Night of the Creeps
This month’s Hidden Gem also falls in line with our month-long theme of creature features that we’ve titled “Monsters Unleashed”. Night of the Creeps is a horror movie. It’s a comedy. It’s strangely also part sci-fi. At its core, it’s a B-movie creature feature that knows exactly what it is and revels in its own awesome weirdness. The creature for this creature feature is some sort of brain-eating alien/leech hybrid that creates zombies out of anyone it enters, living or dead!
Spoiler Level: Moderate
When the movie starts, in 1959, an alien spaceship with weird little naked pink pudgy aliens launches a canister from their ship. The canister crashes on Earth. On Earth, since it’s 1959, everything is in black and white. When a college kid goes to investigate the crashing fireball that was the canister, a giant black leech leaps from the canister into his mouth! The giant leeches are brain-eating parasites that were, apparently, some experiment of the strange pink aliens.
Then, the credits hit, and we fast forward to 1986. And color.
In 1986, two nerdy guys, one played by the actor who played Rusty in European Vacation, wander fraternity row lamenting their own nerdiness and lack of love interests. They naturally run afoul of jerky, jock frat brothers. The leader of the frat, also naturally, is the boyfriend of the girl our main protagonist has his eye on. It is the 80’s after all, frat jocks were the epitome of the 80’s bad guys.
The frat guys challenge our young nerdy heroes to retrieve a cadaver from the campus science labs to use for a prank. The duo goes to the lab and accidentally releases the creep-infected guy from 1959. He slow foots it about campus releasing more and more of the leeches as he goes. Well, like any good pandemic, once the virus was out there, it continued to spread.
The cop on the case just so happened to have been a rookie back in the 1959 scenes. Aside from whatever happened with the creep-infected college student, the cop has a bit of PTSD having found his ex-girlfriend getting killed by an escaped mental patient slasher. Yes, a slasher and not a leech. Sure, you may be thinking this movie is genre-bending a bit too far with its aliens, monster leeches, and now a slasher. However, just lean into it. This movie is kooky in all the right ways.
If the leeches go into a live person, they turn that person into a zombie. If the leeches go into a dead person, again, zombie. So, when the leeches go into the dead body of the 1959 slasher, even he gets to come back into the mix, and our PTSD detective gets to achieve a little bit of closure.
As the leeches infect more and more people, the zombie virus spreads. Luckily, though, other than a select few innocent bystanders here and there, the leeches seem to target only the frat guys. The frat guys, for some odd reason, still seem intent on going to the sorority to pick up their dates for the formal dance. All of the action, then, ties in closely with our nerdy protagonist and his love interest.
All of these characters, all of this action, lead to possibly the best B-movie line of all time. Just ahead of a couple dozen zombified frat guys, the detective bursts into the sorority to save the day with our remaining nerd and his love interest in tow.
The B-movie hall of fame line: “I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is your dates are here. The bad news is… they’re dead!”
After he says that, all hell breaks loose as the zombies start busting through every door and window. The leech leaping, gun shooting, flame-throwing action ensues. Yes, flame-throwing! Our heroes found that fire kills the leeches and acquired a flame thrower, because why not. As the zombies attack, no one is safe!
With a line that, by itself, elevates this movie as a B-movie classic and an unprecedented, nutty level of genre-bending, you cannot go wrong with this movie! Is it odd, strange, and weird? Absolutely. It will not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you occasionally like a whacked-out, weird B-movie, put this one on the next time you’re feeling that way. You will not be disappointed.
Hidden Gems: Monsters Unleashed – Night of the Creeps
Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
Acting - 7/107/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 7.5/107.5/10
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