Movie Review: Night of The Creeps (1986)

There’s something so pleasing to me about 80’s cheese horror. I don’t know if it reminds me of shite my babysitters used to let me watch or if it’s just the overall aesthetic, frequent partial nudity, the inevitable jock vs. nerd duality,or the awesome female characters who always seem to pop up.

In this CLASSIC film, directed by Fred Dekker (Monster Squad, Robocop 3) we flashback to 1959 on Sorority Row. Masterfully pulled off in black and white. It’s only slightly tongue in cheek when a blonde bombshell out for a ride with her date, Johnny. Johnny hears a noise and goes to investigate. Which is where the alien brainslug turns him into a murderous zombie.

Night of the Creeps_1

In 1986, two dweebs pledging a fraternity so that a former Griswold can have a chance with his dream girl find the cryogenically frozen corpse of Johnny. The are supposed to dump to corpse on the steps of another fraternity. Instead, they freak out- but still unthaw the corpse and the brainslug is passed on to a new host and soon the whole campus is in peril ..and so is Chris’s dream girl. The original zombie peeps on Cynthia and Det. Cameron is called in. Cameron (Tom Atkins, who is is still making films and starred in 1951’s Thing From Another World) had helped take down a zombie axemurderer in 1959.


Tongue in cheek nods abound to horror greats throughout the film, including the character’s names. Sgt Raimi (Sam Raimi), Chris Romero (George, obviously), JC Hooper (named for both James Cameron and Tobe Hooper).

Cynthia joins team nerd after uberjock fratbro trips the physically disabled JC. JC is my favorite character, he’s picked on for his physical abilities but he’s more self assured than Chris, he’s a great wing man, he stares down the cool kids, he doesn’t take shit from anyone and he lights a brain slug on fire without hesitation. Shortly after Cynthia recounts seeing a zombie’s head explode and slugs crawl out to Chris, JC gets turned. But instead of turning murderous: he fries himself and his brainslugs, before he does he leaves a tape for Chris explaining brainslugs, telling him that he loves him and good luck with Cynthia.

Meanwhile, the cops are zombie hunting. Det. Cameron confronts the original with a venomous, “I already killed you. You son of a bitch I already killed you.”

Chris meets up with the Detective and gives him the news. Then they head out to the homecoming party with flame throwers, Chris hands Cynthia a 12 gauge saying “Hold this, you’ll feel better.” Then they switch and Chris shoots and Cynthia lights ’em up. Going from near catatonic to certified badass with relative ease.


The ensuing scenes are GOLD. Flame throwers made out of cigarettes and hairspray, running a zombie over with lawn mower, “It’s Miller Time”, infected science experiments. Nothing groundbreaking here, but damn if this isn’t enjoyable as all hell.


Book Review #24- End Dayz by Kellie Sheridan

For those of you who haven’t read my Follow Friday post this is one of these moments


This isn’t a book so much as it is 4 “short stories” or rather 4 character introductions for a The Hitchhiker Strain novel. Which I wasn’t aware of at first. The chapters are written as letters or journal entries by the characters.

Pierce writes letters to his girlfriend in London. Belle writes in her diary. Alex leaves notes for his dad. Zack writes an official “report.”

The stories are short and rather unoriginal. The zombies start out shambling and slow and dumb, but the zombies start becoming faster, more savage and smarter. Which might be interesting but it’s really been done to death.

They’re so short that there’s no real time to get to know the characters, but at quick glimpse… they stink. Pierce is boring, Belle is young and helpless, Alex has potential, so does Zack, but really… nothing out of the ordinary.

1 zombie moan

Extinction Parade #1

Max Brooks (author of World War Z) wrote this very interesting comic about a vampire trio off on an adventure during a zombie plague apparently zombies come around here and the throughout the course of time usually without issue. The vamped call them the “subdead” and mock how slow and clumsy the zombies are and wonder how they could have caused so much trouble.
The art is awesome. And by awesome ..I mean totally disgusting. Zombies with jaws ripped off and tongues lolling about., legs torn apart and stomped into the ground… blood everywhere.

One vampire has the urge to see a zombie up close so up close that she stumbles into him. Vampires being capable so sudden movements and rational thought the lone zombie doesn’t stand a chance! The last panel promises “now I .understood why zombies were such a joke. But I had no idea that soon the joke would be on us.”

