Creepshow (1982)

2014-06-07 10.09.56

Well, it’s back to the collection reviews. What better way to get back on track than with the next movie alphabetically in the collection? It’s the 1980s anthology classic, Creepshow!

For the uninitiated, here’s the IMDB description :

“Inspired by the E.C. comics of the 1950s, George A. Romero and Stephen King bring five tales of terror to the screen.”

Pretty straight forward.

This 80’s delight was directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King, so you get a pretty good sense of what you’re in for just from those pieces of information.

Since that was so vague, let’s do this review a little differently, by reviewing each segment individually. Since I can’t hear you protesting, let’s get to it.

1) Father’s Day

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This first segment starts things off very strong. It lets you know exactly what kind of 80’s treasure trove you are stumbling into. Starring Ed Harris as the new beau of a rich woman with a bizarre family, this one takes place in a mansion on Father’s Day.
The reason they’re gathering for Father’s day doesn’t make a ton of sense, but I digress. Anyway, the weird rich family tells the story of crazy old aunt Bedelia who killed her father because he was an enormous douche. Now, she comes back to visit his grave and talk to it like a lunatic… for some reason. Anyways, on this particular Father’s Day, Bedelia’s crazy father comes back from the dead and lurches around murdering everyone.

It’s a genuinely enjoyable chapter, and really sets the tone for these segments really well. The acting is silly without being hard to watch, the story is quick and straight forward, and the monster effect of the father zombie is genuinely cool to look at. Overall, a good one and one of my favorites of the film.

2 ) The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill

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Another really enjoyable segment, but far goofier until its rather bleak conclusion. This one stars Stephen King in a hilarious and wonderful performance as Jordy Verrill. He finds a meteor in his back yard, accidently breaks it open, gets weird space goo everywhere and slowly starts turning into a weed.

This one has a much lighter tone than the first one, and King’s performance is really over the top and goofy. That being said, the ending of this segment shifts to a pretty dark and bleak tone and honestly, that really worked for me. There’s really not much more to this one, it carries on pretty well and is another great segment.

3 ) Something To Tide You Over

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I really love this one. This has to be the most memorable of the segments, and is easily the best of the lot. Starring Leslie Nielson and Ted Dansen, this segment follows Nielson who has learned that his wife is going to elope with Dansen, and exacts a pretty bizarre revenge. He kills them both by burying them up to their necks in sand and letting the tide do the rest. Dansen and the wife obviously come back as ocean zombies to exact their revenge on Nielsen, and he gets his comeuppance in the same way, buried up to his neck in the sand.

Nielsen plays such a great villain, we forget that he used to be a pretty serious dramatic actor. I’d have loved to see him in more roles like this one. The “eccentric murderous lunatic” character really works for me and it’s what makes this segment as good as it is. Ted Dansen is charismatic and the two of them almost look like they could be father and son or something. It’s just a great segment, and worth your time.

4 ) The Crate

CREEPSHOW [US 1982]
This one appeals to my monster-movie sensibilities and again, is a super fun segment. A janitor uncovers and old crate at the university he works at, which contains a giant monster baboon or something. Anyways, the baboon kills people, and then is thrown in a lake.

This one is also fun, and the creature effect that is the baboon monster is awesom. The actors are silly and over the top, and overall it just makes for one more great segment.

5 ) They’re Creeping Up On You

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A crotechty old asshole gets killed by cockroaches.

I don’t like this segment, it’s really unmemorable and just… doesn’t really do anything for me. The cockroaches are probably gross if you don’t handle bugs well, but it’s the weakest of the five stories. It’s not by any means bad, but it really just isn’t my favorite. Luckily, it doesn’t take away from the quality of Creepshow as a whole. Plus, all that said , the cockroach stuff is pretty gross, and his death scene is cool. It just didn’t offer up much more than that.

 

Alright, so there are the 5 segments individually, the framing device of the movie is set around a horror-loving kid and his super-dick dad (played fantastically by Tom Atkins). It’s funny, and does set everything up pretty well. The kid is a bit precocious for my taste, but that doesn’t really make a difference.

All in all, this is a genuinely fun movie, and a real slice of the 80s.  It’s not overly gory, but it’s really effective in telling these scary stories and making them work really well. It’s a fun movie and you can’t go wrong with Creepshow. Also, I know there are sequels to this, but I haven’t seen them, and so I can’t say which is best. It does seem like everyone has their favorite though.

Anyways, this one goes on my ol’ list of Classics.. so check it out!

FINAL GRADE : B+

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