Night of the Creeps
Charles Gordon, Bill Finnegan (executive) for Delphi V Productions, TriStar
directed by Fred Dekker
starring Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, Tom Atkins, Walloy Taylor, Bruce Solomon, Vic Piolizos, Dick Miller, Allan Kayser, Ken Heron, Alice Cardogan, June Harris, David Paymer, Evelyne Smith, Ivan E. Roth, Daniel Frishman, Kevin Thompson, Joseph S.Griffo, Katherine Britton, Leslie Ryan, Dave Alan Jones, Suzanne Snyder, Jay Wakerman, Elizabeth Cox, Emily Fiola, Russell Moss, Richard DeHaven, John J.York, Jim Townsend, Tex Donaldson, Jay Arlen Jones, Craig Schaefer, Richard Sassin, Robert Kerman, Jack Lightsy, Elizabeth Alda
written by Fred Dekker, music by Barry De Vorzon, special effects by Roger George, visual effects by David Stipes, special makeup effects by Robert Kurtzman, Howard Berger
1959: Some kind of alien vessel lands on earth, and it contains some
kind of worms, worms that like to climb (or even jump) into human bodies
and turn them into mindless murdering zombies while they incubate - ouch.
Young cop Ray Cameron (Dave Alan Johnson) has the misfortune to witness
the introdcution of these alien worms to our world, an introduction that
also includes his ex girlfriend (Alice Cadogan) ending up at the wrong
side of a serialkiller's axe - double ouch.
1986: The whole alien worm affair has since been hushed up, and the guy
who has been entered by the aliens has been deep-frozen in a science lab.
So there is nothing to worry about, is there ?
Of course there is, as young student Chris (Jason Lively) has
hopelessly fallen in love with Cynthia (Jill Whitlow), but he thinks to
impress her he has to join a fraternity. But to join the fraternity of his
choice he and his disabled friend JC (Steve Marshall) have to steal a
corpse from the local science lab ... and wouldn't you know it, the corpse
they choose is the deepfrozen one from back from 1959, and against all
odds, once thawed up he comes to life, and the alien worms inside of him
with him, and immediately the worms start to spread, creating more and
more zombies in the process.
Being one of the few people who at least remotely knows what's going
on, Chris teams up with cop Ray Cameron - yup the one from 1959 (who is
now played by Tom Atkins) -, and with shotguns and a flamethrower, they
try to save the city and especially the sorority house Cynthia is living
at, which eventually turns out to be the alien worms' homebase. And after
the usual encounters with zombies which lead to choice dialogue like
"Girls, I have good news and bad news. The good news: Your dates are
here, the bad news, they are all dead" and which also include Chris
and Cynthia fighting the zombies side by side in fancy dress, detective
Cameron blows up the sorority house ... and himself with it.
The always dependable Dick Miller has one scene as the police armorer,
a scene he totally makes his own.
Of course, the plot of Night of the Creeps is pretty much as old
as it is silly, and to a point the film is completely derivative ... yet
that doesn't essentially make it a bad film. The point is that director
and screenwriter Fred Dekker seems to exactly know how silly and
derivative his film is, so instead of just repeating the same old story
for the umpteenth time, he decides to have fun with it. and milks it for
all its more often than not macabre humour (best scenes: when Chris asks
detective Cameron for help, Cameron actually is in the process of
committing suicide, something the movie only hints at in passing, and when
Cynthia has a heart-to-heart talk with her fraternity boy ex boyfriend
[Allan Kayser], she doesn't even notice he's already a zombie). Add to
this some well-done gore effects and zombie makeups and you have one
extremely entertaining film. No classic perhaps (for that the film lacks
depth and hindsight) but one and a half hours of enjoyment. Only the
film's tendency to name all its characters after horror directors is a bit
annoying and as an idea had collected dust by 1986.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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