Why ‘Night of the Creeps’ is One of the Best B-Movies of All Time.

 

Aliens in bad rubber costumes, 1950s throwbacks in black and white, ax-wielding psychopaths, slug monsters, zombies, a detective with a dark past, and a full helping of campy 80s B-movie humor—this is the masterpiece that is Night of the Creeps. The recipe for this cult-classic sounds absurd. What the hell kind of movie has all that in it without being completely ridiculous? Somehow, Night of the Creeps managed to pull it off.

 

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Released in 1986, starring Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, and Tom Atkins, the film starts with a scene that doesn’t fit the rest of the movie at all—aliens on a spacecraft. Yes, aliens. In cheesy rubber costumes. They even went as far as adding subtitles in both English, and for some reason, the alien’s language as well. This is an odd but lovable detail, especially for this kind of movie.

After that it jumps to old-school black and white, representative of scenes that happen in the 50s. Although it’s been done before, the style during these scenes bring a unique quality to this type of 80s horror. And they add a backstory to everything that happens later. Slasher films weren’t common in the 50s, but had their golden era in the 80s. That’s what makes ax-wielding psychopath so special. Night of the Creeps has 80s written all over it, but the killer is in the black and white 50s scenes—a nice twist to the mashup.

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When the story jumps forward to 1986, it’s literally saturated with everything 80s. Frat parties, nerds, jocks, it’s all there. Jason Lively from National Lampoon’s European Vacation just tops it off. Adding to the B-movie humor, the homicide detective is given some of the worst lines of dialogue. But if you love that campy 80s style, it’s perfect. They bring that element to the movie while leaving the rest of the characters with more serious lines.

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Although the ‘zombies’ in Night of the Creeps aren’t really zombies, at least not the Romero variety, they’re damn close. I won’t spoil the movie, but they have something to do with the aliens and slug monsters, and when everything comes together, all the unusual aspects of this film create a masterpiece that still shines over thirty years later.

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John Carpenter’s Remake of The Thing Wasn’t a Remake

There seems to be some disagreement and misinterpretation on John Carpenter’s The Thing. I’ve read it online, spoken about the movie with other fans (as it happens to be a personal favorite), and keep hearing how it was a remake of The Thing from Another World. As a hardcore fan of these movies, I felt compelled to write about them, and how this popular opinion is contrary to what appear to be facts.

There are three renditions of the film, The Thing. John Carpenter’s 1982 version is arguably the most popular, which by majority opinion is a remake of the original, The Thing from Another World, originally released in 1951. Another addition to the franchise was introduced in 2011, which was thought (depending on opinion) to be a prequel of John Carpenter’s or second remake of the original 1951 classic.

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The Thing from Another World 1951

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The Thing 1982

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The Thing 2011

 

So there are two remakes for the same film? Sure, it’s not unlike Hollywood to rehash the same thing (pun intended) more than a few times, but this isn’t the case. In the original 1951 story, scientists uncover an alien spacecraft buried under ice near an arctic research station where they work. They find an extraterrestrial pilot frozen in the ice and dig it out. The being accidentally gets thawed out, and things go downhill from there.

The story of John Carpenter’s 1982 version is in fact a sequel to the original. In the story, American scientists working at a different arctic research facility are startled by a helicopter coming toward their base, which is chasing a dog, a man firing at it with a rifle. The dog escapes unscathed and the helicopter pilot is killed in an accidental explosion while trying to kill the dog with a grenade.

When the American scientists go to the other research base to investigate the strange behavior of the unexpected visitors, they find the place deserted and mostly destroyed. They also find video footage of the scientists finding the spacecraft and the chunk of ice the creature originally escaped from.

This tells us that this is in fact a sequel, not a remake. It follows events which take place after the original film.

The 2011 version, again considered a remake, technically is. But not of the film most people associate it with. It’s not a remake of John Carpenter’s film, but of the original 1951 version. It’s the story of the Norwegian scientists who found and unleashed the alien in the first place. The movie even ends with the dog escaping (presumably thought to be the alien creature) while being chased by a helicopter. This movie could be considered a prequel to John Carpenter’s version, if anything, as it ties the events together more closely than the original 1951 version.

I hope this makes you want to watch and enjoy these movies again (or for the first time if you haven’t seen them), if only to see for yourself how they are truly connected.