Blu-ray Review: Creepshow 2

During the ’80s there were two names in American horror that easily generated a buzz. Stephen King was the hottest author as he kept releasing novels as thick as phone books that would scare you more than the robocaller who wants to get your credit card number. George Romero frightened and grossed out movie audiences with Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. When the duo teamed up for Creepshow, the film creeped out audiences and proved to be a box office hit. The movie paid tribute to gruesome comic books including Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror and the anthology horror films produced in the ’70s by Amicus in England which included Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror. Naturally when a movie is a hit, a producer is ready to create a sequel. Thus Romero and King put together Creepshow 2 for a second scare.

The movie opens with the framing story of Billy eagerly awaiting the arrival of the latest issue of Creepshow. He’s lucky since his copy is delivered by the Creep (From Dusk Till Dawn‘s Tom Savini) himself. Billy and the Creep are transformed into animated characters as the opening credits kick in. But things get back to live action as “Old Chief Wood’nhead” leaps off the page. The town of Dead River is drying up as everyone seems to be broke. This isn’t good for George Kennedy’s general store. His wife (Road to Singapore‘s Dorothy Lamour) wants him to retire. But he’s too busy being part of the community and cleaning up the Indian statue out front. A local tribal chief gives George a collection of items as collateral for their debt with him. Things seems warm in the dusty town. Soon after the chief’s nephew (Alien3‘s Holt McCallany) arrives with a shotgun and two goon pals. They’re going out to Hollywood since the nephew is ready to share his handsome looks with the world. Before he goes, he needs a little money for the trip to California and he wants it from George. When things get nasty, a supernatural force posses an unlikely avenger. “The Raft” follows a car full of teens out to a remote lake for fun afternoon. They into the water and play on a floating wooden raft. The teens learn they aren’t alone. Something nasty is in the water and it doesn’t want them to reach the beach. It’s a gruesome tale of survival.

“The Hitch-hiker” opens with a woman (Moonraker‘s Lois Chiles) wrapping up her session with a gigolo. She likes paying the guy to give her what her busy lawyer husband can’t provide in the bed. But she has to get home quick since she lost track of time during her pleasure session. She’s speeding home to beat her husband to the garage only to become a distracted driver. She loses control of the car and hits a hitchhiker (Barbershop‘s Tom Wright). She speeds off without offering any help. The hitchhiker won’t let her drive home as he keeps popping up on the road. The framing story slips back into animation as Billy springing a surprise on his bully.

Overall Creepshow 2 isn’t quite as good as the original. But The Hitch-hiker makes this a must see and have movie. The stunts are amazing as Wright hangs onto her speeding car. This is up their with Mad Max Fury Road level people clinging to cars action. The make up effects as he keeps getting slammed into stuff makes this a nightmare that won’t stop. The hitchhiker declaring, “Thanks for the ride, lady” as his face turns into a bloody mess remains memorable after nearly 30 years. This segment rightfully overwhelms the movie with it’s unrelenting nightmare quality that wraps up Creepshow 2 on the right horrific note.

The videos is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the detail in the Hitchhiker’s ever grotesque face. The audio includes the original mono in LPCM 1.0, an LPCM 2.0 stereo track, as well as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The 5.1 allows you to enjoy the extra soundtrack work from keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman (Yes). The movie is subtitled.

Audio Commentary with director Michael Gornick gives him a chance to discuss going from cinematographer on the first Creepshow to making the sequel. He talks about how Tom Savini was supposed to direct.

Screenplay for a Sequel (10:45) has George Romero discuss capturing Stephen King’s work into a script. He points out that Creepshow was his first film to hit #1 in the box office. He senses that a tighter budget might have made things not quite as fun on the sequel. They cut off 2 for the 5 stories. Director Michael Gornick had worked as Romero’s cinematographer on the original.

Tales from the Creep (7:53) has Tom Savini discuss being the host instead of the make up wizard. They have photos of his transformation. He didn’t do the Creep’s voice. The film turned into family fun as is wife worked the lake slime. He also has a great pay or play story that would impress the Animaniacs.

Poncho’s Last Ride (14:44) has Daniel Beer recollect how he ended up on “The Raft.” It was a quick audition. He approached it as being stuck in a nightmare unable to wake up. He had an issue while swimming in the cold lake when he turned green.

The Road to Dover
(13:51) allows Tom Wright to not get run over. Nice to see him not covered in blood and car parts. He talk about having to shoot at night in Bangor, Maine where the temperatures were way below freezing. Wright was his own stuntman. He breaksdown the make up jobs as his character gets abused. Wright had a recurring character on Seinfeld as George’s Yankee’s co-worker.

Nightmares in Foam Rubber (32:03) brings together special effects stars Howard Berger (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead). Greg talks about growing up with a dad that was a big gadget guy whose dad’s early VCR taped Horror of Dracula. He learned how they made the effects that scared him. Berger grew up in Los Angeles and was able to work with his idols. Greg is from Pittsburgh and worked with Tom Savini. The duo ended up meeting on Day of the Dead. The duo have worked together on The Walking Dead. The documentary perfect for any kid who wants to get into the world of make up effects. This was from a previous Anchorbay release.

My Friend Rick (2:43) is Howard Berger talking about his mentor Rick Baker (American Werewolf in London). He met Rick when he was 14 and wanted to learn from the master.

Behind the Scenes (5:50) is video shot by the effects guy to see how their effects can be applied to actors.

Image Gallery (3:34) are shots from the sets and promotional items.

Trailers and TV Spots includes 2 theatrical trailers and 1 TV commercial.

Arrow Video presents Creepshow 2. Directed by: Michael Gornick. Screenplay by: George Romero. Starring: George Kennedy, Dorthy Lamour, Holt McCallany and Stephen King. Running Time: 90 minutes. Rated: R. Released: December 13, 2016

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