A boy is heavily berated by his strict father for reading
what he calls "horror trash", and throws the Creepshow
horror comic into the dustbin - where it begins to tell its
(1982) is an anthology of Stephen King light-hearted horror
tales, linked by the story of a boy and his E.C. comic. The
director is George Romero, veteran of many a horror film and
mostly known for his zombie features. Make-up special effects
are by Tom Savini, who also plays a garbage man in the film's
brief concluding link, Voodoo Doll. Creepshow
is a nice idea, but it looks extremely dated and only two
of the segments are actually of sufficient quality to deserve
to be here. Like the recently reviewed Nightmares
and Dreamscapes, it's as if Stephen King had
to create his own outlet for the short stories he couldn't
place elsewhere. I'm sure that's not the case, because some
people would buy his shopping list if he published it, but
that's the impression you get.
Father's Day, a domineering, ever-demanding Nathan
Gratham was finally killed by his daughter Bedelia, with the
aid of a marble ashtray, on Father's Day years before as he
screamed for his cake. Every year since, the relatives gather
together in the same house, after the now elderly Bedelia
has visited the graveyard. This year she is reunited with
Nathan, as he returns from the grave still determined to have
his cake. This tale is supposed to be humorous but there are
only two moments of note: the final scene which is nicely
done, and accomplished actor Ed Harris in an early role, in
which he is hilarious as he dances with his character's wife,
twitching as if he has an involuntary spasm.
The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, a backwards farmer
sees a meteor fall and plans to sell it. However, the rock
breaks open and he, along with his ramshackle house, is quickly
taken over by a plant-like organism. Screenplay writer Stephen
King plays the protagonist in an infuriatingly childish manner.
I do like the ending in which you see the plant growths spreading
out down the road, as if on their way to the next town. This
segment more than any other hits humour over the head to the
point of silliness.
Something to Tide You Over, a cheated husband organises
a terrible fate for his wife and her lover. He buries the
other man up to his neck in sand as the tide comes in, and
leaves a TV with a camera link so that the doomed man can
watch his lover die further along the beach. However, the
young lovers literally turn the tide on the aggressor. This
is probably the best of the bunch, with Ted Danson and Leslie
Nielsen turning in sterling performances in an edgy little
thriller which could so easily have been an episode of Columbo.
When the Nielsen character drives home and fixes himself a
drink, laughing as he watches the monitor link to the beach,
it's a genuinely humorous chuckle which you get caught up
in - when it could so easily have felt false. It reminds me
of that inexplicably deleted scene in scary movie in which
a character thinks he is watching a TV film of a female victim
being chased by a killer and banging on the front door - unaware
it is a security camera he is watching. Sea zombies, if anything,
needlessly send-up what has gone before.
The Crate, when a college janitor discovers a crate
marked Arctic Expedition 1836, he calls a professor and together
they open it and unwittingly release a terrifying and ferocious
creature. When the janitor is killed and devoured, the hysterical
professor calls on a colleague who sees this as the perfect
way to rid himself of his embarrassing and outspoken wife.
This is by far the most well-known story from Creepshow's
cannon, but only through the impressive creature creation.
In truth, this is the only segment aside from Tide worth
watching. Hal Holbrook is convincing as the scheming colleague,
and it's testament to Adrienne Barbeau's acting ability that
she can be such a bitch here after being a sultry young mum
in John Carpenter's The
They're Creeping Up On You, a miserly old business
tycoon stays locked away in his expensive pristine apartment,
fretting about bugs. The widow of one of his employees threatens
him over the phone, blaming him for her husband's suicide.
In fact, he has no heart and is evil and malicious to everyone.
But the continually put upon maintenance man finds the root
of the old man's weakness. This segment is a load of tosh,
and a complete waste of time. It's so uninspiring that the
film would have been improved by leaving it out.
features on the second disc comprise a commentary with director
George A. Romero and make-up effects creator Tom Savini; Tom
Savini's behind-the-scenes footage (which is pretty slow);
a trailer; stills gallery; deleted scenes; and Just Desserts:
The Making of Creepshow. This last is quite fascinating
and gains an extra point by itself.