Halloween is certainly a time when we pay tribute to our favorite horror films. For today’s Throwback Thursday, a column where ScienceFiction.com looks at sci fi classics, let’s get meta and pay tribute to the horror genre by looking at a movie that pays tribute to the horror genre.
‘Night of the Creeps’ is a 1986 horror comedy distributed by TriStar Pictures. An homage to B-movie horror features, ‘Night of the Creeps’ is an amalgamation of zombie movies, science fiction, suspense, and college comedy. It was written and directed by Fred Dekker who’s also responsible for the resurrection of classic horror characters in 1987’s ‘The Monster Squad.’ ‘Nights of the Creeps’ didn’t do remarkably well at the box office, but it did manage to gain a cult following.
It’s definitely fun to play “spot the horror references” while watching ‘Night of the Creeps.’ The film opens in the 1950’s where a young man uncovers a canister sent to Earth by aliens that look like they’re composed of Silly Putty. The canister opens and we see a slug jump into the young man’s mouth. We cut to 27 years later and meet Chris Romero (Jason Lively), a college student at Corman University. (See what I mean by spot the horror references?) Pining over a righteous babe named Cynthia Cronenberg (Jill Whitlow), Chris reasons he must join a fraternity in order to win her affection. As part of the rush process, Chris and his buddy J.C. (standing for James Carpenter, played by Steve Marshall) must steal a corpse from the school’s cryogenics lab and place it in the yard of the sorority house.
However, the corpse turns out to be the young man from the 1950’s. He reanimates, scaring away Chris and J.C. The corpse is set loose and eventually his head cracks open and a bunch of slugs squirm free. These slugs end up entering the bodies of people on campus, turning them into zombies. It’s up to grizzled Detective Ray Cameron to aid with saving the day. Cameron is played by horror staple Tom Atkins, who is probably more capable at being a detective than actual detectives.
‘Night of the Creeps’ is a definite fix to satisfy your 80’s horror cravings. Atkins definitely steals the show and it’s gratifying to watch every horror cliche materialize as the story unfolds. It may not be the best homage to horror, but it’s certainly an entertaining thrill.