Night of the Creeps (1986)
As a kid and also a teenager, it was typical of me to “fall head over heals” over one of the female members of my peer group, whenever I had a peer group. If I didn’t have a group of friends, I’d fall for the prettiest, in my eyes anyway, girl who sat closest to me in class. Or one I saw most often in the cafeteria. I was an odd child, completely sold by television and Hollywood on the idea of love and all the great things it seemed to promise.
It wasn’t until I had my heart torn from my chest and stomped on (I’d like to add here that there was no real fault in the person who did the tearing–I blame stupid, cheesy movies for that), that I realized the realities of love and loss. Looking back, however, I did fall for some of the most interesting girls. My favourite was a young woman in high school who had a bright red mohawk and wore knee-high Doc Martins. She kicked serious ass and took no shit.
I digress. This post isn’t supposed to be about my stupid, pathetic childhood. No, this is about Night of the Creeps from 1986. This one was written and directed by Fred Dekker, and stars Tom Atkins (who is awesomely funny in parts of this), Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, and Jill Witlow. And, if you watch this one closely, you can see just how pathetic I probably was as a teen.
The story involves two college friends, Chris and J. C., as they try to make friends and, more importantly, get laid. After a brief black and white epilogue, which is pretty cool in its fifties popcorn horror movie style, the story opens like an eighties party movie as Chris and JC are at a frat party, where they don’t belong, and Chris falls in love when he sees the very pretty Cynthia from a distance.
He is hypnotized by her beauty. And during the course of the next hour he does nothing but lament his desire for her to dump her asshole boyfriend and be with him.
Oh, and there are alien brain parasites that crawl around the campus throughout the movie. They look and behave like slugs might on meth. Every once in a while, one of these slugs will force its way down the throat of an unsuspecting college kid. As it is a brain parasite, it kills its victim and then controls their body. The “zombie” like creatures then stumble around until the time is right and their heads explode, unleashing a new batch of alien brain parasites into the world.
What this movie has working for it is the comedy. Night of the Creeps does not take itself seriously, and so the audience probably shouldn’t either. The gore is top notch when those heads pop open, and Tom Atkins, who plays an alcoholic cop investigating a murder (his main suspects are Chris and JC, of course), has moments that made me laugh pretty hard.
Overall, I found myself checking my cellphone a lot on this one. Maybe that’s because I’d cringe every time Chris moaned over Cynthia. There is one part where JC tells Chris off and puts him in his place. I had to say bravo, JC. Bravo! My inner child wept pathetically, but adult me was proud.
3 out of 4 Dweller Heads.