Creepshow is a 1982 horror anthology film directed by George Romero, written by Stephen King, and with special effects made by Tom Savini. Wow! It’s also one of Romero’s few box office hits, as it cost $8 million and grossed more than 20.
Being an episodic film, it’s difficult to summarize the plot. There are five stories linked by that of a kid punished by his father who doesn’t like the comics read by his son. The comic in question is called Creepshow, and from its pages come the stories of the film. The movie is in fact a homage to the EC Comics comics of the 1950s, including Tales from the Crypt which became a TV series in the late 1980s.
The tone of the stories written by King fits perfectly with the cinema of the great Romero and you can tell that easily with episodes like Father’s Day, Something to Tide You Over, and They’re Creeping Up on You!. In each of these episodes, rich and disgusting people die prematurely and violently, and in all cases their wealth was based on immoral actions that border on the inhumane. It doesn’t take a genius to understand what Romero and King thought of people like that!
The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, on the other hand, is a funny episode in which Stephen King plays the protagonist, and from which we can guess his love for H.P. Lovecraft (the story is clearly inspired The Color Out of Space). It also has a clear environmental theme in which the finale points to a very green future for Earth…
The Crate is the only episode I haven’t written about, and it’s also reminiscent of Lovecraft since it features an expedition to Antarctica which is also close to John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). In the crate sent from Antarctica there’s an evil creature and the box itself is addressed to Mister Carpenter himself! Romero really wanted all of his friends in the film, even if only with references for the sharpest eyes!
And speaking of friends, what a cast! Besides lots of names connected to Carpenter like Tom Atkins, Adrienne Barbeau (she was still his wife at the time), Hal Holbrook, you’ll find familiar faces like those of Ed Harris and even Leslie Nielsen! In short, this film is truly unmissable, it’s extremely funny, well shot, it has amazing and comics-like special effects, and the ending is perfect for us horror and speculative fiction lovers. I guess we should let our children read horror stories, there’s nothing wrong with that! And it would be dangerous to punish them for that, it seems! Ciao!