anthologies

[Movie Review] Creepshow (1982) ★★★★☆

A cartoonish scare in Creepshow 1982

Creepshow brings you creepily funny tales of the macabre.


Creepshow is a horror comedy anthology film that contains 5 short horrifyingly comical tales of different kinds of horror. Monsters, psychopaths, a meteorite, creepy crawlers, all the eighties horror tropes where a lot of gory practical effects embellish the dark comical tales create a wonderful eighties vibe. Directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King it resulted in brilliant stories. It’s a perfect watch for those who love the eighties horror movies and with 5 different stories there’s something for everyone. 


Plot

All these stories are tied together by a comic book. The prologue starts with a boy Billy who reads a comic, but his father Stan throws it in the trash, only for the wind to turn the pages and show us the first page of the horror story yet to begin. Each story has a different tone and vibe but all are dripped with dark humor. Many horror tropes fill the screen in this delightful eighties body horror, gory fright fest. The stories are wrapped-around by the epilogue when a garbage man finds the comic, and a little twist is shown, that makes the prologue and epilogue together a little horror story of their own. 


Why you should watch it

Creepshow is a fun fest for horror lovers and especially those who love the gore and practical effects of the eighties that really brought the horror to life. This film isn’t any different. It’s fun, dark, gory, oozy, monstrous, devilish and itchy. Each story has a cartoonish vibe, due to atmosphere but also very literally with cartoons and comic signs and drawings brightening up the fun feel. 

Father’s Day

It’s 1979 and Sylvia, her son Richard and daughter Cass with her husband Hank, and aunt Bedelia celebrate Father’s Day of the rich, but mean and deceased Nathan Grantham. In fact he was murdered by Bedelia on Father’s Day. But this day should be celebrated with the guest of honor and by chance it will…

It’s a very fun and cheesy story about a dysfunctional family, a big cake, some magic whisky and revenge. It is embellished with the typical pictures  and drawings of comic cartoons, frames and signs, which makes it all the more fun. The practical effects, the cemetery, the spooky mansion, all look like a haunted house attraction come to life. Of course it has a twist and a big wink.

The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill

Jordy Verrill is a farmer who’s not quite right in his mind. When a meteorite crashes on his land, he thinks he’s going to be rich, but after he has touched it, something strange is happening to him. 

This segment is great fun and well acted by Stephen King himself who also wrote the story. The scenes of his thoughts are great and even have a little surreal effect with absurdist humor. It’s highly entertaining and also a bit tragic, but it is the most comical story of all five. There’s even a nod to Castle Rock written on a road sign. 

Something to Tide You Over

Richard Vickers is a rich psychopath who brings a visit to Harry Wentworth, claiming that he has kidnapped Becky, Harry’s girlfriend. But Becky is also Richard’s wife and if Harry refuses something terrible will happen to her. At the beach Harry is confronted with a terrible truth and the same horrible fate awaits him.

It’s the most cruel story of the bunch. It’s also quite serious and realistic to begin with but it does have a corny ending, with zombie ghostly ghastly creatues. 

The Crate

At a University two professors discover a crate sent to Julie Carpenter from the Arctic expedition in 1834. And there’s something alive inside it. It’s up to Henry Holbrook and Dexter Stanley to fight the monster. But wait, no that’s not what happens. The beast inside the crate may be of use to one of the professors in a very macabre way. 

This segment is a brilliant one. The monster is a very well-made animatronic beast with claws and hairy and scary. The build up is anything like you would expect. The plot is genius and funny and very dark. The cinematography stands out from the rest of the stories and the storyline, plot, practical effects, horror and humor are perfectly combined. It has the most fleshed out characters that bring you horror delight. 

It’s very surprising and it’s full of fun nods to other eighties films, especially those of John Carpenter. Julia Carpenter is a reference to The Thing (1982) as is the crate from the Arctic. A couple of actors, Hal Holbrook and Adrienne Barbeau (even married at the time with John Carpenter) from The Fog (1980) also by John Carpenter play the roles of Henry and Wilma. And Tom Atkins who played Nick Castle in The Fog plays the father in the prologue and is also a main character in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982). And to make the fun complete two professors at the garden party are called Tabitha and Richard. Tabitha being also the name of Stephen King’s wife and Richard is a reference to his pen name Richard Bachman. While Billy is played by Joe Hill, their son.

They’re Creeping up on You

The final story is about Upson Pratt a rich misanthrope who has obsessive cleanliness and is a germaphobe, who has done some awful things to make money which drove people to commit suicide. But now his own life is about to be destroyed when his apartment is infested with cockroaches. 

It’s my least favorite story. Upson is too superficial and not interesting at all. The use of real cockroaches is a form of animal abuse and I hope that the ones who were squashed weren’t real. It also has the least intesting storyline and plot that is very unclear.


My favorite part

‘The Crate’ was my absolute favorite. It was the longest story and that showed by a well-crafted structure, a fun and surprising plot, greatly acted and with use of amazingly fun practical effects. It was fun, dark, with a huge twist and very entertaining. But ‘The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill’ also was great in its simplicity. Just with one main character, and a simple plot it shows how to accomplish great comical horror with creativity and proper storytelling that creates a compelling story and character. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★☆

Fun factor: ★★★★☆

Scare factor: ★★★☆☆

Gore factor: ★★★☆☆

Gruesome factor: ★★★★☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


Cast and crew

Creepshow was directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. It stars Hal Holbrook (Henry Northrup), Adrienne Barbeau (Wilma Northrup), Fritz Weaver (Dexter Stanley), Leslie Nielsen (Richard Vikers), Carrie Nye (Sylvia Grantham), E.G. Marshall (Upson Pratt), Viveca Lindfors (Aunt Bedelia), Ted Danson (Harry Wentworth), Tom Atkins (Stan), Ed Harris (Hank Blaine), Joe Hill (Billy) and Stephen King (Jordy Verrill).

Duration: 120 minutes. Music by: John Harrison. Cinematography: Michael Gornick. Edited by: George A. Romero, Pasquale Buba, Paul Hirsch, Michael Spolan. Produced by: Richard P. Rubenstein. Production company: Laurel Entertainment. Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures.


Check the trailer below


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