Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
“The good news is, your date is here. The bad new is...he’s dead”.
Fred Dekker is an interesting one hit wonder from the 80s and nineties. He wrote a handful of 80s movies and 90s TV shows (including a couple of episodes from Star Trek Enterprise around the turn of the century), but largely vanished from directing and writing up until last year when he wrote the screenplay for The Predator. However, he directed some interesting movies in the early 80s with films like Monster Squad and the horrific Robocop 3. But his crème de la crème will always be 1986’s The Night of the Creeps, a sort of mishmash of science fiction, horror, comedy and throwbacks to the 1950s (the opening scene is a black and white sequence set in 1959 that sets up the big bad monsters of the movie). Of all his films this is probably the most fun and the most inventive of his movies, and also happens to be his feature film debut as director.
Sony released Night of the Creeps 10 years ago (almost to the month), but it was sadly ONLY the director’s cut of the film. A faux pas that fans were a little sore about, but most of us got over it considering the Director’s Cut was not that much longer than the theatrical and wasn’t a WILD amount different. Now, in true form, Scream Factory has decided to give the old film a new release, complete with the missing theatrical cut (on it’s own disc I might add), as well as restore the original poster art for the slip cover, AND a whole bevy of new extras that really make this jam packed with goodies.
Night of the Creeps is one of those movies that is so good at being a BAD movie that those who aren’t familiar with the horror and science fiction influences of Dekker’s time may not completely grasp where the film is going. It has a goofy script that is all over the place, but somehow works. Is full of 80s nudity and crassness while being sweet and romantic. It plays loosely with the horror genre, and while it has a some guts n’ gore moments, tends to play heavily towards the science fiction genre more than scares and thrills. Lets just say that Dekker’s first film is a romantic love letter to the monster movies of the 1950s, updated with 1980s sensibilities and R ratings, while still playing fast and loose with the popularity of science fiction and gore that was prevalent at the time. The entire film is winking and nodding at the cameras, from the opening shot of the alien spaceship, to the brain bugs skittering across the lawn (something I think that Slither copied some 15+ years later) and if you’re careful at picking out the genre influences, the humor is more than a bit obvious.
In typical 80s fashion, Chris is nerding out over the lovely Cynthia (Jill Whitlow) and figuring out a way to woo her away from her jock boyfriend Brad (who hams it up as the typical 1950s style “Biff” or “Chad” type of boyfriend), and the invasion of the brain munching creatures who turn people into zombies are a way for the boy to shine. Teaming up with an aging police detective (Tom Atkins), who happens to be the old boyfriend of the 1959 girl murdered by the axe killer, Chris sets out on a mission to rid the campus of undead monsters before its too late.
Fred Dekker’s Night of the Creeps is a bonafide classic and cheesy to the core. Dekker spends copious parts of the run time interjecting little winks and nods to the camera, and infuses each scene with a sort of nostalgic feel to them. Even the opening scene with the rubber suited aliens is subtitled (for the viewer) with classic sci-fi fonts, and then shoots us straight to a black and white 1959 on Earth where we get to see the old white picket fence style culture get invaded by the little buggers. The 1980s part of the movie is much more brash and confident, complete with 80s one liners, random nudity (a staple of the time) and touches of gore and paint colored blood everywhere. The film could be written off as a movie that was of “the time”, but it has grown into a kitschy classic that much like Slither, is just so good that it’s bad, and so bad that it’s watchable time and time again.
Rated R By the MPAA
• Thrill Me!: The Making of NIGHT OF THE CREEPS – a five-part documentary on the making of the film featuring interviews with writer/director Fred Dekker, actors Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, producer Charles Gordon, special makeup effects creator David B. Miller, Special Makeup Effects artists Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman and more
• Tom Atkins: Man of Action – a look at the actor's career
• Deleted Scenes
• Theatrical Trailer
Director's Cut Disc
• Director's Cut
• Audio Commentary with writer/director Fred Dekker
• Audio Commentary with actors Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow
• NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds – a look at the film's locations today with host Sean Clark, director Fred Dekker and actor Jason Lively
• NEW Real Good Plan – an interview with actor Jason Lively
• NEW The Bradster- an interview with actor Alan Kayser
• NEW I Vote For That One – an interview with actor Ken Heron
• NEW Worst Coroner Ever – an interview with actor Vic Polizos
• NEW Answering the Door – an interview with actress Suzanne Snyder
• NEW Final Cut – an interview with editor Michael N. Knue
Night of the Creeps is a fantastic genre mashup of horror, comedy and science fiction, and Scream Factory has done a fantastic job with this collector’s edition. Sadly the video isn’t given a new 4K or 2K scan like they usually do (I’m assuming it’s because Sony tends to give them the masters they have on hand and not allow Scream/Shout Factory to do their own master), but the inclusion of the theatrical cut as well as a TON of brand new extras (and the fancy new artwork) really do make it worth the upgrade over the 10 year old Sony Blu-ray. A totally fun cheesefest that is worth it in every way, Night of the Creeps: Collector’s Edition gets a hearty 2 thumbs up from this 80s boy.
Starring: Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, Tom Atkins, Wally Taylor, Bruce Solomon, Vic Polizos, Allan Kayser
Directed by: Fred Dekker
Written by: Fred Dekker
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Studio: Scream Factory
Runtime: 90 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 25th, 2019
Recommendation: Great Horror Watch