‘Slither’ Is NOT A Remake Of ‘Night Of The Creeps’!!

Slither_Banner_6_2_13

Over the weekend I got into a debate with Lonmonster and Mr. Disgusting on Twitter. It all started when Lonnie asserted that Slither was a remake of Night Of The Creeps and pretty soon we got into discussing which one of them might be the better film. A lot of folks I respect have mentioned the Creeps vs. Slither thing to me over the years, so I figured I’d finally weigh in with my thoughts here.

First of all (and with all due respect to my colleagues), I’d like to say that Slither is in no way a remake of Night Of The Creeps. Yes, I will concede the point that the biology of the slug creatures is quite similar (especially when you consider the fact that they “possess” people). Aside from that though, I don’t see a whole lot of similarity. The slugs in James Gunn’s film are part of a host of creatures that all tie into the consciousness of the creature that has taken hold of Michael Rooker’s Grant Grant. While the slug induced infections in both films threaten world domination, the psychology of the creatures is wildly different. The creature inside Grant Grant is a world conqueror, we see through its memories that it has effortlessly toppled more feral planets. But the stumbling block on Earth is that it has to confront one of the elements that makes us well… human. Love.

Grant Grant is feeling love for the first time, which is ultimately his undoing. When he makes love with Starla (Elizabeth Banks), he cries tears of joy at this utterly unfamiliar feeling. Of course he’s still going to be the world conquering creature that he is (and he kills plenty of people in the film) but his affection for Starla is palpable enough to be his downfall. In a way he’s a malevolent, viral, version of King Kong. And the blonde is his weakness.

After that the differences between the two films become even more vast. Night Of The Creeps is more of a collegiate romp, whereas Slither remarkably makes a vast canvas out of a small town. By shifting protagonists in each act, we’re allowed to spend considerable time with the residents of Wheelsy. From cops to farm families, adults to children, rich to poor, politicians to trailer trash. In fact, it seems as though we don’t see any college age characters, a demographic that populates the vast majority of the Creeps cast (Tom Atkins deservedly legendary performance aside).

And, while I love Night Of The Creeps, I’d have to argue that Slither is overall the better film. Both of them are underrated horror comedies, but Slither really sticks the landing. It’s my feeling that Creeps sort of loses momentum at the end. Around the time J.C. tragically checks out (an admirably bold move that unfortunately serves to undercut the fun vibe of the film) I begin to feel my interest waning somewhat. The image of Chris and Cindy armed with a shotgun and flamethrower outside the sorority house is a great one, but the actual payoff of the sequence is sort of slight.

Slither, on the other hand is able to keep us invested all the way until the end credits. Starla offering herself to the monstrous Grant Grant in the name of saving their marriage emotionally reinvests us before the final, violent showdown. The image of the encroaching “zombies” dropping suddenly when their link to Grant’s consciousness is terminated is fantastic. And the final shot of Starla, Bill and Tania limping away is incredibly satisfying.

Both films are great horror comedies, and I wouldn’t fault anyone for disagreeing with me, but Slither sticks to my ribs more. And it’s most certainly not a remake. Disagree? Have a preference? Vote in the poll below!

  • violentdope

    Night of the creeps is classic..got it on blu ray..slither is great too but I prefer creeps..

  • SkullBunnie

    First off id like to say that i think both movies are overrated and kind of shitty (i know im apparently the only horror fan who thinks so) but you are right. Slither is not a remake of Night of the Creeps….its a remake of Squirm.

  • SkullBunnie
    • djblack1313

      SkullBunnie, the link doesn’t work. :(

  • Sephit

    So Slither isn’t a remake of Creeps?! jk man good article and I agree that I enjoyed Slither more than Creeps although Creeps is fun in it’s own right.

  • djblack1313

    i like both films a lot but CREEPS wins for me. yes, technically (cinematography, fx work, etc) SLITHER is the better movie but there’s just something about CREEPS that is way more engaging. i think it’s maybe that the characters in CREEPS are more likable (not that they weren’t in SLITHER). for example i actually felt bad/sad when J.C. got killed/taken over.

    but both films SEEM more similar that what Evan laid out. i’m just happy we have both films to choose from. creature features are severely underused (especially well done creature features).

  • Beanis

    I recently rewatched Slither and I still don’t love it. I don’t know if it’s the pacing, some of the CG or what but it doesn’t sit right with me. Night of the Creeps has it’s issues too but I find the 80s cheesiness and Tom Atkins performance make up for it. Using the “aliens physically invading humans” trope doesn’t make it a remake just a new take on an old idea.

