By Chaz Lipp
Article first published as DVD Review: Creep Van on Blogcritics.
Creep Van is a direct-to-DVD slasher film about a creep (Mike Butler) who uses his van to kill people. That may be all some horror junkies need to spur a rental or even a purchase. If you’re among that audience, I would highly advise thinking twice. The dialogue sucks, the acting sucks, the story is non-existent, and the action is staged in the most unimaginative ways possible. The gore effects by Almost Human are the only thing Creep Van has going for it, but the kills aren’t frequent enough to make this worth the time.
Campbell (Brian Kolodziej) is a 30ish loser who can’t afford a vehicle. He gets a dead-end job washing cars. He expresses interest in buying a beat up white van, which just happens to be the “creep van.” When he doesn’t follow through with the purchase, the creep begins pursuing him with homicidal intent. Of course, the creep doesn’t limit himself to Campbell in terms of targets. He kills random people in a variety of ways. Some are hitchhikers he picks up, others he simply rams into.
Amy (Amy Wehrell) is Campbell’s love interest and she naturally becomes a target of the creep as well. That’s about all there is to it, though director Scott McKinlay adds in some other inconsequential nonsense to stretch the film to its 85 minute running time. McKinlay used to be part of the Troma Team, serving as an executive producer on Terror Firmer back in 1999. Troma honcho Lloyd Kaufman drops in for a quick but lively cameo. But again, it’s the blood and guts that are the stars here. When one character gets his face sheared off, the resulting effect is brutally realistic. But apparently the low budget didn’t allow for more than a few gory showcases. T&A is pretty minimal too, unfortunately.
Creep Van comes tricked out with several supplemental features. There’s a seven-minute “making of” featurette that has some interesting info about how director McKinlay worked around a low budget. “Anatomy of a Van Smash” details how a particularly chaotic sequence (involving the van driving into a house) was shot. There are some very brief cast interviews and a short deleted scene. The “investor trailer” is actually a pretty cool little bonus. It’s footage that was shot a couple years before the film (without a script or cast), edited together to raise money for the production. McKinlay is joined by screenwriter and co-producer Jim Bartoo for a conversational commentary track.