We love 80's horror movies. We love cheesy B-movies. We love meta commentaries about 80's horror B-movies. We love Night of the Creeps.
Night of the Creeps (1986) written and directed by Fred Dekker, who also directed one of our absolute favorites Monster Squad, crammed as much 80's cheese as he could in this horror quesadilla. Every main character shares a last name with an iconic horror director: Chris Romero, James Carpenter Hooper, and Cynthia Cronenberg, etc. The one-liners are constant and iconic; Tom Atkins as Ray Cameron hits us with "Thrill Me!" 5 times throughout the movie and we need more. The practical effects are perfect, every movie needs a flame thrower and there are never enough alien space slugs in our opinion.
The opening of NOTC is ridiculous, goofy square aliens lose their space slugs and they find their way to Earth in the 50's. The night they land a psychotic madman has escaped from a mental asylum and a manhunt is underway. I love that Fred Dekker uses this urban legend as a plot point, I still remember the first time I heard a version of this story when I was a kid. I was always under the impression that psychos escaped from asylums and terrorized small towns on a near constant basis. Anyway, We follow two sweethearts as they make their way to the lovers lane of the town where the space slugs crash land. The slugs have very impressive and accurate leaping abilities and one launches itself into the boyfriend's mouth. At that very same moment the psycho-axe-wielding escapee murders the girlfriend. The psycho is then shot by a fortuitous young police officer. It's quite an exciting drama to start the movie.
We jump to the 80's and follow two best friends, Chris Romero (Jason Lively) and J.C. Hooper (Steve Marshall), as they peruse their college campus. Chris is blasted by a Cupid love rocket when he sees Cynthia Cronenberg (Jill Whitlow) at a frat party across the street. J.C., ever the encouraging friend, tries to get her attention. Chris thinks the only way to win Cynthia's heart is to join the fraternity. As their pledge assignment they have to put a dead body on the steps of a rival fraternity. Somehow they find themselves in a cryogenic lab where the very guy who had a slug cigar from the 50's has been stored in a deep freeze. Chris and J.C. let the slug popsicle out then run for their lives. Starting this whole slugpocolypse.
There's a really interesting scene of Chris and J.C. talking in their dorm room after they flee the cryolab. J.C. is brutally honest with Chris about his depression. It's a great scene showing how much J.C. cares about Chris and his happiness and what lengths he would go to help him. The majority of the movie is upbeat, slapstick fun but this scene always surprises us and develops the heart of the film, the friendship between J.C. and Chris.
If they are the heart, then the mustached badass brain is Detective Ray Cameron played by the horror daddy himself, Tom Atkins. Tom Atkins has said this is his favorite movie he's ever stared in and it's one of our favorite performances of his career. Ray Cameron is a wise-cracking, traumatized detective that loves to be thrilled. He jumps on the mysterious case of the escaped frozen man which leads to J.C. and Chris. Tom Atkins practically speaks in one-liners the whole movie and we can't get enough.
Night of the Creeps really shines in the last 15 minutes, the final battle is skull-exploding, literally. The showdown between the slug zombies and our heroes is everything we love about 80's horror. The kills are fun, the practical effects rule, and Tom Atkins kicks ass! NOTC is a shining example for anyone who wants to know what 80's horror is all about.
For this design we wanted to lean into the Greek aspect of the movie and showcase how cool it is when a head explodes and slugs shoot out. Tiki Tom will one day have a design of his own but the cuff print will have to do for now. Interestingly, this is the most blood we've had in a design yet and we're thrilled with how it all came together. We hope you love it too! We've done some cool extras with our shirts so far but the Night of the Creeps Space Slugs are definitely our favorites yet. Stephen absolutely nailed the novelty tchotchkes packaging. We could totally see these in the checkout line of an oddities shop!
This movie is so much fun we wanted to do it justice. Hopefully you'll think we did!