The IMDB description of the 1986 film Night of the Creeps reads like this:
“Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.”
If that’s not enough to both get you excited about watching a B grade horror movie you might as well stop reading now. Me? I’m a sucker for this kind of thing so when I saw it on my DVR guide you know that I simply couldn’t stop myself from recording it.
This one is actually a little bit difficult to follow so I’ll do my best to recap. The movie opens in 1959 and we see a space ship where 2 aliens are running after a 3rd who we learn is attempting to release an “experiment”. The experiment manages to get off the ship and hurls toward Earth where it crashes. It lands in the path of an escaped mental patient (?) who proceeds to go and hack up a girl who’s boyfriend left her there to investigate. Said boy finds the experiment / canister that was jettisoned and “slug” jumps out of the canister into the guy’s mouth.
At this point we fade to black and come back in the year 1986. The time lapse really isn’t explained, or if it was I completely missed it. The main character (Chris) is introduced and it’s none other than Jason Lively (Rusty Griswold from National Lampoon’s European Vacation). I hadn’t seen this actor in anything since then so you can imagine my delight which was met with an audible “Rusty!!!” He and his buddy JC are walking through their college campus where Chris spots the woman of his dreams Cynthia (the smoking hot Jill Whitlow who’d you’d recognize as the perfume salesgirl from Weird Science).
Chris decided that in order to impress the girl he’ll join a fraternity. Naturally, the asshole frat guys put him and his buddy up to a prank where they’re supposed to steal a body and put it on the steps of a rival frat house. They break into an on-campus morgue (go with me here) and find the guy from 1959 frozen in stasis. Naturally, rather than getting the hell out of dodge they manage to defrost him where the slug jumps out of his mouth and into the mouth of the bumbling orderly who inadvertently allowed them access. The re-animated guy escapes only to begin spreading slugs all over campus. He manages to make his way to Cynthia’s bedroom where after a nice bra and panty shot his forehead splits open and slugs start pouring out. A cool and creepy effect but still a WTF moment for sure.
From here, we go through about 30 minutes or so of random deaths, slugs (the creeps) skittering across the floor and a silly back story of a grumpy cop who’s apparently connected to the axe wielding psycho from the 1959 opening. The epic finale comes during a formal event where there are whole slew of kids who are turned into zombies fighting against a flamethrower-wielding Chris & Cynthia. The cop with the random back story ultimately wins the day when he sacrifices himself and blows up the sorority house where all the creeps have converged. We get one final scare when an infected dog has a final creep jump out of his mouth toward Cynthia as credits roll.
Some Brilliant Dialogue
For a B list horror movie this has some brilliant stuff in there. We’re treated to some lines that tell us that not only are the writers not taking themselves too seriously, but also that they totally “get it” and are pretty damn funny to boot. Check these out:
- “Johnny… can we go back the point now? I’ll even let you fondle my breasts!”
- “If you weren’t such an asshole, even girls might like you.”
- “What is this… a homicide or a bad B movie?”
- “At least we don’t have to have sex with a farm animal!”
1980’s Horror & Pop Culture Cliches
As you’re watching this you’re definitely going to pick up on some of these but I simply had to point them out. First up is the asshole frat guy’s license plate that says, “BRADSTER”. If this isn’t straight out of the 80’s Bad Guy playbook I’m not sure what is. This next one isn’t specific to the 80’s but it’s a horror staple: gratuitous T & A. As I mentioned before, we get a brief bra and panty shot of the lead Cynthia which is followed by brief titty shot which was quite nice. Big fan. Next up is the titty montage when the gals are getting ready for the prom (the formal) a la the Revenge of the Nerds scene where the guys are watching the gals via closed circuit television. Speaking of the Nerds… there’s a shot early in the movie where the leads are at the Beta house and the banner on the wall says, “Betas are better!” Love it.
Trivia & Tidbits
A couple of cool little tidbits that I learned about this one. There is an alternate ending available on the DVD as well as some bootlegs. In Germany, the flick Zombie Town is marketed as a sequel to this film, when in reality they have nothing to do with one another.
The film as you might have imagined was a box office disaster. It had a budget of $5 million and took in less than $600,000 in the US.
Several of the characters in this movie are named after well known horror & sci-fi directors including George Romero, David Cronenberg, James Cameron, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper and John Landis.
This was a weird one. It’s a mid 80’s B-grade horror movie that has somehow eluded me into well into my 30’s. Quite frankly I didn’t think there were too many of these out there… apparently I was dead wrong. The plot of this one is difficult to follow and has a couple of sub-plots that are either completely necessary or too convoluted to bother worrying about. Unless you’re a huge fan of Rusty or the Perfume Chick from other 80’s flicks there’s probably not a ton here for you. As a horror movie this is just above “edited for television” on the gore and fright scales. That said, I probably enjoyed watching it more now than I would have when it came out if for nothing more than the nostalgia factor. Even though the plot is tough to follow I do have to say that I wasn’t bored watching it which is a very good thing. If you run across it on your channel lineup, click the record button and come back to it when you’ve got a rainy afternoon or evening.
Have you see Night of the Creeps? What did you think?