The 13th Floor

“Thrill Me.” All Our #RESPECT Goes To Tom Atkins In NIGHT OF THE CREEPS

You know what? It’s probably about time we showed a little respect to the man, the myth, the legend – the one and only Tom Atkins.

And let’s be honest here. This is going to be the first of several times he’s going to be featured in this column, because he’s so darned awesome and lovable in a handful of genre titles. So for starters? Let’s go with Detective Ray Cameron from Fred Dekker’s 1986 cult classic NIGHT OF THE CREEPS!

“Thrill me.”

That’s normally the first thing we hear out of Cameron’s mouth anytime he enters a scene and for that alone, he’s already won this “respect” column. He would also get it solely for his introduction into the movie. It’s during a dream sequence where we see Atkins… err… I mean, Cameron living up the good life on the beach. Seriously, look at this pimp…

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But alas, that’s just a pipe dream. His dream shifts to that dreadful evening back in ’59 when he saw his beloved hacked up with an axe by a “creep” zombie. The more we learn about Cameron, the more he unfolds as one of the most deeply troubled and complex characters Atkins has ever played. Definitely the darkest character to appear in this otherwise fun and vibrant tribute to B-movie Sci-Fi classics.

There’s one point where it appears as if Cameron is getting ready to end it all. (Like I said… DARK!) But he realizes he’s still needed when Chris (Jason Lively) informs him that “they got Alfalfa.” (“They” being the aliens, and Alfalfa being his best friend J.C.) That’s when he’s called back into action and knows it’s up to him to stop this evil.

It gives him time to spout out one more classic one liner for the history books. “I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here. The bad news? They’re dead.” 

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At the end of the climactic battle in the dorm house, when it becomes obvious that the alien slugs are incubating in the basement, he decides he’s going to go out kamikaze style, and take those alien bastards with him. It’s an epic, selfless act – the stuff heroes are made of.

For that, Detective Ray Cameron… and Mister Tom Atkins for just being awesome in everything…

You’ve earned this hashtag.