Sunday, October 5, 2014

October Horror Movie Challenge: Creepshow (1982)

Directed by George A. Romero, Creepshow is a film loved by most fans of the genre. Made as an homage to the horror comics of the 1950s, such as Tales from the Crypt or The House of Mystery, Creepshow is an anthology film consisting of five different stories. There's a zombie patriarch who really wants to his beloved cake, a dimwitted bumpkin who meets his demise after discovering a strange meteorite, a wealthy psychopath plans an elaborate seaside revenge for his cheating wife and her boyfriend, a college professor who releases a ferocious monster from a mysterious crate, and an agoraphobic billionaire menaced by a swarm of cockroaches within his sterile apartment.

I utterly adore Creepshow. I've seen it numerous times, enjoy it immensely, and will probably watch it again before the month is over. Assuming I might be a tad bit biased during this 'review' is probably a safe bet. However, don't let that lead you to believe Creepshow is a bad film or a 'guilty pleasure' of mine. Far from it. Creepshow is a legitimately good film and deserves the praise it receives.

Creepshow feels like someone took an old issue of Tales from the Crypt and turned it into a movie. Each segment possesses a morbid sense of humor, which was prevalent throughout most of EC's horror titles. The movie even uses a comic as a framing device, with transitions between each story being the turning of a comic page and certain scenes are lit to look like something out of an old comic. This gives the movie an interesting visual style that's both recognizable and unique.

Speaking of visual style, the makeup and special effects are top notch as well. The creatures really look like something Al Feldstein or Jack Davis might have drawn. As usual, Tom Savini really hit it out of the park and proves he deserves to be considered a master makeup artist.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention the cast. The film is filled with talented people. We've got Tom Atkins, Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, E. G. Marshall, and Stephen King (yes, THAT Stephen King). While they're all great, I feel Nielsen and Marshall both deserve a little more praise. Both are excellent in their roles, with Nielsen playing the psychopathic Richard Vickers perfectly and Marshall is clearly having a lot of fun with his part.

Creepshow does have one major flaw, which happens to be a flaw shared by almost every anthology film: the different stories possess varying levels of quality, which causes the film to feel a little uneven at times. The first two stories could have been a lot stronger, and the 4th story's pacing can be too slow at times.

However, Creepshow is still a great film and has earned the right to be called a classic. If you haven't seen Creepshow, you need to fix that ASAP.