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Creature, originally known as White Shark, is a horror-thriller novel by the author of Jaws, the late Peter Benchley.

It is about a humanoid monster, known as Der Weisse Hai, or 'The White Shark' designed by Those Wacky Nazis that terrorizes a small New England coastline. It follows a similar format to Jaws, but is certainly its own tale.

In 1998 it got a TV movie adaptation, but this movie was only very loosely based on the Novel.


Tropes used in Peter Benchley's Creature include:

Tropes Present in both the book and the movie:

  • Badass: Tall Man, but especially in the book where he fights and wounds the creature.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The decompression chamber.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Chase's son's girlfriend, Elisabeth, is deaf.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Subverted. There is a pregnant great white shark, but it doesn't pose much threat to the protagonists. Later played straight in the novel, when the great white shark is spooked by the presence of Der Weisse Hai, it instictivly realises that the creature is related to humans, and to protect its territory, it attacks all humans near it. Also, in the movie, the creature itself is part shark, and could therefore count.
  • The Hero: Dr. Simon Chase
  • Jerkass: Pucket
  • Mad Scientist: The scientist who created the monster. Different characters in each version. The novel has a Captain Ersatz of Josef Mengele while the movie had a more generic one.
  • Player Punch: Amanda's adorable sea lions are gorged upon by the beast for no other reason than to shock the audience. This is more poignant in the movie version where there is only one; in the novel, a few survived.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The aforementioned sea lions
  • Shark Man: Averted in the Novel and played straight in the movie. In the novel, Der Weisse Hai has some shark like features and predatory instincts, but it is just a modified human being. The movie version however is a shark with human genes spliced in at the embryonic stage.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Justified in that the creature was bred for combat. Played straighter in the book where it actually eats what it kills.
  • The Worf Effect: The great white is killed by the creature in both versions, but it's killed much easier in the film.


Tropes Present in only the book:

  • The Atoner: Ernst Kruger's former assistant, who wants to help capture and destroy Der Weisse Hai (which he helped to create) before it can hurt anyone else.
  • Badass Bookworm: Chase, after he mans up and kills the monster using a decompression chamber.
  • Badass Native: Tall Man.

  "Maybe it isn't interested in six and a half feet of redskin Terminator.

  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Der Weisse Hei is killed by being trapped in a decompression chamber and exploded.
  • Foot Focus: Elisabeth's bare feet are described and emphasized as part of her character.
  • Hot Scientist: Invoked. Chase is worried Amanda will be one and thus distract him from his work. While she's pretty enough, she's no stunner and as such, he is able to focus on the job.
  • Jaws First Person Perspective: Several scenes have the POV of Der Weisse Hai.
  • Knife Nut: Tall Man who goes after the creature with a kitchen knife.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Der Weisse Hai certainly wasn't worried about having a huge slash on his chest and having one of his fingers hanging by a thread.
  • Serial Killer: As opposed to the movie version, Der Weisse Hai, which was this pre-experiment.
  • Super Soldier: Der Weisse Hai, although he was incomplete when released.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Since when did Nazis have the technology to make aquatic super soldiers?
  • Token Minority: Tall Man is an American Indian and Elisabeth is deaf.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The creators of the monster.


Tropes Present in only the film:

  • Armies Are Evil: Possibly the Aesop of this story, and it is fairly Anvilicious
  • Black Best Friend: Tall Man in this version.
  • Canon Foreigner: Lt. Thomas Peniston AKA Werewolf. Also, anyone that had to do with the creation of the creature and arguably the creature itself.
  • Death by Adaptation: Ben Madeira, a man who helps rich people fish for Great Whites is killed in the adaptation, instead of his assistant, who was killed in the novel
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The creature is this in this version. Its half man, half great white shark.
  • Ignored Expert: Chase and his family. No one believes him except Tall Man.
  • Lego Genetics: Hoo boy. Apparently because Philogeny recapitulates ontogeny, you can mix in the DNA of a human into a shark and create a fertile hybrid. That's right, somehow it can reproduce with a plain old vanilla great white shark! this also works on Dolphins.
  • Off with His Head: A victim of the creature is beheaded and his head is stuffed in a trap.
  • Perpetual Motion Monster
  • Race Lift: Because of the relocation, nearly the entire cast. Chase's family were immune. Even the characters that where already minorities. This also has the unfortunate side effect of making the character of Elisabeth much more generic.
    • Mighty Whitey: The unfortunate effect of changing everyone's race but Chase's family.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The military personell decide to hunt the creature at night in the middle of a bog. Turns out just the way you'd suspect.
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