Only two days left in October, which means only two more films to review! I went back and forth on what the final two ought to be. Of course, the temptation to do “Halloween” and “Halloween II” were there, but I opted to pass on those classics. “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” also was an option, but again, I decided to avoid the John Carpenter series entirely.
Instead, I chose two films that were films I had never seen before, but heard of. I did watch a few more films than needed, as I desired to get as many films in as possible. Of course, “Suspiria”, “[REC]” (an excellent film from Spain, which was remade here as the equally impressive “Quarantine”), “Paranormal Activity” (another excellent film which, as did the previous film, saw a sequel this year), and “Zombieland” were films I could have reviewed, as I watched those as well. In the end, however, I decided to stick with a theme of sorts.
With that, I give you…
31 Days of Howl-oween
A Review of Films Filled with Frights
~ Night of the Creeps ~
Director: Fred Dekker
Cast: Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, Tom Atkins, Allan Kayser
Country: United States
Specs: 88 mins. / Color / OAR 1.85:1 / MPAA Rating: R
A large group of alien brain parasites escape from a space ship in space and land on Earth, where they infect many humans in a small town, turning them into zombies. When college student Chris Romero (Lively) meets Detective Ray Cameron (Atkins), he learns the horrible truth behind is towns secret. It’s up to the two of them to stop the menacing leeches, and save the remaining members of their community, before they all become members of the walking dead.
“Well, I’ve got good news and bad news girls. The good news is your dates are here” “What’s the bad news?” “They’re dead”. A great line delivered from Atkins’ Detective is just one of the many campy memorable lines delivered in this over-the-top zombie-fest of camp. What works in addition to the snappy dialogue, is the impressive special effects and make-up, similar to the film Dekker would follow this one up with.
It was because of this film that Dekker was able to do “Monster Squad”, and it’s obvious what was seen in this talented filmmaker. While the film never claims to be a serious horror pic, it delivers plenty of excellent moments, such as the zombie dog, and the lawnmower death (which Peter Jackson also used in one of his earlier films!).
Hailing back from when many films featured a blonde and brunette pair of gents, it was refreshing to see Dekker have a twist by making one of them a handicap. It particularly made the phone call that character makes to Chris all the more dramatic.
The film is definitely gory, in typical zombie fashion, featuring striking special effects (particularly the way the zombies are killed!). Seeing the bodies on the ground with the breeding nest that was their head isn’t for the squeamish or faint of heart.
Rounding out the enjoyment factor of the film is the music. I’ve stated numerous times that music can help a picture, many times saving it from being an utter failure. The time around, having both contemporary (for the time of the films production), 80’s synth, and classic rock is convivial and distinct.
One of the better zombie films that I’ve seen. It would be interesting to see a revisiting of this material.
No bag of rocks here, nor handfuls of SMARTIES. Only delectable treats.
My Rating: **** / B-
Available on Amazon: Night of the Creeps [Blu-ray]
and to watch it instantly on your computer
on Amazon Video on Demand: Night of the Creeps (Theatrical Version)