Main cast: Brian Kolodziej (Campbell), Amy Wehrell (Amy), Gerald Emerick (Mr Kaufman), Eric Darnell Redding (Jerome), Joel Adkins (Raimi), and Collin Bernsen (Swami Ted)
Director: Scott W McKinlay
I am not sure what Creep Van wants to be – a horror movie, a dark comedy, a thriller, or maybe something yet to be given word to – and I wonder whether the people behind this movie know. This one is an incompetently executed mess from start to finish.
Campbell went to LA to be an actor, but was dumped by his girlfriend and had to slink back home after failing to be an actor. This seems like an eerie parallel to the actor Brian Kolodziej’s own career trajectory, as he quit show business to go back to law school after this movie – see, acting in terrible movies can leave some serious repercussions to one’s life – but since he seems like a busy attorney now while Campbell is a loser struggling to hold on to jobs, the parallels fortunately stop there.
Our hero is a terrible loser and he eventually manages to find a job at a car wash, where he’s bullied by everyone while trying to get into Amy’s pants. He blames his constant misfortune on having to take the bus to work, which I suppose makes sense in a way, and hence, when he sees a decrepit-looking van with a sale sign by the street one day, he makes a call. No one replies, but unfortunately for him, the owner of the van now has his number. The van driver is a serial killer who has modified his van to be a literal killing machine – think of a less cool but more destructive take on the Batmobile – and as he leaves a trail of mutilated and disemboweled bodies in his wake, he decides to mess up Campbell’s life as well.
The plot sounds interesting, but unfortunately, the script – which is written by a few people, much to my surprise – is completely devoid of humor (dark or otherwise), suspense, momentum, climax, or thrills. The entire movie resembles an aimless, meandering montage spliced together using scenes that seem to be shot without any consideration being made as to whether the scene fits with the previous one or the scene after. Campbell is such a pathetic, one-dimensional loser that it’s hard to feel the blow coming from the “dark twist ending” when it’s just another one of the non-stop buggery the movie is forcing unto him. The killer has no motives or history – which normally may be fine, but here, that’s just another example of aimless, pointless plot element in an already aimless, pointless movie.
Halfway interesting characters are introduced and then killed off, and worse, the gore shots are often done in a hilariously inept way. The angle is always off, making it hard for me to see the actual murder, or things happen too quickly for me to make out what has happened, or the lighting is off, or often, it’s a combination of all three. Interestingly, the gore effects are actually well done for such a low budget flick; it’s how the scenes are captured that are all wrong.
Oh, and the acting is wretched. Most of the characters here are already grating and one-dimensional, including Campbell, and the wooden, android-like acting only accentuates how aggravating these characters are.
Creep Van is a stunning example of a horror movie fail in every conceivable manner. Watch it to experience the train wreck firsthand, I guess, but that’s about the only reason why one should waste time and money on this terrible, terrible thing.