  • HOAX_ARTHUR_WILMOTH

    Creeps is a classic, and was on cable 5,000 times growing up – it is part of who I am.
    Slither suffered from over-hyped fanboys who set the me up for a letdown. It was entertaining, but I can change the channel when it is on.

  • Canucklehead

    Tom Atkins gives Night of the Creeps the win by a slug

  • niuq

    I have to say… I didn’t like Slither either. It wasn’t scary. And really, was it that funny? Love Rooker, love Fillion, but Slither does nothing for me. I’m not hugs and puppies for Night of the Creeps, however, I at least enjoy it. I certainly think its better than Slither, thats for sure. I don’t know what it is, but as someone else said above, it just didn’t sit right with me.

  • Bouncy X

    not sure how anyone can think one is a remake of the other. all they have in common is the creature. thats like saying volcano was a remake of dante’s inferno because they both had volcanoes….or armageddon is a remake of deep impact because they both feature earth ending rocks heading towards us.

    its simply two movies with a similar story, happens all the time.

  • woodchuck

    GREAT FUCKING ARTICLE! I absolutely love both flicks. Night of the Creeps definitely has the whole nostalgia thing going for it, not only do I remember watching it as a kid but I remember the first time I saw the trailer on whatever late eighties VHS my dad let me pick that night! That being said, Slither is a better made film, not that I’m saying I love one over the other but a good way to tell which movie was made with a higher standard all you need to do is pay attention to the non-horror parts. My first thought watching Slither was that it seemed like an awesome cross between Night of the Creeps and Critters (or really more like Critters 2 since that one had more of the whole small town comedy aspect).

  • undertaker78

    Slither is the winner for me but Creeps is delicious, cheesy fun as well.

  • devilmaycry26

    i’ve seen both films . i seen night of the creeps with i was 7 and i went to the theater to see slither and have both films on dvd. i can see why some would say slither is a remake to night of the creeps because both creatures came from space n both are worm like n spread when they get in people. but in slither the people who get taken can still talk n those that are pregnant turn into cannibals pretty much. but in slither is more funnier. the mayor of that town was great n i busted out laughing at the things he would say lolol. in night of creeps pretty much people get taken. they face and eyes change n those creatures shoot out their mouths. that was pretty much it. i enjoyed slither more n would love if they made a part 2

  • lycan34

    I CAN’T CHOOSE!LOL BOTH ARE GOOD MOVIES AND JUST LIKE CREEPS, SLITHER IS ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING A CULT CLASSIC!

  • aka_scream

    I just can’t help but like Slither. There’s just something about it that makes me enjoy it. My boyfriend makes fun of me when I go grocery shopping because I end up buying the whole store… He always looks at me and says, “I just never knew anybody could be so hungry…” Makes me smile every time.

  • viking1983

    creeps is a classic, slither is a rather boring film but has good effects

  • bloody-ian

    They are simply Space-Slug movies…in the same way Twilight and Lost Boys both have vampires.
    As to which is better…
    Creeps Wins! It’s all because of Tom Atkins and Fred Dekker.
    Slither is a great one and the pay off is better, just as the effects are better, it came out more recently.
    It’s Creeps that has the charm, the endearing characters, and the BRADSTER. You got a problem with that?
    Thrill Me!

  • Es-meister

    I am pretty sure that Slither is a nod to the sci-fi/horror flicks from the 80′s, and not more than that. I only see it as a movie by a director that had a story that he liked and made it into a homage to the movies he grew up with, but with a stand alone story.

    This is actually an exerpt from JamesGunn.com about making Slither:

    1) ALTHOUGH 80’S MOVIES were a great inspiration for SLiTHER, I was also inspired by a horror manga by Junji Ito called UZUMAKI (The Spiral). The three volume comic is the story of an evil spiral that invades a small town in Japan. SLiTHER is basically the biological version of the evil spiral.

    2) FILMS I DREW THE MOST INSPIRATION from while writing SLiTHER: SHIVERS, RE-ANIMATOR, THE THING (remake), THE FLY (remake), TREMORS, THE BROOD, THE BLOB (original and remake), BASKET CASE, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (original and remake), RABID, EVIL DEAD II, DEAD/ALIVE, BRAIN DAMAGE, and FROM DUSK ‘TIL DAWN.

    3) Yes, it’s true: I never saw NIGHT OF THE CREEPS until after I shot SLiTHER.

    4) I WAS ALSO INSPIRED by the Universal horror films of the ‘30’s and ‘40’s. I wanted Grant Grant to long for Starla in the same way Frankenstein did for his Bride, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon did for Kay.

    I cannot see how people see it as a remake. Makes no sense at all.