert Quarry, and the equally stylish Blacula 1972 and of course the Gothic vampire pageantry of Hammer Studios churning out stylish costume melodramas with a lesbian vampire sub-text like The Vampire Lovers 1970 and Lust For a Vampire 1971, Stephanie Rothman’s The Velvet Vampire 1971, and Vicente Aranda’s The Blood Spattered Bride 1972. The liner notes written by Richard Harland Smith of Video Watchdog & Chris Poggiali of Fangoria and Shock Cinema interviewed Richard Blackburn and Byrd Holland and point out that Blackburn’s film is “less exploitative” yet “not unerotic” while using the “fragility of innocence.”

From the Journal of Horror and Erotic Cinema-Edited Andy Black
Bev Zalock’s- Girl Power From The Crypt

“In a sense, horror more than any of the other exploitation genres, with its monsters of the imagination, feeds fantasy and configures fear in a very direct way. With its linking of sex and death, horror taps into the unconscious and is associated with surrealism and the fantastic in both literature and cinema. Desire becomes the primary mise-en-scene within the realm of the supernatural and, as David Pirie observes in his excellent book The Vampire Cinema’ there is a strong cultural connection between our perception of sex and the supernatural. Pirie cites an article by Susan Sontag written in 1967 entitled “The Pornographic Imagination” in which she locates the fantastical realm of the human imagination as the site in which the two are classically connected.” – from Susan Sontag’s piece–Styles of Radical Will 1966

Celeste Yarnall-The Velvet Vampire
Celeste Yarnall is the dark lady vampire in Stephanie Rothman’s -The Velvet Vampire-co-starring Sherriy Miles.

In addition to these lesbian vampire narratives, you have Jess Franco’s Vampyros Lesbos 1970 and auteur Jean Rollin’s distinctive style who like Hammer connected suggestions of the ‘pornographic imagination’ that Susan Sontag describes. Films that use the spectrum of surrealist imagery from the Gothic to the gory. What they share is a ferocious appetite for power and the desire for sexual freedom.

Directed and written by Richard Blackburn  (Eating Raoul 1982 with cult idol Mary Woronov and co-written with director Paul Bartel) fresh out of UCLA film school, with his pal Robert Fern. Blackburn has said in interviews that there are things he would have done differently with a better budget and more time. He shot Lemora in a month. I think the crudely macabre tonality of Lemora is what makes films like these from the good old ’70s oneiric, quintessential, haunting, and flawless as is.

There is a discrepancy as to whether the running time of the film is either 85 minutes or 113 minutes (uncut). The remastered DVD through Synapse Films took the original 35mm negatives and brought this film back to its ‘never before seen clarity.’ The prints were presumed lost for over 30 years.


The hauntingly macabre and somber music is by Dan Neufeld who crafted electronica and claviers and what I think might be a Melatron to evoke the eerie essence of the story is absolutely brilliant. With crying strings that fortify distorted wails and moans. With music box tinkling, poignant yet eerie flutes, and piano, muted horns-noises that shimmer and reverberate on cue with the dialogue or surreal set piece- I wish Dan Neufeld had done more movie scores. The sound design, the dysmorphic groans-unearthly wails- they’re the sounds you’d imagine the ‘old ones’ make in a Lovecraftian tale. Even the crickets and chorus frogs of the swamp sound metamorphosized into frightening aberrations.

Continue reading “Lemora: a Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973) & Dream No Evil (1970) Journeys of: The Innocent/Absent Father Archetype & Curse of the Lamia or “Please don’t tresspass on my nightmare!””

Saturday Nite Sublime: The Baby (1973)


The Baby film poster

The poster for The Baby alone is disturbing in it’s ability to create an instant queasy feeling and queer flutter that hits your senses due to the inappropriate visual environment. A crib with a large pair of legs hanging over the edge. The hands holding an axe and a sexualized young female holding a teddy bear. So let’s just get these words out of the way for starters…

DISTURBING, repulsive, odd, subversive PERVERSE, TRANSGRESSIVE, unnatural, deviant provocative DEGENERATE immoral warped twisted wicked KINKY inflammatory abhorrent, repugnant offensive objectionable, vile, NASTY, sickening stomach turning, detestable, abominable, monstrous horrendous awful dreadful unsavory unpleasant, GROTESQUE ghastly horrid flagrant audacious unpalatable unwholesome baleful, improper immoral indecent DEPRAVED salacious iniquitous criminal nefarious REPREHENSIBLE scandalous disgraceful deplorable shameful morally corrupt, obscene unsettling disquieting dismaying alarming frightful sinister WEIRD menacing threatening freakish sensationalist, violating breach of decency straying from the norm, awkward unethical reactionary QUEASY inappropriate improper unorthodox taboo malapropos unseemly strange tawdry psycho-sexual lunatic madness sleazy bizarre peculiar, curious queer controversial offbeat outre abnormal outlandish shocking and sick…?

