Stephen King and George Romero were a natural fit. Romero had become a sensation in the late ’60s when Night of the Living Dead changed the nature of horror on the screen. King’s novels had become sensation in the ’70s. The duo tried for a while to come together, but for one reason or another things didn’t work out included an attempt at The Stand. Finally the duo came together to do a film that paid tribute to legacy of EC Comics that had printed Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror. But instead of getting the rights to the scary magazines, they created their own comic book using tales from Steven King’s short stories and called it Creepshow. Unlike the Amicus films from England, King and Romero wanted people to remember they were watching a live action version of a comic book by messing with the fame and adding animation. Creepshow: Collector’s Edition maximizes the detail and colors to restore the experience to a fine and fun moment for Romero and King.
A father (Halloween III‘s Tom Atkins) isn’t happy to discover his son (Joe King) is reading a Creepshow comic book. He wants his kid to not waste time on crap. He throws the book in the trashcan, but the book won’t go unread. The pages turn on its own. First there’s father’s day where a family is torn how to morn their father’s death since he was a pretty miserable person in life. They quickly discover this is the Father’s Day they won’t forget the old man. “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill” has Stephen King playing a goofy farmer who thinks he can strike it rich when he finds a meteor on his property. His big plan goes bad when he discovers the meteor is growing on him. King is a pretty good actor in this piece since he gets to be over the top slapstick in the role. Bingo O’Malley plays all the other characters in the segment. “Something to Tide You Over” is a gruesome film about Leslie Nielsen (Police Squad) discovering his wife (Gaylen Ross) is having an affair with Ted Danson (Cheers). He gets his revenge by burying them up to their necks in sand and videotaping it. He lets them know if they can hold their breath long enough, they should be able to escape when the sand gets wet. Nielsen is cold blooded in this performance. “The Crate” has an unexpected discovery in the basement of a college marked “Arctic Expedition – June 19 1834.” Professors find out that there’s something really dangerous inside the box. Hal Holbrook wants to use it to solve a problem that’s Adrienne Barbeau (Maude). “They’re Creeping Up on You” has E.G. Marshall (The Bold Ones) as a cruel rich guy who hates germs. During a rolling blackout, his worst fears come true and his panic room can’t save him. The stories wrap up with the son from the beginning getting his revenge on dad using something he bought from an ad in the magazine.
Creepshow holds up amazingly well with the stories still packing a scare and a bit of a laugh. Tom Savini’s effects remain gruesome. The fears in the film are real such as mysterious boxes, gooey substance that can’t be wiped off your fingers, being buried alive, relatives who can’t stay alway. The end of E.G. Marshall’s character will have you running to the shower. Romero visually has it go beyond the Amicus titles with the optical effects to reinforce the feeling that this is the scary magazine from your youth. We aren’t merely looking at the screen, but a series of panels. Creepshow proved to be one of the biggest hits for Romero as this was one of his finest non-zombie entries.
The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer is a 4K Scan Of The Original Camera Negative so it looks so fine. The resolution of the cockroaches will make you want to swap your screen. The audio is 5.1 DTS-HD MA to get the creepy sounds swirling around the room. There’s also a 2.0 DTS-HD MA of the original mix. The movie is subtitled.
Audio Commentaries are provided with so many of the crew chiming in the production. First and most essential is the track with Director George A. Romero And Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini. The late director discusses the film. There’s also tracks with Director Of Photography Michael Gornick and Composer/First Assistant Director John Harrison And Construction Coordinator Ed Fountain. There’s also a audio interviews With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick, Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, And Make-up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci that run under the film.
Terror And The Three Rivers (30:10) is John Amplas, Tom Atkins, Tom Savini, and Marty Schiff sitting around a table in a restaurant talking about working on Creepshow. The conversation turns to Leslie Nielsen and his fart machine. There’s also talk how nervous Stephen King was about the scene where Tom Atkins slaps his son Joe King.
The Comic Book Look (12:51) interviews With Costume Designer Barbara Anderson about making the film look pulpy. She first started working with Romero on Knightrider. She talks of greening up King’s wardrobe including having to shave King’s chest.
Ripped From The Pages (15:37) chats with animator Rick Catizone. He had been working with Romero since before Night of the Living Dead. He talks of making the comic book toss in the garbage can and turn to the right pages in live action. They decided to go with animation and do match dissolves.
The Colors Of Creepshow (10:10) covers the restoration of Creepshow with Director Of Photography Michael Gornick. He was happy that Romero had a pretty big budget compared to his previous projects. He didn’t like the color timing and look of previous home video versions. He spent 10 hours at the lab working with the original negative to get things right with the colorist.
Into The Mix (13:05) listens to sound re-recordist Chris Jenkins about the noises that bring about horror.
Mondo Macabre (9:42) is a look at Mondo gallery’s various Creepshow posters with co-founder Rob Jones and events planner Josh Curry. These are recently made poster prints made by artists. The gallery is down in Austin, Texas.
Collecting Creepshow (12:31) looks at original props And collectibles from the film with collector Dave Burian. He has E.G. Marshall’s cast head and the box.
Tom Savini’s Behind-The-Scenes Footage (25:52) is the raw video used to check out the special effects.
Horror’s Hallowed Grounds (14:56) has Sean Clark tour the Creepshow locations in the Pittsburgh area. This one is the best as a star of the film makes a cameo.
Deleted Scenes (14:31) are from the various stories. They were taken off a video source. There’s extra footage of Ted Danson at the beach.
Theatrical Trailers (1:49) promises a great horror tag team. There’s also a Spanish language trailer.
TV Spot (0:28) promises the creeps and Stephen King acting.
Radio Spots (1:04) will lure you to turn your car around and see a matinee.
Still Galleries include Posters, Lobby Cards, Movie Stills and Behind The Scenes Photos cover all the promotional material.
Scream Factory presents Creepshow: Collector’s Edition. Directed by George Romero. Screenplay by: Stephen King. Starring: Hal Holbrook, Ted Danson, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, E. G. Marshall and Stephen King. Rated: Rated R. Running Time: 120 minutes. Released: October 23, 2018.
Tags: Creepshow, George Romero, Scream Factory, Stephen King