Creepshow II (1987) – movie review

creepshow-2-the-raft-pic-5

Creepshow II -1987

Directed by Michael Gornickmy-top-10-1980s-horror

Based on stories by Stephen King
Screenplay by George A. Romero and Lucille Fletcher

 

Many movie critics called Creepshow II, lackluster and gave it generally negative reviews. I strongly disagree. How many of us that originally saw this film spent the rest of 1987 gurgling out the phrase, “thanks for the ride, lady!” If you remember that phrase then you remember The Hitchhiker segment from which the line was spoken. I’m sure you all had a s much fun with it as I did. We’ll get to that segment, but I want to review the stories in order so let’s start from the top.

 

The first story, Old Chief Wooden Head concerns an elderly couple, owners of a general store in a dying Midwest town, loaning goods to the local tribe. They can barely afford to loan products to the tribe chief, but trust his word to be paid back in full. When a young renegade native from the tribe decides to make his own path in life and rob the store’s proprietor, he is not prepared for the wooden statue with the soul of a native warrior to take offense by his actions. Flush with cash and valuables the renegade and his henchmen prepare to leave the dusty old town in their rear creepshow-2-dvdview mirror forever. Unfortunately for them, old Chief Wooden Head has other plans for the thieving youth.

In The Raft, two young couples find a beautiful roadside lake calling them for a swim. The warm morning leads to a swim to the diving raft secured some 30 yards out in the lake. The swimmers soon find that an oily-tar looking sludge seems to be following their every move. At first chance the oil slick swallows one of the swimmers, digesting them in its folds. The remaining three have to decide how they will survive and escape the confines of The Raft.

In the last story, The Hitchhiker, a woman having an affair overslept in the hotel room and needs to get back home before her husband gets suspicious. She pushes the limits of speed on the highway while concentrating on an alibi. With her mind distracted she doesn’t see the hitchhiker at roadside and accidentally runs him over. She leaves the scene of the incident, leaving the man to die. When she finally seems to be calming down she sees the hitchhiker ahead on the road again. He’s calling, “how bout a ride lady.” She keeps seeing him every few miles and finally runs him down again, making sure he could not possibly survive. It’s only a few miles more when she sees him once again exclaiming, “thanks for the ride lady!” This continues until the spectacular and horrifying ending, when she finally reaches home.

The cartoon/comic wrap around story is a simple but coherent story involving a boy who is bullied and purchases a Venus Fly Trap from the back page ads in his comics. When I was that age, the mail order items in the back of comics and Famous Monsters magazine kept my young mind active with possibilities. I completely related to this aspect of the film and found it wonderfully portrayed.

The only reason I have for thinking the first Creepshow was better than II is it had more stories. The truth is you could exchange any of the stories in II with those in I and not notice much of a difference. I think both films are equally good.

creepshow-2-woodenhead-pic-3


Trivia:

Another segment called, The Cat from Hell, was originally planned for Creepshow II, but trimming of the budget caused it to be abandoned. It was later filmed for the Tales from the Dark Side movie in 1990.


 

creepshow-2-woodenhead-pic-5

The Crazies (2010) – movie review

the crazies 2010-pic 11

The Crazies (2010)

directed by Breck Eisner

Starring
Timothy Olyphant
Radha MitchellCrazies_1-sheetmech_121509.indd
Joe Anderson
Danielle Panabaker

The Crazies poses the question, what is scarier, the crazy people in your home town or the government’s clean up protocol after a viral outbreak? Infected by the ’Trixie’ virus, the citizens of a small mid western town become violent and aggressive, acting on the fearful instinct of the inner reptilian brain. Sometimes I feel like all of the US has drank the Kool Aid and is now infected. We follow sheriff, David Dutton, as he attempts to; first discover what has gone wrong in his hometown, then to get his wife and himself out of harms way of the crazies and the military’s crack down on them. I had instant and deep empathy for the sheriff and cheered for his survival and plight. The film had the perfect ratio of emotional weight and violent action with a remarkable ending that makes the journey worth taking. It is a remake of the 1973 George Romero film and one of those rare remakes that is better than the original.

the crazies 2010-pic 10

A high action and horrifying journey as we watch a small town fall into the pits of hell.
I give it 3.9 crazed killer corpses on the venomous viral outbreak scale.

Creepshow (1982) – movie review

creepshow pic 11

Creepshow (1982)

Directed by George Romero
Written by Stephen King
Effects by Tom Savini

Hal Holbrookmy top 10 1980s horror
Adrienne Barbeau
Fritz Weaver
Leslie Nielsen
Ted Danson
E. G. Marshall
Viveca Lindfors


Creepshow picked up where Amicus Films had left off, honoring the 1950’s horror comics in an anthology format film. Though Creepshow wasn’t a particular horror comic from the past, they did a splendid job at portraying it as such. It opens with a young boy who likes to read horror comics being berated by his father, who takes his latest comic and throws it in the garbage. The cover opens and we are treated to the stories held within its pages. There is some wonderful animation in the beginning titles and at the end of the film, and the comic book style is weaved throughout the film as live action frames turn to comic art frames and visa-versa. There are some comic style narration titles and during certain scenes, the creepshow dvdposterbackgrounds turn colorful, as they would in frames in the pages of the comics. These are some wonderful aspects of the film and added with the tongue-in-cheek, dark humor, the film is genuinely original in its creativity. We are treated to 5 stories here and they are fun horror stories which I think stand the test of time.

