Directed by George A. Romero [Other horror films: Night of the Living Dead (1968), Hungry Wives (1972), The Crazies (1973), The Amusement Park (1975), Martin (1976), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Monkey Shines (1988), Due occhi diabolici (1990, segment ‘The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar’), The Dark Half (1993), Bruiser (2000), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007), Survival of the Dead (2009)]
Creepshow’s an interesting movie to me, because while I actually only love two of the stories in this one (‘Something to Tide You Over’ and ‘The Crate’), I think overall the movie’s pretty excellent, and definitely excels in creating that comic book feeling, which so few movies can properly do.
‘Father’s Day’ and ‘The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill’ are both lacking in different ways. I certainly like the revenge aspect of the former, and I do enjoy the final scene, but it just doesn’t do it for me. As for the latter, I love the concept, and think the plant life looks rather creepy (and the ending is pretty good on multiple counts), but the overly comedic style of the story wasn’t something I’m fond of.
The final story, ‘They Creep Up on You’, is my third favorite, my main issue being that I felt they could have added in something along the lines of either the recent widow or the ghost of her husband somehow being connected to the onslaught of roaches (which would have worked well, since three of the past four stories in this movie have been about revenge in some form or another). I think it’s a fine story with solid effects, but it could have been better.
‘Something to Tide You Over’ isn’t a complex story, but I think it’s rather fun, mainly because of Leslie Nielsen’s great performance. His eccentric character is fun, and I love the final line (“I can hold my breath for a looooooonngg time”), and I reference it often. No one in ‘The Crate’ is as fun as Nielsen (though I do rather like Hal Holbrook), but it’s probably a better story overall.
There are some solid performances throughout. Obviously, I love Nielsen’s role, and he stands out as perhaps my favorite character. Hal Holbrook (who appeared in other classics such as Rituals from 1977 and The Fog from 1980) did great in his role also. E.G. Marshall, while his character is despicable, does great, as expected. Others who stood out positively include Tom Atkins, Ted Danson, and Viveca Lindfors. I love Stephen King’s writing, but his acting here, while intentional in it’s campiness, didn’t really work for me.
As far as anthology horror films go, there are better examples than Creepshow, such Tales from the Crypt (1972). Still, Creepshow is arguably much funner, and is a damn good example of a campy anthology done right. It’s not perfect, but there’s a lot to like about it, from the performances, to the animation, from the framing story (with a rather satisfactory ending), to the soundtrack. Not every story hits the mark, but it’s still a movie well-worth watching.
And this was also covered on Fight Evil’s podcast on the very first episode. Listen as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss the film.
9 thoughts on “Creepshow (1982)”