Sunday, August 21, 2011

Going back to college



For the next two days, I will be visiting my college campus. Monday just happens to be the first day of classes for the new school year, which makes this trip absolutely insane. Of course, if I avoided doing things just because they sound crazy, I wouldn't have driven 1,100 miles to meet up with my eventual wife. We were sort of friends at the university we'll be visiting, so it's the first place we shared common space (even though we never dated during the two years we were at school together).

Since I'm going back (and since I just applied to a local university's film school), I thought we could talk about college horrors. I've previously written about "Black Christmas" so there's no need to go back there. Instead, let us turn our attention to "Night of the Creeps."



I first saw "Night of the Creeps" on cable during my early teen years. I'd bet many of you had the same experience. The deal with this movie, however, is that I hate slugs. They are basically the one creature on this planet that absolutely gross me out. So "Night of the Creeps" with its space slugs trying to get inside people's mouths grossed me right the hell out. But the movie is just so damn funny that I can't help but love it. (Same goes for "Slither" but we'll talk about that another day.)

Director Fred Dekker made two of the best movies ever in 1986 and 1987: "Night of the Creeps," about a university ball night gone horribly wrong; and "Monster Squad," about a group of boys who defend the world against classic monsters. They are both homage movies in that they hark back to traditions that were not cool in the mid-1980s (but have had some resurgence since).

"Night of the Creeps" isn't really about college life. Sure, there are sorority bitches and frat jerks, but this just as easily could have been about a high school prom night gone to hell. Using a college setting gave Dekker the freedom to put his characters in a certain amount of peril that may not have been cool if the characters had been underage.

It's space slugs, zombies, one mean-ass dog, and Tom Atkins kicking ass all in 88 minutes of glory. If you are headed back to college, watch "Night of the Creeps." If your son or daughter is headed to college, you'd better skip it. Or not.

It's only a movie, after all. Space slugs aren't real. Frat jerk date rapists, however, are.

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