Throwback Thursday: ‘Night of the Creeps’ (1986) Retro Movie Review
In 1959, an alien experiment crashes to earth and infects a fraternity member. They freeze the body, but in the modern day, two geeks pledging a fraternity accidentally thaw the corpse, which proceeds to infect the campus with parasites that transform their hosts into killer zombies.
Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Left Hand Horror, simply titled “Throwback Thursday”. Every Thursday I’ll bring you a retro review of some kind. This week it’s a movie, but next time it could be anything from an album to a television show. As long as it’s a respectable 25 years old, I’ll give it some retro love or hate. This week I chose the 1986 sci-fi horror classic, ‘Night of the Creeps’, a great representation of 1986 horror in every regard.
Writer/director, Fred Drekker (Monster Squad), wrote this memorable script in a week’s time, swearing he would scrap it altogether if not completed in the seven-day deadline he set for himself. Drekker’s quick work remains a cult hit nearly 30 years later. NOTC blends horror, science-fiction, and comedy; the result being a quirky, clever homage to genre film through the decades.
Two nerds, Chris (Jason Lively, Rusty from National Lampoon’s European Vacation) and J.C. (Steve Marshall) find themselves on the receiving end of a local frat, proving that college wasn’t much of an escape from high school. Now, their problems exist in a place with even less supervision, and they’re left with a new set of rules. The jocks send our partially crippled heroes on a wild goose chase, and it leads our nerds to the secret room that houses the cryogenic frozen alien victim from 1959. Stupefied, they do what NO NORMAL college students would do, they release the body from the chamber; that’s where the fun starts. The animated body is kept on its own two feet due to incubating alien slugs in his brain, and, boy, are they ready to meet the 80s.
Plagued by bad 80s clothing, jocks. and now alien slugs that want to lay eggs in their brains, J.C. and Chris jump into action. Night of the Creeps is a fun ass movie. Drekker does a wonderful job of witty teenage dialogue, and couples it with liberal amounts of comedy. Even the one-dimensional characters are fun, proving the magic of the 80s permeated every aspect of this flick. When things get serious, copious amounts of blood and gore flow. Despite the fun vibe present throughout the movie, the kills and effects are gruesome. Exploding heads, blow torches, zombies, a Stryper reference, this really does have it all. Don’t let Drekker’s approach fool you; this is a well made film disguised as 80’s B-movie cheese.
The acting is what you would expect from a flick like this, so I doubt fans of these kind of films will be disappointed. Expect to be entertained at a perfect pace; Drekker throws everything at the viewer. If boobs, underage drinking, aliens, zombies, exploding heads, sci-fi references, and 1986 apparel isn’t your thing, then, by all means, pick something else. For the rest of us, Night of the Creeps is a perfect representation of the 80s.
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