The majority ruled and agreed with the winner of our last Face-Off
. Indeed The Strangers was a higher form of home-invasion terror than The Purge. Hands down!
Today, I am presenting you perhaps my most favorite Face-Off to date! I'd like to thank Mr. James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, for helping to inspire the fun. I'm sure you all know that Mr. Gunn also happened to director a modern day horror classic by the name of Slither that featured these alien slugs that jumped inside your mouth, got into your brain, and turned you into a zombie. Now, if you're a TRUE horror fan, that description may also remind you of another older horror classic by the name of Night of the Creeps. Mr. Gunn claims to have never seen Night of the Creeps prior to making Slither, which may be a tad hard to believe. Granted, both movies tell different stories, but that slug factor is very similar. Sounds like these two need to settle the score in the Face-Off ring! I love both of these movies, so things may get a little... sticky.
Hopeless romantic Chris Romero, played spot-on by Jason Lively, becomes smitten with Cynthia the moment he lays eyes on her. A tad shy at the outset, he does form a bit of a relationship with her as the movie progresses. However, when the slug shit hits the fan, Chris is ready to go to battle for his new love, blowing away any zombie that gets near her. You literally watch him grow from a college kid at the beginning into a man.
Everyman Bill Pardy, perfectly played by master Nathan Fillion, is a small town sheriff who still pines for Starla, the girl he lost to wealthy Grant Grant. However, Bill's no slouch and makes no bones about running things when the slug chaos begins. He's cool, tough, and best of all, not perfect. His fearful reactions to the monstrous occurrences happening around him are not only hilarious, but also make you connect with him on a much higher level.
Sweet, innocent Cynthia is completely candy for the eyes and soul. Jill Whitlow plays her in such a way, that it actually makes sense that Chris could fall for her instantly. She's a perfect dream girl with a completely alluring voice to match. But don't let the demure demeanor fool you. Once the zombies start attacking and she gets a flame thrower in her hand, she can really f*ck some shit up!
Elizabeth Banks is just an absolute vision as Starla, the blonde southern belle of Bill Pardy's dreams. She's a sweet schoolteacher who married an older man with money that could take care of her. However, once her husband stops treating her kindly, she has no problem standing up for her life. She's one brave woman while facing down zombies as well as the gigantic monster her husband, Grant, becomes. To quote Mayor MacReady: Bitch is hardcore.
Tom Atkins is just the f*cking man. Creeps is the movie that made me love him (I even got to meet him once and he was incredible). His Detective Cameron is one of the all time greatest horror movie "Ahabs". A tough, aged cop whose dark past comes back to haunt him. Every time Atkins is onscreen, he steals the show. His self-aware comments are hilarious: "What is this? A homicide, or a bad B-movie?" His actions are bad ass. Plus, he calls the two main male characters Alfalfa and Spanky.
Michael Rooker has long been a cinema badass. There's just something about that square jawline, bald head, and unique vocal delivery that shouts tough guy. Slither gave the man a chance to expand his repertoire even farther with some great comedy and intense makeup effects. Make no mistake, he is the whole movie and if his performance wasn't so intense, frightening, and tragic, the movie could have sucked.
Creeps is totally loaded with laughs both outright and subtle. Chris's best friend JC is a riot, perhaps the best comic relief sidekick in a horror flick ever. Half of Detective Cameron's dialogue is comprised of brilliant one-liners and zingers. And one of the best bits is a scene where Cynthia is talking to her ex, Brad, who unaware to her, has turned into a zombie. She continues to voice her feelings as slugs are popping out of Brad's mouth. It's a scream!
Slither is an absolute riot. In fact, I'd say it's more a comedy than a scary movie. The situation is so ridiculous and the reactions of the small town characters to what is happening is just priceless. Nathan Fillion and Greg Henry deliver the most laughs as leaders in the town attempting to curb the chaos. Henry is probably the best of the two with his lymes disease explanation and rant about there being no Mr. Pibb in the cooler.
It's amazing how adroitly Creeps walks the line between funny and frightening. It blends so many separate stories and genres so well in just a short amount of time. Not only are there creepy slugs sliding around, but scary zombies and a lunatic with an axe! You get a plethora of genuine jump scares that only adds to the super fun time you're already having!
Like I said, Slither is more a comedy than a horror movie, but it does have a fair share of icky frights. The slugs are actually more frightening than the zombies they turn people into mostly because of how voraciously they attack. However, Grant's monster looks more like a mutated Jabba the Hutt than anything truly frightening.
"I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here. "
"What's the bad news?"
"Corpses that have been dead for twenty-seven years do not get up and go for a walk by themselves!"
"Zombies, exploding heads, creepy-crawlies... and a date for the formal. This is classic, Spanky."
"It's Miller time!"
"The guy's body was in the woods 20 yards from the car. My partner found him. I found the girl. I found her in the car, and on the road, and in the woods."
The movie is just loaded with quotable, memorable lines; way more than anyone would ever expect from a zombie B-movie. Writer/Director Fred Dekker is a genius.
"If I weren't about to shit in my pants right now, I'd be f*ckin' fascinated."
"He looks likes something that fell off my dick during the war."
"Baby, what happened to your face?"
"It's just a bee sting."
"My easy-going nature is gettin' sorely f*ckin' tested."
"If this shit is contagious and I turn into a f*cking mollusk or something, I'm gonna sue those bastards!"
Yeah, this flick is full of amazing lines as well. I mean, it was written by director, James Gunn. The man knows his shit! The dialogue is brilliant.
Night of the Creeps
THRILL ME! This Face-Off certainly did. Both movies are so rewardingly re-watchable, I had a blast re-visiting them! But in the end, the Creeps slid to the top. I feel the result is very valid, but how about you? Which of these classic gems really gets inside your head? Spit them bullets below! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org