Stephen King and George Romero team up for Creepshow, a "walk down memory lane" anthology based on horror comics of the 1950's. King made much of those old comics and their influence on his writings in his excellent horror memoir Danse Macabre, so his homage here is an obvious labor of love, but sometimes it just comes off as a labor.
Broken down into five vignettes with a surrounding animated tale of a boy and his encounter with the "Creep", Creepshow proves that less is more, and does so immediately with the uninspired zombie-revenge skit, Father's Day. While it's nice to see Ed Harris had hair once, the story of a group of elitists gathering on the birthday of their murdered patriarch is as thin as parchment, and the "surprise" ending will only surprise the elderly and mildly retarded.
The next segment, "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verril" stars King as the hillbilly title character who discovers a meteorite that causes rampant plant growth. "Verril" is just plain painful to witness thanks to King's excruciatingly over-the-top performance. The story doesn't fare any better, basically coming off as an uninspired Blob rip-off.
Things start looking up in "Something to Tide You Over", an effective tale of infidelity and revenge starring Leslie Nielson as a wealthy man whose wife has taken up with Ted Danson. Nielson's method of dispatching the couple is inspired stuff and worthy of the comic books King and Romero emulate here.
"The Crate" is another winner, with Hal Holbrook portraying a sheepish husband to Adrienne Barbeau's obnoxious socialite. When a mysterious crate with an equally mysterious occupant comes into his possession, well...you get the picture.
Instead of ending on a high note, Creepshow gives us one more lackluster tale. " They're Creeping Up on You" stars the late E.G. Marshall as a man obsessed with germs, so much so that he has built a fortress to keep them out! When a stray cockroach makes his way into the apartment the germophobic loses it and we are treated to a bunch of scenes of many bugs that are supposed to gross us out, apparently, but really just put me to sleep.
This new Warner edition DVD replaces the bare-bones version that has been sitting on shelves in Wal-Marts everywhere, and adds a few extras, including theatrical trailers, pages from the Creepshow graphic novel that accompanied the films release, and an anamorphic version of the films transfer, which still looks pretty dodgy by all accounts. I don't think much was done to clean the film up originally, and there are certainly no differences here. Even the soundtrack is the same ol' Dolby 2.1 version.
For fans of King and Romero, the film really DOESN'T exploit there talents, but seems to come off as a fun collaboration for the duo. It's good moments are very good, but it's bad moments, well, they stink on ice. Still, the price is fair, and it's definitely not the worst way to kill an afternoon.