Night of the Creeps

I hope you’re feeling creepy today because this post is about Night of the Creeps. I have no clue why I’m just seeing this movie now because it was a really funny horror comedy. Were the 1980s the best era for the horror comedy? I think so. It definitely can’t be now, what with the A Haunted House movies, I’m pretty sure the UN considers those an act of genocide.
The movie felt familiar and then I realized it was directed by Fred Dekker, the man behind The Monster Squad.
The movie starts on a space ship. There are these mutated Cabbage Patch aliens.
alien
One of them sends a canister out of an escape hatch and it lands in the black-and-white days of 1959. K-Plotpoint radio informs us that an escaped maniac from a mental hospital is on the loose. Young Ray Cameron (Dave Alan Johnson, grown Ray Cameron is played by Tom Atkins) tries to warn his crush and her date that there’s an escaped maniac but they don’t listen. He finds parts of her around their car and her date is by the canister from space.
Flash forward to the present. Well, the present of 1986. Chris Romero (Jason Lively)–yes, the movie’s characters are all named after a Who’s Who in horror movies–is pining for his lost high school girlfriend. He goes to a frat party with his best friend, J.C. (James Carpenter) Hooper (played by Steve Marshall) where he sees the woman he’s sure will be the love of his life. Cindy Cronenberg (Jill Whitlow).
dudes
cindy
Sadly, Cindy is dating the Cro-Mag president of the Betas, Brad (Allan J. Kaysar). They decide to pledge Beta to get Cindy’s attention. This requires them to play a prank, they have to steal a corpse and leave it at the house of a rival frat. That’s when things get weird.
Chris and J.C. find a corpse in a cryogenic tube in the basement of the hospital. Yup, it’s the date from 1959 and he’s full of intergalactic space slugs. Sound familiar? This movie was a major influence on Slither
Ray Cameron is called to investigate the corpse theft and the death of a lab assistant. He’s grown into a boozy detective out of a Dashiell Hammett story.
ray
The slugs turned 50s Date Guy into a zombie and he’s going right back to where his old flame used to live–Cindy’s sorority house.
zombiecreeper
Pretty soon pets and even old corpses are infested with the brain slugs.
gordoncorpsy
Even the Bradster is turned into a zombie and it’s up to Chris and Cindy to kill the space slugs.
zombrad
J.C. figures out that they can’t tolerate heat. So it’s Ray, Chris and Cindy with some big guns and a flamethrower.
This movie doesn’t really subvert any of the clichés in horror and sci-fi movies but it’s still charming and funny. It’s streets ahead of the Scary Movie series. I think it’s because movies like Night of the Creeps earnestly love the genre and the Scary Movie series are a cynical money grab. It’s not really a scary movie but it’s fun and somewhat gory.
Some of the effects hold up better than others. The old crusty zombie isn’t my favorite but he’s all withered and desiccated like a Fulci zombie, which is pretty cool. The slugs are deeply creepy. You don’t see them up close but they’re very fast and very slimy looking. This is no surprise, since David B. Miller of a href=”http://scarina.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/a-nightmare-on-elm-street-1984/”>A Nightmare on Elm Street and Night of the Comet created the makeup effects and designed the Creeps. Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman also worked on the makeup effects.
Ray Cameron answers the phone “Thrill me?” in this movie. I think this movie will—wait for it—thrill you if you like horror comedy. Eh. Eh.
Edited 5/8/2014 to fix some inaccurate information about effects. Sorry about that!

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About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 1980's, aliens, comedy, creatures, outer space, zombies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Night of the Creeps

  1. I started this one and it was looking really good with the little alien blokes running around that ship, and then I stopped it for some reason and then forgot about it. But it looks a classic, I’ll definitely be going back to it.

  2. Greg Nicotero did not paly a zombie in the film. And Dave Miller of Freddy fame was the man who created the makeups…Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman worked on the fx team and played zombies.

    • scarina says:

      Thanks for the information. I edited the post to reflect the information. You might want to get in touch with IMDB.com, it credits Greg Nicotero as a zombie.

  3. crazycanuck says:

    My favorite era for movies will always be the 70’s, but I have to admit that 80’s films are a helluva lot of fun. This movie is a good example of the genre back in the day, fun story, decent effects.
    Speaking of the eighties, just revisited “Phenomena” last night, another mini gem from Argento; fun on a whole other level. All I ask of an eighties horror flick is to “thrill me”!

    • scarina says:

      I think my favorite era is a mashup of seventies and eighties. I really love a good seventies slasher, giallo, or animals gone crazy movie, I love supernatural horror from the eighties.
      “Fun” is the right word for this movie. I think part of why I dislike the horror comedies of today is that a lot of them try to cram in so many references to every horror movie within a year of their release that they’re just not fun anymore.
      I need to see “Phenomena.” I didn’t include it in Slashermas but Slashermas definitely gave me an appetite for Argento.

  4. Fear Street says:

    Mutated Cabbage Patch aliens for the win.

  5. I absolutely love this movie! It’s one of my favorite and I recommend it to all. It’s funny, a bit creepy & entertaining, do you need to ask for more? Thrill me!

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