Created By George Romero and Stephen King
I love these story anthologies that used to be all the rage including the original Creepshow, Cat’s Eye, and Body Bags. After the success of the first Creepshow it was inevitable that a sequel would be done. The only problem was that the sequel would be done on a lower budget and with less studio support than the original.
Stephen King and George Romero return to the franchise this time in different roles. George Romero adapts short stories originally written by Stephen King but does not direct. I think the film suffers from his loss as a director, especially the first short.
The film starts with a running thread that ties all the shorts together featuring a kid picking up the latest issue of the Creepshow comic book from a heavily disguised Tom Savini. This thread soon changes from live action to a cool animated story that plays out between each short.
Old Chief Wooden Head
This short involves an old man and his wife who run a small store in a dying town. They give more away than they actually sell because the remaining inhabitants have less than the owners do. The old man is happy to talk to visitors and clean and repaint an old wooden Indian he keeps in front of the store.
Inevitably a gang of thugs decide to rob the store and end up killing the husband and wife owners. So, Old Chief Wood ‘n Head comes to life to seek revenge. The story plods along and is very predictable but on the upside the great Stephen King characterization is still prevalent and enjoyable.
Now this story really picks up the pace with a group of horny teenagers who take a trip to a lake for a day of swimming and sex. Once they have all swam out to a raft in the middle of the lake they are picked off one by one by a sludge like monster in the lake. This short is horribly acted but the dialogue is still quite humorous at times and the monster is very cool. This story, especially in the dialogue really feels like something from Skeleton Crew or one of Stephen King’s other short story compilations.
They saved the best for last. “The Hitchhiker” feels like a short from the previous film. A wealthy adulterous woman has stayed with her male prostitute too long and must rush out to beat her husband home (Don’t you hate it when that happens?).
Her trip turns into a nightmare when she runs down a hitchhiker but doesn’t stop to help him. She is plagued by visions of his ghost the rest of the way home. This short provides one of my favorite quotes of any film of this type: “Can I have a ride lady?”. I went around with my friends saying that for weeks after this film hit theaters and started up again after seeing it on DVD.
Unfortunately due to time and budgetary constraints there are only three shorts in this film where there were five in the original. It’s to bad really, I would like to have seen two more in this film because each one of the three that are included just kept getting better.
We have love for the Divimax transfers! This high definition transfer is gorgeous with sharp color, good blacks, and high detail. There’s only a minimum amount of grain and print flaws. The worst hindrances to the film is that 80’s soft focus that was so common in those days and there’s no transfer that can fix that.
The 5.1 mix is great improvement over previous mono releases of the film. While there isn’t a lot of immersion as far as heavy use of the surrounds the dynamic range is much better than it has ever been. Dialogue is crisp and clear and score is well presented.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The single DVD release comes in a standard keep case with great comic book-like artwork that well represents the film.
First up is a commentary with director Michael Gornick and Anchor Bay staffer Perry Martin. Martin is a welcome addition to this commentary as he keeps it moving and prods some great tidbits from the director.
“Nightmares in Foam Rubber” is a featurette covering the special effects of Creepshow 2. This featurette was surprising in that it not only covered all of the effects done for the film but also a great deal of the politics surrounding the special effects work for Creepshow 2. An additional treat is the behind the scenes footage cut into this featurette.
There’s also storyboard art, a still gallery, the theatrical trailer, and the original screenplay as a DVD-ROM feature.
They don’t make movies like this anymore. No, it’s not as good as the original but it’s still a lot of fun.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10
The Movie 7.5/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 7/10
The Bonus Features 7.5/10