Blu-ray Review: Scream Factory's CREEPSHOW is a Halloween Treat
George A. Romero directed the horror anthology, based on Stephen King's screenplay.
Creepshow, written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero, is seminal release in the horror anthology lexicon. While it was low budget, it was high concept in terms of story, well-directed, and had an awesome cast, which included Adrienne Barbeau, Hal Holbrook, Tom Atkins, Leslie Nielsen, and Ted Danson (pre-Cheers).
If you're reading this, there's a pretty good chance that you've seen the film at least once, if not on multiple occasions, and I won't delve too deeply into the stories. But if you haven't seen this film, and you love horror, you have to watch Creepshow immediately. Expect the old-school E.C. Comics to come to life in vivid Bava-esque colors, with lots of pulp, dread, and weirdness to spare.
If you're new to the film, I can think of no better way to start than by picking up Scream Factory's new Blu-ray release --- just in time for Halloween. There's a new 4K scan of the film, as well as an unholy amount of extras, including a deluxe, 40-page booklet packed with color photos and excellent liner notes by film critic, genre journalist, and Fangoria synonym Michael Gingold. The man is an encyclopedia, with unparalleled knowledge.
As seen above, the release sports gorgeous new artwork that will have any genre fan drooling. (Note that the lithograph that came with the first 2,000 orders has sold out.)
Let's discuss what this release offers. The sound is great, and the picture is pretty good to excellent. There are some scenes that have plenty of grain, but it shouldn't be enough to distract you in this high-def age for more than a few seconds. The film is from 1982, after all, so be kind.
The connecting wrap-around story has Tom Atkins yelling at his kid for reading an issue of Creepshow. Firstly, if you're an Atkins fan, you're going to be weirded out by seeing him without his mustache, it's just a fact. Once you get over that, you might say, "damn, he hit that kid hard, what a jerk." That kid happens to be Joe Hill, one of Stephen King's novelist sons, a damn fine writer who's extremely successful these days.
One of the funniest stories you'll see in the extras is Atkins recounting that King was hovering over him when he had to slap Hill, worried he'd hurt the kid. It's funny to hear. Even funnier is the re-enactment of the kid getting his revenge in the Horror's Hallowed Grounds special feature. Atkins reprises his role while host Sean Clark plays Hill's character. Seeing a few of the film locations was cool, too.
In "Father's Day," a rotting corpse digs his way out of the ground to take revenge on his daughter for murdering him. If the flashback was any indication though, the guy deserved it. There are a few deleted scenes in the extras that expounds on this segment, and that was really cool to see.
Two lovers are murdered by a psychotic husband in "Something to Tide You Over," and this segment is fantastic. The production design and the acting alone makes this part a stand-out, but the horrors of what the man (Leslie Nielsen in fine form) does to his wife and her lover (young Ted Danson) outpaces their indescretions by a long shot. Not to worry, there's a satisfying conclusion.
"The Crate" is another awesome segment, and here Adrienne Barbeau plays an annoying drunk who puts off everyone around her, her long-suffering husband Hal Holbrook, most of all. There are some great, hilarious fantasy scenes in here, as well as some well-crafted dread.
"The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" is acted out nearly entirely by King himself. His yokel character finds a meteor and some weird substance with it. Visions of fortune dance in his head, but he never gets there. This one is a bit too silly for me, but it has its moments.
"They're Creeping up on You" has to do with a cockroach invasion. For someone who can't stand those insects, it's hard to watch. Hell, this one would make anyone squirmish.
Like I said, there's an insane amount of special features on this release. Check them out! There are so many interviews with cast and crew, and they were all enjoyable. It was cool to see all the Mondo prints created by so many massively talented illustrators. I cannot recommend this release enough. Grab this one for a hell of a Halloween!
- NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Camera Negative – Color Correction Supervised And Approved By Director Of Photography Michael Gornick
- Audio Commentary With Director George A. Romero And Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini
- NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick
- NEW Audio Commentary With Composer/First Assistant Director John Harrison And Construction Coordinator Ed Fountain
- NEW Terror And The Three Rivers – A Round Table Discussion On The Making Of Creepshow With John Amplas, Tom Atkins, Tom Savini, And Marty Schiff
- NEW The Comic Book Look – An Interview With Costume Designer Barbara Anderson
- NEW Ripped From The Pages – An Interview With Animator Rick Catizone
- NEW The Colors Of Creepshow – A Look At The Restoration of Creepshow With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick
- NEW Into The Mix – An Interview With Sound Re-recordist Chris Jenkins
- NEW Mondo Macabre – A Look At Mondo’s Various Creepshow Posters With Mondo Co-Founder Rob Jones And Mondo Gallery Events Planner Josh Curry
- NEW Collecting Creepshow – A Look At Some Of The Original Props And Collectibles From The Film With Collector Dave Burian
- Audio Interviews With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick, Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, And Make-up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci
- Tom Savini’s Behind-The-Scenes Footage
- Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – A Look At The Original Film Locations Hosted By Sean Clark
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailers
- TV Spot
- Radio Spots
- Still Galleries – Posters, Lobby Cards, And Movie Stills
- Still Galleries – Behind The Scenes Photos
Intrigued? Check out the trailer and more info over at Scream Factory here.
- George A. Romero
- Stephen King (original screenplay by)
- Hal Holbrook
- Adrienne Barbeau
- Fritz Weaver
- Leslie Nielsen