As a UK script consultant I like to revisit films from the past that I enjoyed as a kid and Night of the Creeps was a film I rented a lot from the local video store (Barkers at Crossgates, Leeds 15) as youngster.
First of all, the film is very of its time (the 80s) and there’s some awkward aged ‘teen’ comedy in the first half of the film. Gradually, however, it settles down to be a charming and funny horror pastiche with some stylish photography and direction and a brilliant, and very knowing performance by horror stalwart Tom Atkins.
The film is well known for having various different endings depending on which version you watch. The ending of the Blu-ray version I saw seemed different from the ending on the VHS version I rented back in the day.
Funnily enough, I used to re-watch this film over and over again, and since viewing it last week – I do have the urge to actually re-watch it again – it’s compulsive, and one of those films that is ‘almost’ a classic. You can see that a lot of love and tenderness went into the script.
The film is written and directed by Fred Dekker who after a few years in the wilderness has turned back up with the screenplay credit on the latest Predator reboot.
I like Dekker, and another favourite film from my childhood was Monster Squad which he also wrote (with Shane Black) and directed. That film too is charming, and has a charge of nostalgia for many people my age (and if pushed I would say that I prefer it to The Goonies).
As horror is making such a big comeback I’d like to see Dekker direct another film in the genre, his ties to the 80s horror boom and obvious knowledge and enthusiasm for the classic horror movies of the past put him in a almost unique position. I think, somewhere Dekker has a classic horror/comedy in him. Whatever he has done so far at least has been touched with a rare tenderness and love for the genre that reminds me of Joe Dante.
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on firstname.lastname@example.org or hire him on Peopleperhour