30 years later. Night Of The Creeps. Still thrilling as ever.
PLOT - A spaceship gets highjacked and the aliens onboard send a deadly experiment of brain eating slugs to Earth in 1959. Two teenagers who are out parking in the middle of the woods see flashes in the sky where it crash lands just a few yards away. The girlfriend too scared to go and investigate stays in the car, ignoring the radio reports of a crazed psychopath that's escaped a mental hospital nearby. As the boyfriend goes deeper into the woods, he finds the broken glass of the tube that's fallen from the sky and before he gets a chance to get a better look, the slugs leap out and jump into his throat killing him instantly. Shortly after, the frightened girlfriend calls out to her boyfriend, only to have the crazed maniac sneak up behind her, killing her with a fatal sweep of an axe. Cut to thirty or so years later during pledge week in 1986. Best friends and roommates Chris and JC walk around before Chris lays eyes on the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. Wanting to impress her, he goes to pledge at a fraternity where he's assigned to steal a corpse from the medical building. Breaking into a strange locked up lab, Chris and JC find the very same teenager who was killed by the slugs in the 50's. Deciding a corpse is a corpse, they take him out of his frozen chamber only to have the body move scaring them. Dropping the body, they take off running having zero idea what they just released. The slugs who had been sleeping for thirty years make the corpse become a walking zombie, spitting slugs out that leap towards anyone who opens their mouths. There the slugs kill the host, making them into killer alien zombies...just in time for the college dance.
LOWDOWN - I first found out about Night Of The Creeps after doing a little research on Fred Dekker, the director of not only one of my favorite childhood movies, but one of my all time favorite films of all time. This being The Monster Squad. Having zero idea he actually directed some other projects, I instantly needed to see this movie. Sadly this was just when the internet was really starting to take off (I'm starting to see how old I sound.) so besides a little bit of info on the IMDB I really had no idea how to go about seeing this movie. Video stores were just starting to really expand into huge chains which meant the rarely films were going out in certain sections. Mostly the horror sections. Seeing this movie was out of print I was beyond bummed. Finally one night on the Sci-Fi channel I was lucky enough to see it was coming on late at night. Grabbing the first blank tape I had (again, how old am I?) I taped the movie and was beyond thrilled "wink wink" on how cool of a movie this was. I am a huge Tom Atkins fan. Hell, I'll even brag I loved Atkins before he even became this cult icon in the horror world. I always had a huge crush on that silver fox, so having him be in the scene stealer was the frosting on the very colorful cake known as this movie.
It had a blend of everything I loved. The fact this was Dekker's freshmen effort still blows my mind. He took a blend of so many different things and made honestly the funnest movie ever. He took 50's sci-fi with the black and white flash backs (loved the soundtrack with all the 50's songs), had space aliens, brain eating slugs, and even a serial killer slasher plot thrown in there. I loved the cinematography and editing showing the huge difference from the opening in the 50's to the film's present day in the 1980's during Rush Week. The film honestly seemed like a comic book with the red and blue lighting, the awesome eye catching sets, and of course of soundtrack. If they EVER release this film's soundtrack officially I will die a happy girl.
What I love about this movie is the mix of everything. How you have the most adorable love story happening. I really did love Jason Lively as the lead who's really other other huge role in his career was playing Rusty in European Vacation "Oink! Oink! My good man!" As a huge fan of gingers I thought it was the cutest, going above and beyond to impress the girl he likes. The funny banter between him and JC (Love the crutches), and the awesome one liners. Mostly from Mr. Tom Atkins. This film had great splatter effects (mostly in the showdown at the end.) and one hell of an evening. In fact I love with endings and always wished there would have been a sequel with Jill and Jason...even somehow Tom returning in the late 80's or early 90's. Sadly Dekker said the only way he would do it is Atkins returning but with so much time that's past, instead os seeing a shitty remake I rather see a comic book series based off this movie with a sequel continuing the rest of that night.
I owned several bootlegs of this movie, and pushed hard to share it with other fellow horror fans who hadn't seen it. Mostly in 2007 when The Monster Squad finally got the release it truly deserved. In 2009 the movie got a blu-ray DVD release as well and I gotta say it's one of my favorite films to watch in HD since the transfer is so crystal clear bringing out all of the colorful gory colors. This is a movie I would say anyone could enjoy. If you love creature features, or alien films, or zombie movies, or even just a good old fashion 1980's tale watch this. Yeah a few scenes aren't for the younger audience but I love doing this movie as a double feature with The Monster Squad. (Love the spray paint in the restroom that links the movies together as well as the theory of Rudy's dad being in this. This is a movie I've loved for years. At school I made Night Of The Creep dolls, I've seen it on the big screen in original format several times, and always pop in in whenever I need a good pick-me-up. In fact, Night Of The Creeps is in my top ten all time favorite horror movies.
Hopefully (fingers crossed) I'll actually get to meet the cast this June. So far I've only met Atkins and Dekker who have been beyond charming. This is a movie that has it's own universe and makes me love horror as well as sci-fi movies even more. 30 years later, it still is a huge result of Dekker's wonderful fun storytelling. They truly don't make them like they used to. With films constantly borrowing from Dekker's cult classic, I'm beyond thrilled it's finally after all these years getting the love it deserves.