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Night of the Creeps (1986)

This is again another film that I knew very little about going in, yet, I was always curious about due to the poster art. As someone who grew up not being a fan of the 80's aesthetics of horror from this era I never gave so many films like this the chance they deserved. I always found the dated format to be considered not worth my time. This is something I have certainly grown to appreciate more as I've grown as a person and a horror fan, now going back and trying to revisit as many of these films as I can.

'Night of the Creeps' starts things off with one of the most jarring opening few minutes I've seen in any horror film for quite some time. Opening up in full colour in a spacecraft with what is very clearly a Dwarf in a low budget alien costume, before switching to a total juxtaposition as we fade to black and white in a very well produced and directed 50's style era of filming, before finally cutting again to very vibrant mid 80's time period in which the rest if the film takes place. Whilst this does provide perfect set up to the plot and is very interesting and creative to watch, I can only imagine this would deter a large audience away from this film pretty early on due to confusion.

We are soon introduced to lead characters, Chris played by Jason Lively and JC played by Steve Marshall. The relationship and dynamic between the two friends was so engaging and felt genuinely authentic. Seeing the conversations and antics that unfolded over the course of this film between the two of them felt so relatable to me due to friendships personally have myself. Another focal character is Ray, played by horror icon Tom Atkins. This is only the second time I have seen Tom Atkins on screen, the first being 'Halloween 3: Season if the Witch', and if I've being completely honest I really didn't warm to him as an actor in that film. Here, is a very different story, he is charismatic and seems to feel much more suited to the character he is portraying.

My biggest criticism for 'Night if the Creeps' come within the the pacing. The first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes were very engaging and entertaining. However, there is a real unnecessary and distracting 30 to 40 minutes of unfocused narrative in the middle that caused me to lose interest with this film. I couldn't help but feel like the story, albeit simple enough, came across unnecessarily drawn out, ultimately causing the moments that were the the most enticing in the closing act, rather underwhelming. Unfortunately, once we reach the penultimate zombie-esque onslaught that this film had been building to, it all just felt a little to late for me.

Whilst, there are more than enough enjoyable moments to be had here, I think that condensing this down to a segment of an anthology or an episodes of 'Tales from the Crypt' would have work much better for story. That's not to say this concept doesn't work well as a feature length, as James Gunn has proven in 2006 with his outstanding take on the cosmic slug like entity 'Slither', unfortunately this cult classic was just a swing and a miss for me.



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