Is this cover art ever deceptive? A piece of heavy machinery with Kraken tank treads and a penchant for human blood? Crawler, a movie about a killer bulldozer, covers new ground (literally) and isn’t nearly as terrible as it should be. In fact, it’s kinda loveable, like a mom loves her reprobate criminal son.
The demise of video stores (and associated eye-capturing cover art) means, to quote the late BB King, the thrill is gone when it comes to happening upon something so ludicrous, so god-awful looking and yet at the same time an absolute must-rent.
Crawler is just that. The poster is an absolute riot and Fifty Tons of Terror is a tagline to beat. But is the flick tons of fun?
Evil developers are callously constructing a golf course with complete disregard of a murder victim having been previously found there. Or something. And the deceased’s mother is picketing the project. Nonetheless, instead of erecting a plaque or planting a tree to honor the victim, things proceed as holes are dug and land is cleared.
The project’s foreman, who thinks one of his workers died under his watch, is away trying to dry out and drowning his sorrows in self-pity and blame.
But the show must go on.
The foreman’s replacement needs some added machinery to elevate greens and tees and to excavate mounds and to dig some bunkers. He goes to the local rental place to procure a “crawler” (bulldozer). But things are not as they seem. For starters, there’s something ominous about the machine. It’s all alone, stuck in a far-flung back corner of the facility. No matter.
Once the job begins, the machine suddenly burns the forearms of some of the workers, despite it being cold to the touch. It’s come alive, running over people’s feet, injecting them with goo and sprouting tentacled dozer tracks.
Soon, the original foreman returns to do battle against the machinery.
Keir Cutler is dynamite as Karl, the machine’s unlikely love interest, as is Robert Renyolds as Dover, the sagely rental guy who opines on the nature of evil.
Loads of fun on a minuscule budget.
*** (out of 5)