“Creepshow” isn’t just a horror movie, but it’s also the gold standard for what most anthology horror movies strive to be. While there have been anthology horror films before it, “Creepshow” popularized the genre for a new decade and helped redefine the idea of the sub-genre. Not just that, but “Creepshow” is also a rebuttal to the golden age of horror comic from EC. Once upon a time the comics label that produced violent horror based comics were shut down due to their controversial nature. “Creepshow” is a movie that combines immense talents from folks like George Romero, Stephen King, and Tom Savini to provide something of a rebellious middle finger and show a new audience that these tales were as fun as they were violent.
While “Creepshow 2” has always been taken as one of pair of horror movies that pay tribute to the golden age of EC Comics, over the years the horror community has learned to appreciate “Creepshow 2” as its own entity. Surely, its cut from the same cloth as the original classic, but it also carves out its own identity and doesn’t repeat the same beats as the original film. The Michael Gornick directed sequel is a darker, grittier, and more vicious follow up to what was kind of a raucous and darkly comic celebration, and it works. As a nostalgic memento, and as a sequel carved by Stephen King and George Romero, “Creepshow 2” is a classic in its own right.
My love and appreciation for “Tales from the Crypt” didn’t happen immediately. I missed the entire run of the series when it was on HBO, because at the time my family didn’t have cable. However, later when the series ran every Saturday at midnight on network television, my family and I would watch every weekend and enjoy the horrific delights that the cryptkeeper would serve up.
The series remained a favorite of mine for many years, and still manages to pack a punch as a successor to “Creepshow” as an anthology series with twists, turns, and a brutally dark sense of humor. It was a tough task, but we picked out our top ten episodes of the entire series run. What are some of your favorites from the classic horror series?
What with the resurgence of the anthology sub-genre in the eighties, and the release of the hit horror film “Creepshow” that managed to be a near flawless masterpiece, a sequel was not only inevitable, but a no brainer. Director Michael Gornick’s follow-up to “Creepshow” is admittedly a much more low tech and less enthusiastic outing for the series, but damn it, it sure is a lot of fun. Granted the film falls short of being excellent, but as a follow-up to the riveting and entertaining original, it’s a very strong and occasionally creepy sequel. It’s been one of my favorites since I was a kid, and though it’s shown its wear since 1987, it’s still a fun horror film. Lacking the star power and novelty of the first film, “Creepshow 2” slims down the story count and relies more on a bleak atmosphere.
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.”
I know that I may not be touching on anything novel here when I say that horror comics aren’t a dead art form, but you have to appreciate that people keep saying it after the horror comic was officially dead for a number of years. For a long time I suffered through endlessly cheesy and insipid “horror” themed comics from Marvel and DC both of whom always possessed a respectable amount of monsters and goblins, but no blood and zero realism whatsoever. Even when they evoked the moods of EC Comics, they chose to adamantly steer away from anything grisly or disgusting, thus it was PG horror that felt often like a dry hump for the respectable horror fan.
One of the elements I truly loved about “Altitude” is that director Kaare Andrews manages to convey a sense of isolation in the open skies. He constantly zooms back upon open spaces and landing strips mountain ranges, all of which are dwarfed when the people inside the small aircraft find themselves in the middle of a mysterious nowhere land in the sky being terrorized by unexplained phenomenon threatening to throw them in to oblivion. Andrews who has a past in comic books really knows how to express a sense of the EC Comics atmosphere where every scene is painted like a graphic novel, especially when the group of friends venture in to the blue sky to be confronted with a black cloud that brings them in to an endless abyss of lightning, darkness, and zero answers for survival.