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Night of the Creeps

"Leeches that propagate a virus…"

Two nerds want to join a fraternity that doesn’t respect them at all. For their initiation, they must steal a cadaver in a campus laboratory and drop it in front of another fraternity’s building.

Therefore, they adventure into a cryogenic room and free a body. However, when they try to drag it out of the room, it comes back to life. The culprits flee and leave the teacher in charge of the project alone to handle the situation.

The subject’s cranium explodes and leeches fall out of it. They infiltrate the researcher’s body, taking control of his members and brain. Starting from here, the researcher infects another victim and the disease spreads. The two nerds feel badly about what they have done and try to repair their errors. Inevitably, one of them perishes. Soon before his death, he discovers how useful fire is to combat the disease and informs his friend. In turn, the other intellectual contacts a police officer who’s past is involved in this story.





Life is good when you think you have seen everything and, by pure luck, you find a movie like this one. It takes zombie movie concepts and mixes in interesting elements that don’t usually take part in movies of this sub-genre (Serial killers, extra-terrestrials, vicious insects, sorority/fraternity scenarios,etc.). This movie probably inspired Night Life, another film about campus rebels who turn into zombies. This formula rarely misses.

The movie begins with a scene from the fifties where a couple witnesses an unidentified flying object land in the woods. They stop on the side of the road and the man goes to check. His girlfriend, alone in the dark, turns on the radio to learn that a crazy axe-wielding killer has escaped from an asylum and was last seen headed exactly towards where their car is parked. This legend has been adapted thousands of times on screen but is always pleasant to watch. What follows is obviously the woman getting shredded by the killer and, by the worst of luck the man is possessed by leeches leaving the space capsule. We are then transported thirty years later when a whole new generation of adolescents is about to perish.

For about twenty minutes, we are presented with the usual nerds which are hard to identify yourself with and even harder to get attached to. They are pitiful because they constantly say that they love each other yet no one else has the same feeling. One rarity here: one of them is handicapped. Sadly for the minority and happily for the most common of mortals, he will not stay much longer in the world of the living. The actors are, for the most part, familiar faces of horror movies: comforting fact.

The characters were given names of popular horror movie directors. It is an interesting touch for fans and many other interesting little details of the sort can be found throughout the film. The leeches are magnificently animated and I suspect The Mummy has copied their idea. The suspense is another element that holds an important role in Night of the Creeps. Scenes where windows and walls explode are numerous. Furthermore, the scene where the cadaver of the escaped criminal is brought back to life is very satisfying and will make you smile.

There aren’t tons of flaws in this movie, but they are still present. First of all, we never get attached to the heroes and they don’t fight much using weapons other than guns and flame-throwers. Martial arts exist for one and one reason only: combat zombies. Too many films forget this fact…. well actually, practically all movies forget this. Instead of this, 95% of the zombies are shot in the head and burned. It is too easy. There is also the distribution of events. The film could have lasted two and a half with all the content that was packed into it and it would still have been as interesting!

Final Thoughts

Memorables aspects
- The awakening of the zombie who had escaped from the asylum.

- The eyes of the bus driver, right before a collision with another vehicle, jump out of their sockets.

- The zombie-cat.

Memorables characters

Released in: 1986

Movie type: Horror - Invaders - Monsters - Technology

Films in similar category:
Resident Evil
Shock Waves
Demonic Toys

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( 2002-03-20 )  

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