This title needs no introduction, however thankfully Second Sight films are giving it something it does need - an absolutely flawless Blu-ray release.
This movie, released all those years ago, simply set a benchmark for anthologies which is yet to be reached. Countless have tried, but none really capture the element of ‘fun’ which Creepshow’s five stories hold at their core. Just the right amount of gore, and not too camp, the recipe is a fine balance, as is the director writer teaming of Romero and King, with both bringing their trademarks to each of the stories.
Romero’s influence is perhaps the most obvious, with at least two of the stories containing what you might consider ‘traditional’ zombies. ‘Father’s Day’, a story about an evil father’s return from the grave to enact vengeance over his prospering relatives, showcases some awesome zombie effects and sees the rotting corpse shamble his way from the grave to his old manor house. The setting is perfect, and the lighting makes the movie seem like the comic-art themed world within which Creepshow is set. Naturally, ‘Tales from the Crypt’ style, there is a slight moral attached, and the ‘just desserts’ pun nicely summarises this tale nicely. ‘Something to tide you over’ another zombie fest sees the shambling dead enacting their revenge on a murderously jealous lover. Again, perfect location, and fantastically simple story allows screen veteran Leslie Nielson the opportunity to deliver some of the deadpan acting he was famous for before he became comic icon Frank Dreben! The special effects on this one are unique with some waterlogged zombie headshot action. It must be noted here that to complete the ‘Creepshow’ package, effects maestro Tom Savini is at the helm of all the gore and fx, and needless to say, he was well within his peak!
Two other stories ‘The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill’ and ‘The Crate’ are both adaptations from King’s previously published short stories. ‘Lonesome Death’ is perhaps the weakest story of the bunch, but still you cannot ignore King’s typical flair for making the surreal seem real, and invoke emotions in the most absurd scenarios – in this case, when halfwit Jordy Verrill (played by King himself) becomes infected and overgrown by an alien weed which landed in a meteorite just outside his farm. In contrast ‘The Crate’ is the most violent of the bunch with college professor Northrup seizing the opportunity to make the discovery of a murderous yeti like creature turn in his favour as he devises a way to lure his obnoxious wife to her demise. Again, awesome effects, and some really silly set pieces make this addition to Creepshow’s roster one of the best!
Finally, ‘Their creeping up on you’ sees a mean old man succumb to an insect infestation in his supposedly sterile apartment. Needless to say if you don’t like insects the title will possibly parody the events of the movie – there are a lot of bugs! It’s a genuine skin crawler! Although possibly more linear than some of the other movies, it still holds the ethos of the movie at its core. After all this isn’t supposed to be true horror, but a collection of dark comics - and who isn’t creeped out at the thought of bugs bursting out of them?!
Overall, this is one of horrors must see. It’s had a patchy DVD release over the years, my region one disc looks as shit as it could possibly look, although the R2 collector’s edition released remedied that. That said the picture transfer on the Blu-ray release has got to be considered definitive. Not only do you have the superior resolution, but the depth of colour and vibrancy of the image only helps accentuate the frequent coloured lighting effects which helps maintain the live-comic feel of the movie. As usual Second Sight continue to seek out the classics that mean the most to us and give them the treatment they deserve - one can only hope though for a steelbook version with the potential for some amazing artwork.