Anthology flick inspired by E.C. comics and brought to you by George Romero and Stephen King.
Directed by – George A. Romero
Written by – Stephen King
Starring – Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, Carrie Nye, E.G. Marshall, Viveca Lindfors, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Stephen King, Warner Shook, Robert Harper, Elizbeth Regan, Gaylen Ross, Jon Lormer
There really aren’t many things better than an anthology horror flick. The cut right to the gore quickly as scenes need to be short and if one sucks there’s always a few more to make up for it. Creepshow has always been one of my favorites. Even the less than stellar segments are still entertaining and when it’s directed by Romero and written by Stephen King you know you can’t go wrong. This one puts together five separate tales that are bookended by a young boy caught reading a Creepshow comic by his dad.
The first is father returning from his grave on Father’s Day to exact revenge on the family that mistreated him. The second, and weakest in my opinion, sees Stephen King as a country hick who finds a meteor on his property which covers everything around it in plants. Third one is about a husband who buries his wife and her lover up to their necks on the beach just before high tide. The fourth one is about a creature that lives in a box under some stairs and is discovered by a professor when it eats a janitor. The professor’s friend finds a use for the creature when he realizes he can get rid of his obnoxious wife. The final one, and my favorite, is about a rich businessman obsessed with germs and bugs who meets his end when his apartment is overrun by cockroaches.
Even though some of the segments are weak it’s still a great film. With five stories compressed into feature film length it doesn’t take long to get right into the zombie, monster or bug action. Tom Savini handles the effects work and proves why he’s such a big name in the effects world. The zombie in the first short looks great and it actually made me jump when it burst out of the grave. The second short with Stephen King is more funny than scary and doesn’t exactly fit the revenge theme that runs through the other shorts. King isn’t exactly the best actor so I can see why the went the route of comedy for this one, he’s at least a funny country bumpkin.
The third short has Leslie Nielsen burying Ted Danson in the sand before high tide. I think I’ve only seen Nielsen in comedy roles so to see him as the bitter, jealous and angry husband of a cheating wife was interesting. Again, the effects here are well done when the wife and her lover return from their watery grave to get vengeance on Nielsen’s murderous husband. The fourth segment is also a little weak. The idea is good but the effects work is terrible. When one professor finds a creature in a box under some stairs he gets his friend to help him before the cops think he killed the janitor that the creature ate. His friend, Hal Holbrook has other ideas for the monster. He wants to feed his wife to it because she’s such a nagging, bitchy, obnoxious woman. He keeps having thoughts of killing her and now he’s got his chance. Why the creature looks so freaking bad is beyond me when so much other great effect work had been done.
They must have saved the best for last because the final short has always been my favorite. A rich businessman lives in his supposedly germ free apartment but he seems to be having a roach problem. Earlier in the day a rival businessman had taken his own life when he lost his company to the germaphobe tycoon and it seems that bugs have come to make him pay for his less than kind life. This one is my favorite because I hate bugs so much and the entire segment just makes my skin crawl. What starts as one little bug soon turns into thousands until the businessman meets his end swarmed by thousands of cockroaches. It’s the final part of this segment that really grosses me out as the bugs make a surprise appearance from a place I’d rather not think about!
There’s a little something for every gorehound out there in Creepshow. I think of all the horror anthology flicks that I’ve sat through, this one and its sequel are the best. I did the double feature deal with them yesterday and loved every minute of it. If you haven’t seen this one, or it’s been a long time, I think you couldn’t do better for a good night in then to watch two masters of the genre come together for one film. It’s also a good reminder that Romero just doesn’t do zombies. He also does creatures under the stairs and disgusting little bugs as well!
Under the marquee – Will