A strong debut. Nothing earthshatteringly interesting, but the art is beyond awesome. It’s gross and violent and very detailed.

QUESTION: in one panel the 3 vampires are discussing whether or not zombies can swim. What do you think?

Continue reading

Books, Brains and Blood Read-a-thon Reading List

Once again, my Summer Reading List could beat up your Summer Reading List.

The OFFICIAL Time Wants a Skeleton Reading List for the Vampires vs. Zombies reading challenge.



V-Wars by Jonathan Maberry

Undead are a Joke (part 1) by Chris Denmead


Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

End Dayz by Kellie Sheridan

When Graveyards Yawn by G. Wells Taylor 


Check back for Vamps vs. Zombies updates August 2-6th! Maybe I’ll read some Buffy comics, there are “zompires” there. It’s true.

Movie Review #6- Detention of the Dead

Ever wonder what it would be like if the Breakfast club was set during a zombie plague? 

(wait, that actually doesn’t sound so bad)

How about some added fart jokes and bad acting?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. 



The cliches (I mean characters!), all meet in detention. The nerd has a crush on the cheerleader, the goth chick has a crush on him. The cheerleaders boyfriend is a bully who along with the jock tortures the nerd. The stoner apparently has no interaction with anyone before this day. Willow, the goth, is watching the George Romero classic, Night of the Living Dead when some random students gets zombified from a bite on his hand. Then some how there’s zombies all over the school. Some of the zombies are fast, some are slow, and all are oozing black stuff from their mouths. 

There’s a ton of juvenile humor, stoner jokes, a love triangle that is… well… not so compelling. And the cliches. The toughest kids always crack during the z-poc. Someone gets bit and doesn’t ‘fess up. They just hang out like a ticking time bomb. There’s a zombie rat that was particularly bizarre. One of the funniest parts was the stoner taunting the decapitated zombie head of the teacher that gave them all detention (yes, the decapitated head is still alive. yes, this makes no sense)… but mostly the humor is beyond immature, fart jokes, crotch grabbing, a zombie eating someone’s butt. And so many scenes that were Breakfast Club rip offs … WHY?! there were also references to Rocky Horror Picture Show and Night of the Living Dead. Which begs the question… who is this movie trying to impress? The jokes seemed tailored for middle schoolers who wouldn’t understand the classic references. Who is this movie for? I don’t know.

Eh, this movie gets 1.5 brains… which is the amount of brains all the characters had combined.

This movie was reviewed by me & Dr. Chris on Radio of Horror!

Hooray! I’m the new co-host! Radio of Horror has a facebook and we are having a giveaway right now, too. So give me your likes!

It’s Vampires & Zombies

Well, it’s later than I said I’d stay up. Blogging, no less. <– This punctuation is terrible. I’m tired.

And yet, I have found that in August there is a Books, Brains and Blood blog hop, read-a-thon and giveaway.

Yes, kids, the magic word is zombie. (and vampire, but they’re not my favorite.)

This is the same week end as Boston Comic-con, which I’m probably going to. I think hopefully (I WILL GO, NO ONE CAN STOP ME). So when/what/how I’m going to read anything… I don’t know, but I will make this work. Or I’ll turn into a zombie myself.


I think I might have a giveaway… I’ve never had one…

Anyway check over here to see it explained in some less muddled way: My Shelf Confessions

Book Review #20- Hunger Chronicles by Tes Hilaire

It’s about zombies. 


Imminent Contact: The narrator is a woman. A tough woman. A tough woman who is SCREWED

End of the Rope: 17 year old emo kid misses her brother, hunts with a bow and arrow.

Two’s Company: Instead of man vs. zombie this is man vs. man. Or man & dog vs. men. Yeah that’s accurate.

The Fittest: Ooooh this one was my favorite. The protagonist was… something else. 

Anyway, the voice and tone of each story is drastically different. The author did a great job telling a few different stories from the z-poc. From to the young to the grizzled to those with no other choice. Fun read. There’s no back story given, just that there is a z-virus and plague zombies. 

