17 January 2012

Ally's Review: Night of the Creeps

As has been noted on the blog before, Fin is the member who's the connoisseur of late 70s/1980s B-movie horror. He promised us this week that he's moving away from any more selections from this genre, but before he did he had to bow out in style by bringing one more to the table. He brought a film that I'd only heard of in passing… Night of the Creeps.

Like Phantasm or Re-Animator, these films are kind of difficult to review in a typical way. Part of the appeal is that the audience knows that they are pretty ridiculous and dated. The very things that should make the film terrible, are actually what make it very enjoyable. I suppose it's why I love Friday the 13th part 4 but don't have much time for Hatchet: both are pretty poor films, truth be told, but the sheer 80's-ness of the Friday the 13th sequels make it so much more fun.

Night of the Creeps follows the tradition of not actually being a very good film, but because there are so many ridiculous lines, dated special effects and dubious acting performances, all three of us spent the entire film laughing and enjoying the events on screen. It's not a film to watch by yourself, you need a group of friends so you can basically just laugh at everything that happens.

The plot itself - from what I can gather - is basically some strange worm-like creatures are sent to earth by hilarious looking aliens (who I really wished had more screen time) in the 1950s. They are then cryogenically frozen in a dead body until a couple of hapless, geeky freshmen unleash them on a University town. There are lots of frat parties, a teenage boy's fantasy of what a sorority looks like, fantastically bad wardrobe choices, cartoonish violence… it basically ticks all the boxes.

Special mentions have to be made to two of the cast members. Tom Atkins as the grizzled detective Ray Cameron. Already his catchphrase of "Thrill Me" has entered the Horror Club lexicon. I also have to mention Jill Whitlow as Cindy. Not entirely sure what she sees in our 'hero' Chris, as he's one of most painfully boring protagonists I've seen. Either way, she's joined all time HC favourite Jocelin Donahue as having a special place in our hearts.

Would I recommend this film to anyone? Only if I thought they shared a love of very dated so-bad-they're-good movies. Which is definitely the niche category that this films falls into. I just wonder how Fin will be able to leave the genre behind?

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