Well…lookee there…I said I wasn’t going to be overly verbose on that decade, but I did it anyway. It just goes to show that the subject of horror movies in the 80s is something I never get tired of talking about.
I’ve also mentioned before that due to the superfluity of that genre of films, I didn’t get to see quite a few of them that were released during my movie-going days back then. So when I catch up these days, usually by checking out the catalog of DVDs on Netflix, they usually bring me back to that innocent age of my teenaged years. Sometimes they’re excellent movies that make me think, “Why have I not seen this one?” Other times, I turn off the flick twenty minutes into it, regretting that I had it sent to me in the first place.
Now, the odd thing about Night of the Creeps is that I had it sent to me some years ago and threw it on for a watch—maybe letting it play for a half hour or so—but decided to eject it from my PS3 and sent it back to Netflix. The reason I didn’t get into it? Probably because of my feeling that one should watch horror movies during the right time of year. If you’d read my review ofThe Howling, I started off with editorializing my view of watching most horror movies during the month of October. Not all horror movies, mind you, but the ones that were made during the decade of 1980 through 1989 generally fall into that category. So I think that’s what went wrong when I first saw Night of the Creeps—it was probably during the spring or summer and it just didn’t keep my interest.
I don’t know what made me change my mind and decide to give the movie another chance, but that’s exactly what I had done. I seem to recall that perhaps it was a horror movie podcast I was listening to that made me reconsider trying it out again (Horror Etc.? Corpse Cast? SlasherCast?). Whatever—or whoever—had gotten me to change my mind, I’m glad it did. I saw it again and it had such a profound impact on me, I decided to purchase the Blu-Ray (which coincidentally had been released a few months beforehand) and it now sits proudly in the front of one of my horror movie binders.
Night of the Creeps marks the debut of director and writer, Fred Dekker. He went on to direct The Monster Squad a year later, an episode of “Tales from the Crypt” and the ill-fated second sequel in the Robocop franchise. However, as a writer, Dekker has had a string of hits, most recently having a remake of The Monster Squad on the block as well as a rumor that Predatormight be rebooted as well (let’s hope that neither of them will happen—no disrespect to Mr. Dekker, but the originals are classics and don’t need to be regurgitated). As a first-time writer and director, Dekker really hit it out of the park with Night of the Creeps.
The film opens, in an alien vessel in space, where an alien is running away from some others and
Jason Lively and Steve Marshall as the two main characters are your typical 80s teen heroes, much like Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith from Weird Science. The antics Lively and Marshall get into as Chris and J.C., especially the contrived set-up to the movie, is emblematic of this movie—or any movie of the 1980s for that matter. You’ve got to give it to them for taking their roles seriously and acting them out better than what you’d expect from a movie like this.
For any of you who love a good zombie movie, but want something more than what we’ve been given over the years, which is just a rehash of what George Romero has done, this is a refreshing one to see. The reason the dead walk is a little on the sci-fi side of things, but it’s still nerve-racking how it all comes to be, leaving the whole movie full of tension.
So, my final “bit” on Night of the Creeps?
Relive the 80s with this gem as you’ll get the practical effects that are notorious in these earlier
Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!