Why do all teenage girls have bows and arrows? Someone should at least write it as “I took up archery because the Hunger Games was so cool” because really, there’s no plausible excuse. Maybe it’s just because I live in the city and I’m vegan and I think prevalence of bows and arrows is being greatly exaggerated.

Irregardless! 4 Brains!

Free right now!

Book Review #18- Zombies Don’t Play Soccer by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones

I tutor a 1st grader in reading and writing and I picked this book because he plays soccer. And I like zombies. And it was on his summer reading list. This book is #15 in the Bailey School Kids series, Others books in the series include: Werewolves don’t go to Summer Camp, Skeletons Don’t Play Tubas and Aliens Don’t Wear Braces.



The mains characters are Eddie (a prankster), Howie (team player), Liza (timid, less sporty) and Melody (star player). Eddie puts vinegar in the soccer coach’s water bottle and the coach quits, the school hires Coach Graves to whip the team in to shape. After a rigorous practice an old woman shows up to convince Coach Graves to quit. When she refuses the old woman puts a curse on her! Then next day Coach Graves is in a trance and sleeping in a grave!

How are the Bailey Boomers supposed to win against the tough Sheldon Shooters with their coach zombified?

5 Soccer Balls! Excellent choice for 6-8 year olds. Great message about how to work together to solve your problems. Even if your problem is a zombie problem.

Girl Power in the Zombie Apocalypse

So, Alyisha over at ThePookaPicks gave me a tip about not one but two ultra-rad reading challenges.

The Feminist Reads Challenge & The Zombie Challenge.


And, you know, I like to go big or go home. So I’m going for 4 Chomps (24 Zombie books in 2013). An 10+ Feminist books. Honestly, the feminist challenge seems harder to me, if you have read what I think about the Hunger Games… I frequently think things could have more girl power. And I judge them harshly. A girl thinking she is better than other girls because she acts more like man is not getting me a feminist utopia. Period. And honestly the way some authors have their main characters be superior to all other women, I wonder if they have any friends at all.

However if you’re doing these challenges, or a challenge, or should be doing them:

I suggest Mira Grant’s Newsflesh Trilogy. I only read the first 2 so far. But Georgia, Becks, Magdelena, Buffy and the Doctor in the Octopuss Shirt who’s name I forgot all bring some serious girl power against a CRAZY government/CDC conspiracy involving corpse munchers.

And Born by Tara Brown in which a girl becomes BFFs with a wolf, AND goes without human contact for a DECADE while dodging scary plague zombies and even scarier government agents AND still has better social skills than most female protags.

Here’s some tunes to get you in the mood zombie killers.

*PS- You can get Zombie Hunter Velma on a T-shirt

Book Review #12- Down These Strange Streets edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

I enjoy these types of collections for the variety, for leading me towards interesting authors that I might not commit to a whole book by without getting a taste first. And, in this compilation, I re-discovered an author that I enjoy tons, and should have been reading more of his works.


I didn’t finish all the stories, but the book went back to the library. Some of them didn’t catch my attention. It happens.

“Death by Dahlia” by Charlaine Harris Dahlia, who is a vampire and her friends (mostly vampires) live in a mansion. They are getting a new leader and there’s a party/.ceremony and werewolves, human blood donors and demons are invited. Then there is a murder! And Dahlia is somewhat of an amateur detective and is selected by the new leader to investigate! Honestly, I’m under the impression this fits in somewhere with some other Dahlia lore that I haven’t read. As a stand alone story, it’s useless. Why do I care about all these werewolves? Why do I need to know about a half-demon Dahlia used to date? I don’t! It should have been a regular murder mystery without all these weird side characters.

“The Bleeding Shadow” by Joe R Lansdale Even more unfortunate for Charlaine… She was followed up by this tale. A coworker/horror enthusiaist gave me a copy of The Bottoms by Joe R Lansdale 7ish years ago and I frigging loved it, then I bought myself Mad Dog Summer (a collection of his short stories) and I loved that too.

From the first paragraph of “The Bleeding Shadow”, I knew I was going to like it: “I was down at the Blue Light Joint that night, finishing off some ribs and listening to the blues, when in walked Alma May. She was looking good too. Had a dress on that fit her the way a dress ought to fit every woman in the world.” Alma May, makes her living as a prostitute, Richard (main protagonist and narrator) is sweet on her and wishes she had a wealthy man to take care of her. He’s not that man. But he does some detective work, some private eye type stuff on the side, and Alma May asks for his help. It seems her brother, a blues musician, has sent her this record, starts out; it’s the best music she’d ever heard him play… and it makes the shadows come creep out of walls, the hair on your neck stand up and the air getting inside your chest feel like mice wearing barbed wire coats.

