With George Romero at the helm and Stephen King wielding a pen the two set out to make a film that captured the essence of the 1950’s EC comics, which were what scared the piss out of them as children. In keeping true to the comic roots the five stories (plus the wrap-around) all feature characters getting their just desserts for various misdeeds. And though some deeds are considerably worse than others (extra-marital affairs vs. being a neat freak), the fate remains the same – death. The film features a virtual cornucopia of horror and movie who’s who including: Tom Atkins, Leslie Nielsen, Adrienne Barbeau, Hal Holbrook, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, and E.G. Marshall. And legendary special effects and make-up artist Tom Savini does his thing with disturbingly gruesome results. Creepshow is a powerhouse from every angle – no doubt.
As frightening as the film plays out (this movie prevented the 9 year old version of me from sleeping many a night) there is a touch of humor that is deftly weaved in throughout each story. Sometimes the humor even comes during the deaths like in the first story about a father who really wants his cake. Seriously. Give the man a damn cake. Stephen King gives his acting talents a whirl (it’s hilarious) and ends up really wishing he wouldn’t have got “meteor sh*t” all over him which causes him to say, “Oh no. Not there.” And Leslie Nielsen, naturally, has one of the funniest and most poetic lines when he says, “I can hold my breath a long, long time.” He also takes a dig at Ted Danson’s corduroy pants that will leave you in stitches.
But mostly this a scary that teaches viewers a whole host of what not to do unless you want to die lessons. The plots are a combination of terrible ways to die. Being buried up to your neck in sand as the tide comes in. Yep, wouldn’t want that. Being attacked by a hoard of cockroaches. I think I’ll pass. Stuck in an open grave. Once again, no thanks. Savini makes sure each story reaches its most disgusting and macabre end with his effects. As a kid seeing the zombies in this film scared me. But seeing the monster featured in the story about the mysterious crate made me crawl under the covers for hours. Top notch gore.
Sure the stories are a little corny, but this is a film that is an absolute joy to watch. The comic book editing, style, and 5 original stories make Creepshow a true horror classic in every sense. I purposely didn’t write about each story individually (would have ended up with about 2,500 words), but for the record “The Crate” is my favorite followed closely by “Something to Tide you Over” and “Father’s Day.” But each vignette is worth repeated viewings – it’s simply impossible not to
like love this anthology.
Snore Factor: Z