Release Date: May 1, 1987
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Fantasy
Director: Michael Gornick
Writers: Stephen King (Stories), George A. Romero (Screenplay)
Starring: George Kennedy, Tom Savini, Domenick John, Lois Chiles, Dorothy Lamour
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
We’re only a week away until Halloween (my favorite holiday of the year). As you could tell by the reviews that have been released this month, they are all horror related reviews. If you were reading Guilty Pleasure Cinema Review last year I did a special called Guiltiest Pleasure Horror Movies! This time around I tried to find some unique movies to review and discuss. For this week’s review I chose a movie that gets overlooked but has had a resurgence due to the new original series being played on Shudder.
What am I talking about? Of course, I’m referring to Creepshow! The original film from the team of Stephen King and George Romero which was an anthology film based on the old Tales From The Crypt EC Comic series from the 50s was a huge success with its frightening stories, amazing makeup and special effects and its macabre sense of humor. The television series on Shudder has been a big success as well as it returns to the look and feel of the original movie. Not many people realized there were not one, but two film sequels that were made. Unfortunately, Creepshow 3 is absolute garbage and is ranked among the worst horror movies ever made, so I chose to review Creepshow 2!
While the original film had five stories, Creepshow 2 shrinks the number down to three with animated wrap around segments featuring The Creep, which is voiced and played physically in the beginning by make up effects legend Tom Savini (whom also worked on the original film). The first story in the movie, Old Chief Wood’nhead stars screen legends George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour who play an elderly couple who run a general store that has a giant cigar store Native American “Old Chief Woodenhead” who guards the front then comes to life after thieves rob the store and kill the owners. The second story The Raft is about a group of college kids who go swimming in a lake that has a wooden raft in the middle. As they head to the raft, a floating black blob emerges and surrounds the kids as they reach the raft. After one of them is engulfed by the blob and dies, the rest are trapped on the raft trying to figure out how to get away from the blob before it consumes the rest of them. The final story in the film is titled The Hitch-Hiker, where an adulterous businesswoman, played by Lois Chiles who quickly tries to get back home before her husband does to avoid suspicion that she’s been at her lover’s house. She slips on a corner and kills a hitchhiker on the road. She leaves the area not helping the hitchhiker and continues to race home only to be followed by the hitchhiker at every turn.
Michael Gornick takes over directorial duties from George Romero for the sequel and Stephen King returns to write the stories and the interludes (he even appears in a cameo). While Creepshow 2 is not as memorable nor iconic as the first movie, its satisfactory to those who like these kinds of movies. There’s plenty of gory moments, laughable dialogue and brings a moral framework to the stories. The animated interludes bring a new layer to the film series.
The special effects and makeup work in Creepshow 2 is passable, but it doesn’t match up to the work that Savini did in the fist movie (no one can, Savini is the master) . The movement of Old Chief Wood’nhead is authentic, and his facial expressions are slightly creepy. The blob in The Raft looked like they stretched out a black trash bag and had it float around, but the effects team gives it life through strings of tar as it pulls its victims into the water and the victim melts into nothingness. There’s plenty of blood along with some creative kills most notably in the first story. Ed French was the original effects artist but left due to a falling out he had with Gornick. Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero replaced him. Nicotero is currently the executive producer of the Shudder series and has directed a couple of the episodes. No doubt his work on this film help get him this role.
The stories themselves are slightly distinguishable, but I felt there should’ve been more of a variety. You essentially had all three stories of some kind of monster whether it was a ghost, creature or in this case the human beings. The Raft was actually an original short story written by King that was featured in the adult magazine Gallery back in 1982. This was my personal favorite of the three stories. The blob is reminiscent of an oil slick and King was influenced by pollution in the environment and the effects that it has on our earth.
Finally, the acting. While the first film had a barrage of familiar faces, there’s only a few established actors in this sequel. I’m always thrilled to see George Kennedy in a movie. He plays the friendly compassionate store owner in the first story which is a role that suits him well. Lois Chiles, best known as Bond girl Holly Goodhead was a surprise in the film thinking this was something out of her league, but she did a fine job as the sexaholic businesswoman Anne Lansing. My favorite performance of the movie comes from Holt McCallany who plays Sam Whitemoon in Old Chief Wood’nhead. He’s the leader of the group who ransack the general store and kill the owners. He’s detestable but has quite a few memorable lines which you’ll hear in the audio clips below.
I would have to say that Creepshow 2 is a movie strictly for the fans. For those who haven’t seen the original movie, I highly recommend watching that first before moving on to this film and the television series. While more could’ve been done in this particular film, it’s a satisfactory sequel. It would rank in my Top 10 Horror Anthology movies with its predecessor undoubtedly claiming the top spot.
Stay tuned next week as there will be one more horror film to be presented before Halloween on Guilty Pleasure Cinema Review!
- Daniel Beer, who played Randy in the segment, “The Raft”, almost died from hypothermia, the water was so cold, his body turned green. The crew wanted him to continue acting, but Director Michael Gornick said if they get him to keep working, he will walk off the set and never return. So they took him to the hospital, and he made a full recovery, and completed the segment of “The Raft”.
- Dorothy Lamour’s last film (segment “Old Chief Wood’nhead”).
- Make-up Artist Ed French left the film amidst the filming of “The Raft”, after being snubbed by Director Michael Gornick, who turned to Howard Berger for advice on how to fix the blob monster in the lake. Berger and Greg Nicotero finished the remaining effects in the film without French.
- David Holbrook appeared in the segment “Old Chief Wood’nhead”. His father, Hal Holbrook, starred in Creepshow (1982) (segment “The Crate”).
- Barbara Eden was originally cast as the hit-and-run driver Annie Lansing during the last segment, “The Hitch-Hiker”; but had to drop out prior to filming, due to her mother falling ill.
- Much of the soundtrack was performed by legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman of the English prog-rock band Yes.
- CAMEO: Stephen King: The truck driver in “The Hitchhiker” segment.
Jimmy Crack Corn
Shove This In His Mouth
Why Don’t You Run Us Out Of Town?
This Hair Is Gonna Get Me Paid And Laid
Venus Fly Trap Bulb
Balls Are Going To Turn Into Ice Cubes
Don’t Tip The Raft
It’s An Oil Slick
I’m Gonna Smoke You
I Counted Six Orgasms
That Really Is Impossible
I Went To Get Laid, George
You’re Seeing Things Bitch
Thanks For The Ride, Lady
Time For This Boogeyman To Boogey