Father’s Day
Viveca Lindfors plays a wonderful part in this segment as Bedilia, the great aunt who murdered her nasty old miser Father with a heavy stone ashtray from the mantle. Now it’s many years later and the family is getting together on Father’s Day to celebrate what the old patriarch had left them. However, this year their dead uncle is going to want something from them…his cake. I can only tell you that the question, “Where’s My Cake?!” became a quote used often in my household on any birthday or celebration.

The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill
Stephen King himself plays Jordy, a backwoods, country bumpkin who finds a meteor crashed on his property. When he touches it, he becomes infected with “Meteor shit” which springs up into a grassy fungus. The dopey character makes a dozen wrong decisions and actions, the biggest being, jumping in the tub to relieve the itching of a plant. Guess what plants like? Water!

Something to Tide You Over
Leslie Neilson plays a wickedly awful character in this short which finds, Richard, a wealthy businessman, finding out about his cheating wife and her lover while at his beach house. He tricks them, at separate times, into getting buried up to their necks in the sand. He’s not going to cover them over, he’s just going to let the tide come in. Drowning is one of my least preferred ways to die if I had to pick one. This film does a splendid job at creepshow pic 15portraying how nasty and awful it is. Moments before the big wave is about to wash over Harry (Ted Danson) he turns to the closed circuit camera and promises revenge. Later that evening, Richard is confronted by Harry and Becky, now water zombies, in some creepy scenes. The water zombies are brought to life (death?) with excellent make-up effects.

The Crate
Henry (Holbrook), a college professor is constantly berated by his miserable and often drunk wife, Billie (Barbeau). When another professor tells him about the discovery of a Crate from the early 1900’s in the college stairwell, He finds it appropriate to get his wife to come along for a visit. Now if only the hibernating beast inside will wake for another feast on human flesh. It has a voracious appetite. This is probably everyone’s favorite story from the film. The beast creation by Tom Savini is an excellent example of old school practical effects.

They’re Creeping Up on You!
This segment with E.G. Marshall will surely give you the creeps as it was filmed with millions of live cockroaches. A germ-a-phobic, living in his germ-free penthouse is overrun by these pests and engages in a battle he can’t win.

I will also have to mention the perfect moody soundtrack music comprised of Moog Synthesizer sounds and piano melodies by John Harrison. Harrison also did music for Day of the Dead and Tales From the Dark Side TV show (for which he also directed some episodes). Don’t forget to look for a Tom Savini cameo as one of the garbage men that find the Creepshow Comic book at the end of the film. Creepshow is a wonderfully made film with great stories, perfect for Halloween viewing!

creepshow pic 6 creepshow pic 7

Fun Facts:
Creepshow 2 is almost as good as this one so I‘d recommend it. 

but Creepshow 3 left a lot to be desired – not recommended.

They would later release a Creepshow comic book series with stories from the films.

Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue – movie review – Documentary (2009)

Nightmares_Flyer_LoRez-1b-625x0
.

A chronological history of horror from the beginning of film to today, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Joe Dante, Brian Yuzna, andnightmares cover Mick Harris, among others, attempt to explain America’s fascination with Horror. The Documentary delves into the mindset of each decade, the internal fears of the population brought about by external sociopolitical forces, and the films that were successful at these points in time. It touches upon all the iconic horror films from each era – the earliest silent films, the Universal Monster films, the 50s sci-fi horror, the politically charged films of the 60s and 70s, and the overblown excess of the 80s. Each director also relays nightmares-in-red-white-and-blue-john-carpenterpersonal stories about the first horror film they had seen and how it had affected them. Highlights include comments by George Romero about his Living Dead films and Roger Corman about working with Vincent Price and his early gothic films. One of the fun sequences is a montage of every sex scene from every Friday the 13th film, set to a hard rock song, in music video style. The song concludes with the horrific kill scenes of all the characters we’ve just gotten intimately familiar with.

Lance Henriksen narrates the film. It is based on a book of the same name by Joseph Maddrey. Well made, nicely paced, and interestingly told, a fine tribute to American Horror. Worth a watch for every horror fan.
george romero
George Romero
————————————————————————————————————-

nightmares bride nightmares texas
————————————————————————————————————
nightmares sid haig nightmares exorcist

related articles:

Lovecraft – Fear of the Unknown – documentary

Boogeymen – the Killer Compilation