Creepozoids [Grindhouse Collection] review

Bloodthirsty mutants and Linnea Quigley in a shower - what more could any '80s schlock fan ask for?

One of a glut of Aliens rip-offs that turned up in the second half of the '80s, Creepozoids is a heap of fun, even if it doesn't actually make a lick of sense.

Set in the future world of 1998, the film follows a group of army deserters who seek refuge in an abandoned military base in order to avoid the deadly acid rain that now falls from the post-apocalyptic sky. After a little fun and relaxation (including a soapy sex scene with Linnea Quigley that undoubtedly had quite an effect on every teenage boy who saw it), the gang soon discover that their hideaway is also the home to a monsterous genetic freak that quickly sets about killing the lot of them...

Naturally, it would be next to impossible to do Aliens on a budget of roughly $150,000. But that isn't going to stop Creepozoids director David DeCoteau from trying. Not only do we get to watch a squad of soldiers go up against a great big biomechanical monster, but the film also spends a lot of its 69-minute running time sending its cast crawling through suspciously spacious air ducts. There's even an interrupted meal that calls back to Alien's chestburster sequence.

But, despite all of this, there's still more to Creepozoids than ripping off Fox's sci-fi-horror franchise. As the budget would obviously only spread to one biomechanical beastie, we also get a dog-sized rat that seems to want nothing more than a great big hug from Linnea Quigley (and who can blame it?). There are also plenty of slimey, gloopy disolving bodies, and a monster baby to top everything off. 

Picture: Having owned an ex-rental VHS copy of the film for years, I can state quite happily that 88 Films' DVD release of Creepozoids is a vast improvement when it comes to picture quality. Sure, the open-matte 1.37:1 image is a little soft at times, but the cinematography now looks intentionally gloomy and atmospheric rather than just being impenetrably dark. Much of this can be put down to impressive black levels exhibited throughout the transfer. The native film grain (Creepozoids was the first time DeCoteau shot on 35mm) is also fairly well resolved. 
Picture rating: 3.5/5

Audio: The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is perfectly acceptable, if hardly groundbreaking. Dynamic peaks are few and far between, but the dialogue and Foley effects are all rendered cleanly and clearly. Given the low-budget nature of the original production, it's hard to think that you could ever get much of an improvement on what this DVD has to offer.
Audio raring: 2.5/5

Extras: It would be great to hear from the director or some of the film's cast in either a commentary or retrospective featurette, but sadly this DVD isn't able to conjure up anything of this kind. Instead it adheres to the pattern of bonus features found on other titles in 88 Films' Grindhouse Collection lineup.

As such there's the trailer, an animated gallery of poster/cover are and a bonus film (which, presumably, couldn't muster a standalone release). This time around it's the 1983 compilation flick Filmgore. Running for 119-minutes, Filmgore does pretty much exactly what you'd expect from the title - it's a compilation of gore scenes from both well-known and more obscure horror movies. Best of all, thanks to a script by Forest J Ackerman and links by Elvira, it doesn't take itself particularly seriously, which makes it much more watchable than many films of this type.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: A surprisingly solid DVD outing for this entertaining low-budget Aliens-wannabe.

88 Films, R0 DVD, £15 Approx, On sale now