Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day Five Point Two: Night of the Creeps (1986)

Night of the Creeps is awesome.

What? You want more?

Okay. Night of the Creeps was written and directed by Fred Dekker, who would go on to write and direct another cult classic, The Monster Squad.

If you haven't seen Monster Squad, then shame on you. If you have seen it, but didn't care for it, then you must have never been a prepubescent boy who loved the Universal Pictures stable of monsters.

Sure, that lets a lot of you off the hook, I guess. But dammit! That movie is gold.

As is this one.

What we've got here is an alien invasion of sorts. An alien experiment is jettisoned from an alien spacecraft in the opening moments of the film. The experimental container lands on Earth back in 1959 and infects a college jock.

Cut to 1986 and the misadventures of two college students just trying to find nice girls and fall in love. In a misguided attempt to impress a young lady, these gentlemen decide to pledge a fraternity (one which will never actually let them join, of course), and their hazing involves stealing a corpse. The corpse, naturally, turns out to the the cryogenically frozen body with mysterious alien worms inside (the alien experiment, for those of you not keeping up).

The alien worms gestate in the brains of mammals, living or dead, causing an outbreak of zombie-ism on the college campus.

That's enough plot.

Let me just say that this is a low-budget horror film made by a man who clearly loves horror films. Nearly all the characters have names inspired by the greats in the horror film industry. There are narrative references to all sorts of horror precursors. And best of all, it doesn't suck while doing all of this.

It actually tells an entertaining story with likable characters while both advancing the genre and respecting the traditions.

This is one of the good ones, folks.

If you haven't seen it, then make some time for it. If you've already seen it, shouldn't you check it out again? How long has it been?

For me it was around fifteen years.

It doesn't take itself too seriously, but it does take itself serious enough to make it more than a shallow parody. It's a worthy entry into the pantheon of zombie film, if you ask me.

It's not Top Ten material, but it's not too far off.

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