Night of the Creeps (1986)
Director: Fred Dekker
An alien experiment is dumped into space and lands on earth. The experiment: ALIEN SLUGS. They enter through your mouth, nest in your brain, turns you into a zombie and then split your head open when they hatch. Lucky for us the experiment lands smack in the middle of a college campus…so you know what that means…a lot of dead teens. If the word FUN pops into your head…you are DEAD right!
They don’t make 'em like this anymore. Dekker gives us a very kool prologue set in the 50’s, a believable love story, witty dialogue, crazy zombie/slug action and a great anti-hero in the form of badass cop Roy Cameron (Atkins). Dekker obviously loves horror films cause we’ve got references up the wazzoo. All the main characters are named after horror directors: Carpenter, Hooper, Raimi, Cameron, Cronenberg etc. And we also get two nods to "Ed Wood’s" "Plan 9 From Outer Space". I’ll let you guy’s find them.
This is a great juggling act and Dekker never drops a ball, I was very impressed. Let’s slither up it’s sleeve and lay some eggs….
Yes, we have some. Splitting heads, messed up zombies and a few surprises that I won’t give away. Take my word for it, Dekker doesn’t shy away from the red stuff.
On the ball. Jason Lively (Chris) and Steve Marshall (JC) are great as the lead dorks, they work well off each other and the script filled with sharp lines makes them look great. Jill Whitlow (Cynthia) also shines as the love interest, there’s a simplicity about her that I really enjoyed. But the cherry on top is Tom Atkins (Roy Cameron) who delivers a tough, funny, kicked my butt all over performance as the 12 gauge shotgun cop with a past. I haven’t laughed this hard in a while…He’s a great actor and it’s a great part. You go boy!
T & A
One random tit shot (in a shower), some dudes cut chest (wow) and Jill Whitlow also gives us a peak at her melons…yummy..
Hole in one baby. Dekker nails it. The suspense, the humor, the pacing, the style…all handled like a champ. Usually a funny horror flick is not scary and vice versa but Dekker blends all the elements together effortlessly and makes it work. It helps that he wrote a wonderful script.
The score is masterfully used. The tender moments are amplified by it and the action sequences are nerve racking with it. He also tosses in a 50’s song for the prologue (Smoke Gets In Your Eyes) and some hip 80’s pop tune that will bubble gum your world.
This is has to be one of the most satisfying horror flicks I have ever seen. It’s the "Pulp Fiction" of horror movies. Everything it tries to achieve it does perfectly and then some. You get your cake and eat it too. Now stop reading this lamo review, go rent it and have a great ride.
The version they show on TV has a different ending. Here it is: Roy Cameron steps out of the house…he’s a zombie. He collapses near a cemetery where his head splits open and the slugs creep out. Fortunately the aliens from the beginning arrive and recollect their pesky experiment.
Look for character actor Dick Miller (Mr. Futterman in Gremlins) in this one he has a cameo.