The first Creepshow film, released in 1985, managed to use this formula to huge success. The stories had a good deal of creepiness and provided some real shocks even through the vast cornball acting (I am still afraid that cockroaches will pour out of my heating vents some day). The second installment, however, does not reach the same levels of shock and at times the actors, which are no big names (the first film starred Ted Danson and Leslie Nielson), seem to be taking their roles all too seriously.
There are three separate tales included that are shown to us as they are read out of a comic book by a young boy (the comic being supplied by "The Creep", played to annoying heights by Tom Savini). The first is "Old Chief Wood'nhead", in which a wooden statue of an Indian is forced to take revenge on some young punks for the theft of some valued native artifacts. The fact that Tom Savini and Howard Berger manage to make this actor really, truly LOOK like he is made of wood is fairly amazing, but the rest of the story is pretty stale.
Next comes "The Raft", which is very confusing to me because it holds the most genuine scares, but also the worst creature I have ever seen. Four teenagers, high on drugs and looking for one last trip to the lake before winter sets in, find themselves in deep water. Seems that there is a creature in the lake that has sensed their presence and is eating them off, one-by-one. The problem I have, is that the creature looks suspiciously like a floating Hefty Bag with chocolate syrup poured on it. The gore effects in "The Raft" are very cool though, and there are several scenes of melting flesh which are good for some cringing.
Lastly is "The Hitchhiker". A two-timing woman is returning home from one of her rendezvous, when she accidentally hits and kills a hitchhiker. Instead of owning up, she takes off and tries to talk herself out of the guilt. Trouble is, the hitchhiker still wants his ride and is VERY persistent. Is it really the hitchhiker, come back from the dead to seek revenge? Or is the woman merely falling pray to her subconscious playing trick on her? Either way, it is obvious that this particular tale was a MAJOR influence on the horrible, I Know What You Did Last Summer (Jim Gillespie, 1997). "The Hitchhiker" also boasts the film's best and most brutal gore. Heads are crushed, bodies are smashed, and one car gets amazingly bloody.
Animated segments featuring the young boy as he reads the comic appear between each story, and are the weakest link in this film. There is apparently a fourth story being told to us about this young boy ordering some giant Venus Flytrap plants from the back of his comic book and the plants eventually eating the local bullies. Pointless and not needed. But it is a rare feat indeed to get animation and live action to combine, and some of the best movies of the 80's tried needlessly (i.e. Better Off Dead), so I don't hold it against Creepshow 2.
Creepshow 2 isn't really outstanding as a horror film, but as a piece of our childhood horror memories, it still has a home. When younger, I thought this film was hilarious and quite scary, but now the laughs are a little forced...as are the scares. Creepshow 2 isn't going to make sense to everyone, but if you are a fan of horror comedies, or just love a good dose of camp, then gobble this one up.
King & George Romero
Stephen King & George Romero
Widescreen Presentation 1.85:1
Behind-the-Scenes Still Gallery
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