Saturday, October 9, 2010

The First Ever FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series - Movie #2: Night of the Creeps

"Zombies, exploding heads and creepy-crawlies ..." - Detective Ray Cameron 

If you need any more than that to convince you that cult-fave Night of the Creeps (1986) is worth seeing, then you ae no horror fan, my friend.  This little B-movie is a gem: a delightful little horror-comedy with decent acting, a fairly solid script and a pretty good story.  Plus: zombies, exploding heads and creepy-crawlies!

Night of the Creeps begins with a black and white flashback to the late 1950s, where a couple of college students are killed while at Inspiration Point.  The girl gets hacked to pieces (off-screen) by an axe-wielding escaped mental patient; the guy gets a space slug up his brain.  Fast-forward to 1986 where a college prank gone wrong results in the inadvertent release of the space slugs from the cryogenically-preserved body of 1950s College Guy.  Once released, the space slug infestation spreads like crazy throughout the campus.

The space slugs - speedy little suckers who like to dive down people's throats - infest both living and dead bodies with equanimity.  If you're alive, you won't be for long and then you walk around as a zombie until the space slug eggs mature in your brain.  If you're already dead, you just skip ahead to the zombie-ing around.  Once the space slug eggs are ready to hatch, they pop out of your skull, exploding your head.

A couple of nerdy freshmen and a pretty sorority girl enlist the help of a hard-drinkin', haunted-by-his-past detective, played by horror icon Tom Atkins.  His character adds a layer to the mash-up of genres NotC embraces: slow zombies + creature feature + science fiction + 1980s college geeks + love story + hardboiled detective noir = really a lot of fun.  The violence and ick factor are at a minimum, especially when compared to modern movies; the special effects are goofy, but are clearly meant to be.  Adding to the fun is how horrifically 80s this movie is: the music, the clothes, the giant eyeglasses, the gigantic hair!  It's all rather more scary than the horror bits, actually.

Clearly a progenitor of Slither (another creepy-crawlie favorite of mine), Night of the Creeps is a hoot, amust-see for anyone claiming to be a horror classicistic.

Next up, despite my not really liking slashers:  the original Friday the 13th.

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