Thursday, October 10, 2019

Movie Review: "Creepshow" (1982)

Movie poster for Warner Bros. and George A. Romero's 1982 horror movie anthology "Creepshow," starring Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Stephen King
Image Source
Director: George A. Romero
Year: 1982
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours

Five horror stories are found in a discarded comic book.

Leslie Nielsen taunts Ted Danson, who is buried in the sand up to his neck, in a "Creepshow" (1982) horror movie scene
"Oh, I can hold my breath for a long, long time!" (Image Source)
Anthology films can be tough to make. Since there are so many stories, some are bound to be stinkers. "Creepshow" is directed by George A. Romero, an iconic horror director who has helmed classics such as "Night of the Living Dead," "Dawn of the Dead," and "There's Always Vanilla." The screenplay is written by Stephen King, and some of the segments are based on his own short stories. The framework of this anthology involves a young boy (Joe Hill) who is reprimanded by his father for reading horror comics, which he refers to as trash. After the father tosses away the comics, the pages of the books come to animated life and transition the audience into each individual story.
Jordy Verrill (Stephen King) is covered in grass and vines after touching a meteor in a movie still for the 1982 anthology film Creepshow
"Meteor shit!" (Image Source)
"Father's Day" is the first segment in "Creepshow." A tyrannical father (Jon Lormer) is killed by his daughter (Carrie Nye) on Father's Day and returns from the grave for his revenge...and for his cake. This first short establishes a darkly comedic tone that will carry through the rest of the films. It also has some impressive, gruesome makeup work on the undead zombie patriarch and the severed head cake. It's a fun, simple little story and an entertaining way to start off this anthology.

Next up is "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill," which is adapted from King's own short story called "Weeds." Jordy Verrill (Stephen King) is a dim-witted fellow who lives on a rural farm. One night, a meteor crashes in his backyard. Jordy accidentally cracks it open, which spreads a goo all over the place and envelops everything it touches in plants. We're sorry to say it, but the best thing about this segment is the title. Stephen King really plays up the yokel aspect of his character, and he lays on the cheese a little too thick. Whereas the previous segment had some darkly comedic humor, "Jordy Verrill" goes full-on goofball and is definitely the weakest story in this anthology.

The third segment is "Something to Tide You Over," and it is our favorite of the bunch. It tells the story of a wealthy man named Rich Vickers (Leslie Nielsen), who hatches a plan to exact revenge on his unfaithful wife Becky (Gaylen Ross) and her lover Harry (Ted Danson). This story focuses on psychological horror rather than gruesome images or scary monsters. What makes this horror short work so well is the back and forth banter between Nielsen and Danson as they play a game of cat and the death. Rich Vickers relishes in torturing Harry, and we loved every minute of it.

"The Crate" is the fourth portion of this anthology, which is based on Stephen King's short story of the same name. This is another short film about a man being displeased with his wife, which sort of makes us wonder what problems King was having at home at the time. A janitor at a university finds an old crate locked away, hidden under the staircase. Inside it is a very ancient, very hungry monster looking to feed. This is an interesting little creature feature that sees a mild-mannered professor named Henry Northup (Hal Holbrook) getting a serendipitous opportunity when he finds a man-eating creature which he believes will be his escape from his drunk, abusive wife Wilma (Adrienne Barbeau). It may have a simplistic premise, but it's still a fun story. Sure, a lot of the characters are despicable, and yes, the creature design is a bit silly, but we still liked this one for its darkly comedic fantasy sequences.

The fifth and final segment is called "They're Creeping Up on You." This short is about an affluent germophobe named Upson Pratt (E.G. Marshall), who is reminiscent of Howard Hughes. He is so afraid of getting sick that he locks himself away in what he believes is a germ-free safe room. It turns out, it's not as clean as he thought as an infestation of bugs invades his clean area. This film will unsettle viewers who prefer not to see creepy crawlies in their day to day lives (which is probably most of us). These bugs overwhelm and overpower Upson from every crack and crevice, and we're sure this would happen to us if we looked in the dark places in our own house. There is also an underlying psychological aspect that makes us question whether or not the protagonist is reliable. Upson might just be crazy, though this question is never answered by the movie's end.
Creepshow 1982 film still showing zombies coming up from the ground bathed in blood
"I drove out there with the remains of three human beings...well, two human beings and Wilma." (Image Source)
"Creepshow" has more good segments than bad. We think this is one of the better anthology films out there, and it's definitely worth watching for lovers of cheesy 80s horror movie fun.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.9/10
RT Rating: 73%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

Please be sure to check out Lolo Loves Films all over the internet!

No comments:

Post a Comment