Night of the Creeps

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re­leased OUT NOW! 1986 | 18 | Blu-ray & dVd (dual for­mat) Di­rec­tor Fred dekker Cast Tom atkins, Ja­son lively, Jill Whit­low, steve Mar­shall

Be­fore Fred Dekker made The Mon­ster Squad, he wrote and di­rected this hor­ror-com­edy.

Two teenagers steal a dead body as part of a fra­ter­nity ini­ti­a­tion, not re­al­is­ing that it con­tains slug-like alien par­a­sites that will take over the dead and un­leash a zom­bie plague. Wise­crack­ing De­tec­tive Cameron (Tom Atkins) is called in to in­ves­ti­gate the strange events, and dis­cov­ers a link to a se­ries of bru­tal mur­ders from early in his polic­ing ca­reer.

Part homage, part at­tempt to make a ’50s B-movie for the ’80s, Night Of The Creeps is a throw­back hor­ror from be­fore that was a thing. What makes it more than just nos­tal­gia, how­ever, are the hi­lar­i­ous script, some ex­cel­lent crea­ture ef­fects, and Atkins’s Chan­dleresque per­for­mance. Cameron is an in­stantly ap­peal­ing char­ac­ter; a con­stant source of hard-nosed quips, with a dash of melan­choly be­neath the sur­face. The very def­i­ni­tion of a genre-blend­ing cult clas­sic.

Ex­tras Dekker gets his own com­men­tary, a 30-minute in­ter­view, and pops up in an hour-long Mak­ing Of. Atkins, Ja­son Lively, Steve Mar­shall and Jill Whit­low get com­men­tary, and Atkins a half-hour ca­reer ret­ro­spec­tive. There’s also deleted scenes and an al­ter­na­tive end­ing, plus trail­ers and trivia sub­ti­tles. Will Salmon

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