Monday, September 15, 2008

Ranking The Creepshows

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A little reminder before we delve into Creepshow ; Voting for Spike TV's 2008 Scream Awards has begun and you can place all your votes NOW through the 17th of October. The show airs October 21st.

Creepshow, the fusing of horror juggernauts Stephen King, George A. Romero, and Tom Savini, came out in 1982 and still, over 20 years later, is some of the most fun we've had being scared. Well, that was the tagline at least. Not that I disagree with it. Not that I was scared. I'm too much of a man for that. Ok, Fluffy kinda still gives me nightmares. Creepshow was a big part of my horror watching childhood and I gave it another viewing last night. Rather then typing up a boring review of a film we've all most likely seen more then a handful of times, I figured i'd rank the five tales of terror in order of favoriteness. Like five of my own children, I love them all but some i'm more likely to rant and rave about to friends then others.

5. Father's Day

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Father's Day is essentially about man's fear of meeting his new woman's family. It turns out worse then most such enounters do, but really not all that much worse. Ed Harris stars in this one as Hank Blaine, the unlucky man who is meeting his wife's family ; a family that has more then a few skeletons in the closet. Some time ago, his new wifes great aunt Bedelia killed her husband with a marble ashtray (which has a cameo in each of the five tales) after she had had enough of his torment and screams for a Father's Day birthday cake. Now seven years later, Nathan comes back from the dead to seek revenge and no one is safe from his wrath. This story was written by Stephen King for the film and is the weakest entry in it and a not so good place to kick off the anthology. Keep an eye out for Ed Harris' dance moves, which are the highlight of the episode. Even though I wasn't too big of a fan of this one, I still can't help uttering the line "WHERE'S MY CAKE!?" ad nauseam in a ghastly fashion, much to the anger of my friends and family.

4. They're Creeping Up On You!

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This one, also written by King for the film, is about Upson Pratt (E.G Marshall), a man who is disgusted by and afraid of germs and insects, who, in typical horror fashion, is subjected to his worst fears. An employee that he has wronged has unleashed hordes, and I mean hordes, of hideous bugs into his quarantined little shelter he calls home. Creeping is a one man show, starring only Marshall and the massive amounts of insects. Savini's makeup effects towards the end of this one are absolutely amazing and will have you thinking there are bugs crawling all over you for at least the next few days.

3. The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill

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Adapted from the H.P Lovecraft short story Weeds, Lonesome Death revolves around Jordy Veriill, a not so bright hick who has just seen a meteorite land in his backyard. He thinks this is the key to his riches and will help him pay off his bank loan. Only problem is, the meteorite makes everything it touches (including Jordy) and subsequently everything Jordy touches grow with a strange plant like organism. Not even his nether parts are spared. This one plays like a drug trip gone horribly wrong. This story is also a one man show with Stephen King himself playing the title character and his hammy over the top performance is a huge part of what makes this one so entertaining. Seeing King turn into the Grinch and then blow his own furry head off with a shotgun is quite the sight.

2. The Crate

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A mysterious crate is discovered under the stairs of Horlicks University by a lowely janitor. The crate reads "1834 Artic Expedition" and, as many will soon find out, contains a monsterous creature deemed Fluffy. His name is never mentioned in the story, but that is what Romero referred to him as. Hal Holbrook (The Fog/the old dude who made you cry like a little bitch in Into The Wild) stars as Henry Northup, an English professor at the school who sees the creature not as a threat, but as a way to kill off his alcoholic bitch of a wife Wilma (the big breasted Adrienne Barbeau). Who has't wanted to feed their loved one to a furry hungry sharp toothed beast at one time or another? The higlights of the episode are Henry's imagined killings of his wife, cheered on by his colleagues, and of course, the appeareances of the frightening Fluffy. The Crate is a short story written by King many years before Creepshow and has obvious references to John Carpenter's The Thing. A mysterious creature locked up in a crate from an Arctic Expedition. Sound familiar? The crate even bears the name John Carpenter on it, lest you had any doubts.

1. Something To Tide You Over

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This one has always been my favorite in the film. It is perhaps only trumped by The Raft in all of Creepshow's filmed stories. Leslie Nielsen stars as Richard Vickers, a bitter and angry man who has just been cheated on by his wife Becky (Dawn of the Dead's Gaylen Ross). Ted Danson plays Harry, the stud who has stolen Becky away from Richard. In an act of revenge, Richard buries the two up to their necks at the beach, right by the water, and films and watches on with glee as the two slowly drown. The two, however, return as zombies and exact their own bit of revenge on Richard. Considering one of my biggest fears is drowning, this one had a big impact on me when I was younger. The scenes of the two slowly drowning with no means of escape whatsoever are perhaps the most terrifying death scenes one could imagine. Leslie Nielsen really makes this episode, trading in his usual over the top humorous roles for that of the villain. The brooding music throughout is particularly cool. This tale, also written by King for the film, is in my opinion the best of the bunch. Romero and zombies. Can't go wrong.

A little plug for my favorite horror shirt company Fright Rags ; If you're a Creepshow fan, head to their site and pick up their awesome shirts from Father's Day and Something To Tide You Over!

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention, John! I'm glad you like the shirts! Look for more Creepshow-themed shirts soon!

Ben
FRIGHT-RAGS
www.fright-rags.com

the sneering (homo-phobic) snob said...

gaylen ross was still a hot chick back in `82, although i never liked her name i wish she`d been called straightlen ross that would have been so much better.

Anonymous said...

Here's my ranking of BOTH movies:
1)The Crate: phenomenally interesting story, sick funny fantasy sequences, great acting- sucks you the hell in- incredible!
2)Tide You Over: downright scary seaweed sickos, and Nielsen & Danson interactions are legendary.
3)The Raft: cheezy fun characters make this one- plus the ending is so classic
4)Father's Day: Creepy as hell in that graveyard. Great lines from the old broads, Gory ass father is repulsively funny.
5)Hitchhiker- "Thanks for the ride ladeey" hysterical and trippy exhilarating to watch
6)Woodenhead: Villains to laugh at- great revenge story.
7)Gordy Verrill- Twisted father issues and Kurt Cobain death- very deep (greenhouse effect)
8)Creeping Up On You- so insanely disgusting, you cant re-watch but special effects are undeniably good.
*Voodoo doll kid is great but wanted more throughout the flick, which the 2nd one had with the cartoon throughout. Tough call on this- cant believe Im goin with 2 but the cartoon is awesome.
**Music and lighting- better in the original but some elements standout in 2