There's reason to fear when a studio digs back into their vaults for films from the '80s to release on blu-ray. For every great "VALLEY GIRL," there's also a "SUDDENLY SEEKING SUSAN." But, who'd of expected Sony's decision to release "NIGHT OF THE CREEPS" on blu-ray to be such a welcome surprise? "NIGHT OF THE CREEPS" is one of those really fun '80s films which captures everything great and "entertainingly bad" about the '80s. The opening sequence takes place as a couple makes out in a convertible in 1959, and witnesses something streaking through the sky, crashing to earth. The boy ends up swallowing some weird guck, shaped like a slug. Cut to the future, or at least the '80s, and the kid has been kept in suspended animation at a secret university research facility. When college frat pledges, J.C. and Chris, have to commandeer a corpse for an initiation prank to pull on a different frat, they find the body from 1959. Unfortunately, while on the way to their frat house, the body comes to life and takes off. A detective, haunted by the loss of his girlfriend, relating to the 1959 alien encounter, comes to the scene, investigating the missing body and a dead victim due to it. Soon enough, carnage and high-jinx are afoot as the body terrorizes the campus, infecting whomever it comes into contact with.
It's up to these unlikely characters, and a pretty girl that the kids are crazy about, to save the day, and planet. While some might find it too easy to dismiss "NIGHT OF THE CREEPS" as just another '80s "b" movie, it's more witty than that! Director/writer Fred Dekker is certainly paying homage to the sci-fi/horror "b" movies of the past, but he's carefully managed to wink at the audience, while offering material that's engaging and inspired. Sure, it's campy, but it's supposed to be. Sure, the dialogue veers close to being really bad, but it fits the atmosphere and due to Dekker's direction, the amiable quality of everyone in the cast, and even the music, "NIGHT OF THE CREEPS" succeeds at transcending and paying homage to the "B" movie sci-fi genre in a way that John Waters tried but failed to make his '80s films transcend their given genre.
SONY has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray. For a low-budget film from the '80s, the detail is really impressive. The majority of scenes don't "jump off the screen" with depth, but the image is seldom flat. Colors are typically restrained, but never dull. Grain is present, but never intrusive. It's a surprisingly solid image.
SONY has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. One would never suspect the low budget of the film from this mix. Surrounds are used effectively and creatively throughout. Bass is also prominent at key moments. The stylized '80s music has seldom sounded better than it does here. Dialogue, effects and music are perfectly balanced, creating an immersive and fun mix. GREAT JOB!
Along with 1080p trailers for other SONY releases(NIGHT OF THE CREEPS gets only a 480p trailer?!?), a commentary with Dekker is a must for film-lovers. Another track offers cast members is also surprisingly entertaining, and offers some nostalgic comments of the period in a breezy, fun format.
A lengthy documentary is offered in 1080p, allowing fans to examine the filmmaking process with interviews/behind-the-scenes footage, special effects footage, and test screening reactions. Tom Atkins, another fine performance in this film, takes the audience to his hometown, while reflecting on his career, in "TOM ATKINS: MAN OF ACTION." (1080p) This too, is a surprisingly effective featurette and well worth checking out.