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NIGHT OF THE CREEPS

Written By:

Grant Kempster
creeps1

Chris and J.C. are the dorks on campus. You know these guys, one’s a straight-A cardigan-wearing student, while the other is the wisecracking funny guy who’s always got his buddy’s back. Throw into the mix the gorgeous and popular Cynthia (who Chris falls immediately in love with) and you’ve got almost every teen movie released in the 80s. But wait, there’s more.

In order to get Cynthia’s attention and enter a fraternity, the underdog duo break into a science lab to secure a cadaver as part of their initiation. It doesn’t go well. Before they know it, Chris and J.C. have unwittingly kickstarted a Night of the Living Dead scenario thanks to some parasitic alien slugs that like to nest in human brains before multiplying and exploding out.

Fred Dekker’s directorial feature debut is 80s B-movie magic in all its gory (sic). An ode to every film he loved, Night of the Creeps is Dekker’s love letter to the genre. Every surname is a director (Cameron, Landis, Raimi, Cronenberg etc) and every scene is inspired by the filmmakers that the Dekker admired. Yet this classic chunk of 80s cinema is far from a slavish checklist. Instead, Creeps is a brilliant example of a fun, popcorn-munching horror movie that is rarely seen these days. Plus this comes with the legendary alternate ending as standard (as it was always meant to be seen) to thrill you.

The beautifully restored disc comes with a wealth of Special Features that will sate any fanboy while also providing valuable insight for anyone interested in the genre. Two Commentaries are on offer, the first by Dekker himself and the second by the main cast. Dekker’s walkthrough is an honest and insightful one. There’s stuff in the film that he genuinely loves (and plenty that he doesn’t) which makes this essential listening.

Thrill Me: The Making of Night of the Creeps is a brilliant hour-long documentary charting the film from start to end, with interviews from all the main players, including the effects crew. The film’s resident cop, Tom Atkins also gets his own fascinating mini featurette in which he discusses his career, film by film leading up to Creeps.

Interview with Fred Dekker is just that, expanding on what we already knew from the Making of doc and filling in a few blanks while the Deleted Scenes back up Dekker’s claim that the studio cut quite a few scenes down for pacing. The brief Theatrical Ending and Trailer are also included.

Far from a forgettable slice of schlock, like the alien slugs themselves, Night of the Creeps will nestle in your brain for years to come thanks to its embracing of the genre. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you squirm, and it’ll leave you screaming like a banshee.

NIGHT OF THE CREEPS / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: FRED DEKKER / SCREENPLAY: FRED DEKKER / STARRING: TOM ATKINS, JASON LIVELY, JILL WHITLOW, ALLAN KAYSER / RELEASE DATE: 8TH OCTOBER

Grant Kempster

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