The Sci-Fi Horror Parody With A Comedy Icon No One Is Saving

By Brian Myers | Published

the creature wasn't nice

The late Leslie Neilson built a storied career that took him from dramatic roles through the 1970s and reinventing himself as one of the best slapstick actors of all time. With the hits Airplane!, The Naked Gun, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, and Spy Hard under his belt, Neilson was a proven commodity that could elevate any comedic production with his dry delivery style. If the actor had one dud, it was the 1981 film The Creature Wasn’t Nice, a parody that was so bad that even additional cuts and name changes failed at attracting audiences.

The Creature Wasn’t Nice

The Creature Wasn’t Nice was meant to be a musical parody of the hit science fiction film Alien (1979).

Screenwriter Bruce Kimmel concocted the idea in 1979, following the release of the massively successful Ridley Scott film. Kimmel pitched the idea to actress Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley), a comedic actress that he established a working relationship with during his production of the 1976 bomb The First Nudie Musical (1976).

Horror And Sci-Fi Inspirations

Kimmel went to work penning the screenplay for The Creature Wasn’t Nice, basing its plot on horror and science fiction inspirations from his childhood.

He weaved bits and pieces of them with his love of musical theater and created a script that was eventually turned into one of the worst examples of a comedy film ever produced.

The Creature Wasn’t Nice is the story of the crew of the spaceship Vertigo. After landing on a previously uncharted planet in the far reaches of space, one of the crew members brings a gelatinous alien on board the vessel, spelling the beginning of the end for the people on board.

Capitalizing On Leslie Neilson

The Creature Wasn't Nice

The alien devours the crew one at a time, in between musical numbers with tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

The film attempted to capitalize on Neilson’s successes with the hit comedy Airplane!, only to have it completely disintegrate at the launch pad. The one-liners are too insipid for even people with a base sense of humor, the story arc boring, and the acting insufferable.

The Creature Wasn’t Nice was low budget ($2 million), but is horrible even by those standards.

Cheap Sets And Costumes

The Creature Wasn't Nice

The cheap-looking sets and costumes, ridiculous special effects, and atrocious dialogue only add to the misery of its 88 minutes of screen time. The studio recut the film after its theatrical release, and the updated version, with a new name, hit video store shelves in 1983.

The Creature Wasn’t Nice was aptly renamed Spaceship, a nod to Neilson’s Airplane! film which the studio hoped would lure in fans. It did not. Nor did the name Naked Space, the re-release title that was offered on DVD in 1999.

Rough All Around

The Creature Wasn't Nice

The Creature Wasn’t Nice co-stars Cindy Williams, Patrick Macnee, Gerrit Graham, and Paul Brinegar. The movie’s screenwriter and director, Bruce Kimmel, also lent his acting skills to the production.

Not even Leslie Neilson could save The Creature Wasn’t Nice from getting 0.0/5.0 stars. But for those who wish to experience the cinematic disaster, locating a physical copy is more difficult than you might think. It’s also not available to stream anywhere online.

Hard To Find The Creature Wasn’t Nice

The Creature Wasn't Nice


A dedicated search will find a grainy version of it on YouTube. Maybe one day someone will believe that The Creature Wasn’t Nice is so terrible that it has to be saved. Until then, there are plenty of other low-budget productions to devour that are actually enjoyable experiences.