Night of the Creeps (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-29-2009, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Tri-star/Sony Pictures
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Starring: Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, Tom Atkins
Written & Directed by: Fred Dekker
Music by: Barry DeVorzon
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 27, 2009

"The good news is your dates are here. The bad news isthey're dead."

Film Synopsis:

When an alien experiment goes awry, it crashes to Earth in 1959 and infects a young college student. Twenty-seven years later, his cryogenically frozen body is thawed out by fraternity pledges/best friends Chris and JC... and the campus is quickly overrun by alien creatures - whose victims come back as zombies!

My Take:

Fred Dekker's throwback chiller deftly mixes genres while simultaneously having fun with them (the college and all the leading characters are named after famous horror movie directors). This director's cut contains the ending director Dekker always intended (which I now prefer over the theatrical ending). For those that might be interested the original theatrical ending is also included. I saw Night of the creeps in the theater when it was released back in '86. It seemed like there was always a new horror film playing at the local Cineplex and we pretty much tried to catch them all. I remember thinking that it was just okay but there must have been something memorable about it because many scenes came back to me as I watched it for this review. The scene where Chris listens to the tape made by JC, followed by his discovery in the boiler room is just such an example. I remember feeling badly for both JC and Chris during that moment. The scene in the fraternity house basement near the end where Detective Cameron faces the large mass of slugs/alien parasites, and who could forget the cute little dog and poor Brad. Watching now, It's more obvious that the film's B movie overshadowing is not only intentional but cleverly devised in a throwback sort of way. The campy dialogue and unassuming nature of the characters could be misconstrued if you miss the point. Although my man JC never misses a chance to pop off a witty retort that almost makes him, as a character in the film, seem out of place. Detective Cameron is dark, grumpy, and dismissive of those around him as they don't share the depth of inner pain/guilt that he does. This goes back to 1959 when as a rookie cop with two weeks experience he arrives first on the scene of his ex-girlfriends brutal murder at the hands of an axe wielding psychopath. He did have his revenge but never truly got over what happened. Years later, JC and Chris accidentally unleash the alien terror that spreads though their unsuspecting college campus turning coeds into human hosts/walking dead. He doesn't know it but Detective Cameron is once again about to come face to face with the man responsible for his living nightmare even though he has been dead for 27 years!

Those unfamiliar with this movie who are expecting thrills and chills consistent with straight forward genre films should probably look elsewhere. However if you enjoy clever, homage style filmmaking and can stand a smattering of campy dialogue, cheesy effects and bad acting this may very well be worth your time.

Parental Guide:

This film contains graphic violence, disturbing images, language, brief nudity and thematic elements.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 78

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Video: 80

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Night of the creeps comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 mbps.

This high bitrate 1.85:1 framed video encoding from Sony boasts punchy colors, stable blacks and excellent clarity. I was impressed with level of detail visible in the physical features, clothing and objects during close up and mid level camera shots. The tonal variety and depth of the colors in the period clothing and during the sequences shot in the fraternity houses was discerning. Wide angle camera pans were a bit of a mixed bag but overall I found them to have fair dimensional perspective with definable detail. Grain was readily apparent and takes on slightly heavier emphasis on occasion. I only found it distracting in one or two instances. Grain was much less noticeable during brighter scenes, which when coupled along its appreciable level of sharpness, well rendered colors and crisp definition makes for a great looking presentation of this 20 plus year old horror film. The DTS-HD MA sound quality was solid and offered a noticeably enveloping and multi-dimensional sound field that was impressive for an older low budget film such as this. Dialogue was centrally focused, intelligible and lucid through the center channel. The surrounds were actively engaged throughout and used atmospheric ambience and directionally correlated effects that simulated interior/exterior venues, the engulfing squeal of alien parasites and off camera spatial cues to generate a balanced and believable soundstage. There was little call for extended low frequency effects but when applied bass response was appropriate. All in all I was very pleased with this audio presentation.

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with writer/director Fred Dekker

  • Cast commentary with Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Jill Whitlow, and Steve Marshall

  • (HD) Original theatrical ending

  • 7 Deleted scenes

  • (HD) Thrill me: Making of Night of the creeps - 5 featurettes:

    1. Birth of the creeps - 10 minutes
    2. Cast of the creeps - 16 minutes
    3. Creating the creeps - 10 minutes
    4. Escape of the creeps - 11 minutes
    5. Legend of the creeps - 11 minutes

  • (HD) Tom Atkins: Man of action - 19 minute interview/featurette

  • Trivia track

  • Original theatrical trailer

  • (HD) BD Previews:

    1. Hell boy
    2. Ghostbusters
    3. Men in black
    4. Close encounters of the third kind

  • BD-Live enabled

Final Thoughts:

Night of the creeps is justifiably considered a cult classic that cleverly pays tribute to both horror and sci-fi genre B movies by blending them together using an overtly throwback/campy narrative that will probably only appeal to those who can appreciate it. True to form Sony brings this long awaited fan favorite to Blu-ray Disc offering high quality video and a surprisingly solid DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix. The supplied bonus supplements delve deep into the production, as told by the cast/crew, includes deleted scenes and the film's original theatrical ending. This is a highly recommend and fan friendly package for those who enjoy and appreciate its value.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

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post #2 of 3 Old 10-29-2009, 10:03 AM
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Night of the creeps is justifiably considered a cult classic that cleverly pays tribute to both horror and sci-fi genre B movies...

Absolutely! Thanks for the review. Will pick up.

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post #3 of 3 Old 10-31-2009, 10:40 AM
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I never saw it but I'm curious. A tough upcoming month's worth of new releases I'm really looking forward to perhaps for me to get to it even as a rental but I'll do my best. Thanks for the review.
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