FearTASTIC Vault O’FUN #53
Director(s): George A. Romero
Writer(s): Stephen King
Starring: Ed Harris, Leslie Nielsen, Hal Holbrook, Ted Danson
One of the BEST things about living in a hipster – filled gentrified bubble filled with local artistry is the local independent theater that played current independent flicks, classic films and most importantly, old school pop culture staples (Oh, and I forgot to mention, another GREAT thing about hipster neighborhoods? The ever ending cycle of great food and drinks…seriously, this FEARtastic Vault keeper has had his fair share of innovative grub and drinks)! I find myself randomly strolling into the theater to check out flicks that I enjoyed during my childhood, and yes, of course a handful of those would be of the horror variety (duh?). I remember seeing the horror anthology powerhouse that is Creepshow playing at the local art theater and my heart nearly skipped a beat. I’ve seen that flick dozens of times on cable and via VHS but now I had the pleasure, nay, the HONOR of seeing this movie on the big screen for the first time! Yes, I have to admit that I’m more partial to the sequel to this wonderful flick, as a matter of fact, it was one of my earlier entries to the FearTASTIC Vault (It’s true! Click HERE). However, Creepshow compared to its sequel is splitting hairs, we’re talking about the difference between carne asada vs al pastor street tacos; both FANTASTIC (especially when drunk) but really, it just comes down to miniscule preference.
I wanted this experience to be special; I had already brought the three thigns that make any movie special; some soda pop, a box of peanut M&Ms and a date (no necessarily in that order). And with that, the theater went dark and the screen lit up with that vintage flair that only movies before 1990 can pull off without a hitch. Creepshow was already helmed by two horror legends in Romero and King but seeing it on the big screen for the first time gave me chills; I imagined being around in 1982 watching this flick for the first time in anticipation, knowing that horror master minds have created segments of entertaining horror for the masses. It was thrilling; the synth music that played ghoulish overtones, the splash of colors that would appear to accentuate the violence and/or terror and the wonderful practical effects that will ALWAYS outdo this computer generated crap we see today. Now, for the breakdown:
A family gathers for dinner to celebrate the birthday of their deceased patriarch who may not as be as dead as he seems. This was a great way to start the flick because it set the tone for the rest of the flick; the story was slowly paced with a fantastic payoff of violence and macabre. Also, young Ed Harris is always a treat (so much hair back in the day)!
The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill
The silliest entry in the series, this tale has a country bumpkin finding a meteorite that leads to some terror-rific results. What sells this story is the fact you have Stephen King playing the redneck and his reactions to the horror that follows comes off pretty hilarious (whether intended or not). Definitely worthy of being in this collection just for the makeup alone!
Something to Tide You Over
A wealthy man plays a deadly game with his victims involving the ever turning tide and gets what’s coming to him in this revenge/monster entry. This story gave me the chills as a kid, no doubt. Something about the way the villain (played brilliantly by Leslie Nielsen) took out his victims made me cringe. A slow, excruciating death while you waited for the tide to just take you over seemed to come over me long after the movie was over. Great entry and highly entertaining with fantastic performances from Nielsen and a young Ted Danson!
A deadly creature is discovered after many years of being trapped and a mild mannered college professor sees this as an opportunity to fulfill his darkest desires. My FAVORITE entry in this flick, bar NONE. You have your main character coming off as a cowardly weenie only to feel empowered once its revealed to him that a deadly creature exists in his college! There’s something that’s satisfying about that twist in character development that I thoroughly enjoyed; perhaps it felt good rooting for the underdog but I think it just played into the theory that everyone has a dark side. The practical effects for this entry was also quite terrifying; the creature itself has piercing eyes and teeth that still stick with me to this day. Something the way the movie was lit or the bright overtones throughout the story but somehow, the eyes and teeth of the creature was focused enough so that it was the only thing you took home with you once the movie was over and seeing it on the big screen brought back some nostalgic terror.
They’re Creeping Up on You
A successful but awful business man is terrorized by cockroaches in his “clean room.” Not sure why they decided to end it on this note. It wasn’t horrible but a bunch of insects attacking an old man seem to deflate the momentum that the previous two stories started. An abrupt (but decent) stop to a locomotive style run from the other stories.
Coming out of Creepshow after catching it on the big screen was quite a rush and it simultaneously felt like I had just experienced something new yet nostalgic at the same time. I highly recommend this flick and even more so, I HIGHLY recommend supporting your local art theaters that may play some of your classic favorites and even treat you to something new!
Check this one out!
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.