Wicked wheels


3 Stars  2012/18/81m

“Let the bad times roll.”

Director: Scott W. McKinlay / Writer: Jim Bartoo / Cast: Brian Kolodziej, Amy Wehrell, Collin Bernsen, Gerald Emerick, Justin Kolodziej, Veronica Adkinson, Jason McCoy, Michael Butler.

Body Count: 16

Laughter Lines: “I’ve seen that van – it looks like the poster child for rape prevention.”

I considered that Creep Van might be some new fangled take on Christine from a glance at the premise. Fun as that might be, instead it’s a no-frills mad slasher from the director of a film called Gag, which I once rented but couldn’t bring myself to finish.

The good news for all of us is that Creep Van is clearly much better (I skipped to the end of Gag to make sure I wasn’t missing some huge clever twist).

Down on his luck Campbell got cheated out of some dough, can’t keep a job, and has to suffer the drag of taking the bus everywhere. After getting a joe-job as a car valet, he spots a rusty old 1970s Ford van hanging around with a ‘for sale’ sign in its window and places a call that’s never answered.

Seems the van is way too busy killing people. Well, it’s driver anyway. First to go are a couple of would-be thieves who find that while it might look like shit-on-a-chassis, the van has been pimped out with some lethal traps. A hitchhiker, prospective buyer, and a random beach babe are impaled, clocked, and crushed by the van’s various hidden devices.

Campbell, meanwhile, is trying to impress co-worker Amy, and falls foul of a Buddhist drug dealer who left his stash of pot at the valet center. Now all three are, for reasons unknown, targets of the Creep Van, which continues doing in random strangers before the driver decides to kidnap Amy.

While it has little rationale and the killer no motive, there’s lots to enjoy here. From the guru/dealer’s profane-laced phone argument to the squishy killings, perhaps it’s fine to accept that the lunatic, as those in real life, just likes killing indiscriminately and gets away with it because Detroit has one of the highest murder rates in the country so nobody notices when people are mowed down on a busy street…

There are also good grue effects at play, with the killer’s run-in with his own weapon probably the best, plus an amusing little twist in the tale.

Expect little, and you’ll get some mileage outta this cheap old rust-bucket.

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