George A. Romero’s “Creepshow” is almost a spit in the face of everyone who decried comic books a sheer stain on humanity and the youth, blaming the colored pages for the evaporation of morality in the fifties and sixties. “Creepshow” is an absolute celebration of horror comics and a love letter to the EC generation who had their stories robbed by hack psychologists who blamed comic books for homosexuality, crime, murder, and drug use. “Creepshow” is a joint effort from many people just filled with talent that simply can not hold this entire film at times. An absolute orgy of laughs, scares, and thrills, “Creepshow” is one of the finest, if not the finest anthology horror film second only to “Black Sabbath.”
With folks like George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Stephen King, and icons like Adrienne Barbeau, and Hal Holbrook, along with a truly incomparable score from John Harrison, “Creepshow” is a near perfect amalgamation of sensibilities that is guaranteed to please anyone who ever read an actual EC comic in their life time. Built around the framework of the comic book with panels and over the top bursts of color with climactic scenes, “Creepshow” is set in a world where the comic book comes to life to tell separate stories based primarily around comeuppance. Since the evil doer getting theirs is a classic theme of the EC Comics tradition, most of “Creepshow” is primarily established around a truly evil person or persons getting their revenge in the end. Filmed with a remarkable amount of creative framing and some truly brilliant palettes and cinematography, “Creepshow” tends to stand alone as a horror film that isn’t content with just telling clever horror stories.
How else can a farmer who owes a loan on his land keep it other than becoming a part of it as alien shrubbery? What joy is it to see a land baron whose delusions of grandeur in his ivory tower are dashed by relentless invading cockroaches? How else can the head of a family reclaim his throne than taking the head of a family member? Is there no other twisted revenge than burying someone at the edge of a rising tide forcing them to drown very slowly? Most importantly how else can a little man get back at his abusive wife whose bark is worse than her bite, with anything other than a miniature monster whose bite is worse than its bark? Quite possibly my favorite, “The Crate” tells of a professor who, along with the local custodian, discovers a hidden crate under the stairwell of their local university. Opening its contents reveals a grotesque and absolutely ferocious Yeti beast who proceeds to maul and devour the hapless custodian.
Fleeing to alert his friend Henry about the monster, Henry uses the opportunity to orchestrate the murder of his domineering and abusive wife Billie. “The Crate” is arguably the best segment of “Creepshow” thanks to the darkly comic tone and incredible monster effects from Tom Savini. “Creepshow” delivers on a variety of segments and tales that will surely keep horror fans grinning the entire way through all with a sardonic twist of irony and subtlety fit for any keen observant horror fanatic. One of the rare horror anthologies with a sharp sense of storytelling and an intrinsic ability for irony and metaphor, “Creepshow” is a horror delight for any fan worth their weight filled with horror icons paying tribute to the immortal EC Comics.