‘Night of the Creeps’ a festive start to the Halloween season

Night of the Creeps
Writer/Director: Fred Dekker
1986, USA

Otherwise titled, “Finding Value within an 80s B-Movie Horror.” Night of the Creeps (available currently on Netflix) kicks off the first Halloween Tombstone Tuesday, aka Zombie/Back From the Dead flicks. Although the film maintains the standard plot line, dialogue and scenario, it manages to add to the genre of 80s B-Movie Horror films. Maybe not appreciated at its release because horror, science fiction, and thrillers were on the rise with the new animatronic, technical advancements. It still adds to our historical idea of where movies were at in the 80s, and how have they progressed since? And movies like Night of the Creeps offer a comparison between the hits of the 80s such as John Carpenters The Thing or Ridley Scott’s Alien.

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Upon reflection, 80s B-Movie Horror films share similar characteristics, one in particular being cheesy one-liners. Other characteristics might also be Kurt Russell, Bruce Campbell, robotic monsters, fake blood, zombies who don’t run, and have the scare comparison to something we would hang above our doors for trick or treaters. They’re fun, entertaining, sometimes hidden with moral/ethical/governmental commentary, and memorable. As movie lovers, we have an ability to place ourselves within that time period, helping us achieve more appreciation for what cinema was and where it has gone in comparison to others.

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Night of the Creeps has no moral/ethical/governmental commentary, but it does have more one-liners and stereotypes than Evil Dead. But that’s not to say it’s better, as seen in current years where the latter has turned into a cult classic, and the former is simply a Halloween must-see horror flick. Some of the best lines from the film don’t even come from the young, leading characters like Chris (Jason Lively, or Rusty from European Vacation), Cynthia, or J.C. Most lines come from Detective Cameron, Tom Atkins, the detective who failed to finish the alien brain parasitic case in the 1950s. It’s now his time to shine and take back the credit he deserves. Some lines include, but are not limited to…

1. “What is this? A homicide, or a bad B-movie?”

2. “What’s this?”

Detective Landis: “It was a grad student. He was scheduled to work here this evening.”

“Looks like he worked a little too hard, huh?”

3. “I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here.”

Sorority Girl: “What’s the bad news?”

“They’re dead.”

The film has some serious entertainment value and is a festive start to the Halloween season. Plus it’s easily accessible through Netflix. This movie provides just as many screams as any other B-movie, Halloween classic, but it also provides more laughs with its low budget animatronic, cheesy dialogue, and poor acting.




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