COMIC REVIEW: CREEPSHOW

By Nick Durham

In 1982, George Romero and Stephen King collaborated on the horror anthology film Creepshow, and the rest as they say, is history. Beloved and revered in the decades since its release, Creepshow is a horror classic that was inspired by both creator’s love for the classic horror comics of the EC days; helping them craft an incredibly entertaining horror film that’s still ever bit as good today as it was in 1982. Around the time of the film’s release, there was a comic book adaptation of King’s screenplay that ended up being just as beloved as the film. Sadly, it’s been out of print for a while…until now.

Creepshow the comic features all five segments of the film in glorious comic form, drawn to horrific life by the late, great Bernie Wrightson (famous for co-creating Swamp Thing and drawing a huge number of horror titles throughout the decades) and featuring a cover drawn by legendary EC Comics illustrator Jack Kamen. The five stories: Father’s Day, The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, Something to Tide You Over, The Crate, and They’re Creeping Up on You are adapted to perfection here. Wrightson’s artwork manages to illicit the horrific chills, thrills, and dark humor of the film, while also managing to perfectly capture the throwback atmosphere of the horror comics of yesterday.

Published by Gallery 13, Creepshow the comic doesn’t seem to feature any restoration done to the artwork itself, which is perfectly fine to be totally honest. These days, modern day reprints of older comics feature some sort of digital restoration, and it’s actually refreshing to see that this is not such the case here. Wrightson’s artwork is just that damn perfect that it doesn’t need any kind of modern touches done to it. The comic is also presented in a deluxe large frame format, which makes the total package be even more perfect.

If you’re a fan of George Romero and Stephen King’s Creepshow, it goes without saying that this comic adaptation deserves to have a spot on your shelf. Much like the film, the comic has aged wonderfully, and it’s a super fun and enjoyable horror ride that you can’t help but love. You need to get your hands on this as soon as you possibly can, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 5/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: CREEPSHOW 2

By Nick Durham

George Romero and Stephen King’s 1982 collaboration Creepshow is a horror classic. It’s a super fun horror anthology with studio backing, big name actors, and wonderful effects work. The film became a pretty big hit upon release, so it wasn’t that baseless a conclusion that we’d eventually get a sequel. Well, we did in 1987, for better or worse. Creepshow 2 features less stories, less scares, and overall less fun than its predecessor, but for what it’s worth, it still manages to be a pretty fun ride; even if it manages to be painfully obviously inferior to the first film from it’s opening scene onwards.  Arrow Video has decided to give the film a super deluxe Blu-ray treatment, which is a sight to behold to say it lightly.

 

Creepshow 2 finds Romero and King taking a bit of a backseat compared to their roles with the first film, with longtime Romero cinematographer Michael Gornick taking over directing duties and Romero himself writing the screenplay with stories based on short King tales. We get three stories here: the fairly yawn-inducing Old Chief Wood’nhead which is a tale of revenge featuring George Kennedy, the pretty damn good The Raft (in fact, it’s probably the best segment here), and the concluding The Hitchhiker that is fairly memorable in itself. There were supposed to be two additional stories (to match the first film’s five segments) entitled Cat from Hell and Pinfall; both of which were cut due to the film’s budgetary constraints. Cat from Hell would end up getting filmed some time later by Romero himself for the Tales from the Darkside movie, while Pinfall never officially saw the light of day in film form. The film’s wraparound story is an animated (with a little live action) segment of a young kid named Billy encountering the Creeper himself (Tom Savini) and giving some local bullies their comeuppance.

 

As I already stated, Creepshow 2 is definitely an inferior sequel. The film as a whole just feels cheaper than the first film in terms of overall quality and content alike. That aside, it’s still super enjoyable for what it is, and has a very brisk pace and manages to make its own impact. The animated wrap around segment can be a bit of a chore to watch. There’s even a Stephen King cameo in The Hitchhiker, which in itself is a hoot.

 

Arrow’s Blu-ray release of Creepshow 2 features a bevy of special features. The film itself is restored in 2K HD and features the original uncompressed mono audio. There’s a commentary track from director Michael Gornick, and archival interviews with FX legends Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero. There’s another interview segment with Berger discussing FX master (and his mentor) Rick Baker, and a handful of other behind the scenes features as well. There’s a handful of trailers for the film, and a booklet is included as well featuring new essays on the film. You have two options in purchasing the film, with either the standard edition Blu-ray release that comes with all this, or the super limited edition which includes all these features plus a comic book featuring an adaptation of the never-filmed Pinfall segment. Good luck finding this edition for a low price though. I had preordered mine through Amazon some time ago when it first became available, and I’m very glad I did.

 

Looking back on it, Creepshow 2 is a fun, if super flawed, sequel to a horror anthology classic. It isn’t perfect and is definitely inferior, but on its own the film is a pretty enjoyable ride. Arrow’s Blu-ray is definitely a must have for fans of the film, as this is without a doubt the best the film has ever looked and sounded. Pick up the limited edition if you can find it without having to sell your first born child (or do it anyway, kids are awful), but no matter which version you get, you’ll be happy with what you find here. Now maybe someday we’ll get that super deluxe edition of the original film that we’ve been chomping at the bit for over for years.

 

Rating: 4/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF CREEPSHOW

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By Nick Durham

Do you know a single person that doesn’t like Creepshow? I don’t, at all, but if for some reason you do, you shouldn’t be friends with them. The reason why is that Creepshow is an absolute classic and one of the most enjoyable films of George Romero’s filmography. Thanks to the fine folks at Synapse, we now have a Blu-ray release of the making of the film, told through interviews and archival footage. Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow is a blast to watch to say it lightly.

 

Originally filmed for the UK special edition release of Creepshow (that for some reason never made it out over here in the States; we’ve been stuck with barebones releases of the film since the dawn of fucking time), Just Desserts features interviews with George Romero, Tom Savini, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Ed Harris, Richard P. Rubenstein, and more besides. There’s a hefty amount of archival footage spliced in between the interviews, including footage of Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, and Gaylen Ross all fucking around (which is quite humorous) and makeup tests from Savini as well. All the interviewees gush over their time working on the film, and there’s some interesting anecdotes sprinkled throughout; ranging from a key grip’s story of spending the night with a girl and faking a Hal Holbrook autograph to give to her mother, or the interesting (and disgusting) reminiscing of using a shit load of cockroaches in the film’s final, infamous segment.

 

Special features wise, Synapse managed to pack this disc with extras. There’s a commentary from the documentary’s director Michael Felsher, and another one that features John Amplas. There’s a vintage compilation of Tom Savini’s home movies during the making of the film, extended interviews with Romero, Savini, and legendary artist Bernie Wrightson, an episode of Horror’s Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark and Tom Atkins, an hour long TV special focusing on Savini’s makeup effects work (mainly focusing on Day of the Dead), and tons more as well. Sadly, there’s no input from Stephen King, at least on film, which is kind of a shame considering I would have loved to have seen his take on working on this landmark film.

 

All things considered, it’s nice to finally have Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow wind up on our shores finally. Though who knows if we’ll ever get the proper special edition release of Creepshow that we’ve yearned for now for so damn long, this is a nice alternative. In that regard, you should go check this out and pick it up. You’ll have a blast.

 

Rating: 4/5