Revisiting the Classics: NIGHT OF THE CREEPS
This one functions both as a time capsule of the glorious 80s as well as a love letter to all fans of the Sci-Fi and Horror drive-in fare of the 50s. (The film’s prologue, set during that latter decade—latter as in I mentioned it last, not that it came later in linear time; if I were describing it based on chronological order, I would describe it as the former—and shot in black-and-white is so effective that I forgot that I *wasn’t* watching a Sci-Fi/Horror flick from the 50s there for a minute.) Fred Dekker, the writer-slash-director of the film who also brought us THE MONSTER SQUAD and crafted the treatment for 1986’s HOUSE, cranked out the screenplay in less than a week. He doesn’t ever attempt to conceal his passion for those old drive-in B-grade thrillers, either. He celebrates them, canonizes them, almost, in NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, which served as his directorial debut. Just look at the names for several of his prominent characters if you doubt this: Romero. Raimi. Cronenberg. This movie acknowledges its roots, and then some.
What sets NIGHT OF THE CREEPS apart from all other zombie movies is the catalyst event, the thing that causes the zombies to become zombies in the first place: evil space slugs. Which also would have served perfectly well as a title, had they chosen to use it, and had they tacked on the words “and zombies” to the end. EVIL SPACE SLUGS AND ZOMBIES. I daresay it would have served even better.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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