Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow
Directed by Fred Dekker
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
As I sit down to type out this review, I nearly have to pinch myself to make sure that it’s really happening. Not only am I reviewing an actual home video release of the 1986 Fred Dekker classic Night of the Creeps, but I’m reviewing its Blu-ray release of all things! Never mind all that 2012 crap … this has got to be a sure sign of the apocalypse!
For those of you who haven’t seen this movie (and shame on you if you haven’t), Night of the Creeps centers upon what happens in 1959 when an alien holding tank filled with evil slug-like creatures who possess the power to raise the dead plummets to Earth. Fortunately for us these creatures don’t make it very far and eventually end up laying dormant in the frozen body of an infected man. Several decades later two students find themselves in need of a dead body to pull off a college prank, and it just so happens there’s one frozen in the bowels of their university research facility. Can you see where this is going? Once out of his stasis chamber, our “corpse” thaws, reanimates, and ignites a slug-fueled zombie-palooza! Can anyone save us from this madness? Hell, yes! Enter suicidal and totally cranky police detective Ray Cameron, or as he’s otherwise know — Tom Fuckin’ Atkins! Need I say more? Didn’t think so.
I’m not going to bother explaining why this film is a classic. Just see the damned thing. If you don’t have a good time with it, then check your pulse and see a doctor stat. Night of the Creeps is so very good at being so very bad that its charm is not only infectious, it’s just plain undeniable!
And these DVD and Blu-ray packages will have fans grinning from ear-to-ear. First on deck are not one but two commentary tracks. The first with writer/director Fred Dekker and Mike Felsher of Red Shirt Pictures (who brought the special features here by the truckload) is funny, informative, and covers every base you could possibly want covered. From there we go to the cast track with Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, Tom Atkins, and Jason Lively. This one is a bit more laid back than Dekker’s track and is brimming with the gang joking around and reminiscing about the shoot while offering a heaping helping of insight on what the shoot was like and the climate of filmmaking back then. Both of these are must listens, and to further sweeten the supplement pot, you can even choose to watch the film with or without the commentaries while a pop-up trivia track plays along. Neat!
Now on to the featurettes! Man, what a haul! Thrill Me: Making Night of the Creeps can be watched in either five different parts or as a whole clocking in at just under an hour. Here’s a quick segment breakdown — Birth of the Creeps covers the genesis of the film as Dekker discusses inspirations, influences, etc. Cast of the Creeps pretty much speaks for itself in terms of content as does Creating the Creeps. Escape of the Creeps focuses on audience reaction to test screenings and the infamous different endings. Legend of the Creeps takes us to the June 13, 2009, Director’s Cut screening of the film and features cast, crew, and fans waxing on about the entirety of the Night of the Creeps experience. Really good stuff, but it doesn’t end there.
Next on tap is the Tom Atkins: Man of Action featurette, which clocks in at about twenty minutes and focuses on the man, the myth, the badass legend who is Tom Atkins. This is an absolute must watch for fans as it covers a great deal of the man’s career. Add in seven deleted scenes, the original theatrical ending (the long fabled graveyard ending is what caps off the feature; listen to the commentaries to find out why), and the original theatrical trailer; and we are done! Phew!
Night of the Creeps is a classic in every sense of the word. Sony Pictures has done an amazing job bringing this one home in style that almost seems worth the unbearable wait we had to endure. I know what Blu-ray has my vote for best of the year. Thrill me? Mission accomplished!
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Discuss Night of the Creeps in the Dread Central forums!