THRILL ME!: ‘Night of the Creeps’ Turns 30 Years Old


30 years after invading theaters – to lukewarm returns – ‘Night of the Creeps’ is now a full blown cult classic. Celebrate with us as we honor its three decades in horror culture.

Zombies, exploding heads, creepy-crawlers…and 30 years after the film’s original premiere date. Night of the Creeps is now classic, Spanky.

On August 22, 1986, fledgling filmmaker Fred Dekker unleashed a film unlike any had ever seen. Made with love, with genre references littered through, Night of the Creeps told the story of two buddies trying to find love and laughs in a world overtaken by slug creatures.

With the help of trusty cop, and huge lush, Detective Cameron, Chris and J.C were faced with the one thing they could never be truly ready for; real collage women. Oh, and slugs talking over the world.

Night of the Creeps is a film that only few really know of, but is one of the strangest, and bizarrely awesome, films to ever be made.

Don’t believe me? Check out a few of these stinging quotes from Detective Cameron:

  • Detective Cameron: I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here.

           Sorority Sister: What’s the bad news?

           Detective Cameron: They’re dead.

  • Detective Cameron: I suppose Rip Van Winkle would be the other body; where is it?

           Sergeant Raimi: The other body isn’t here, sir.

           Detective Cameron: What? Did he have a date? Whaddya mean it isn’t here?

  • Detective Cameron: What I’m going to need is your standard flame thrower.

Or how about these scenes, straight from the beautiful reels of Fred Dekker’s underrated Creeps:

When it was originally released, Night of the Creeps did little business in its run. Released in only 70 theaters, with a per-screen average of $3,154, Creeps made peanuts. Made for $5Mil – a decent budget then (and now) – the film only made $591,366 when all the movie chips were down.

Night of the Creeps was such a financial bomb, in fact, that it contributed to Dekker not finding work later. After this, and the box-office failure of Dekker’s equal cult The Monster’s Squad (1986), the filmmaker would find it hard to get directorial work. Had Creeps came out now, it’d be a different story.

Night of the Creeps poster- Courtesy of TriStar Pictures.

Personally, I think 1986’s Night of the Creeps is brilliant to the core. After opening in black and white, something Dekker planned implementing throughout the entire film but was reused, the film then moves to the ’80s where Creeps becomes culturally textbook of the era.

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However, where Creeps isn’t textbook is in its tone and writing. Sharply written, with real life issues laying beneath the comedy/horror, Night of the Creeps applies tone to lighten the camp; Creeps is an exercise in what’s possible when an artist is given the space to produce quality.

So, let’s all raise a glass to this underrated classic. Night of the Creeps turns 30 years old today. That’s a lot of days on earth entertaining people who truly appreciate its brilliance. Night of the Creeps may have a small fan base, but it’s a loyal one. Sometimes you’ll catch a fan at a convention, and you just have to say what up. They get it. They understand. Do you?

Happy Birthday Night of the Creeps! Here’s to many more years of you thrilling us.

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Night of the Creeps stars Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, and Steve Marshall. Fred Dekker wrote and directed CreepsDelphi V Productions produced Night of the Creeps, with TriStar Pictures handling distribution.

Love Night of the Creeps? Find Fred Dekker’s cult classic massively underrated? Let the other creeps know how you’re bringing in the film’s birthday in the comment section below.