Night of the Creeps

The H-Bomb: Carrot topped college boy Chris (Jason Lively) is smitten with Sorority Girl Cynthia (Jill Whitlow), but the only way he will ever win her affection, as far as he can see, is by joining a fraternity. So he, along with his smart alecky, disabled best friend J.C. (Steve Marshall), decides to carry out an initiation prank that involves stealing a corpse from the local morgue and planting it on the doorstep of a rival frat house… hey, it was either that or have sex with a farm animal. Which would you have chosen?

Unfortunately for them, the body they attempt to steal is one that has been cryogenically frozen for a couple of decades, and unwittingly unleash a plague of alien worms that multiply inside people’s brains and turn them into zombies. Now Chris must join forces with the gruff Det. Cameron (Tom Aktins) to take on the alien slugs before the entire human race is decimated by this extra-terrestrial threat.

Yes, this all sounds cheesy as hell. That is the point. This horror/comedy basks in its cheesiness so much that you can’t help but enjoy it. It’s silly by design. Written and directed by Fred Dekker (of “The Monster Squad” fame and “Robocop 3” infamy), “Night of the Creeps” is one of those movies that, much in the vain of “Evil Dead II”, you can gather a group of friends, get drunk (or high), and just have a blast watching it.

It’s a fun, throwback horror flick that was clearly made by someone with a genuine affection for the genre, filled with a shit ton of references to past movies; practically everything from “Alien” to “Night of the Living Dead” gets a nod here. Dekker even went as far as to name all the main characters after famous horror film directors (Hooper, Carpenter, Raimi, Romero, Cronenberg, etc.). The best nod has got to be the name of the college campus this takes place at… Corman University, gotta love it! (And if you don’t get that reference, then get the fuck outta this site and don’t come back!)

But this isn’t just a 90 minute tribute to past movies, this is a film that definitely stands on it’s own. It works great as both an icky splatter film, love the way people’s head would split open down the middle when the slugs jumped out, and as a comedy (J.C., the crippled sidekick, is hilarious).

The entire cast is great. All the actors were convincing in their roles and very likable (or, in some cases, appropriately unlikable). However, there is one actor who stands above all the rest in this movie. A man, who once he finally enters the picture, just completely takes it over… I’m talking about Tom motherfuckin’ Atkins, bitches.

Playing the grizzled, boozy, chain smoking, hard nosed, suffers no fools gladly Detective Cameron, he just kicks ass, takes names, and walks away with the whole film. Willis, Stallone, Schwarzenegger… they are all pussies by comparison, Atkins is the shit. He has all the best lines in the movie (“The good news is, your dates are here. The bad news is… they’re dead.), and his trademark phone greeting, “Thrill me,” is more or less this movie’s unofficial slogan. People called Atkins bland in “Halloween III”, but when he totes around a shotgun in this flick, he just redefines the term bad-ass.

As far as criticisms go, some might say that this movie is “so 80’s,” but that would simply be the complaint of a brain dead, cousin fucking moron who just doesn’t get it, because the very 80’s vibe only adds to the movie’s charm, and it’s actually aged very well in spite of being a very obvious product of its time. It bombed on its initial release in ’86, but it developed something of a cult following over the years, and now that it has recently been made available on DVD for the first time, hopefully even more people will discover it, because it is an unabashedly over the top, criminally overlooked film that will leave people “screaming like banshees.”

One Response to “Night of the Creeps”

  1. Tweets that mention Night of the Creeps | I Rate Films -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rick Swift. Rick Swift said: H-Man kicks The Bin again, found us some Bin Booty this time, 1986's Night of the Creeps, just released on DVD. […]