Nearly 50 years later, “The Creeping Terror” is still inspiring filmmakers.
The science fiction film is about a slug-like monster that terrorizes an American town after escaping from a crashed spaceship.
It is widely considered to be one of the worst films of all time, and in September 1994, the film was the subject of the satirical television series “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
The cult status inspired director by Pete Schuermann and the executive producer is Nancy Theken to start the project “CREEP!”
The film, which stars Albuquerque resident Jodi Lynn Thomas as Lois Wiseman, is currently in post-production and eyeing a release later this month.
Thomas says the project came together after Schuermann and Theken conducted many interviews and did extensive research on the cult film.
She says it turned out that the real monster was behind the camera and he went by the name of Vic Savage, played by Art Nelson.
“It’s really a dark comedy or a docu-drama where I play Lois, who was Art Nelson’s first wife,” she says. “It’s a role where I got a chance to experience everything that Lois went through while married to Art.”
Wiseman wrote a book about how Nelson conned a lot of people in Hollywood.
Though the role was tough to play, Thomas says she almost wasn’t cast in the film. Another actress was tied to the project, and when Thomas moved from Colorado Springs to Albuquerque, her luck changed.
“Then I got a message from Pete and I did a Skype audition,” she says. “It was my first real Internet audition and I was very nervous. I didn’t think it went well at first but then I got cast and was able to be part of this extraordinary project.”
Thomas says about 95 percent of her scenes in the film are dramatic and the role took a toll on her.
“I cry a lot in the film,” she says. “After the first day of filming, I realized that I had to get emotionally ready for the role. It was something I’ve never done for that long of a period. I spent 10 hours a day working on the film and had to gear up for the long haul.”
Thomas is a staple in the local film community. Since moving to Albuquerque, she has appeared in various projects and her film, “Those That Play Your Clowns,” won the Audience Choice Award at Filmstock New Mexico this spring.
She has been acting for 12 years and doing film for about three.
She attended the Las Vegas Academy for Visual Arts for acting and also the University of Northern Colorado. She participated in the 48 Hour Film Festival held in July.
“Acting is my No. 1 passion in life,” she says. “Nothing makes me happier. People have tried to scare me away from it and told me lots of horror stories. It’s true that there’s a lot of luck and I’ve been pretty lucky. That’s the reason I moved her was to get a chance to act more and be happy.”
Thomas says “CREEP!” has its eyes on the film festival circuit this coming fall.
“It’s a great project with a lot of passion,” she says. “I think the way it’s told is compelling and the story is so amazing.”
GET OUT AND MEET ‘GUS’: Albuquerque Film & Media Experience will present “An Evening Giancarlo Esposito” at the KiMo Theatre, 423 W. Central, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.
Robert and Sibylle Redford will be in attendance to present Esposito with the AFME’s 2013 Robert & Sibylle Redford Creative Achievement Award, with a dessert reception to follow. AFME will screen the thriller “The Usual Suspects,” in which Esposito stars as Detective Jack Baer.
A 30-minute Q&A will follow the screening with the awards presentation directly thereafter.
Esposito also is known for his work on “Breaking Bad” as the villain Gus Fring. Tickets are $16-$20 at holdmyticket.com or kimotickets.com.
SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.