42nd Street Cinema

Night of the Creeps (1986)

Okay so, it's not a sleazefest but this needed to get a mention on here. A little known 80's gem, that I cannot begin to explain my admiration for. I apologize in advance for any fanboy gushing.

The first time I viewed this was a fair few years ago on the Sci-Fi channel. Me and my father were flicking through channels trying to find something to entertain us for the rest of the evening. When we stumbled upon Night of the Creeps.

After the opening sequence I was instantly captivated, seeing the little baby bodied aliens with oversized heads running around their ship attempting to stop one of their own from releasing an 'experiment'. Their mission however was unsuccessful and the experiment's capsule is fired from the spacecraft. As we follow the capsules journey to Earth we are slung back into a late 1950's sorority row; complete with black and white film stock. A cool stylistic approach which later cropped up in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. This is primarily the entire set up of the film as we see a young couple going to a parking spot where they see a 'falling star'. They drive to where it came crashing down. As the boy leaves the car to investigate the woods, the girl hears over the radio that an escaped mental patient wielding a fire axe is lurking in their area. As the boy approaches the capsule, something resembling a leech jumps into his mouth. Unfortunately for the girl she gets hacked to pieces by escapee with an axe.

Fast forward to 1986, it's pledge week on the same sorority row. Here we are introduced to Chris Romero (Jason Lively) and his handicapped friend J.C. (Steve Marshall)
As they're engaging in conversation Chris spots the beautiful Cynthia Cronenberg (Jill Whitlow). Following her into the fraternity house with hopes of wooing her. To gain her full attention Chris decides they should join the fraternity. For their pledge they are required to steal a corpse from the university medical centre and place it on the steps of another fraternity. Going along with the ridiculous pledge they sneak into the medical centre and find a secret room which turns out to be a cryogenics lab, which just so happens to contain the body of the young man from the 50's. Upon opening the containment unit and pulling him out, his hand grabs J.C.'s arm causing both of the boys to run out of the lab leaving the corpse on the floor.
Cue the entrance of Detective Ray Cameron (Tom Atkins), a cop that dated the girl who was killed back in the 50's.

With the corpse now thawed, it goes back to the sorority house where his girlfriend used to live. The one Cynthia happens to reside in. It climbs to her window where it's head splits open and leeches spill from it which hit the floor and slither away.
This is where the madness begins, and where you should go and buy this on DVD or Blu-ray.

Dekker does an amazing job of blending sci-fi, horror & comedy together. The characters are lovable and believable. Tom Atkins gives one of the most memorable performances with his character's dead pan one liners.


Bill said...

One of my favorite movies from the 1980s. "Thrill me!"

Franco Macabro said...

Defenetly a great film, and one that has been ignored for far too long! Well, finally its on dvd, so theres something right in the world!

BTW, Im a new reader, nice blog!

geralmar said...

I saw it on commercial television twice. Each time it had a different ending. I remember neither; but either worked just fine.

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