Night of the Creeps, 1986

Night of the Creeps, 1986

An alien experiment crash lands on earth in the year 1959 and infects a member of a fraternity. Scientists freeze the body, but in “modern day”, which would be 1986, in this case, two geeks pledging to be in the same fraternity thaw the corpse. The parasitic slugs within proceed to infect the campus, transforming their hosts into zombies…mwa ha ha ha!

Night of the Creeps is a 1986 American science fiction horror comedy film written and directed by Fred Dekker in an earnest attempt at a B-movie and homage to the genre. Nods to slasher movies and alien invasion films are included among the usual zombie tropes, and though this feature directorial debut for Dekker did not translate into success at the box office, the film has developed a cult following, which might be considered more appropriate for an homage to sci-fi/horror B-movies.

Apparently, Night of the Creeps has two different endings! From Wikipedia:

The film has two endings, one of which was used for the film’s theatrical release and the other is the ending originally intended by director Fred Dekker.

In the theatrical version, the dog who caused the bus accident returns and approaches Cynthia. As Cynthia bends down toward it, the dog opens its mouth and a slug jumps out toward her.

The original ending shows Chris and Cynthia standing in front of the burning sorority house, with the camera moving to the street where police cars race towards the burning building. The police cars race by the charred and ‘zombified’ Cameron who is shuffling down the street, still smoking a cigarette, when he suddenly stops and falls to the ground. His head then bursts open, with the slugs that incubated inside his brain scamper out and slither towards a nearby cemetery, suggesting the slugs have found new hosts to inhabit. Searchlights appear from the night sky, revealing the source to be the spaceship from the beginning of the film, with the aliens intending to retrieve their experiment. 

Some bits of trivia and errors in the film:

All the last names of the main characters are based on famous horror and sci-fi directors: George A. Romero (Chris Romero), John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper (James Carpenter Hooper), David Cronenberg (Cynthia Cronenberg), James Cameron (Det. Ray Cameron), John Landis (Det. Landis), Sam Raimi (Sgt. Raimi) and Steve Miner (Mr. Miner – The Janitor).

The movie the house mother is watching on TV is Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957).

“Corman University” is a reference to director/producer Roger Corman.

The tool shed sequence was filmed after principal shooting on the movie had wrapped. After a rough cut was shown to a test audience, several people thought that the picture needed more action so this particular sequence was added to the movie.

In an interview on the blu-ray, Tom Atkins enthusiastically stated that of all the films he’s starred in this is his personal favorite. In a Horrors Hollowed Grounds feature on the Just Deserts documentary, he stated that director Fred Dekker is one of the few that he’d still love to work with.

Director Fred Dekker originally wanted to shoot the film in black and white.

Gordon the Cat was named after film producer Gordon Carroll.
Detective Cameron says “Thrill me” 5 times. Chris says it once.
When the Bradster calls, Cynthia puts the phone to her ear twice.
When J.C. first opens the door of his bathroom stall, there is no graffiti on the wall behind Mr. Miner’s corpse. The graffiti appears when he emerges from the stall and crawls across the floor.
After the re-animated corpse of the axe murderer has it’s head blown off, you clearly see one of the slugs being pulled away by a wire.
During the scene when Chris and J.C. are confronted, one shot shows the second-unit AD clearly in the background waving towards people off camera to stay out of the shot.

Zombie Town was marketed in some regions as a sequel, being alternatively titled Night of the Creeps 2: Zombie Town in Germany.

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