Today I want to give a shout out to one of my favorite cult films that just this week was released on DVD. It was directed by Fred Dekker, who also directed The Monster Squad (a childhood favorite), and starred Tom Atkins who's been in everything from The Fog to Halloween III: Season of the Witch, to My Bloody Valentine 3D. Its an amazing little film with throwbacks to 50s horror as well as affectionate send-ups of 1980s conventions, references to genre directors, and great B-movie special effects. The movie is Night of the Creeps, released by Tri-Star Pictures in 1986. Never heard of it you say? I'm not surprised. A light performer at the box office when it was first released and long forgotten on video (yet with rentals high) its one of the many 80s horror films that was easily trampled by the things released around it....I mean, how do you really survive as a sci-fi/comedy/horror film in the same year that Aliens is released?
So what is the movie even about? Well, in the 1950s a spaceship floating over Earth accidentally releases a canister that falls to the ground on the same night that two college kids are parking on make-out hill...while an escaped ax murdering mental patient is on the loose no less. The boy finds the canister and discovers it to be full of strange alien slugs that leap into his body while the girl is hacked up by the ax murderer. Flash forward to 1986 on the same campus, and rush week is in full swing. Two boys who are trying to pull a fraternity prank, sneak into the morgue and find the 50s boy, frozen in a tube. They accidentally thaw him and he begins to walk around like a zombie...releasing the little space slugs and spreading the zombie mayhem all over the campus. Suddenly it is up to the boys, the sorority girl they just met, and a disillusioned cop to kill the alien scum.
If you're scratching your head and wondering how anyone could like a story so conveluted, don't worry. This is definitely one of those stories that is much better to watch unfold than it is to hear described because so much happens in the tight 90 minutes. I was actually surprised at how much I liked the film, given the plot description and I am so glad it is on DVD now. Its one of those films that you know was made on a tight budget and yet looks so much pricier than it is, like Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Filmmakers who can make the most from their money earn a special place in this movie lover's book. Take a gander at the trailer below and check the movie out if you haven't yet seen it. Happy hauntings boils and ghouls.