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Night of the Creeps [Eureka Classics] (Blu-ray Review)

When an alien experiment goes awry, it crashes to Earth in 1959 and infects a young college student. 27 years later, his cryogenically-frozen body is thawed out by fraternity pledges, and the campus is quickly overrun by alien creatures – whose victims come back as zombies! Fred Dekker’s supremely enjoyable throwback chiller deftly combines classic horror and sci-fi elements with delicious humor and loving in-jokes. Presented for the first time on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK, this deluxe edition of Night of the Creeps features the original director’s cut and a host of special features.

Film 

It was definitely time to revisit one of the more memorable horror films of the 1980’s, with Eureka Classics’ Night of the Creeps. I had not done so since way back in 2009, with Sony release. Film fans in the UK will now be able to bask in all of its gory, I mean, glory with this release. With that said, let’s “dig in” to the good stuff.

Night of the Creeps gets the party started with an extended science fiction prologue aboard a spaceship where some weird looking creatures are trying to prevent an experiment from getting off of their ship. the problem is that one of their own crew members has jettisoned a container with unknown contents. This container floats through space and crashes into Earth. The year is 1959. The container does end up bursting at a nearby college. An unsuspecting student is infected by its contents, which look to contain slugs or worms of some kind.

Fast forward to present day 1986, where teenagers run rampant partying and living up unbeknownst to them that the student that was infected way back in 1959 has been thawed out and the worms in his head are out there infecting other people. hijinks ensue but we have the badassery that is Tom Atkins playing Detective Ray Cameron. He’s peculiar individual with a sort of “haze” or jadedness that hovers over him. He lives alone, drinks alone, and drives an awesome 1949 Mercury Coupe. His favorite phrase is: “Thrill Me.”

Do you see where this is going? Night of the Creeps is a lovingly made tribute to all things horror, science fiction, and film in Hollywood by writer-director Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad). Even the film title’s font is a mixture of Tales from the Crypt and Terminator.  Never mind that every other character in the film is named after famous genre film directors. It’s a great homage.

Night of the Creeps has a healthy dose of comedy mixed in with horror and the usual 80’s “high school” raunchiness of the John Hughes films, but doesn’t dwell on that angle outside of a few scenes. The film thrives and works with the the amount of great gore, Tom Atkins kicking serious ass, and the overall production. It has some nice special effects for a 5-million-dollar budgeted film – in 1986’s dollars, so it’s not that low budget after all.

It’s a shame that the movie bombed at the box-office, but it’s a great thing to see that after all of these years, fans still gravitate towards the film. As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, fans in the USA got a taste of Night of the Creeps on Blu-ray back in 2009 and now it’s time for audiences in the UK to get their taste on Blu-ray with this Eureka Classics edition.

*Please remember that this is a Region B locked Blu-ray release and if you’re outside of Europe, you will need a region-free Blu-ray player for proper playback.

 

Video

Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail: Night of the Creeps looks great on this Eureka Classic’s Blu-ray – film grain is intact and I did not notice DNR or contrast boosting. Where ever this print was sourced from, they got a nice copy for transferring.

Depth: The film has a sharper image without it actually being artificially sharpened. A majority of these 1980’s horror flicks have the habit of looking soft and almost smudged. Night of the Creeps looks great.

Black Levels: Many of the films pivotal scenes take place in the dark or at night and I would say the transfer does a good job in keeping balance, as crush is not a problem during these shots.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is nice and neutral but kicks it up a notch during scenes featuring blood and carnage. A neon-lit dance also highlights the color wheel of this 1980’s throwback.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks natural underneath the heavy blush and hairspray of the mid-1980’s.

Noise/Artifacts: The source material is free from excess debris, dirt, and noise.

 

Audio

Audio Format(s): English LPCM 2.0, English DTS 5.1 Master Audio

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: Night of the Creeps may be a nearly 35-year old film but the soundtrack, outside of the musical choice, is anything but dated. It never sounds thin or stock even during some scenes of obvious ADR. I prefer the lossless 5.1 mix but the LPCM 2.0 track is no slouch either.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer channel never overdoes it – it just enhances the bass levels already present.

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels do have some nice and steady presence in the 5.1 mix, most notably during the opening and ending sequence involving the ships.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are crisp and clear.

Extras

When it comes to special features, this is what it’s all about! Eureka Classics has included a plethora of special features on this release. For those that are lucky enough to snag a copy of the first press run you will also receive an O-Card slipcase and a limited-edition booklet. I want to say, unless my memory is failing me, that the special features out side of the newer Fred Dekker solo interview were present on the original 2009 U.S. Blu-ray. The solo Dekker interview has a copyright date of 2016 and seems to be licensed from Severin.

  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase [First Print Run Only]
  • High-definition remaster of the director s cut
  • Original stereo soundtrack and 5.1 surround audio options, presented in PCM and DTS-HD MA respectively on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary by writer / director Fred Dekker
  • Audio commentary by actors Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow
  • Thrill Me: Making Night of the Creeps – an hour-long series of video pieces on the making of the film featuring new interviews with cast and crew
  • “Tom Atkins: Man of Action” featurette
  • Video Interview with Fred Dekker
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Original theatrical ending
  • Trivia track subtitles
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A limited-edition booklet featuring a new essay by critic Craig Ian Mann [First Print Run Only]

Summary 

Night of the Creeps is a great 1980’s horror-comedy throwback. Some of the acting is cheesy but the special effects and gore still hold up, as does the main man of the decade: Tom Atkins. The Blu-ray looks and sounds terrific and is loaded with epic special features. Eureka Classics’ Night of the Creeps is highly recommended. “It’s Miller Time!”

 

Night of the Creeps is released on Blu-ray & DVD

in the UK October 15, 2018!

 

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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