What could be more fun than an anthology horror movie? Several unique horror stories for the price of one! That means more gore, more special effects, and more nudity (hopefully)! Well, “Creepshow” doesn’t deliver on the nudity, but it certainly gives you your money’s worth of special effects, gore, and horror luminaries.
“Creepshow” was envisioned as the ultimate meeting between two horror masters: George Romero and Stephen King. However, King’s script is far from frightening in many places, but in “Creepshow,” that’s not really the point. The film is an homage to the old EC horror comics of the 1950s, and in that respect the film is dead on. It may not be that scary, but then again, those comics weren’t either.
Book-ended by EC-style comic book drawings, “Creepshow” is divided into five stories. The first two, about a vengeful zombie on Father’s Day and a simple farmer’s encounter with a meteor, don’t work as well as the last three, but have their own charm. “Father’s Day” stars a young Ed Harris and has some decent effects by horror master Tom Savini, but that’s about it. The second skit, “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill” is worth seeing specifically for Stephen King’s hammy acting as the title character. Although short on scares, the skit has quite a few funny moments, and many are even intentional!
The third segment, “Something to Tide You Over,” is a pretty typical revenge story, mainly worth watching because of the bizarre casting. Ted Danson stars as the protagonist, and Leslie Nielson plays the villain! Not surprisingly, this is one of the film’s more cheesy stories, but it actually has a bit of creepy suspense to it.
Much more successful is the fourth story, “The Crate,” in which a college professor discovers an ancient savage beast locked in a box. Not only is this skit the scariest, it is also the most original and thought-provoking. This segment alone makes “Creepshow” worth watching, although the fourth and final chapter isn’t bad either. Entitled “They’re Creeping Up On You,” it is the story of a nasty old man and his Howard Hughes-like obsession with cleanliness. Of course, he pays for his cruelty in a truly unsettling way.
The problem with anthology movies is that certain segments are always inconsistent with the rest of the film. This is certainly true with “Creepshow,” but the film’s unique combination of Stephen King’s stories and George Romero’s direction creates a compelling whole. While the film has some slow points, the blend of comic book homage, comedy, and genuine scares results in a fairly cohesive film. While certainly not the best horror film ever, “Creepshow” remains the best horror anthology film ever.