Looking to get revved up for Halloween this week? Then definitely get the DVD player up and running for Fred Dekker’s homage to horror in the entertaining 1986 cult-hit Night of the Creeps. It’s a fun, goofy romp with great effects, a cheezy college plot and one awesome acting job from Tom Atkins, who plays the grizzled, kick-ass Detective Ray Cameron. Gore, flamethrowers and awesome one-liners ensue as our heroes, two would-be college sweethearts and a handicapped best pal, along with Cameron, fight alien slugs that zombify people. Who comes up with this stuff?
The basic plot goes like this: In 1959, an alien experiment crashes onto a college makeout spot and infects frat boy Johnny while his lady friend (who just happens to be the ex-girlfriend of the aforementioned Detective Ray Cameron) is murdered by an escaped mental patient. Flash forward to the 80s and best friends Chris Romero & J.C. Hooper are in a frat party as Chris pines over resident sorority hottie Cynthia Cronenberg (yes, many of the surnames in this movie are from prominent horror directors of the time). Chris is convinced that the only way to Cynthia’s heart is to join a frat, and therefore, frat-hat Brad demands that Chris and J.C. find a corpse in the research campus to place on a rival frat as a prank. However, Chris and J.C. inadvertenly find the infected Johnny from 1959 who is in cryo-sleep and releases him. Full of alien slugs, zombie Johnny begins spreading his zombieness to others, creating more slug-infested zombies. With Detective Cameron sensing the danger as well, it’s up to Chris, J.C. & Cynthia to do the deed and beat the slugs.
This comes highly recommended from me since zombie heads exploding with alien slugs are hard to beat, but the gore and the one liners also make the movie stick out in your head. Ray Cameron has the BEST one-liners in the movie, maybe in all movies ever, as he kicks ass in all grizzled forms. The effects of the slugs are well done, while the effects of the gory zombies are remarkable. Lastly, the film is written well and has some brilliant execution, and the way things tie together from past events is a huge plus. 80s cheese could be an issue for those who may not be familiar with it, but if you check your expectations at the door, then you’re in for some serious fun. Get the popcorn, turn out the lights and definitely watch Night of the Creeps….just make sure your date isn’t dead.
Images courtesy of IMFDB.org.