posted by @HeyItsKamo
What happens when one of the greatest horror writers of all time joins up with the premiere director in goofy-but-gruesome horror flicks? Creepshow!
In an alternate universe, Stephen King and George A. Romero never got together and made this early 80s fright-fest. Leslie Nielsen never buried Ted Danson up to his neck in sand, letting the tide wash over him as he slowly drowned to death. Ed Harris never found that half-empty bottle of booze in the old cemetery, just before a corpse crushed him to death with its own tombstone. Those poor bastards never got to see the incredible make-up and special effects Tom Savini brought to the screen. They missed the exploding, cockroach filled corpse in the segment They’re Creeping Up On You!
Lucky for us, this movie was made and we were given the chance to see just what happened when the minds of Romero and King got together. *Spoiler Alert* awesome, grotesque chaos meets masterful storytelling.
Creepshow is one heck of an interesting and creative film- five different segments, directed by Romero, all tell a unique story written by King. These “jolting tales of horror” include: Father’s Day, The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, Something To Tide You Over, The Crate, and They’re Creeping Up On You! There are animated cut scenes between each segment, as the idea behind Creepshow is that a child’s comic book has come to life and we are seeing the stories as they would happen if they were to actually happen.
Father’s Day tells the back-tracking tale of a cruel old man that was killed by his daughter on Father’s Day. The rich old bastard emotionally abused his daughter for years, even going as far as having her lover killed. When he repeatedly belittles his daughter and demands his Father’s Day cake (this scene was enough to even make me want to kill the old fucker), she responds with an “enough is enough” attitude and takes a fucking marble ashtray to the back of his head.
The segment actually beings sometime after this episode, in the living room of a beautiful mansion. The deceased man’s surviving family (holy shit, they’re such wasps) has gathered on Father’s Day (as is tradition) to join with the murderous daughter, Bedelia, to celebrate why they all have so much fucking money. Bedelia is the last to arrive, but doesn’t join the others as she has a tradition of going to her fathers grave, getting drunk, and explaining why she had to end him.
This year, she’s exceptionally wasted and, through some insane act that can only exist in a Stephen King story, spills booze on the grave, which in turn brings the zombified remains of her father back to life. This is where shit gets crazy. The reanimated body goes on an awesome rampage, killing everyone, including Ed Harris who, for some fucking reason goes out to the cemetery to find Bedelia. He stumbles across the (now)dead woman’s half full bottle of whiskey and, in one of the funniest “meh, whatever, booze is booze, right?” gestures, goes to have a sip but ends up falling into the grave, where he’s promptly crushed by the undead mans own tombstone.
Zombie Dad then offs the rest of the family one by one, demanding his “cake” the entire time. He finally gets his cake, in the form of the severed head of the queen wasp in the family. It’s truly one of the more comedic and bizarre scenes in this flick, which is full of weird scenes.
The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill is by far the goofiest segment in the film, and I’ll explain why. Jordy Verrill (played by Stephen King), is a backwoods farmer, although yokel is probably a better word to use here. One night, he witnesses a meteorite impact on his land and upon investigating, he finds a hot, green glowing rock and decides that he should be able to make a buck off of it, “Enough to pay back that bank loan.” He makes the mistake of touching the space rock with his bare hands, which causes the knee jerk reaction of Jordy putting his fingers in his GOD DAMN MOUTH– from there it’s pretty much over for JV.
The rock transfers some strange bacteria to his hand that begins to grow like crazy- strange green moss starts to sprout up all over his body. His first idea is to get shitfaced drunk, but when he wakes up from his bender and realizes that the whole thing wasn’t just a bad dream, he really starts freaking out. The plant growth eventually overtakes the farm, the Verrill homestead, and eventually JV himself. With nothing left to live for (homeboy is completely covered in green shit after foolishly taking a bath), Jordy shoots himself to end his unlucky, miserable life.
Something To Tide You Over fucking rules. It’s by far the most memorable of the stories (except for maybe the epic end to the final segment) and holds sway over the “we got semi-big name actors in this movie” title. Nielsen plays the insane Richard, a wealthy lunatic who’s set on getting revenge on his unfaithful wife and her lover, Harry (Danson). Richard convinces Harry to accompany him to a undisclosed location where he is (according to a tape recording) torturing his wife; Harry agrees to go with him. The two men arrive at a private beach, and Richard forces Harry at gunpoint to get into a pre-dug hole.
In case you can’t see what’s coming, shit’s about to pop OFF. Richard buries Harry up to his neck in sand, right in the tide line. Completely unable to escape, crazy Rich leaves Harry with a television, which is displaying a live video feed of his cheating wife in very much the same situation Harry is in- buried up to her neck, with the tide coming in fast.
