OHC – Slimy Wormys from Outer Space (and Gremlins)!

The October Horror Challenge is officially over, but there’s still a couple of blog posts left to write up, and even a podcast to record, so don’t run away yet. All kinds of wrapping up to do, but until then, here comes a duo of horror flicks about space slugs and a bonus review of a time-honored classic. Shall we?

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The Deadly Spawn (1983) – FTV
Directed by Douglas McKeown

When a meteor containing a worm creature that seems to be made of little more than heads with thousands of teeth crash lands on Earth, all hell breaks loose and it’s up to a plucky group of teenagers to save the world. Of course. The film offers little innovation to the space invasion subgenre, although there is a lot of really gross gore and a nice cheap-n-sleazy feel. The Deadly Spawn was apparently made to cash in on the success of Ridley Scott’s Alien, although it comes nowhere near the greatness of that particular film. Then again, when you’re watching a movie with massive space slugs that have several rows of teeth and not much of a plot, it’s not fair to expect greatness. This is the best kind of film, however, to watch with a group of friends and a case or two of beer. In fact, I’d have to watch it again in such a setting, because otherwise, I found myself too distracted by other things (the internet, mostly) to be able to really focus on the film. A second try didn’t fare much better. Ah well.

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Night of the Creeps (1986) – FTV
Directed by Fred Dekker

Now this, this is how you make a movie about critters invading from space. Crossing multiple subgenres and seamlessly blending horror and comedy, Night of the Creeps is definitely one of the highlights of this year’s Challenge. The film is mostly concerned with two college freshmen and their attempts to get dates for an upcoming dance, when a zombie invasion fueled by alien brain slugs threatens their plans. Add a washed up, wisecracking alcoholic detective (Tom Atkins in a role that seems tailor-made for him) who’s still mourning the ax murder of his ex-girlfriend, and it’s magic.

(insert obvious quote here. come on, you all know the one)

It’s easy to see what makes Night of the Creeps so popular among horror buffs – it’s entertaining as hell, endlessly quotable, and populated with a cast that genuinely seems to enjoy what they’re doing, not to mention all the horror references bandied about. Even when the film falters, the no-holds-barred, entertain at all costs spirit makes it easy to overlook any possible faults. Frankly, I’m a little sad that it took so long for me to get around to seeing this one, but I am thrilled (heh) to have finally watched it. Late to the party again. Par for the course. Anyhow, this gives me an opportunity to post one of my favorite images from the first HorrorHound Weekend I attended:

Yeah. He thrilled me.

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Bonus review:

Gremlins (1984)
Directed by Joe Dante

A hapless inventor finds the perfect gift for his son in a little creature called a Mogwai, but this isn’t the new family dog. There are three very important rules to owning a Mogwai: keep it out of bright lights, don’t get it wet, and never – NEVER – feed it after midnight. Of course, since there’s a movie to be had here, the rules are swiftly broken and all hell breaks loose. It seems that getting the Mogwai wet makes it spawn, and feeding the spawn after midnight turns them into horrid, slimy creatures that are bent on total mayhem and destruction. Gremlins is a classic in horror comedy, and wildly popular even today. It boosted Joe Dante into the limelight and opened the merchandising floodgates beyond belief. In my memory, this was one of the first films to have so much crossover merchandising, from toys to video games to even cereal. It’s another film embedded in our collective consciousness, especially if you’re a child of the 80s.

raise your paw if you can both name this little guy and sing the theme song

If you were anything like me, you probably wanted your own Mogwai at some point. Come on. Admit it.

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Coming soon: a mini-marathon hosted by friends, yet another Frankenstein film, and Halloween classics!

Views so far:
27 FTVs
16 repeat views
43 total

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