The Creeper (1977)

THE CREEPER (1977)
aka Rituals
Article 5048 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-13-2016
Directed by Peter Carter
Featuring Hal Holbrook, Lawrence Dane, Robin Gammell
Country; Canada / USA
What it is: Thriller

Five doctors decide to rough it in the wilderness, but find themselves being stalked by a killer who may be taking revenge for a past injustice.

The John Stanley guide from which I culled this title for my hunt list describes it as something of a cross between DELIVERANCE and a slasher film, and I think that gives a good description of the movie. It’s an uneven but compelling adventure thriller, and the murder/death scenes are memorable; the killer is less apt to attack directly than he is to set traps and use scare tactics, and some of these are quite nightmarish. The movie appears to have been made very cheaply (about a sixth of the budget went towards Hal Holbrook’s salary), but it uses its money and locations well. It’s a little difficult for me to evaluate just how good it is; my print is on one of those public domain sets, and it’s in pretty ragged shape, so I can’t quite say whether the difficulty of making out what’s happening in certain scenes is the result of my print or not. Still, what I do see is pretty effective, and the movie, though deliberately paced, is quite harrowing. The final shot is quite memorable.

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