Night of the Creeps (1986)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Alien Film, Horror Comedy, Sci-Fi Horror  |   Release Date - Aug 22, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Jason Buchanan

An under-appreciated gem of campy sci-fi-tinged horror, this effort from director Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad) has everything from a busload of frat-guy zombies to an undead killer puppy to an amusing death by lawnmower rampage that foreshadows Peter Jackson's over-the-top finale to Dead Alive. Not only does director/screenwriter Dekker keep things moving along nicely by offering some exciting and bloody thrills, but he also makes some interesting choices with the portrayal of his main characters as well. In addition to offering a social misfit protagonist who remains uninterested in the usual college party scene, the inclusion of a handicapped sidekick who isn't defined by his disability shows a director unafraid to offer real, identifiably human characters; a refreshing change of pace compared to the all-too-perfect teens that populated horror films throughout the following decade. It's obvious that Dekker has a healthy sense of humor in his approach as well. Along with character names that offer sly nods to numerous famous horror directors, Dekker also includes a beyond hard-boiled police detective hilariously cocksure swagger provides much of the film's effective gallows humor. Sure Dekker includes such college horror film mainstays as the obligatory love interest and the spoiled jock who gets his rocks off humiliating the "nerds," but once he turns up the heat during the final act, cinematic clich├ęs take a backseat to fast-paced zombie head-bursting fun.