Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Lola Runs From a CHUD, or Thoughts on Franka Potente in Creep

German actress Franka Potente, who gets a free pass from me (for life!) for Run, Lola Run (Lola rennt, 1998) portrays Kate in Creep (2004), a movie that effortlessly shifts from a standard urban thriller where the heroine is effortlessly shifts from a typical urban thriller where a woman is trapped overnight on the Underground and menaced by a creepy stalker co-worker to something worse, something darker and shall we say, creepier.   Inspired by the London Underground scene in An American Werewolf in London (1981), writer and director Christopher Smith crafted a taut, harrowing and relentless survival story, deep in the bowels of London.
The premise is deliciously simple; a lady trapped in the London Underground is hunted by a scary mutant that looks like one of the war boys from Fury Road (2015).  But Franke Potente has an essential Teutonic practicality, Kate doesn’t panic, she remains in control, rescues herself and isn’t afraid to fight back.  There’s another world below the streets of London, and I feel there’s a nuanced comment on German/English relationships that is wasted on me as an American viewer. 
The titular creep is portrayed by Sean Harris, who you may remember as Ian Curtis in 24-Hour Party People (2002) and Fitfield in Prometheus (2012, he was the one who met the cobra-alien).  He’s not exactly a cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller, but rather a mutated, rat-eating, underground hobo serial killer with a mother fixation.
After catapulting to international movie star fame in The Bourne Identity (2002), Franke Potente has appeared in both movies and TV including Anne Frank American Horror Story: Asylum (2012, the one with the UFOs and Bloody Face), Eleanor Nacht in The Bridge (2014) and appearing in The Conjuring 2  (2016).

Equal parts Wrong Turn (2003), The Descent (2005), and the gold standard of this underground exploitation movie genre, C.H.U.D. (1984), Creep is a nice twist on the backwoods inbred killer family.  Writer and director Christopher Smith went on to direct two more horror movies, Severance (2006) and Triangle (2009). 



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).