MARCH 21, 2008
As much as I love James Gunn for Dawn of the Dead and Slither, I can’t say I really believe him when he says that he never saw Night of the Creeps before he wrote Slither. There are too many similarities to chalk it up to coincidence: the arrival of the parasite, the manner in which they ‘infiltrate’ humans, the way that infected humans look... come on now. He at least read the IMDb synopsis.
Doesn’t matter, because both movies are a blast, and I’m happy to have both. Creeps only has one major problem – the acting of Jason “Worst Rusty Ever” Lively, but it’s not even nearly enough to cripple the film, and you can even pretend it was intentionally bad acting to fit in with the corniness of old 50s movies (his appearance as Rusty confirms that no, he just can’t act worth a shit).
Otherwise this is a perfect B horror-comedy. Tom Atkins is possibly more awesome here than he is in Halloween III, which is saying quite a lot. His default phone greeting (“Thrill me”) is amazing enough for me to use it in real life on occasion (though I often reverse the way Rusty says it, and go“Thrill me, detective” instead. It’s less awkward.). The tagline is of course the stuff of legend (“The good news is....”). There’s another line that I think is just as good, involving a flamethrower. It’s the type of movie you will quote over and over.
It’s also a batshit movie. The first 20 minutes have alien wars, rotted zombies, a science project that requires a bunch of brains to be stored in the cellar, David Paymer running another science experiment in a college lab, a serial killer... holy shit!
The movie also features a guy named Steve Marshall, playing JC, Rusty’s best friend. However, until now I thought he was the guy from Nightmare on Elm St 3 who was in a wheelchair. He’s not. That guy’s name is Ira Heiden. I apologize to both unknown 80s actors.
Like Monster Squad, the movie is essentially over before you know it (the structure is much better though), but it’s fun from start to finish, and it’s a real shame that it’s STILL not on DVD, because there’s probably a lot of kids who have never seen it (even more of a shame when you consider they probably love Slither to death). I’ll scream like a banshee the day Anchor Bay or one of those guys manages to get this one a nice special edition a la Squad, because in my opinion it’s even more deserving of one.
What say you?