Sunday, January 22, 2017


Welcome to another installment of the TRASH BIN, where we watch the worst movies Hollywood has to offer, according to the critics, and give you our thoughts, good or bad. This week we will be looking at the direct to DVD horror movie... CRIPPLED CREEK.

Crippled Creek, written and directed by Hans Hartman, is a story about three young women who go on a ‘girls only’ camping trip in the forests of Connecticut where the Hooper’s grandparents have a cabin. The young women are Mady Hooper (Ashley Totin), her cousin Bambi Hooper (Evy Lutzky-Bjorn) and their friend Aubry Laput (Jennifer Jules Hart). Along the way, they meet up with Forest Ranger Greene (listed in the credits as ‘himself’) who assists them in getting to the trails that lead to the cabin. He also warns them about an old hermit named Josiah Trapper (Hans Hartman) who lives in the woods and does not like people intruding on ‘his land’.

Once there, the girls are not settled in long before two men, also on a camping trip, join them. Tom (Paul Logan) and his buddy Gary (Michael Dionne) introduce themselves as just a couple of lawyers out for a relaxing weekend, but it’s obvious they have an agenda once they find out the three lovely ladies are there without any men around. Bambi and Aubry are just as interested in pairing up with the handsome men for sex in the woods as their friend Mady is opposed to the idea of having their ‘girls weekend’ derailed by the intrusion of Tom and Gary into the mix. However, the five of them all hang out for a night around the campfire, full of booze, pot and the telling of creepy stories.   
One of these stories is the set up for the ‘urban legend’ that haunts the very woods they are camping in. A tale about a man who became a cannibal when he was lost at sea and had to eat his shipmates to survive.  When he was rescued he had an affair with the wife of another sailor. They were caught by the husband and the cannibal guy killed him. The townsfolk tried to hang the cannibal guy but his head popped off and he died. The wife was drowned for adultery. The legend was that the three spirits haunt the woods looking for each other and for victims to kill in revenge.
This sets up the premise of the horror in Crippled Creek and eventually the group begins to fall prey to a mysterious killer in a wide brimmed hat. As the bodies fall, Tom starts to show his true colors as a bully and an adulterer having led the love struck Aubry into believing he was single and available.

Crippled Creek seemed to be yet another movie trying to follow along the footsteps of The Blair Witch Project and was, to that end, filmed in grainy tones and poor audio without being a ‘video camera POV’ movie like The Blair Witch Project was.  However, the real horror of Crippled Creek is how badly critics and audiences alike received it.  They were brutal with comments like Horrendous, avoid like the plague’; ‘a deathly boring dud with occasional nudity by the actresses'.

One thing I have to agree with about Crippled Creek is that it moved way too slow in getting down to any kind of suspense or horror action in it. Crippled Creek is almost completely taken over by a whole myriad of scenes where nothing happens but inane banter and lots of talk about sex. Interspersed is the unexplained addition of Ranger Greene popping up out of nowhere to harass Tom and dote on Mady.  This whole thing about his behavior is never really explained. It’s nothing but an unused ‘smoking gun’. Between the endless dialog and the surprisingly non-pornographic sex scenes, by the time the real killer starts racking up a body count, the audience may not even care what happens to the characters, especially Tom.

The one part I do strongly disagree with the critics of this movie is the level of acting in it. Crippled Creek had a bad script, there is no doubt about that. The premise was good, but the writing needed more polish before it ever even went before a camera. What saved it from truly being unwatchable was the acting. Particularly Paul Logan, whose character of Tom had to go from being an affable jock with a pragmatic nature, to being a full on selfish, woman beating bully when the pressure of survival became too much to handle. All of the actors in Crippled Creek did an excellent job of showing what happens when the veneer of civilization slips off under pressure.  I have an idea that this might have been the ‘moral’ behind the horror movie aspect. Which means it could have been better if someone had taken more time to give the script the life it needed.

Rotten Tomatoes (Audience Score): 10%
IMDb: 2.7/10

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