Night of the Creeps (1986)

An alien releases a bunch of slug-like creatures on Earth. These space slugs are able to burrow into corpses and ride them around like cars. Meanwhile some college kids are going around getting into mischief and before long they are on a collision course for wacky hijinx with the slugs!

This movie is somewhat infamous in the horror fandom because for the longest time it went without a DVD release. Just when it looked like it was going to be a lost classic, destined to be traded on shady bootlegs, it came out as a special edition. So what's all the fuss about?

There are a few things about this movie that have made it a cult hit. It's got great effects and plenty of gore. A script that is made entirely of snappy one-liners and comebacks. Monsters that are basically zombies for all intents and purposes. A hero that starts out a loser and by the end of the movie is jumping through windows and taking out zombies like some kind of expert monster hunter. Characters named after your favorite horror directors. In other words, this is your typical horror fan's dream movie.

On top of all of this it is an homage to old B-movies from the late 50s and early 60s. In fact, the first ten minutes or so takes place in the past and since back then the whole world was without color they shot this part in black in white. People go nuts over that kind of stuff, don't ask me why.

Unfortunately, while the effects are really awesome, the movie doesn't work so well. When you throw in all your favorite horror stuff it takes a really strong script or a hell of a concept at least to make it all work together. Night of the Creeps has none of that. As mentioned above the dialog is just a bunch of snappy back-and-forth nonsense that probably sounded cool on paper but when spoken aloud by human beings sounds intolerably lame. The constant in-jokes and stuff drove me nuts. Not a scene goes by where someone isn't going "Carpenter, get on that" or "Raimi, what's the latest." Raimi! He did Evil Dead! So clever! The layers! This film is like an onion- how deep does it go?!

The concept is beyond dull. Actually, this movie is ahead of its time in a way. It would fit in pretty well in the "needs something... I got it! Zombies!" horror swamp we are stuck in right now. You are walking in the horror swamp and you get stuck. The only way to escape is to leave your boots in the swamp and save yourself! Your good boots! (The boots represent your resolve to not put zombies in a movie just so the fans will watch it). But you need to survive so you leave your dignity boots behind where they are eaten by the swamp (the swamp represents the government I guess). The only possible way you could make this more boring, on a conceptual level, would be to replace the zombies with vampires. The slugs are pretty close to vampires actually.

It's a fun movie to watch I guess because the kills come fast and often and before you know it you are at the end. Watch it and get this little piece of horror cult history out of the way for something more substantial.

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