Five creepy tales are strung together by a framing story involving a young boy being punished by his father for reading the gruesome ‘Creepshow’ comic book. The film is broken down into five separate short stories that are introduced and closed with a tale of a father who catches his young boy reading a comic book with the same title as the film. In between each story, the live-action film reverts to animated footage that interconnects into the next story from the comic book.
Seven years ago, suffering daughter Bedilia was making her filthy rich father a Father’s Day cake until she finally snapped, murdering her father on Father’s Day. Seven years have passed, and it’s Father’s Day again and this time Daddy want’s his cake!
The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill
Hillbilly Jordy Verrill sees dollar signs when a meteor falls onto his property. However, his fate is not to make the millions he thinks he will, but to turn into a plant (author Stephen King takes the role of Jordy Verrill).
Something to Tide You Over
Richard Vickers (played by the legendary Leslie Nielsen) has learned his young wife plans to leave him for a younger man (Ted Danson). Not used to losing anything he considers valuable, Richard stages a revenge plot against the two lovers that involves a sand burial.
Professor Henry Northrup is fed up with his wife Billy (Adrienne Barbeau), and her constant displays of disrespect towards him at various public functions. Dreaming of different ways he could get rid of her, he soon learns of a creature that’s been unleashed in the basement of the University he works for, and decides it may be worth some further investigation.
They’re Creeping Up On You
Millionaire Upson Pratt is a shrewd businessman who doesn’t give a damn at the thought of walking over anyone that tries to cross his path. Sealed up in a germ-free apartment, Pratt suffers from a fear of bugs, germs, and anything he considers unclean. One night, his apartment becomes infested with cockroaches and he quickly realizes his mistreatment of those around him has deadly consequences.
Presented in a MPEG-4 AVC 16:9 1080p encode I was pleasantly surprised at how good the video presentation was. Considering the age of the film is over 30 years old now, this Blu-Ray looks great.
Detail on the print was very good, with definition being a highlight for me. The craters on Tom Atkin’s face were what made me at first notice the detail. Day time colours were very good, with greenery being the stand out for me. The neon green hue from ‘The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill’ really stood out for me and popped off the screen. Night time and darker scenes were also very good, not losing any detail on screen and adding some good depth to the picture. Skin tones looked as natural as they could, and the practical FX blended in well with the picture. A little bit of grain here and there, but nothing too major and it was also nice to see the scratches and scores on the film were still present. There was some slight motion blur in the long panning scenes and the fast moving scenes, but nothing too much to distract you from what you are watching on the screen. Another worthy mention is that the animated scenes looked great on-screen.
Second Sight have given us two options for the audio side of things. One is a new DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, and the other is a LPCM 2.0 track.
I started watching the movie with the 5.1 track but about 15 minutes or so in, I switched over to the PCM track. The DTS-HD Master Audio track felt a bit messy for my liking. The sound effects way overpowered the dialogue, which at times made it very hard to hear what was being spoken on screen.
The PCM track however was very good, but I did need to turn the amp up higher than normal to get it to a good level. The balance of the dialogue and sound effects was about just right. Dialogue wasn’t lost within the soundtrack and came across naturally and unforced. The score throughout the movie was great, very haunting and lingering building the tension when needed and sounded very good through the speakers. There was a bit of ‘white noise’ in the quieter scenes, but nothing that would distract you from enjoying the film.
Overall the 2.0 PCM track was the clear winner for me out of the two but perhaps I didn’t give the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track a good chance; I’ll have to give this a revisit soon try it again.
Unlike the American Blu-Ray’s counterpart, Second Sight has filled ‘Creepshow’ to pretty much the brim with special features (all presented in HD unless stated)
* Audio Commentary with director George Romero and special make-up effects creator, Tom Savini
* Audio Commentary with director of photography Michael Gornick, actor John Amplas, property master Bruce Alan Green and make-up effects assistant Darryl Farrucci
* ‘Just Desserts’ The Making of Creepshow – A feature length documentary with interviews with cast and crew (90 minutes)
* ‘Behind the Screams’ – A behind the scenes look at the make-up and practical FX used on the film at the time of production
* Deleted Scenes – 12 minutes of deleted scenes that were trimmed over the five stories before the films release
* TV Spot, Trailer and Photo Gallery
The ‘Just Desserts’ documentary is bread and butter of the extras. Running seconds short of 90 minutes, this fantastic in-depth documentary is split into seven chapters and goes into depths of director George Romero’s love for the old ‘EC Comics’, as well as Tom Savini adding in his thoughts, then going on to how Romero and Stephen King got to work together through to the practical FX of the film, casting choices and why (with some brief interviews with Tom Atkins, Ed Harris and Adrienne Barbeau), how the filmmakers tried to keep a comic book feel to the movie, the choices on why animation was used finishing with Romero, Savini and other crew members reflecting on their thoughts of the film. An absolutely brilliant documentary that stands above the rest of the extras.
When I pressed play on the Blu-Ray player I couldn’t remember if I had seen ‘Creepshow’ before, but when ‘Fathers Day’ kicked in the memories came flooding back. I remember watching ‘Creepshow’ as a kid somewhat 18 to 20 years ago and it scared the hell out of me then, as most horrors did to be fair. Revisiting it was an absolute joy and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. With me being older and (hopefully) more mature I was able to appreciate the dark and tongue-in-cheek humour that the film boasts. It’s also always good to see some good ol’ practical FX on screen, rather than being force fed the CGI that seems to be the norm these days.
I’d have to say out of the five stories that ‘Something to Tide You Over’ was my favourite. I found the situation that the victims were put in to be quite uncomfortable, and actually made me feel a little tense when I was watching it. Leslie Neilson was superb as the villain in this story, very dark and twisted but with some great comedic moments and Ted Danson is always fun to watch. A close second was ‘Fathers Day’ as I do love me some Zombie/back from the dead action.
Overall Second Sight have bought ‘Creepshow’ out in a superb Blu-Ray package with some very good AV and a great selection of extras, especially the ‘Just Desserts’ making of documentary. This is sure to please all fans whether you’re a fan of George Romero’s directorial work, Tom Savini’s practical FX work, Stephen King’s writing or just a good old horror fan!
(Please note that the pictures used in this review do not reflect that of the Blu-Ray)
Purchase your copy from Amazon.co.uk