Night of the Creeps, Fred (The Monster Squad) Dekker''s spoof/tribute to ''50s-era horror and science fiction, died an unheralded death at the box office back in the slasher-centric ''80s, but it developed a passionate cult following in the ensuing decades; aficionados and first-timers alike will be thrilled with this DVD release, which underscores the film''s loopy charms with a wealth of fun supplemental features. The premise is prime Creature Feature material--in 1959 an alien experiment containing vile, sluglike organisms that possess their hosts crashes to Earth, where one of the slugs takes over a young Lover''s Lane habitué; flash-forward to 1986, when hapless nerds Jason Lively (brother of Gossip Girl''s Blake Lively) and Steve Marshall discover the corpse, cryogenically frozen in their college lab, and accidentally free it as part of a prank. The body unleashes its extraterrestrial passenger, which proceeds to infect the student population at a breakneck pace. Dekker juggles his humor and horror with a fair amount of skill, though for every inspired moment, there''s a groaner or two (it was the ''80s, after all); the presence of genre vet Tom Atkins (The Fog, the 2009 My Bloody Valentine) lends a proper degree of grit. Though not perfect, Night of the Creeps was--and remains--a refreshingly quirky alternative to the franchise-heavy studio horror of the decade.
As a reward for the cadre of fans who have been waiting so long for Creeps to reach the DVD market, the director''s-cut DVD is bursting at the seams with extras devoted to the film''s creation and legacy. Two commentary tracks--one with Dekker, the other with Lively, Marshall, Atkins, and costar Jill Whitlow--provide insight into both the technical and the production sides of the film; the latter is particularly notable for the cast''s first viewing of the movie''s original, less-gimmicky (and preferable) ending, also included here. Dekker and the cast reunite for an impressive, four-part making-of featurette, which includes interviews with makeup creators David B. Miller, Howard Berger, and Robert Kurtzman and producer Charles Gordon. Atkins also gets his own spotlight extra, which profiles his long and prolific career both in and out of the horror genre; the disc is rounded out with seven deleted scenes, the original trailer, and a text-only trivia track that can be played along with the feature itself. --Paul Gaita
Stills from Night of the Creeps
In this campy chiller, a college couple, in 1959, see an object plummet to Earth like a meteor. The boy accidentally swallows a space-slug that shoots out. In 1986, two freshmen roam the campus and stumble across the corpse of the boy who swallowed the space-slug. Once thawed out, the corpse comes to life.
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