Now the alarms in my head from the moment Alma May said “blues musician” I was already screaming, “Robert Johnson! Deal with the devil! Cross roads!” And I wasn’t wrong. Lansdale’s gritty writing style, like Dashiell Hammet telling you a campfire story, makes it gross and wonderful. Got my attention and kept it right away.

“Hungry Heart” by Simon R Green This was a good story, another Private I., hired by a witch to find her heart and the man who stole it, literally. Takes place in a bright colorful world where even side characters have rad powers, ie; Gunboy who can shoot with a conceptual gun (his fingers), awesome.

“Styx and Stones” by Steven Saylor

“Pain and Suffering” by SM Sterling

“It’s Still the Same Old Story” by Carrie Vaughn Carrie Vaughn’s most popular works are the Kitty Norville series (she’s a werewolf) I’ve only read the first in that series, on a 3 day long stint on a greyhound bus bound for SoCal. I also read a couple Harlequin romance novels, really silly shit with farm hands and billionaires.

This story is nothing like that. It’s about a vampire named Rick (and/or Ricardo) who made a friend named Helen in 1947. Helen made deliveries for the Mafia and ended up witnessing something she shouldn’t have. When Helen turns up dead suddenly, shot at over 90 years old, Rick looks into it ahead of a detective who knows good and well what he is. It’s told through flashbacks to the 1940s and present day. Good read.

“The Lady is a Screamer” by Conn Iggulden A story about a conman who was never going to be a good man but didn’t want to be a complete fake. He made money hustling widows out of money with phony psychic readings. It sounds worse than it is, he always left them with a smile on their face, gave them some piece of mind about their dead lovers. One day he gets a call, someone wants him to remove a spirit from her house. He charges her an outrageous fee, makes his plan to burn some feathers and chant some Mickey Mouse. But the he gets there and meets the Lady, a spirit who won’t stop blowing in his ear, and sets out to be a ghostbuster. Very funny, a little sad, a clever tale.

“Hellbender” by Laurie R King Excellent story. A Grad student whips up some modified embryos containing a mixture of human and salamander DNA. A right wing Christian group declares that these are “people” “babies” “God’s creations” and enlist female church members to carry the embryos to term. The resulting children are SalaMen. Some of them look more like salamanders than others, some regenerate better than others, most undergo a surgery to make them look human. One of these creatures uncovers a plot by rogue geneticists to capture and run tests on the SalaMen to benefit humans at large. This one was well told, another private eye story, not as much swagger as Lansdale, but all in all; a really well told Sci-Fi story that combines elements of both religious fanaticism and bioethics gone awry.

“Shadow Thieves” by Glen Cook

“No Mystery, No Miracle” by Melinda M Snodgrass

“The Difference Between a Puzzle and A Mystery” by MLN Hanover

“The Curious Affair of the Deodand” by Lisa Tuttle

“Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” by Diana Gabaldon This is the first story a turned to, It was one of the stories advertised on the back cover. It’s 3x longer than most of the other stories. Set in Jamaica in olden times when people came over on ships with sails. It doesn’t fit my definition of Urban Fiction, and it moved very slowly.

“Beware the Snake” by John Maddox Roberts

“In Red, With Pearls” by Patricia Briggs A werewolf Private Investigator! A zombie assassin! These are all my favorite things! The werewolf PI teams up with an interesting couple of witches to find out who is trying to assassinate his lawyer boyfriend (that’s right. They are in a healthy same-sex relationship. They face discrimination. Because the real world has fucked up shit, not any of this, ‘they discriminate against me because I’m a werewolf’ hoo-ha). This one was fun, some other stories had a more serious tone, this one was funny, but very smart and interesting. Definitely one of my favorites in the collection. In fact, *ding ding ding* Patricia Briggs wins! What does she win? Me, starting the Mercy Thompson series.

“The Adakian Eagle” by Bradley Denton