Night of the Creeps
Reviewed by Russell Tharp
Rating: 1 Beans
or my money, "Night of the Creeps" is the best and most enjoyable a movie can get and still be called "bad." It features frat boys picking on nebbishes, well-endowed sorority babes, aliens, cryogenically preserved zombies, axe-murderers, not-so-well-preserved zombie axe-murderers, zombie frat boys, zombie sorority girls, a zombie dog and cat, a whole mess of brain-eating parasite slug creatures, a cameo by the immortal Dick Miller, and a suicidal police detective who answers the phone by saying, "Thrill me" and calls the teenaged leads "Spanky" and "Alfalfa."
Tom Atkins (Lethal Weapon) stars as Det. Roy Cameron, a cop who is still miffed by the axe murder of his girlfriend almost 30 years before, and tends to sit in his apartment running the gas stove with the pilot lights out. Jason Lively and Steve Marshall star as Chris and J.C., the two lovable nebbishes who accidentally release the brain-eating slugs and start the zombie kegger. Chris and J.C. try to steal a corpse as an initiation rite for a frat house, but the corpse they choose happens to be one that's been in suspended animation ever since it was infected by the slugs, which were dropped to Earth from a UFO in the 1950s. The corpse wanders away, the slugs escape and start infecting others, and next thing you know, a zombie dog causes a bus load of tuxedoed frat boys to crash horribly, resulting in the zombie brothers heading over to the sorority house with more on their minds than scoring a little nookie. Chaos ensues.
The movie looks more expensive than it was (pretty good, since it probably cost about $50), but even so, the special effects are laughable. The make-up effects seem to have been done by a bunch of kids using whatever they could buy at Spencer Gifts. The dialog is corny beyond imagining, particularly the lines given to Tom Atkins. And yet, amazingly, it all works. Atkins is a vastly underrated actor, and this movie proves it. No one else could pull off the character quite as well. The mandatory cast of expendable teens is comprised of talented unknowns, rather than cousins of the producer as is usually the case in movies like this. And, even though I just got done trashing the special and makeup effects, you can see that they really did the best they could with what they had to make it all look convincing.
Stupid as it may sound, this movie looks like a labor of love; an affectionate tribute to bad 50s sci-fi/horror made on a shoestring by people who did their damnedest to entertain me. And they succeeded. Night of the Creeps is by no means a good movie, but it sure is a great bad one.
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