Creepshow (1982)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Creepshow</strong> (1982)

(On Cable TV, November 2016) Horror anthology Creepshow may be uneven and thirty-five years old by now, but it does have a few things still going for it. Among them is a charming throwback to fifties horror comics, along with the tongue-in-cheek, slightly-sadistic sense of humour that characterized it. Another would be seeing Stephen King hamming it up as a rural yokel gradually colonized by an alien plant. Yet another would be Leslie Nielsen is a rather serious role as a betrayed husband seeking revenge. Creepshow also notably adopts a number of comic book conventions decades before comic-book movies, under the cackling direction of horror legend George A. Romero. A very young (but not young-looking) Ed Harris pops up in a minor role, while Hal Holbrook and Adrienne Barbeau have more substantial roles in another segment. Finally, “They’re Creeping Up on You” cranks up the ick-factor to eleven for those who are bothered by cockroaches—you’ve been warned. Otherwise, well, it’s hit-and-miss. Neither the laughs nor the chills are always evenly balanced, and there’s a repetition of themes and effect even in five vignettes—at least two, and maybe even three, end on a note of “the dead rise for revenge!” Some of the special effects look dodgy (although this is more forgivable in a semi-comic context) and one suspects that had a similar film been made today, the direction would have been quite a bit more impressionistic. Still, Creepshow is not a bad grab bag thirty-five years later, and it does sustain viewing satisfaction until the end. As with most anthology movies, it’s perhaps best appreciated in small doses, a segment a night.

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