Friday, October 11, 2019

Movie Review: "Creepshow 2" (1987)

Director: Michael Gornick
Year: 1987
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

The cartoon character The Creep tells another set of horror stories from writer Stephen King.

Ray Spruce (George Kennedy) stands outside his shop looking at a wooden Indian statue in a Creepshow 2 (1987) movie scene
"It is a bad thing to borrow, it is a worse thing to beg." (Image Source)
Anthology sequels have a built-in advantage over standard features because they don't have to continue storylines with established characters and aren't restricted to what has come before. All it has to do is offer up a few new and engaging short stories to satisfy audiences. "Creepshow 2" is directed by Michael Gornick, which is his only feature film directorial credit. This film is much more similar to his work on shows like "Tales From the Darkside" than it is to most movies. Though he didn't direct this sequel, George A. Romero returns to pen the screenplay, which is based on stories by Stephen King. The framework for this anthology is primarily an animated sequence involving a boy on a bicycle fleeing from some bullies. While this is happening, The Creep (Tom Savini), working as a magazine delivery man, tells three different stories from the back of his delivery truck. The first is about a wooden Indian statue that comes to life to take revenge on evil men. The second is about a giant, unidentified blob-like creature floating in a lake that eats unsuspecting swimmers. The last is about an adulterous woman whose hit-and-run victim just won't seem to die.
Creepshow 1987 horror movie still where a woman is eaten by a massive pile of swimming ooze in a lake
"Ooooh, mucho ecological, Poncho! Mucho ecological!" (Image Source)
"Creepshow 2" was initially supposed to have five shorts like its predecessor. Hollywood being Hollywood, budgets were slashed, as were a couple of stories, leaving us with the truncated version of the film that was delivered here. As is the case with most anthologies, it's difficult to rate "Creepshow 2" as a whole because it's actually three separate tales and an interwoven framework. Instead of having a few solid stories and one or two "meh" ones, all three hover very close to each other just above mediocre.

"Chief Wooden Head" has its moments, but it is very dated, and not just because of its visual effects and makeup work. It has a slightly more serious tone than the other two shorts, and it is much more slowly paced as well. It picks up towards the end of its runtime and ends on a high note.

The middle story, "The Raft," is the most graphic of the three. What starts out as a simple getaway for a group of teens quickly turns sour when an oozing, swimming oil-like blob melts flesh from the bodies of its victims in a disgusting-but-awesome fashion. There is also a creepy moment of sexual assault that comes out of nowhere and feels very out of place. We were taken very aback by it. Overall, this one is goofy but decent enough.

The final segment, "The Hitchhiker," is the most basic. It involves a woman repeatedly running over a homeless man with her car. It might not sound like it based on this description, but this is the most comedic short of the bunch because the mangled man keeps popping up no matter what she does to him. Lois Chiles does a great job in this short, but it does start to get repetitive after a while.

As for the framework story, honestly, it feels a bit lazy. There's little connection between it and the stories throughout the movie. It's basically the equivalent of having someone sit in front of a fireplace reading a book to the audience. It's just an excuse to squeeze in one last tale to stretch its runtime.
Stephen King's "Creepshow 2" movie review featuring Lois Chiles running over a homeless man repeatedly
"Thanks for the ride, lady!" (Image Source)
Though the stories offered in "Creepshow 2" are weaker than the ones offered by its much better predecessor, this is still a decent anthology worth checking if you like silly horror flicks.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.1/10
RT Rating: 33%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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