Sorority Sister: What's the bad news?
Detective Cameron: They're dead.
Night of the Creeps is a 1986 horror film written and directed by Fred Dekker. Night of the Creeps stars Tom Atkins, Jason Lively and Jill Whitlow. The film is notable as both an earnest attempt at a scary horror film as well as a comedic spoof of the genre. While the main plot of the film is related to zombies, the film also mixes in takes on slashers and Alien Invasion films.
In 1959, an alien experiment crashes to earth and infects a fraternity member. They freeze the body, but in the modern day, two geeks pledging a fraternity accidentally thaw the corpse, which proceeds to infect the campus with parasites that transform their hosts into killer zombies.
The classic B-movie Plan 9 from Outer Space is first referenced and then later watched by a character in the film. According to The Other Wiki, this is an intentional reference to the fact that the plot of this film is itself similar to Plan 9. The film finally saw release on DVD and Bluray in October 2009 after years of fan demand.
Has a Shout Out page.
This film provides examples of:
- Abusive Precursors: Averted. Though the brain slugs were escapees from alien scientists who created/harvested them, it's quite clear if you pay attention at the opening that they tried to stop it; the alien who sends the capsule to Earth is clearly zombified itself. To say nothing of how the true ending has them finally track them down and get ready to purge them all.
- Action Girl: Cynthia goes from meek to murderous in about the time it takes a zombie to amble down the sorority house sidewalk. Her weapons include both a 12 gauge pump and a flamethrower, both used before the night is over.
- Aerosol Flamethrower: Detective Cameron quickly fashions one of these after handing off his flamethrower to Chris.
- Aliens and Monsters: The zombifying brain slugs are alien specimens that managed to escape from some alien scientists.
- An Axe to Grind: The Serial Killer whom Detective Cameron confronted in his past.
- Apocalyptic Log: James Carpenter 'J.C.' Hooper leaves an audio recording for his friend explaining how the alien leeches get into your head and incubate before he kills himself so that he doesn't become a zombie.
- Ballistic Discount: Heroic example; Detective Cameron points a shotgun in the face of the police armory officer and demands a flamethrower. Needless to say, the officer quickly complies.
- Battle Couple: Chris and Cynthia.
- Berserk Button: When Detective Cameron is surrounded by some zombies, he suddenly spots a photo of his high school sweetheart hanging on the wall. The sight causes him to freak out and empty his revolver into every single zombie.
- Bury Your Gays: J.C. Hooper
- Catch-Phrase: Thrill Me.
- Description Cut: When the cryogenically frozen body goes missing, Detective Cameron exasperatedly exclaims "Corpses that have been dead for twenty-seven years do not get up and go for a walk by themselves!". Cut to the corpse doing exactly that.
- Door Handle Scare: Subverted during the climax. Zombies surround the outside of the sorority house of girls. Detective Ray Cameron yells for one of the girls to lock those double back doors. She then looks at the doors and the camera goes back into a long view shot as she focuses at it already frightened. Already having two scary incidents earlier in the movie with the same doors. The music goes quiet and she slowly approaches the door. The knob doesn't turn from the outside, as she reaches down to lock it with the key already inside. And then the music soars out as a zombie's hand crashes in through the glass of the door grabbing her wrist.
- Driven to Suicide: After having to kill the zombie of the axe-wielding maniac whom he revenge-killed in high school for killing his sweetheart, Detective Cameron has a minor psychotic break and sets up his apartment to kill himself via a gas leak from his stove. Chris's arrival disrupts that plan, and instead he goes for a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy the brain slugs and their zombies.
- Dying Declaration of Love: J.C. confesses his love to Chris in his Apocalyptic Log.
- Flashback: Detective Cameron has a few of these when remembering a old case about a escaped mental patient who murdered his girlfriend. They're Deliberately Monochrome, too.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Cynthia's weapon of choice, and the best means of dispatching slugs.
- Girl Next Door: Cynthia.
- Good News, Bad News: Refer to the quote at the top of the page as Detective Cameron warns the sorority house sisters of the impending zombie invasion.
