Creep Van DVD Review
Directed by Scott W. McKinlay
Written by Jim Bartoo
2012, Region 1 (NTSC), 85 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on December 11th, 2012
Brian Kolodziej as Campbell Jackson
Amy Wehrell as Amy
Gerald Emerick as Mr. Kaufman
Collin Bernsen as Swami Ted
Mike Butler as The Creep
Veronica Adkinson as Danni
Justin Kolodziej as Bob
Angelina Armani as Sexy Beach Girl
Disclaimer: I was in love with this movie as soon as I heard the title. Creep Van. Fucking genius. Part of me actually feels sorry for those pampered, eco-friendly, new millennial emo-pukes that never had the luxury of perpetually being confronted by dilapidated, rusted, hulking, square, vehicular monstrosities like we routinely did in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Hell, back in the day you couldn’t throw an Atari 2600 controller without striking a gaudy conversion van, seemingly parked on every dimly lit street corner, with their mismatched hubcaps, absent rear bumpers, side panels adorned with neon-airbrushed Minotaur’s draped in the Confederate flag, darker-than-night illegally tainted windows, thunderous soot-belching exhausts, and an unregistered pedophile behind the steering column of each and every one. At least that’s what we all assumed. So you see, the term “creep van” magically transports me to the days of my youth, playing basketball and riding bikes in the waning moments of daylight, with one eye on the hoop and the other on the dodgy looking van idling just down the street.
Impromptu trip down memory lane aside, Creep Van takes place in present day, where one of these aforementioned mobile rape stations somehow survives the junkyard over the ensuing decades in order to wreak havoc on the poor white trash who find themselves in desperate need of cheap transportation. A mostly faceless sociopath has tricked out his beloved van with such standard options as a head-crushing mallet headrest, reinforced guillotine-inspired windows, and spear-chucking seat backs. You have to admire a guy who would rather invest money in such things instead of upgrading his 8-track tape player. In order to lure in his victims, he has taken to advertising his van for sale in the local Pennysaver. Answer the ad, and you’re guaranteed to end up dead. The primary protagonist in Creep Van is a poor shlub juggling a job with a demanding boss and a fledgling girlfriend, all while reliant on public transportation. Despite how shitty the van looks, it’s still preferable to the sexy allure of riding the #4 bus on a date. People die, a couple of titties get shown, and ultimately our hero finds himself on a crash course with the homicidal maniac in order to save his girl.
The acting in Creep Van is wooden, but better than expected and the direction is surprisingly competent. There's even a cameo from Troma-head Lloyd Kaufman himself. The star of the show, however, is the wonderfully ambitious practical effects delivered by Almost Human, a company that has created effects for much larger budgeted releases such as John Dies At The End, the remake of The Crazies, the Laid to Rest movies, and MTV's Teen Wolf series. The fact that such a relatively low budget production could somehow manage to offer up such professional looking effects work is a real testament to the resourcefulness of the producer and dedication of the rest of the behind-the-scenes staff working on this film.
With a script that seems to ramble aimlessly, an unfortunate finite number of the previously aforementioned stellar kill scenes, and all of the other negatives usually associated with productions lacking deep pockets, Creep Van simply isn’t a very good movie. But it is representative of everything that is promising and admirable about low-budget horror filmmaking. So walk down that dark alley, open the creaky sliding side-door, push aside that beaded curtain, and take a glorious ride in the Creep Van. Tomorrow you can show me on this doll where the bad man touched you.
Video and Audio:
Creep Van is presented in 16x9 anamorphic widescreen video with a Dolby 5.1 audio track.
There is a commentary track from director Scott McKinlay (a Troma alum) and writer/producer Jim Bartoo, a making of featurette that showcases McKinlay's dedication to getting his film made, a scene that breaks down the most elaborate stunt of the movie, short interviews with the cast, trailers, and a deleted scene best kept that way.
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