Synopsis by Mark Deming
A couple running a rideshow discover the find of a lifetime, only to realize it could well be the death of them in this horror story. Angus Shaw (Rufus Sewell) and his wife, Lillian (Carla Gugino), run a travelling carnival which barnstorms the countryside in the early 1900s. The Shaws' circus includes a sideshow which promises much in the way of monsters and human oddities, but for the most part delivers second-rate actors dressed up in costumes or using smoke-and-mirrors effects to fool the customers. Lillian herself offers the most spectacular illusion, posing as a fake mermaid. One night, Angus offers a helping hand to an aging sailor (Aubrey Morris), and the old salt offers to show Angus and Lillian something truly amazing -- a real, honest-to-Pete mermaid (Rya Kihlstedt). Astounded by what he's seen, Angus decides the fortune he could make exhibiting a real mermaid is too great to resist, and he steals the creature from the sailor. Angus and Lillian waste no time booking passage to the United States with their find, but en route to America they discover this mermaid is hardly a benign creature -- she has a taste for human blood, and soon the ship's crew is shrinking at an alarming rate. Lillian also finds herself developing a strange psychological bond with the mermaid, a connection more powerful than her vows to her husband. She Creature was produced for the Cinemax premium cable service as part of a series of "Creature Features" produced by special effects wizard Stan Winston and former American International Pictures head Samuel Z. Arkoff, most of which were inspired by horror films AIP made in the 1950s.
blood, bonding [relationship], carnival, mermaid, sailor, sideshow, traveling-show