Night of the Creeps – USA, 1986

night creeps 1

‘If you scream… you’re dead.’

Night of the Creeps is a 1986 American science fiction horror feature film written and directed by Fred Dekker (The Predator; The Monster Squad). The movie stars Tom Atkins (Apocalypse KissThe Fog; Halloween III), Jason Lively, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow.

Scream Factory is releasing Night of the Creeps as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on May 28, 2019 . The package will feature a reversible sleeve with the original VHS cover artwork on one side and the original poster on the other.

Additionally, a deluxe edition will include a NECA eight-inch action figure of Detective Cameron (Tom Atkins’ character); a poster (18 x 24 inches) featuring artwork by Devon Whitehead plus and a second slipcover with Whitehead’s art. The deluxe edition is limited to 3,000 and is only available to order via Shout Factory

Disc One: Theatrical Version

  • Thrill Me!: The Making of Night of the Creeps – a five-part documentary on the making of the film featuring interviews with writer/director Fred Dekker, actors Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, producer Charles Gordon, special makeup effects creator David B. Miller, Special Makeup Effects artists Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman and more
  • Tom Atkins: Man of Action – a look at the actor’s career
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Disc Two: Director’s Cut

  • Audio Commentary with writer/director Fred Dekker
  • Audio Commentary with actors Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow
  • New Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – a look at the film’s locations today with host Sean Clark, director Fred Dekker and actor Jason Lively
  • New Real Good Plan – an interview with actor Jason Lively
  • New The Bradster- an interview with actor Alan Kayser
  • New I Vote For That One – an interview with actor Ken Heron
  • New Worst Coroner Ever – an interview with actor Vic Polizos
  • New Answering the Door – an interview with actress Suzanne Snyder
  • New Final Cut – an interview with editor Michael N. Knue

Plot:

In 1959, an alien experiment crashes to earth and infects a fraternity member. They freeze the body, but in the modern day, two geeks pledging a fraternity accidentally thaw the corpse, which proceeds to infect the campus with parasites that transform their hosts into killer zombies…

Reviews:

“Too  bad it doesn’t have a single original idea […] Atkins (Cameron) is very good as the hard-edged unorthodox cop, and is supported by a decent teen cast […] Above average for its type.” John Stanley, Creature Features, Berkley, 2000

” …it’s an energetic, enjoyable mishmash of standard B-level science fiction themes, action buddy film antics, syrupy youth movie influences (the budding romance between Chris and Cynthia) and of course, the fact that parasitic-controlled zombies are thrown in doesn’t hurt it any (you also get to witness a zombified cat and dog!).” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

“I certainly know this is not a great movie, not fine cinema, and it still has a decidedly campy, horror vibe that is obviously from the ’80s. Nonetheless, if you give it a chance you’ll find it fun, gory, and compelling. It’s a great flick that deserves its cult status, but it also deserves more.” Eric Profancik, DVD Verdict

“This is an overall great flick that suffers only from some cheap looking f/x as a result of the year/decade it was made in. Good horror-comedy hybrids are almost impossible to find, and this one is the best. Dekker merges the sci-fi, horror, comedy, and thriller genres into one seamless movie that you will watch over and over again.” Goregirl’s Dungeon

” …Night of the Creeps may not have been the scariest or goriest film to claw its way out of the neon blur that was 1980s, but it sure was the most fun […] The way it combined the gratuitous nudity and frat boy shenanigans of your average teenage party movie, with the walking corpses and exploding heads of an intergalactic zombie epic, was obviously very appealing…” House of Self-Indulgence

“Night of the Creeps is unpretentious and nostalgic bliss for those who enjoy a good old fashioned B movie. Viewers will no doubt enjoy the plethora of in-jokes and references to other fan favourites. Even those who aren’t complete horror geeks will still get a kick out of this irresistibly barmy and no holds barred romp.” James Gracey, No Holds Barred

“Its chief drawback is that it’s far too leisurely paced so that the real Night of the Living Dead-style menace doesn’t occur until too late in the day (or night) to truly be to the film’s advantage. That said, Dekker exhibits welcome imagination in what is your basic zombie science fiction flick from this decade.” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

“It’s little wonder why Creeps is (generally) so overrated as a cult fave: the broad humor, sub-jarhead one liners and over-the-top action (relatively new in the mid ’80s) would echo the tone of horror for the next two decades.” The Terror Trap

“Neither Dekker’s sloppy direction nor the cheapo make-up and effects do justice to the hand-me-down but sporadically lively script. Not the most sophisticated or scary horror film of the year, perhaps, but enjoyable enough in a ramshackle sort of way.” Nigel Floyd, Time Out

Choice dialogue:

Detective Cameron: “I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here.”
Sorority Girl: “What’s the bad news?”
Detective Cameron: “They’re dead.”

Trivia:

Though not shown theatrically upon its original release, the original ending showed Chris and Cynthia standing in front of the burning sorority house, then moved to the street where police cars race down the street.

The charred and ‘zombified’ Cameron is shuffling down the street when he suddenly stops and falls to the ground. His head explodes and the slugs scamper out and head into a cemetery, as the spaceship from the beginning of the film has returned with the aliens intending to retrieve their experiment.

Releases:

On 15 October 2018, Night of the Creeps was released in the UK as a dual Blu-ray and DVD combo by Eureka! Entertainment.

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

• High-definition remaster of the director’s cut
• Original stereo soundtrack and 5.1 surround audio options, presented in PCM and DTS-HD MA respectively on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary by writer/director Fred Dekker
• Audio commentary by actors Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow
• Thrill Me: Making Night of the Creeps: an hour-long series of video pieces on the making of the film featuring new interviews with cast and crew
• Tom Atkins: Man of Action featurette
• Video Interview with Fred Dekker
• Deleted Scenes
• Original theatrical ending
• Trivia track subtitles
• Theatrical trailer
• Limited-edition booklet featuring a new essay by critic Craig Ian Mann
• Limited Edition O-Card slipcase

Cast and credits:

  • Jason Lively … Chris – The Possessed; Ghost Chase; Brainstorm
  • Steve Marshall … J.C.
  • Jill Whitlow … Cynthia – Swamp Thing TV series; Freddy’s Nightmares TV series: Twice Dead; Ghost Chase
  • Tom Atkins … Ray Cameron – Apocalypse Kiss; Halloween III; Creepshow; The Fog
  • Wally Taylor … Detective Landis – Escape from New York; When a Stranger Calls
  • Bruce Solomon … Sgt. Raimi – The Twilight Zone TV series ‘Monsters’;
  • Vic Polizos … Coroner – C.H.U.D.
  • Allan J. Kayser … Brad
  • Ken Heron … Johnny
  • Alice Cadogan … Pam
  • June Harris … Karen
  • David Paymer … Young Scientist
  • David Oliver … Steve
  • Evelyne Smith … House Mother
  • Ivan E. Roth … Psycho Zombie

Image credits: House of Self-Indulgence

Artwork by Graham Humphreys

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5 Comments on “Night of the Creeps – USA, 1986”

  1. So, it looks like you guys are starting to nibble around the lists idea. Well, it’s about time! Can’t have enough lists, ya know!

    1. Me neither. And when I showed Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad to my son I wasn’t impressed as to how it had aged. Juvenile even for him when he was 11 years-old. Or maybe times have changed?

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