Monday, November 17, 2014

Film Review: Night of the Creeps (1986)

Night of the Creeps (Review)
United States/1986
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a horror-comedy treat."

While trying to get into a frat, friends Chris (Jason Lively) and J.C. (Steve Marshall) unwittingly unleash an alien experiment...

Night of the Creeps follows Chris and J.C., as well as detective Ray Cameron (Tom Atkins), while an alien rummages through their college town. Of course, they have no idea what they unleashed, but they have all heard or seen similar reports: the dead are walking. So, while this alien species spreads its seed, the students prepare for their big dance. A purposefully familiar cast of characters bring life to this fantastic world! Plenty of humor, suspense, and gore blend together for an entertaining plot. It also builds up to a great climax. The ending was good, too.

Night of the Creeps is a fairly simple zombie/alien horror b-movie. Fortunately, it has plenty of heart to make up for its simplicity. And, really, I thought the simplicity was attractive. The humor was great. There are many laugh-out-loud moments thanks to the lively set of characters. There is also some great suspense and tension -- more than expected considering the abundant humor. The gore, which is most prominent during the final act, was superb -- I love practical effects, and this film delivers. I did feel like there was a little too much buildup in this film, though. It had some moments where it felt like it might not reach its climax efficiently. Otherwise, it's a horror-comedy treat.

The acting was great. This cast captured the b-movie charm perfectly. Jason Lively is good, Steve Marshall is even better. But, Tom Atkins steals the show; Tom Atkins delivers a very memorable character through his cheeky performance. The film is shot very well; I really enjoyed the cinematography and camerawork. The music was also good -- I really liked the choice in soundtrack and editing, especially during the 60s segment. The special effects and makeup were superb; they were a little off during the introduction, but they are perfect afterward. Writer and director Fred Dekker delivers a hilarious and entertaining homage; the direction is stylish and effective, and the writing is humorous and accurate (for a b-movie homage). There was a little too much buildup, though, and some minor pacing issues.

Overall, Night of the Creeps is a very entertaining and enjoyable b-movie horror film. It offers some genuine humor, great suspense, and superb special effects -- especially for fans of practical effects. If you're a fan of the genre, this is definitely worth checking out.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, some nudity.

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