Director – George A. Romero
Cast – Ed Harris, Stephen King, Leslie Nielsen, E. G. Marshall, Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Viveca Lindfors, Carrie Nye, Ted Danson, Warner Shook, Robert Harper, Elizabeth Regan, Gaylen Ross, Jon Lormer
Release Year – 1982
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Horror anthologies are seldom done, and I am happy about that. This has allowed every main horror anthology to be a really fun and very positive experience. 2009’s “Trick ‘r Treat” was awesome, Mario Bava’s “Black Sunday” as well, and of course who can forget possibly the most popular of all…”Creepshow”. Directed by the legendary George A. Romero and written by none other than the legendary Stephen King, this film bleeds greatness before you even give it a watch. With numerous shout-outs and awesome character roles portrayed by some very awesome actors, this is a film that should have a final resting place in every horrorhound’s DVD collection.
“Creepshow” gives us five tales told and shown in the vein of the classic 50’s EC horror comics. The first film, “Father’s Day”(starring Ed Harris): A murdered father rises from the grave in search of the Father’s Day cake he never received. The second, “The Lonesome Death or Jordy Verrill”(starring Stephen King himself!): a comet with an unusual substance falls on a farmer’s land causing everything to suddenly become very “green”. The third, “Something To Tide You Over”(starring Leslie Nielson!): a vengeful husband buries his wife and her lover up to their necks in sand as the tide is coming in, only to see them again very soon. The fourth, “The Crate”: a professor finds a hideous creature in a long lost crate sent back from the Antarctic, and finds a solution for his annoying wife. The fifth, “They’re Creeping Up On You”: a black-hearted businessman with a hatred for bugs faces an army of deadly cockroaches.
The film’s fun yet spooky tone told in a comic book-esque fashion brings out the kid in me. Who here agrees that horror films were much more fun as a child? Everyone? Good, because it is true and this film brings me back to those happy days. Right from the get-go this flick takes off with that feel thanks to an overbearing father raging at his son over a horror comic book. When the tales begin, the fun never diminishes. Each tale had their own sense of fun and enjoyment, while thanks to some great direction on Romero’s end, still managed to provide some nice spooky moments. Another element that added ot the fun of this film was it’s use of characters, namely the actors portraying them. Ed Harris, always a fine actor, was not used as a “screen pleaser” to the extent that the ever-awesome Leslie Nielsen and even Stephen King were used. Seeing Leslie Nielsen grace the horror screen in a non-comedy way was awesome to watch and showed that the guy can use his classic stature and still get the job done in a serious horror role. Stephen King was enjoyable as well as the farmer, showing us that despite his other sub-par performances he can get the job done, as long as he is a…farmer.
Some of the stories were slightly silly in plot(“Father’s Day”), and others were downright horrific and bloody(“The Crate”). regardless, in each of the stories the horror is real, and managed to provide a few jump scares at jus the right moment. King’s screenplay is right, and this is aided much by the fact that each of the stories only runs about 25 minutes. Thanks to each story’s short runtime we are not given very much development, and the horror takes place quickly. Personally, I am a fan of these anthologies for this very reason. As usual, Romero’s direction is top notch and that aids this film in pacing as well. Each scare scene was expertly crafted by the expert himself, and each “living dead” scene brought back memories of his infamous “Dawn of the Dead” he release just four years prior. Also classic of Romero, he brought on his buddy and infamous horror effects maestro Tom Savini to bring on the gore and some great looking undeads.
Overall, this is an awesome horror film that brings back memories to those of us who loved horror as children and have continued that love to present time. The anthology aspect works perfectly for this film and it’s execution if expertly done by three of horror’s experts, George A. Romero, Stephen King, and Tom Savini.