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Night of the Creeps

Night of the Creeps movie poster
Directed by Fred Dekker
Produced by Charles Gordon
Written by Fred Dekker
Starring Jason Lively
Steve Marshall
Jill Whitlow
Tom Atkins
Allan Kayser
Wally Taylor
Music by Barry De Vorzon
Stan Ridgway
Cinematography Robert C. New
Editing by Michael N. Knue
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s) August 22, 1986
Running time 88 min.
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $5,000,000 (est.)
Gross revenue domestic:

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 an earnest attempt at a B movie and a 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.



Onboard an alien space ship, two aliens feverishly race to keep an experiment from being released. But it is too late and the seemingly possessed third alien they are pursuing has shot the canister into space where it crashes to Earth in 1959. On this night a young college man takes a date to a parking spot where they see a falling star and investigate. Unfortunately, it lands in the path of an escaped criminally insane mental patient. As his date falls victim to the axe-wielding maniac, the boy finds the canister, from which a small leech-like thing jumps out at him and into his mouth.

Cut to 1986. Chris Romero is pining over a love lost, being supported by his handicapped friend J.C. At pledge week, Chris spots a girl, Cynthia Cronenberg, and seems to fall instantly in love. To get her attention, he decides that he must join a fraternity. As a part of their pledge (which is pointless as the frat leader, who is dating Cynthia, has no intentions of letting them join), they must steal a cadaver from the university medical center and place it on the steps of the Phi Omega Gamma house. Chris and J.C. find one in a top secret room that is being kept in a state of suspended animation, but when it grabs one of their arms as they try to move it, they chicken out and run back to their dorm room. Meanwhile, Detective Ray Cameron, a cop that dated the girl killed back in '59 and is haunted by the memories of what he found that night, is called in to the cryogenics lab break-in where there are two bodies - but one missing. The missing body is the one released from its cryogenics tomb, which also happened to be the same boy who found the alien experiment back in 1959. This missing body makes its way back to the same sorority house where he picked up his date 27 years earlier. Evidently residing in the room where his murdered date lived, the walking corpse comes to Cynthia's window where his head splits open and more of the leech creatures fall out and slither across the ground. Called to the scene, Ray finds the body with a large open wound in the face, similar to one that could have been made by an axe.

The next day, Chris and J.C. are confronted by the frat brothers, upset over the fact that they believe they are responsible for the previous night's incident. After surviving their encounter, they are then taken in for questioning by the police. Based on the testimony of a janitor that witnessed them running out of university medical center, "screaming like banshees," they confess to breaking in, but deny taking the corpse out. That night, the attendant found dead gets up from his slab and runs into the same janitor.

After the dead and buried cat of one of the sorority sisters comes back, Cynthia confesses it to Chris and J.C. and goes on about the dead body found at the sorority house. Although both are skeptical of her story about them being zombies, J.C. sees that she is leaning on Chris' shoulder, and leaves the two alone to go to the bathroom, where the now-possessed janitor enters and lets loose more of the slugs.

As Chris walks Cynthia back to the sorority house, he runs into Cameron who has overheard the entire story. Back at Ray's home, the two talk about their high school sweethearts. Ray's is more elaborate as he goes on about how they broke up and he became a cop and how he was called out to the site where she had been hacked up by a lunatic. He goes on to tell of how he tracked down the escaped patient, killed him and buried him... in the same spot on which the House Mother's cottage now sits. Just then, Ray gets a call where the House Mother has been hacked up to death by the axe-wielding corpse that broke in through the floor. The killer is finally tracked down and cornered by the police, but numerous gunshots have no effect. Cameron then takes his shotgun and blows its head off, which releases more of the little creeps.

The next night, everyone is getting ready for the formal when Chris notices a tape recorder on which J.C. has recorded a posthumous message to his friend, telling him that one of the things has incubated in his brain and that he had discovered, after lighting one with a match, that heat can destroy them. Chris then runs into the boiler room, where his friend has told him he was headed, actually walking there, in an attempt to kill those inside him. Chris then shows up at Ray's place, which Ray has sealed up, and he fills him in. After grabbing his gun and turning off the gas, he takes Chris to a police armory to get a flamethrower. They come to the sorority house just as Cynthia is breaking up with Brad who has become possessed. After killing him, the Delta frat brothers show up - despite having been killed in a bus crash. While Chris and Cynthia team up with shotgun and flamethrower to destroy the dead outside, Cameron does likewise inside. After stopping the horde, Chris spots more slugs racing across the ground that are headed into the house's basement. Cynthia remembers that this is where specimen brains are being kept. When they go down below, they find Cameron, tape across his mouth, prepping a can of gasoline. They also find the creatures gathered in a huge swarm in the corner. Cameron begins counting down as he splashes gasoline everywhere. Cynthia and Chris turn and run out of the house, counting down in sync with Cameron. Cameron fills the basement with gas and just as some of the parasites leap at him, he flicks his lighter and the house goes up in a fiery explosion. Watching the sorority house burn, Chris and Cynthia share a kiss.[1]


There are two versions of the film's ending. The version tagged onto the theatric and subsequent VHS release ends with Chris and Cynthia watching the sorority house burn down when the dead dog that caused the bus accident returns. The scene ends when the dog opens its mouth and a slug jumps out at the camera.

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. The charred and zombified Cameron is seen 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.

The later ending wound up never making it when Dekker made the admitted mistake of showing it to the studio before the effects were done. Not impressed with what they saw, they requested a different ending that became a cheap scare. Dekker's original ending has been seen in some television broadcast versions of the film, some of the US VHS copies and is available on bootleg DVD copies being sold on eBay and is on the official DVD release of the film.

Home video

The film was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc in 1986 by HBO/Cannon Video. They contain the theatrical ending. The DVD and Blu-Ray, which contain the original ending that Dekker intended, along with special features, was released on October 27th 2009 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.[2][3]


The soundtrack album, featuring Barry DeVorzon's score for the film (except tracks 22-26), was issued in 2009 by La-La Land Records.[4] Asterisked tracks include sound effects.

1. Main Title (3:32)

2. The Axe Man Cometh (1:15)

3. I'm Your Bud (:37)

4. Cylo Lab/It's Alive (2:42)

5. Thrill Me's Dream (:53)

6. Cindy's Scream (3:43)

7. Done With An Axe (:33)

8. Screaming Like Banshees (1:23)

9. Zombie Cat/Zombie (:27)

10. The Bathroom Stall (2:38)

11. Will You Go With Me? (1:12)

12. I Took My Twelve Gauge/Return Of The Axe Man (2:15)

13. I Already Killed You (2:06)

14. What's The Tux For?* (1:08)

15. J.C.'s Last Note (3:10)

16. Zombie Dog/Turned Over Bus/Zombies Break Out (1:40)

17. March Of The Zombies (5:42)

18. The Count Down* (3:12)

19. End Credit Suite (4:18)

Bonus Tracks:

20. The Bathroom Stall (no overlay) (2:38)

21. The Count Down – not used in final film (3:39)

22. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - The Platters (2:40)

23. The Stroll - The Diamonds (2:30)

24. Nightmares - C-Spot Run (4:39)

25. Solitude (arr. Barry DeVorzon) (4:08)

26. An Interview with Barry DeVorzon (8:46)

See also


External links



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