Horrortoberfest 2014: Day 22 – Night of the Creeps (1986)

An actual line from the movie.

An actual line from the movie.

Reading the description of this movie, I immediately thought of things like Slither or Shivers (which is good because I love both of those movies). While the movie does feature slugs that get all up in you and kind of take you over, it ends up definitely being its own thing. That thing being a movie that is pure, distilled 80s made by a guy that is just as much of a geek about stupid horror films as the people watching it. Also, yes, I am counting being taken over by slugs an infection as far the week’s theme goes.

This movie has one of the best random openings that I won’t spoil for you in case you actually watch the movie because it is worth it to be surprised. After that, we see Sorority Row in the 50s as the movie does its best to emulate the horror films of that era. After an encounter with some slugs, we flash forward to the 80s where our heroes are walking down the current day greek row. They are two huge nerds and I am as sad as I can possibly be that of the two, Chris and J.C., it is Chris that is the actual main character because J.C. is one of my favorite characters in a movie. He is a wise-cracking jackass in crutches that does whatever he can to try to help his best friend (who is probably actually in love with). Chris is just your standard “woe is me, no girls like me” nerd that somehow gets with the hot girl. Actually, that’s not fair, he ends up becoming a fairly amusing character in his own right by the end.

We do end up having a couple other characters that get focused on. Namely, Cynthia the love interest and Detective Cameron the police officer that was on the scene for the incident in the 50s. It should also be noted that this movie takes the whole “reference to other horror directors” thing as far as possible. We have Chris Romero, James Carpenter Hooper, Cynthia Cronenberg, Detective Landis, Sgt. Raimi, and Officers De Palma and Dante. All of this takes place as Corman University. If this movie were to wink and nudge any harder, it would leave bruises. Given how absolutely ridiculous everything else in the film is, though, I have to imagine that they weren’t doing it to be like “Hey, look at how aware of things we are” as much as it was a parody of the films that started to do that. It’s rare that you didn’t see a movie with something like Romero Cemetery or Carpenter High School and this movie totally takes the piss out of that.

The humor in this movie was exactly the kind of tongue-in-cheek, goofy fun that I love. I think I exclaimed “Oh my god, I love this movie” at least 5 or 6 times while watching it. You wouldn’t even have to already be a huge fan of the horror genre to begin with to really appreciate just how ridiculous and amusing it is. Rather than relying on knowing a bunch of movies to get the references like you see in a lot of comedy horror today, the comedy comes from the interactions of the characters with an absurd situation. It isn’t the most clever movie but it has a lot of heart and there are so many little subtle things in the background that it doesn’t bother drawing too much attention to (the J.C. being in actual love with Chris thing or a scene  that has a lot of random stuff where you realize that the Detective was actually trying to kill himself).

I give this movie a 5 out of 5 and I want to make everyone I know watch it. I love this movie. I don’t care. Fight me.

Favorite thing in the movie: Thrill me.

Least favorite thing: A recording that is in Chris’ room that could not have been there because it was recorded by the guy while he was dying and nobody else would have been able to put it there. Continuity, guys!

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