From here on out I don’t think I really need to explain what happens. The tide comes in, and when Richard returns, all that’s left is a burnt out tv. BUT GUESS THE FUCK WHAT, YOU GUYS?! Stephen KING wrote this story, so of course it doesn’t just end there. A very dead, very water logged Harry and cheating wife come back and haunt the fuck out of Richard. This segment ends with Nielsen buried up to his ears in the sand, with the tide slowly rolling in.
The Crate is another satisfying tale of supernatural revenge(sort of) that deals with a horrifying monster. A college janitor discovers a very old crate under some stairs as he is cleaning the area one day. Upon further investigation, the crate appears to be from an Antarctic exploratory expedition from the early 1800s. Not knowing what to do, the janitor calls a professor at the college, Dexter Stanley, to come and give the mysterious box a once over.
The two men eventually pry the top of the crate off and the janitor is immediately attached by a terrible beast hidden inside. A cool thing about this segment is they actually show the creature, which looks like if an ape met the abominable snowman. It has sharp teeth and sharp claws, and while it has a small stature, it makes easy work of the janitor- all it leaves behind is a bloody boot. Professor Stanley freaks the fuck out, as he should, and runs out of the building and right into a student. He eventually coaxes the student (he wants no fucking part of this) to come and check out the creature.
So now the student is dead and the Prof. is freaking out. He calls on his good friend and colleague at the college, Henry, and the two try and figure out what the Hell to do. Henry agrees with Stanley that the creature needs to be killed off, so Henry heads over to the school. While the rest of the story was unfolding, we were introduced to Henry’s awful wife, Wilma, an obnoxious and abusive woman that Henry would love to get out of his life for good- homeboy constantly fantasizes about killing her, so I think we know where this is going.
Henry comes up with a brilliant plan to get Wilma to come to the school, on the idea that she needs to help a female student that Stanley attacked. Henry leads her to the stairs, where the creature has retreated, and the yeti-beast attacks, kills, and eats his bitch wife. Then, after securely getting the monster back in the box, Henry drives to a quarry and drops the crate into the water. The segment ends with a shot of the sunken crate, broken, which I suppose we could see as an implication that the beast has escaped.
Sidebar: maybe I’m over-thinking this, but this ending is much deeper than just “oh, the monster escaped.” Ultimately, Wilma was very abusive to Henry emotionally (not to mention she was always drunk and annoying as fuck), but perhaps she was right with the things she said that tormented him. I’m not saying that it was right for her to fuck with her husbands head and act like a condescending bitch, but when she said things like “What would you do without me, Henry?” and “Why am I not surprised that you need my help?” …maybe she had a point. We don’t know Henry’s back story- maybe he was a colossal fuck-up in every aspect of his life and Wilma constantly had to bail him out of shitty situations. In the end, he cleaned up the mess for his colleague Stanley, but he was unable to do the one task that he really needed to do: ensure that the beast that FUCKING EATS PEOPLE WHOLE was dead and couldn’t FUCKING EAT PEOPLE WHOLE anymore. I always wondered if King ended the story like this for a reason. Again, I might just be looking at this too deeply, but it’s something to think about.
Last up is They’re Creeping Up On You! which is a huge gross out. The story follows Mr. Pratt, a businessman with two noticeable traits: he’s a huge prick, and he’s a germaphobe. He’s ruthless in the business world, even driving his competitors to suicide, but he is forced to stay in his sealed apartment due to an intense fear of germs and other unwanted pests in his life… like, bugs maybe?
YUP! The segment beings in Pratt’s apartment as he stalks around with a can of pest-killer, hunting down cockroaches that seem to randomly appear in the otherwise spotless apartment. He disposes of the bugs and other refuse in this weird high-tech vacuum porthole thing that’s installed in a huge circuit board that controls his apartment- it’s his phone system, it monitors his stocks and what not, it checks on pollution and germ levels in his apartment, and so on.
So he begins to notice more and more cockroaches scurrying around his (supposedly) clean apartment, and decides to get an exterminator over to kill some creepy pests so he can rest easier. This is when all Hell breaks loose. The power goes out and when it comes back on, bugs just start pouring out of fucking everything. I mean, the amount of bugs they had to get for this segment must have been astounding- they come out of the sink, from under every single thing in the apartment, the walls and floor are littered with creepy-crawlers. It’s nuts.
The story ends with Mr. Pratt, trapped in his bedroom, being completely consumed by the bugs. They even invade his body and then tear him apart from the inside out- it’s one Hell of a scene, to be honest. After the smoke clears, we see that he imagined the insects the entire time, and his lifeless body dangles off the foot of his bed.
Well, I guess that about does it! If you’re a fan of goofy horror movies, it would be criminal not to check out Creepshow. The stories are all written by one of the best authors of the genre, and anything directed by George Romero is worth at least one viewing. Have a creepy time watching this on Halloween!
*Fun Fact* The little boy in the segments that kick-off and then end the film is actually Stephen Kings son, Joe King. He goes by Joe Hill because Joe King just sounds… well, sound it out.
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