Night of the Creeps (1986)

night of the creeps poster 1986 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun visuals, good concept

Poor acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Night of the Creeps

Studio:  TriStar Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  August 22, 1986

MPAA Rating:  R

night of the creeps axe man zombieAn alien lifeform is ejected from a ship and crash lands on Earth in 1959.  Discovered by a frat boy and his girlfriend, the encounter ends in tragedy.  In 1986, while trying to impress a girl named Cynthia Cronenberg (Jill Whitlow), Chris Romero (Jason Lively) and his friend J.C. Hooper (Steve Marshall) accept a fraternity prank to steal a body. When they steal the frat boy’s body from cryogenic stasis, they accidentally unleash the horror which has grown inside of him. Now the Creeps are on the loose and invading the frat boys…creating zombies. It is up to Chris, Cynthia, and a disgruntled detective named Ray Cameron (Tom Atkins) to stop the horror.

Directed by Fred Dekker, Night of the Creeps is a horror-comedy B-Movie homage.  The film performed poorly when it was released, but gained a big cult following through cable and VCR rentals. Not available for years, the movie has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

night of the creeps zombie cat gordon

Who is a good (undead) kitty?

Night of the Creeps was a movie my friend and I watched a number of times.  It was fun, scary, and unbalanced…but mostly fun.  Revisiting the movie is worth wild and you can easily see how the movie became a cult hit.  It is loaded with one liners and gore.

Night of the Creeps is an homage to lots of different genres. The start of the film is like a ’50s sci-fi B-Movie with the alien invaders (but the B-Movie theme carries throughout). The movie quickly shifts to something that feels like The Blob with the Happy Days’ lover’s lane scene. It then turns into an ’80s flick which combines horror elements with something like Revenge of the Nerds and Valley Girl. Throughout this, the characters are named after horror directors including Cronenberg, Romero, and even James Cameron. It is a strange combo and feel that is a bit unusual and has led to the popularity of  Night of the Creeps.

night of the creeps tom atkins slugs

Thrill me!

The movie’s weakest part is probably the poor acting. Jason Lively (formerly of National Lampoon’s European Vacation…aka Rusty II) just can’t carry the movie. Jill Whitlow is fun, but bland as his girlfriend, and almost everyone except Tom Atkins whose character is more of a one-liner type of character, seems to just be reading their lines.  Atkins does have fun with the role and brings a nice dimension to the otherwise flat acting (though you could argue the acting in also a homage to cheesy horror of the ’50s).

Effects-wise, the story is a mix. The aliens at the beginning are horrible looking, but I do like the slugs (which I’ve always assumed were the titular “Creeps”…not the zombie guys). Their design is similar to Cronenburg’s Shivers venereal disease creatures and look like the creatures used in 2006’s Slither (which I first thought was a remake of this film). The zombies are hit-or miss also. Some are well done like the axe man, but others just involve white make-up.

Night of the Creeps is an entertaining film. It isn’t the best film in the world, but I like its honest effort to try to be different. The rabid fans have often clamored for a sequel (one ending has the dog continuing the infection, but the “creep”-ier ending has the Creeps reaching a cemetery and the return of the aliens). A sequel might be fun…Thrill Me!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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