- Handicapped Badass: J.C. not only figures out what destroys the zombie creatures, but uses his last few minutes in control of his body to inform Chris and to lure as many away as possible
- Heroic Sacrifice:
Chris: Detective... thrill me.
- Detective Cameron locks himself in the basement of the sorority house with the slugs and blows it sky-high.
- Before that, J.C., Chris's friend, attempted to lure as many slugs down to the furnace room in the basement, but he dies before he can finish the job.
- Improvised Weapon: Chris, being attacked by zombies in a gardening shed, comes out with... a lawnmower? He pivots it towards a crawling zombie, says "Later, dude!", lifts the front wheels of the mower up and rams the spinning blades into the zombie's face.
- Interrupted Suicide: Chris manages to reach Detective Cameron in time at his house where he had planned to kill himself with gas.
- Jerk Jock: Brad, and to a lesser extent the rest of the fraternity members.
- Kill It with Fire: The only way to kill the alien slugs.
- Large Ham: Everything that comes out of Detective Cameron's mouth is pure awesome.
- Make-Out Point: Where the axe murders in 1959 happened.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: The final death toll of the film amounts to two women getting axed to death by a crazed killer, one sorority girl becoming a zombie, an infected cat and dog, and over a dozen human men, ranging from fraternity members to grown adults, who become zombies.
- Multiple Endings: There are two versions of the film's ending. The version tagged onto the theatrical and subsequent VHS release ends with Chris and Cynthia watching the sorority house burn down when the dead dog returns. The scene ends when the dog opens its mouth and a slug jumps out at the camera, presumably infecting Cynthia.
This was not what Dekker intended, however. The ending he wanted: The scene of Chris and Cynthia standing in front of the burning sorority house moves to the street where cop cars race down the street. We then see the charred and zombified Cameron shuffling down the street when he suddenly stops and falls to the ground, his head explodes and the slugs scamper out and head into a cemetery. However, the spaceship from the beginning of the film has returned with the aliens intending to retrieve their experiment. This version is on the official DVD release.
- My Greatest Failure: Detective Cameron is haunted by his former high school sweetheart's axe-murder.
- The Nicknamer: Detective Cameron refers to Chris and J.C. as Spanky and Alfalfa respectively.
- Not a Zombie:
- Type 1 occurs with the sorority sisters initially failing to realize that there's something seriously wrong with their dates before Detective Cameron steps in to correct their mistake. It also occurs earlier when a cop fails to look up from his report and see a naked corpse shambling down the hall, and even gives and offhand greeting to it.
- Type 2 occurs with two police officers cornering the reanimated axe-killer and firing numerous shots at it to no effect before Detective Cameron steps in to correct their mistake. With a shotgun blast to the head.
- Orifice Invasion: The slugs' preferred method of taking over their host is to bury themselves in the brain by sliding through the mouth.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "It's Miller time!"
- Puppeteer Parasite: The brain slugs.
- Raising the Steaks: Zombie cats and dogs are integral to the plot. A zombified cat infects the only sorority member to become a zombie, whilst a zombified dog causes the fatal bus crash that allows it to then infect Chris and J.C's fraternity members with slugs for the final assault.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Detective Cameron's weapon of choice.
- Shell Shocked Detective Detective Cameron
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Wielded by Detective Cameron and Chris to expose the slugs planted in the zombified mooks.
- Spiritual Successor: Slither, which is also a horror comedy with orifice invading space slugs.
- Straight Gay: J.C. Hooper
- Taking You with Me: Detective Cameron and the slugs in the sorority house basement.
- The Can Hurled Brain Slugs At Him: J.C. is attacked by a zombie carrying slugs when he goes off to take a leak.
- Too Dumb to Live: The sorority's house mother who just sits and stares as the reanimated corpse of the axe-killer breaks through the floor and eventually kills her.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The brain slugs.
- Vigilante Execution: Detective Cameron tracked down the axe-murderer who murdered his high school sweetheart and took a shotgun blast to his head. As it turned out, once was not enough.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Subverted in that it wasn't much of an apocalypse since the slugs only manage to infect a handful of people, but still.
- Zombie Infectee: A given for the genre, though it's rather impossible for any infectees to hide their condition for long. Happens notably to both J.C. and Detective Cameron.