Creepshow II -1987
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 view 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.
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.