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Blu-ray Review: Creepshow (1982)

Creepshow, or as I like to call it; “The best mother fuckin’ horror anthology ever made…period.” You’ve seen it, I’ve sure as shit have seen it…and I know you probably love it as much as your’s cruelly! Well, it just so happens our devilish compatriots at Scream Factory have just issued a special edition Blu-ray release of ol’ Creepy-baby, and I’m fixin’ to tell you what’s what about that…but first I’ll give a quick sinister synopsis for each story contained within this arcane anthology for all none of you that haven’t seen it…

After a brief intro segment where a shit heel of a father (genre icon Tom “Thrill Me” Atkins) smacks his kid Billy (Joe Hill…the son of ol’ Stephen King; who just so happened to pen this fearsome feature, and a hell of a writer himself these days) around for reading horror comics we jump into our first tale:

Father’s Day is the story of a wealthy and oh-so-greedy family of fools, one of which offed the absolutely human being that served as the clan’s patriarch years prior. Well after some pithy remarks and discoing it up, these folks fall prey to the re-animated corpse of daddy dearest who rises from the grave in search of…cake?!! Trust me, this segment sets the surreal tone of what is to follow perfectly…speaking of which, up next we have:

The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill; the story of a local yokel (the eponymous Jordy, played to idjit perfection by King) who discovers a meteor on his property that he hopes will make him rich. As his horrible luck would have it, the space rock instead makes both Jordy and his property sprout absolutely bat-shit amounts of vegetation. Both hilarious and ultimately meloncholoy, this is by far the most outlandish of the entries on hand.

Next we have a tale of revenge gone awry…

Something to Tide You Over concerns the misadventures of wealthy (hilariously dated) tech-savvy psycho Richard Vickers (Leslie Nielsen…playing a real vicious bastard instead of the lovable goof most of you lot know him for) who decides to seek revenge against his adulterous wife (Gaylen Ross of Dawn of the Dead and Madman) and her lover (an impossibly young Ted Danson) involving being buried in the sand and the ever-increasing tide. Let’s just say things don’t go to plan, and the supernatural intercedes to incredibly satisfying effect.

Now we have arguably the most memorable segment of the feature:

The Crate explores the story of meek Professor Henry Northrup (Hal Holbrook) and his alcoholic bully of a wife named Wilma (played to the hilt by Adrienne Barbeau). Things go on in an endless cycle of abuse until a vicious monster is unleashed from an aged crate in the basement of the university where Nothrup works. Then the fur (and entrails) really begin to fly my fiends!

Finally we have:

They’re Creeping Up on You; a yarn concerning wealthy tycoon Upson Pratt (E.G. Marshall), an ultra-extreme germophobe and right bastard who lives in a hermetically sealed apartment where no outside contamination can enter…we except for the hordes of cockroaches that aim to claim the apartment for their own!

And just to wrap things up nicely, Billy gets a lil’ revenge of his own against that wretched father of his!

Simply put, Creepshow is a horror comic, more specifically the kind published by E.C. comics in the 1950’s, come to lurid life! Everything from the supernatural revenge heavy plots, to the garish colors (that mimic the limitations of the four-color printing process comic books used to utilize), and actual panel boarders overlaid during some scenes hammer this aesthetic home spectacularly! Along with all of that visual panache, Director George A. Romero (you damn well better know who he is without me listing a few of his features in this space boils n’ ghouls) and Screenwriter King deliver a varied assortment of scintillating stories that keep things fresh n’ fun throughout with nary a clunker in the beastly bunch! Simply put; this is pure fright flick perfection that has never met it’s match (although the sequel was a great bit of fun in it’s own right).

So Creepshow is a classic, but what else does this Blu offer horror hounds? Well, let me tell ya; a freakin’ ass-load (that’s a technical term us pro critics often use) of special features! First up we have three audio commentaries; an archival chat with Romero and Effects Artist Tom Savini (another legend you better be up on), and new conversations with Composer/First Assistant Director John Harrison and Construction Co-ordinator Ed Fountain, as well as Director of Photography Michael Gornick. The Romero/Savini piece is lively and incredibly personable as anecdotes and production are offered up in highly engaging fashion, while the latter two offer plenty of personal tales of working on the films…and all are well worth a listen, even though some material is (understandably) repeated. Also included is a unique commentary track that includes audio interviews with Gornick, Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, and Make-Up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci which provides even more background info about the picture!

Following that we get a round table chat with Amplas, Atkins, Savini and Actor Marty Schiff on the making of Creepshow,  interviews with Costume Designer Barbara Anderson, Animator Rick Catizone, Director of Photography Michael Gornick (discussing the restoration of the film), and Sound Re-recordist Chris Jenkins. Next we have a look at the various Creepshow posters design house Mondo have created, as well as what the film means to Co-Founder Rob Jones and Mondo Gallery Events Planner Josh Curry, a look at original props and collectibles from the film with collector Dave Burian, a collection of behind-the-scenes footage from the archives of Tom Savini, and a fascinating look at how the film’s locations appear today (an installment of Sean Clark’s always superb Horror’s Hallowed Grounds series).

Bringing up the rear we have a collection of deleted scenes, trailers, TV and radio spots, and stills galleries.

Look just buy this damn thing already; the restoration is gorgeous, the bonus features are plentiful (with a veritable shit-ton being new to this edition), and the film is a monsterpiece of epic proportions!

 

 

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