Touching on so many taboos and cultural deviance is director Ted Post’s shocker The Baby 1973. starring the mighty Ruth Roman.

Ruth Roman
Look at that sensual face… what a beauty Ruth Roman
Strangers on a Train
Still of Ruth Roman and Robert Walker in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951)

Day of the Animals 1977, Look in Any Window 1961, Bitter Victory 1957, Strangers on a Train noir thriller Down Three Dark Streets 1954, The Window 1949, various television performances The Naked City’s ‘The Human Trap’ Climax!, Dr. Kildare, The Outer Limits, Burke’s Law, The Name of the Game, I Spy, Marcus Welby M.D, Mannix, Ironside, Gunsmoke, The Sixth Sense, Mod Squad and more!

And I’ve got to mention that Anjanette Comer is an excellent rival to play the ‘outsider’ antagonist against Ruth Roman in this battle of wills.

Anjanette Comer Five Desperate Women
Anjanette Comer stars in the ABC movie of the week’s Women-in-Peril feature film FIVE DESPERATE WOMEN 1971…

Directed by Ted Post who gave us Beneath the Planet of the Apes 1970, perhaps my favorite of the ‘ape’ films after the original. Saw each of the series during their theatrical release. Sadly Ted Post passed away just this past August 2013.

beneath the planet of the apes
James Franciscus in Ted Post’s Beneath the Planet of the Apes 1970
Ted Post and Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood & Ted Post collaborating on the set of Magnum Force
He directed television for years beginning in the 50s.  I love the TV movie also starring Beneath the Planet of the Apes blond hunk James Franciscus… who co-starred with the fabulous Lee Grant in Night Slaves (1970) and Dr. Cook’s Garden 1971 with a murderous Bing Crosby. And hey while I”m touting made-for-TV movies how bout Five Desperate Women 1971 where he most likely met Anjanette Comer? He’s also responsible for several episodes of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (1959-1964), including “Mr. Garrity and the Graves” and “The Fear.”  Post also directed two episodes of the Boris Karloff horror anthology show you know I truly love, Thriller (1961-1962), The Specialists & Papa Benjamin. And geez Columbo ’75-’76, A Matter of Honor and A Case of Immunity. Most people probably cite him for Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry vehicle Magnum Force 1973 or Good Guys Wear Black 1978. Ted Post knows how to put together a thriller!

The Baby’s screenplay was penned by Abe Polsky  (The Rebel Rousers 1970, The Gay Deceivers 1969)According to IMDb trivia, it took almost a year for Polsky to convince Post to direct the film because Post found the topic too ‘dark.’ While in retrospect the film must have ruffled many feathers, and the themes are truly disturbing, there isn’t anything in there that hasn’t been done in a contemporary film in some way, and ideas that force us to think are a good thing. Especially when it’s wearing 70s clothes, and showcasing groovy genre character actors.

The seventies were rife with psycho-sexual theatre that showcased really uncomfortable themes, but somehow managed to create an atmosphere of low-budget art. Consider this, haven’t you seen episodes of Law & Order SVU, Criminal Minds, & CSI where some of the most brutal acts of inhumanity and grotesque forms of torture and abuse are highlighted in graphic detail?  In the 70s it was more nuanced, bathed in muted lighting gels amidst experimental cinematic framing and absolutely moving musical scores.

So on one level refer to the litany of words above and assign your favorite one to The Baby, yet on another level, let’s look at this film and ‘react’ to it and recognize its power.

Baby's photo anthropological in the way it shows his captivity bars of crib
Baby’s photograph is lensed in an ‘anthropological’ way as it shows him in captivity-the bars of his crib symbolically like the bars of a prison

Continue reading “Saturday Nite Sublime: The Baby (1973)”