Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Thrill Me!"

I just had to drop a quick post to mention that one of my all-time favorite movies, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, finally came out on DVD today.

I first saw NOTC in junior high, when I hadn't seen a ton of horror movies, and even though I loved it then, I had no idea what a special, uniquely great movie it was. Was it any wonder that, after that, I expected all teen horror films to be scary, funny, well-written, enjoyable, sad, realistic and surreal, only to find that most of them aren't any of those things? The film is considered a B-Movie, and if that's what it is, it's the best B-Movie of all time*, with a plot that goes something like . . .

A canister filled with alien slugs crash-lands in the woods in 1959, infecting a frat boy who dies and is placed in cryogenic freeze. In 1986, a couple of geeky best friends, in order to try and impress a beautiful sorority chick, pledge a fratrnity, and are told to steal a dead body and put it on a rival frat's doorstep. The body they grab turns out to be the one in cryogenic storage, and still harbors the space slugs, which go on a rampage, entering the dead and living alike and turning them into zombified incubators for more of the alien parasites. And somehow, hilarity ensues.

The film was made on a low budget in 1986 by twenty-six year old writer/director Fred Dekker. I worked in 2001 at a video store in Los Angeles, and before I was unceremoniously fired, met Dekker several times, as he was a regular customer. I showered him with praise for NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, and he was happy to talk about it, telling me time and time again that he didn't know when it was coming out on DVD.

Well, there were rights issues, music issues, and general headaches due to the property changing hands, so it wasn't until October 27th, eight years later that it finally came out (if you think about UMD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray, there have been three video formats since then, crazy).

I'm not writing this to encourage people to go out and buy NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (though if you want to, I'll not stand in your way), but just to mark the occasion (I was watching the special features on the DVD and would've felt guilty if I hadn't said something). There are very few movies that only get better with repeated viewings (WRATH OF KHAN and HOT FUZZ come immediately to mind), and this is one of them. Dekker's not made a lot of stuff in the decades since, and very few people have heard of NOTCs, but I just had to say a few words, since the film brought me joy twenty years ago, and even more today.

Rish "Afternoon of the Creeps" Outfield

*Unless TERMINATOR is a B-Movie. Not sure exactly on the 21st Century definition.

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