Night of the Creeps
Directed by: Fred Dekker
Written by: Fred Dekker
Starring: Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall
Reviewed by: Matt Kenary
You have no idea how much I want to give this movie a 3 guy rating, how much I need to shout out the many levels of awesomeness that is this movie, but I do realize that not all people have such warped tastes in movies like I do, then again you did choose to read a review of a movie with the title “Night of the Creeps” . For some reason I have avoided watching two “Night of” movies throughout my 38 years on this planet; one is “ Night of the Comet” ( which I still haven’t seen) and this movie. I’m not really sure why, I remember seeing them countless times at the video store (remember them?) and passing them over constantly. Big mistake because this movie has got everything, to quote star Tom Atkins (Halloween 3, The Fog) “ Zombies, exploding heads, creepy crawlies and a date for the formal…this is classic.”
The movie starts out in an alien spaceship where two small aliens are chasing another small alien carrying a tube of creepy crawlies, which he then ejects directly into black and white 1950’s America. A teen couple at make-out point see it and decide to follow it. The guy follows it into the woods and gets a slithering zombifying surprise while an axe murderer who escaped from the local loony bin is chopping up his girlfriend back at the car – bad day for these kids. Flash forward to 1986 where Chris (Jason Lively) is hoping to hook up with a local sorority beauty (Jill Whitlow) with the help of his physically disable best friend, J.C. (Steve Marshall). They try to join the nearest fraternity so Chris can get closer, since they are both losers, the frat is willing to think about it only if they steal a body from the local morgue and put it in the front yard of a rival frat. Chris and J.C. go to the morgue and instead, discover the cryo- frozen body of the infected guy from the 1950’s. So they do what most people would do when they find something creepy, fiddle with every knob and dial until you accidently release the body and the creepy crawlies inside him and that is where the real fun begins.
This movie begins as an homage to 50’s monster flick, but really ends up ( some 30 years later) as a total homage to the 80’s. All the things that you loved and hated about 80’s movies are well represented here, hell it stars the kid who replaced Anthony Michael Hall in the Vacation Movies. The real treat here is the performance of horror staple, Tom Atkins. He has great fun with the role of Detective Landis, throwing out one-liners left and right, as you noticed with the name Landis, mostly all the characters are named after Horror directors, Landis, Carpenter, Cronenberg., etc. The effects range from surprisingly good to hilariously bad, like the aliens at the beginning in their rubber suits with the zipper on the back. Creeps Director, Fred Dekker, is throwing everything he had at it, good and bad, probably thinking it’s his one and only chance at a studio movie. He failed at the box office but succeeded in the long run. “Night of the Creeps “equals great fun and nostalgia and I give it a 2 guys out of 3.