BLU – RAY RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 28TH 2013 UK
SECOND SIGHT FILMS
DIR: GEORGE A ROMERO
SCR: STEPHEN KING
STARRING: Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielson, Ted Danson, Adrienne Barbeau, Carrie Nye, Stephen King, Viveca Lindfors, Elizabeth Reagn, E.G Marshall, Ed Harris, Tom Atkins.
Possibly the most beloved of all the anthology horrors, Creepshow makes its debut on Blu- Ray later this month courtesy of the folks at Second sight. Inspired by the E.C. Comics of the 40’s and 50’s King and Romero come together to spin five crazy yarns about angry zombie fathers who need their cake, poisonous meteorites, vengeful husbands, crate monsters, and bug infestations. It’s all done with a wry smile, and a tongue in its cheek and exploits its love for comic books to grand effect.
Being horror fans it’s probably safe to assume that most of you reading this have seen Creepshow before and know the five stories here pretty well. Father’s Day, is a simple tale of a vengeful Zombie father rising from the grave to avenge his death, and claim his cake! The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill is the story of a lonely hick who finds a meteorite in his yard that turns him into a giant plant. Something To Tide You Over is probably the strongest story; an angry husband finds his wife has had an affair, buries the offending couple in the sand and gleefully watches as the tide comes in and slowly drowns them.
But soon enough, their watery zombies have risen from the grave and come for a revenge of their own. The Crate is another tale of revenge as a put upon husband fantasizes about murdering his nagging wife, then finds himself in possession of a crate containing a ravenous monster. The final tale: They’re Creeping Up On You tells of an evil man living alone in a supposedly bug proof apartment, only for the cockroaches to get in and give him his just desserts.
If the truth be told, Creepshow has become a rather nostalgic experience. It looks a little dated, is gleefully cartoonish, and more than a bit odd. I can’t imagine modern audiences buying into it anymore, but frankly that’s their loss. As we head into Halloween it’s a great movie to return to as it captures that spirit of fun and fear that encapsulates October and the Halloween spirit. The key word here is fun; in recent times horror has become almost entirely focussed on its nastier side, and Creepshow harks back to a time when it was okay to be fun as well as scary .
The stories sometimes feel a little under developed, and by Stephen King’s standards the screenplay feels a little slight. But it contains enough of the writer’s flourishes and knowing affection to lift it, and it has some wonderful character quirks. Romero is firing on all cylinders here, and Creepshow is a reminder of what he was once capable of, using split screen and comic book style framing to create a wonderful demented effect. There is real love for the genre present all the way through Creepshow, and it’s not often it is treated with such honest fondness.
Blu- Ray is a great home for Creepshow. Shot to resemble a living comic book, it’s full of bright blues, reds, and greens and the HD format really brings this to life. It looks vibrant and alive and Second Sight have presented a really good 1080p transfer. As a huge fan of Blu- Ray, it is always good to see older movies like this scrub up so well. It isn’t perfect, as these things never are, but whenever the frame is filled with colour, or becomes animated the format really elevates it and it looks dazzling. Tom Savini’s great practical effects look wonderfully garish here too.
The special features are much the same as the previous DVD release. The audio commentary with George Romero and Tom Savini is present, it’s affable and fun and the two make endearing hosts. There is also the great ‘Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow’ documentary. A feature length look at the making of the film with lots of interviews and anecdotes about how the film came together. Romero is a wonderfully laid back man, and it’s great to see people like Ed Harris show up to reminisce about his early days. The only glaring omission is any contribution from Stephen King, which is a shame because his involvement was integral to the whole thing working. For completests the Blu-Ray includes a second commentary featuring a host of others involved from the Director of Photography to the Property Master!
Second sight have put together a great package here, but it’s questionable as to whether it is worth buying again if you already have the DVD. The transfer is great, and if you are a die- hard fan then the Blu-Ray is definitely worth your money. However, it carries over much of the same stuff as the DVD package, so there is little new to discover here if you already own that.