Night of the Creeps
|Night of the Creeps|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Fred Dekker|
|Produced by||Charles Gordon|
|Written by||Fred Dekker|
|Music by||Barry De Vorzon
|Cinematography||Robert C. New|
|Editing by||Michael N. Knue|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Release date(s)||August 22, 1986|
|Running time||88 minutes|
Night of the Creeps is a 1986 zombie horror film written and directed by Fred Dekker, starring Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow. The film is notable as an earnest attempt at a B movie and a homage to the genre. While the main plot of the film is related to zombies, the film also mixes in takes on slashers and alien invasion films. Since then the film has received a cult following, and today is considered as one of the best comedy horror films of the 1980s.
In 1959, on board a space ship, two aliens race to keep an experiment from being released by a third member of the crew. The seemingly possessed third alien shoots the canister into space where it crashes to Earth. Nearby, a college man takes his date to a parking spot when they see a falling star and investigate. Unfortunately, it lands in the path of an escaped criminally insane mental patient. As his date is attacked by the axe-wielding maniac, the boy finds the canister, from which a small leech-like thing jumps out and into his mouth.
28 years later, Chris Romero is pining over a love lost, being supported by his handicapped friend J.C. During pledge week at Corman University, Chris spots a girl, Cynthia Cronenberg, and seems to fall instantly in love. To get her attention, he decides that he must join a fraternity. As a part of their pledge (although the frat leader who is dating Cynthia has no intentions of letting them join), they must steal a cadaver from the university medical center and place it on the steps of the Phi Omega Gamma house. Chris and J.C. find one in a top secret room that is being kept in a state of suspended animation, but when it grabs one of their arms as they try to move it, they lose their nerve and run back to their dorm room. Meanwhile, Detective Ray Cameron, a cop that dated the girl killed back in 1959 and is haunted by the memories of what he found that night, is called in to the cryogenics lab break-in where there were two bodies, but one is now missing. The missing body is the one released from its cryogenics tomb - the same boy who found the alien experiment back in 1959. This missing body makes its way back to the same sorority house where he picked up his date 27 years earlier. The walking corpse comes to Cynthia's window where his head splits open and more of the leech creatures fall out and slither across the ground. Called to the scene, Ray finds the body with a large open wound in the face, similar to one that could have been made by an axe.
The next day, Chris and J.C. are confronted by the frat brothers, upset over the fact that they believe they are responsible for the previous night's incident. After surviving their encounter, they are then taken in for questioning by the police. Based on the testimony of a janitor that witnessed them running out of university medical center, "screaming like banshees," they confess to breaking in, but deny taking the corpse out. That night, the attendant found dead gets up from his slab and runs into the same janitor.
After the dead and buried cat of one of the sorority sisters comes back, Cynthia confesses it to Chris and J.C. and goes on about the dead body found at the sorority house. Although both are skeptical of her story about them being zombies, J.C. sees that she is leaning on Chris' shoulder, and leaves the two alone to go to the bathroom, where the now-possessed janitor enters and lets loose more of the slugs.
As Chris walks Cynthia back to the sorority house, he runs into Cameron who has overheard the entire story. Back at Ray's home, the two talk about their high school sweethearts. Ray's story is more elaborate as he goes on about how they broke up and he became a cop and how he was called out to the site where she had been hacked up by a lunatic. He goes on to tell of how he tracked down the escaped patient, killed him and buried him in the same spot on which the House Mother's cottage now sits. Just then, Ray gets a call where the House Mother has been hacked up to death by the axe-wielding corpse that broke in through the floor. The killer is finally tracked down and cornered by the police, but numerous gunshots have no effect. Cameron then takes his shotgun and blows its head off, which releases more of the little creeps.
