Creepshow 2 (Blu-Ray) Review
Horror anthologies have been making a comeback lately with the V/H/S series and The ABC’s of Death. Those were not particularly well done, but a recent one, Holidays, was actually pretty good. However, when it comes to the first two Creepshow films, that is an example of how it is done the right way, especially when two horror masterminds like George A. Romero and Stephen King are behind it. Although, Creepshow 2 is not as effective as the first one, it is still a whole lot of fun and exactly what blood and guts mixed with black humor in a horror film should be when it is done with the right people involved. This time, they offer the audience three stories as opposed to five.
The first one is called Old Chief Wood’nhead and it stars a married couple played by George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour. They own a store together that is no longer making any money, which bothers the wife more than the husband. He prefers to see the good in people and believes that things will turn around, even though they have not made any money in four weeks. He has a big cigar store Indian outside of his shop, which he takes care of and keeps in good shape. Since the locals are in debt, the married couple is given some treasures to hold onto until they are able to pay them back.
However, Sam Whitemoon (Holt McCallany), the nephew of Ben Whitemoon (Frank Salsedo), believes he has the hair and the talent to make it as a big movie star, so he holds up the store for money and the family treasures in order to leave this little town and make it big in motion pictures. He has a group of misfits with him that even believe he is taking it too far, but he is really in love with himself and doesn’t care what he has to do to get his big break. This poor couple has to try to fend them off as they are also destroying the store that has given them everything in life even if times are tough.
The second story is called The Raft. This follows a group of young teenagers that are looking to swim and hangout at a lake, even though the temperatures are incredibly cold. The leader Deke (Paul Satterfield) sees it as a chance to get laid while his somewhat shy and reserved friend Randy (Daniel Beer) has a secret crush of his own. Page Hannah and Jeremy Green play the two girls in this segment. It is all fun and games for everyone involved until a blob-like creature from the water starts to take them apart in brutal fashion.
The final story is far and away the best and is called The Hitch-Hiker. It stars Lois Chiles as a woman cheating on her husband. On the ride home from her secret lover’s house, she ends up hitting a hitchhiker, played by Tom Wright, a familiar face from TV and film, which I didn’t realize until the special features thanks to the makeup. She decides to just leave him to die after thinking it over for a little bit and having a little bit of a moral crisis. Before long, she realizes no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t kill this man.
The general point of view from the special features is that everyone enjoyed working on the film despite the budget and difficult conditions, but it was not the same as the original. It is still a pretty good film on its own merit, but they had to cut out two stories they wanted to put in there. In the end, the three are ranked in this order in my opinion: The Hitch-Hiker, Old Chief Wood’nhead, and The Raft. All of them are enjoyable, a ton of fun, and feature solid performances and really good gore. As they say on the special features, they are a morality tale like the EC horror comics where everyone has to figure out what is the right thing to do and when they don’t do it, there are consequences.
There are a lot of talented people working in the horror genre today such as Adam Green, Eli Roth, Darren Lynn Bousman, and Adam Wingard, to name a few. I would like to see some of them get together and make something like this. Horror is a great genre that often gets overlooked, but it has shown it can produce a great product and big box office returns for the studios. As it stands with Creepshow 2, it is more of the same and that is a good thing. It might not have had the same effect as the original, but they did pretty good considering all of the hoops they had to jump through to get it made.
Blu-Ray Info: Creepshow 2 is released on a single-disc Blu-Ray from Arrow Video. It has a running time of 90 minutes and is rated R. It also comes with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Mike Saputo. It also comes with a booklet that features the credits, Deadtime Stories by Michael Blyth, and information about the restoration process on the film.
Video Info: It comes with a new 2K restoration from original film elements and a 1080p transfer in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The film is not too old as it was released in 1987, but they have cleaned up a few things here and there and it looks great on Blu-Ray. It is well worth purchasing and owning, for sure.
Audio Info: The audio options are the original uncompressed PCM Mono 1.0, Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA Surround. It also comes with English subtitles. The audio was really good and effective, especially during the gory moments and some of the screams. Everything is up to standard here with no issues to complain about at all.
Audio Commentary with Director Michael Gornick: Again, someone moderates this and this time we get Perry Martin. The two have a lot of fun together and Gornick talks about all of the challenges they had filming, such as filming at night, going over budget, and other issues that arose as well, such as the cold. He sounds more like he survived it, but he did enjoy it.
Poncho’s Last Ride-An Interview with Actor Daniel Beer (14:44): This guy had quite an experience on this film such as getting hypothermia, only having twenty dollars to his name when it started, and the challenges of filming in the cold. They had to shut down production because he had to go to the hospital.
The Road to Dover-An Interview with Actor Tom Wright (13:51): As soon as I saw his face, I recognized him from Seinfeld among other things. He talks about how this was the film that got him his SAG card as he was able to play the role of the hitchhiker as well as doing all of the stunts. He wanted to portray the hitchhiker as someone that could horrify the audience and make them laugh. They shot all nights at the end of fall, early winter, and it was brutal with the Maine weather he says.
Tales From The Creep-An Interview with Actor and Make-Up Artist Tom Savini (07:53): Anyone that knows anything about the behind-the-scenes of horror is familiar with the work of the legendary Tom Savini. I forgot to mention in my review he also played The Creep, which he did a great job of, even though he did not do the voice. He hated being in the makeup and couldn’t wait to take a shower after he was done in it.
Screenplay for a Sequel-An Interview with George A. Romero (10:45): He talked about his love of comic books growing up, especially the horror ones that were banned. As I mentioned in my review, he sees these stories as mortality tales like the EC horror comics. He said the first film was number one at the box office, and he feels as though this franchise really could have had some legs and he would love to do more. He was the screenwriter on this film with the stories based by Stephen King.
Nightmares in Foam Rubber – archive featurette on the special effects of Creepshow 2, including interviews with FX artists Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero (32:03): This was released on the Anchor Bay release I’m guessing since Anchor Bay is shown in the opening credits of this. These two guys love horror and they said they have been best friends for decades. They said it was a proving ground for them and they were making it up as they went along. They share their love of early horror and also talk about some of the great stories from shooting the film, such as the time that Greg dropped ten gallons of UltraSlime in a car. They said they were allies with the director and he leaned on them, as he was feeling pressure because of being over schedule and over budget. This is a great special feature.
My Friend Rick (02:43): Howard Berger talks about calling Rick Smith’s house for six months after finding it in a phone book and getting to go up to his shop and how they formed a friendship. He was a huge fan of Rick Smith and would often get nervous around him.
Behind-The-Scenes Footage (05:50): This was from when they were making the film, and I’m assuming it was given by Tom Savini as his name was in the credits at the end. It mostly shows make-up work and whatnot.
Theatrical Trailers and TV Spot: The first one is one minute and thirty-eight seconds and the second one is one minute and twelve seconds. The TV spot is thirty-four seconds.