Director – Michael Gornick
Cast – Domenick John, Tom Savini, George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour, Frank Salsedo, Holt McCallany, David Holbrook, Don Harvey, Dan Kamin, Paul Satterfield, Jeremy Green, Daniel Beer, Page Hannah, Lois Chiles, Tom Wright, David Beecroft, Richard Parks, Stephen King, Joe Silver(voice)
Release Year – 1987
Reviewed by John of the Dead
George A Romero’s Creepshow remains one of the best, if not the best horror anthology of all time and this is one sequel that I think came with much merit. Paying homage to the horror comics that debuted in the 1950s and 1960s, the Creepshow series continued its excellence with Creepshow 2, which much like the original also came from the minds of Stephen King(story) and George A. Romero(screenplay). The original does hit a bit harder and is a better watch overall, but Creepshow 2 is a proud sequel that gives us more of the enjoyable elements we found in its predecessor with three harrowing tales from two of horror’s most horrific minds.
The first segment (following the usual prologue) is “Old Chief Wood’nhead”, which focuses on a vengeful Indian statue who stops at nothing to retrieve precious jewels stolen from his tribe. In my opinion this was the best entry in the film although it did contain the least amount of horror. Romero’s screenplay was top-notch as he took his time developing this short with plenty of tension resulting from the savage robbery of a small country store holding onto the jewels as collateral for allowing the local Indian tribe to take the goods they need during harsh times. The story is heart-moving as we are exposed to a lovely old couple looking to protect the sanctity of the tribe’s belongings and ultimately paying dearly for trying to peacefully halt the robbery, and as expected the perpetrators pay dearly as well for their crime when the Indian statue sets out to retrieve the gems. The vengeance is sweet to watch however most of it occurs during the last few minutes of the film, with the rest of it being long development that while good and well-written/executed also provided good horror thanks to the tension involved.
Next up: “The Raft” – Four friends having fun on a lake come across a large mysterious blob floating in the water that eventually surrounds them and picks them off one by one in gruesome fashion. This was the simplest effort and one that I really enjoyed as well because it is downright cheesy and gory horror. The story is as simple as I explained it, and the kills were satisfying as the victims were slowly melted to death by the unexplained dark mass lurking in the water.
Lastly: “The Hitchhiker” – A married woman having an affair with her boss leaves her office late one night and on her way home strikes an old man with her vehicle. Seeing that no one is around and that she is in a heap of trouble she leaves him for dead…or so she thought. This was a cool storyline that played heavily on guilt and poor-decision making. The woman leaving the old man on the side of the road was callous enough, but when she sees him once again, then again, and then again she realizes that he is far from dead and does everything in her power to kill him off instead of offering the help she initially should have offered. The horror in this one is good and insidiously progresses into a cool climax that I expected but nonetheless enjoyed. Oh, and keep an eye out for a Stephen King cameo during this segment.
So the stories and screenplays are good, but how is “Tales From the Dark Side” TV show director Michael Gornick’s direction? I must say that he did well with every one of these stories. I am unaware as to whether or not George A. Romero had a heavy hand in Gornick’s direction but regardless the end result is still the same – the direction is good. We get good performances from all involved in “Old Chief Wood’nhead” and his execution of the tension was great and heart-breaking at times, which contrasted well with the vengeance that would later ensue. In “The Raft” the look of the blog was simple but very effective and we get some sweet kill sequences adorned with good gore and live-action special FX consulted on by Tom Savini himself who also portrayed The Creep in the prologue. In “The Hitchhiker” Gornick continued his good direction and execution of the horror and continually progressed the horror and gore until the awesome climax that closed out this positive sequel to one of the genre’s finest anthologies.
Overall, Creepshow 2 is a fun film that is sure to please those who enjoyed the first one. While not as good this is only a step below the original and still manages to provide engaging stories and good direction that brings on lots of fun horror in the fun-to-watch anthology fashion.