Thursday, October 8, 2015

Night of the Creeps (1986)

Night of the Creeps (USA, 1986) - Color, Director(s): Fred Dekker
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 88 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 4 stars out of 5

Transitioning from zombies to alien movies, we've got one here that's a mix of both with a dash of Slasher thrown in. Night of the Creeps is a loving homage to genre films and B-movies.

After a neat title sequence, the movie opens on an alien spaceship where two butt-naked aliens are chasing a third one that's running away with some kind of tube. Turns out the two are trying to retrieve an experiment, housed inside of the tube, but it's fired out of the ship before they get to it. 

Meanwhile on Earth, it's 1959 which made apparent through the use of a black-and-white filter. A couple at make-out point see something fall from the sky and go to investigate in the woods. As an alien slug busts out of the tube and wriggles down the guy's throat, an escaped axe-murderer sneaks up on the girl in the car.

Flash forward to 1986, Chris and J.C. are a couple of pals wandering around on Pledge Week when Chris falls for a sorority girl. To get her attention, they attempt to join a fraternity but their botched initiation prank accidentally unleashes the cryogenically frozen 1959 guy who chugged the slug. The reanimated body regurgitates a slug into someone's mouth then goes straight to sorority house. Was this really the only sorority house around? Two guys trying to impress this girl accidentally let a zombie loose and it walks straight to her window. Before we get to question how convenient this is for the plot, he grows a vagina on his forehead and a bunch of slugs explode out of it off camera. Apparently the slug that crawled into his mouth incubated in his brain and turned him into a zombie. 

Detective Cameron (Tom Atkins from Halloween III: Season of the Witch, The Fog) is called in to investigate the body at the lab. Chris and J.C. are brought to the police station for questioning because an Asian janitor witnessed them running from the lab, "screaming like banshees." The janitor apparently thinks the "screaming like banshees" line is the most hilarious thing ever, he's constantly repeating it while laughing to himself. It's the last thing he says before he snarfs a space slug too.

The now infected janitor wanders into the bathroom, where J.C. is dropping a deuce, and releases his brain slugs everywhere. Rule #3 from Zombieland, "Beware of bathrooms." J.C. is seriously the best wingman ever. He tries his best to hook his buddy up with chicks, he's the one who finds out these things get in through your mouth, AND he figures out you can kill them with fire! With this information, Tom Atkins gets a flamethrower and they're off to kick some alien zombie ass! Dick Miller is running the armory and they actually have a flamethrower at the police station!

Nudity: 3 breasts. A couple of girls are shown in the shower.

Gore: There are heads splitting open, faces ripped off, people getting hacked by an axe, shotgun blasts to the skull, rotting animal corpses, forced oral ingestion, and zombie incineration by flamethrower. The coroner is always eating every time you see him throughout the movie. I think this shows that even though there's a bunch of gore, the movie's still got a really lighthearted tone. This is a stark contrast to A Nightmare on Elm Street where the coroner was throwing up after he saw what happened to Johnny Depp.

Awesome: Very. This movie is so much fun and it pays such loving tribute to B-movies. First time director Fred Dekker wrote and directed this film, before going on to co-write and direct The Monster Squad. You can tell he just really loves the genre. The characters are named after directors. Christopher Romero, Cynthia Cronenberg, James-Carpenter Hooper, Detective Cameron, Detective Landis, Sgt. Raimi, and Mr. Miner. As in George A. Romero, David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, James Cameron, John Landis, Sam Raimi, and Steve Miner. I highly recommend this underrated film to anyone who hasn't seen it. As I write this, the film is available to stream for free on Crackle if you don't mind commercials, or you can pick up a Blu-ray of the Director's Cut for only $13.44 from Amazon.