The next night, everyone is getting ready for the formal when Chris notices a tape recorder on which J.C. has recorded a posthumous message to his friend, telling him that one of the things has incubated in his brain and that he had discovered, after lighting one with a match, that heat can destroy them. Chris then runs into the boiler room, where his friend has told him he was headed in an attempt to kill those inside him. Chris then shows up at Ray's place, which Ray has sealed up, and he fills him in. After grabbing his gun and turning off the gas, he takes Chris to a police armory to get a flamethrower. They come to the sorority house just as Cynthia is breaking up with Brad who has become possessed. After killing him, the Delta fraternity brothers show up - despite having been killed in a bus crash. While Chris and Cynthia team up with shotgun and flamethrower to destroy the dead outside, Cameron does likewise inside. After stopping the horde, Chris spots more slugs racing across the ground that are headed into the house's basement. Cynthia remembers that this is where specimen brains are being kept. When they go down below, they find Cameron, tape across his mouth, prepping a can of gasoline. They also find the creatures gathered in a huge swarm in the corner. Cameron begins counting down as he splashes gasoline everywhere. Cynthia and Chris turn and run out of the house, counting down in sync with Cameron. Cameron fills the basement with gas and just as some of the parasites leap at him, he flicks his lighter and the house goes up in a fiery explosion. Watching the sorority house burn, Chris and Cynthia share a kiss. The scene ends when the dog that caused the bus accident returns, opens its mouth, and a slug jumps out.
Though not shown theatrically upon its original release, the original ending showed Chris and Cynthia standing in front of the burning sorority house, then moved to the street where police cars race down the street. The charred and 'zombified' Cameron is shuffling down the street when he suddenly stops and falls to the ground. His head explodes and the slugs scamper out and head into a cemetery, as the spaceship from the beginning of the film has returned with the aliens intending to retrieve their experiment.
This original ending is on the official DVD and Blu-ray release of the film, and can be seen in some television broadcast versions of the film, some US VHS copies, and on bootleg DVD copies.
Since its release in Germany, Zombie Town has been marketed as a sequel to Night of the Creeps but in fact has no affiliation with it.
In addition to the film's "Corman University" being named for horror/sci-fi director/producer Roger Corman, several last names of the main characters are based on other horror/sci-fi directors:
- Jason Lively as Chris Romero, named after George A. Romero
- Jill Whitlow as Cynthia Cronenberg, named after David Cronenberg
- Tom Atkins as Ray Cameron, named after James Cameron
- Steve Marshall as James Carpenter "J.C." Hooper, named after John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper
- Wally Taylor as Dt. Landis, named after John Landis
- Bruce Solomon as Sgt. Raimi, named after Sam Raimi
- David Paymer as the young scientist.
- Robert Kino as Mr. Miner, named after Steve Miner
The film was released on VHS and Laserdisc in 1986 by HBO/Cannon Video. Some of these feature the theatrical ending only. The DVD and Blu-ray was released on October 27, 2009 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and contain the original ending along with some special features.
|Night of the Creeps - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Barry DeVorzon|
|Released||October 27, 2009|
|Label||La-La Land Records|
1. Main Title (3:32)
2. The Axe Man Cometh (1:15)
3. I'm Your Bud (:37)
4. Cylo Lab/It's Alive (2:42)
5. Thrill Me's Dream (:53)
6. Cindy's Scream (3:43)
7. Done With An Axe (:33)
8. Screaming Like Banshees (1:23)
9. Zombie Cat/Zombie (:27)
10. The Bathroom Stall (2:38)
11. Will You Go With Me? (1:12)
12. I Took My Twelve Gauge/Return Of The Axe Man (2:15)
13. I Already Killed You (2:06)
14. What's The Tux For?* (1:08)
15. J.C.'s Last Note (3:10)
16. Zombie Dog/Turned Over Bus/Zombies Break Out (1:40)
17. March Of The Zombies (5:42)
18. The Count Down* (3:12)
19. End Credit Suite (4:18)
20. The Bathroom Stall (no overlay) (2:38)
21. The Count Down – not used in final film (3:39)
22. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - The Platters (2:40)
23. The Stroll - The Diamonds (2:30)
24. Nightmares - C-Spot Run (4:39)
25. Solitude (arr. Barry DeVorzon) (4:08)
26. An Interview with Barry DeVorzon (8:46)
- Night of the Creeps at the Internet Movie Database
- Night of the Creeps at AllRovi
- Night of the Creeps at Rotten Tomatoes
- Night of the Creeps interview at FEARnet
- A look at the film's original ending, including images