creepshow | creepshow 2 | michael gornick | george a. romero | george kennedy | lois chiles | domenick john | sequel | novel | stephen king | thriller | united states | anthology | tom savini | david holbrook | frank salsedo | tom wright | paul satterfield | daniel beer
Film: Creepshow 2
Director: Michael Gornick
Writer: George A. Romero
Starring: George Kennedy, Lois Chiles and Domenick John
This film I actually didn’t see all the way through for some time. I finally did when picking it up on DVD. There was one of the segments though that I did get to see a kid and it stuck with me. I’ve given this a rewatch a couple of times for podcasts, including this last time here. The synopsis for this anthology is three more bone-chilling tales that include a vengeful wooden Native American, a monstrous blob in a lake and a hitchhiker who wants revenge and will not die.
We actually start this with a truck pulling up to the curb and a boy following on his bicycle by the name of Billy (Domenick John). The truck turns out to have a creepy man in the back who is actually The Creep (Tom Savini) and voiced by Joe Silver. He has the new issue for Creepshow and that is what the boy wants. The film then shifts to cartoon as we move into the first story.
This one is titled Old Chief Wood’nhead. We have a man who runs a store named Ray Spruce (George Kennedy). The town has died around his store, but he still is staying open. He has a large wooden Native American statue outside of his shop named Old Chief Wood’nhead (Dan Kamin). Ray goes out to reapply the war paint on his face. His wife also is here with him, Martha (Dorothy Lamour). She wants him to enjoy life and sell the shop. He stated he cannot do that as he’s taken so much profits out of the town, he cannot abandoned them now.
He is then visited by Ben Whitemoon (Frank Salsedo). He drops off the most prized treasures of his tribe. He tells Ray that if they do not pay back their debts in 2 autumns, these items are there’s. Martha eats crow and apologizes to Ben for things she said to her husband. After he leaves, Ben’s nephew shows up with his two thug friends. The leader is Sam (Holt McCallany) and his fat friend is Fatso Gribbens (David Holbrook) along with the rich friend Andy Cavenaugh (Don Harvey). They rob the store and take the treasures before killing the old couple. We’ve been given hints that Old Chief Wood’nhead might be alive and he goes to extract its revenge.
The next story is titled The Raft. There are two couples that head out to a hidden lake to go swimming, hang out on a raft and smoke weed. There is a jock by the name of Deke (Paul Satterfield) and his prissy girlfriend is the prissy one of Laverne (Jeremy Green). The smart guy of the group is Randy (Daniel Beer) and his quiet girlfriend is Rachel (Page Hannah). They didn’t tell anyone where they are going and it is mid-September, so the water is freezing. While they are heading out to the raft, Randy watches a duck get eaten by something in the water. Once on the raft, he realizes there is a blob like thing on top of the water that is moving toward them. Everyone gets onto the raft before it gets to them. They soon realize whatever is in the water is alive and hungry. The platform doesn’t provide much safety either.
This leads us to our final story entitled The Hitchhiker. There is a married woman named Annie Lansing (Lois Chiles). She is paying a man to sleep with her, played by David Beecroft. The power has gone out and the alarm didn’t go off so she is hurrying home. She lights a cigarette, but drops it and loses control of her car. While she tries to gain control, she hits a hitchhiker, Tom Wright. She doesn’t check on him, but just leaves. A few people stop to check, including Stephen King as a truck driver.
Annie continues on, but then stops when she thinks she sees the hitchhiker. He’s limping toward her, but that can’t be possible. He comes up to her window and she panics, as well as speeds away. The hitchhiker is on her car and won’t stop trying to get in. No matter how far she goes or what she does, he keeps thanking her for a ride and tries to get in. Is this hitchhiker really here or a manifestation of her guilt?
In-between and then to wrap this up there is the wraparound. It is following Billy as he collects bulbs for a Venus Fly Trap from the local post office. He then has a run in with some bullies that give chase. What will happen if they catch him? Or does Billy have something in store for them?
Just recently I’ve rewatched both the original and this sequel here. I was posed the question of which I liked better. It had been some time since I watched this one, but having now done so again, definitively to me Creepshow is the better movie. That isn’t to say I don’t like what we get here.
These stories really have less of an EC Comics vibe and much more of a King vibe since they’re based off 3 of his stories. For the first one, I really like the idea of honor that we get with Ray not wanting to give up on the town and it repaying back to him. Ben also embodies this and Martha sees it which changes her. Sam is the opposite along with his cronies. They’re horrible people and get their comeuppance. I don’t find the acting to be great here although the older group is better. The trio of villains is just too much of a caricature for me. This one has good blood in it, but I hate that the deaths are off screen. This is a shame when seeing Savini and Howard Berger associated with the project. This one also runs a bit long for me to be honest. I don’t hate it, it just doesn’t work as well as I’d like.
The Raft used to be my favorite segment. It is also the one that I saw by itself and made me want to see this movie for years. I know I’ve read this short story and it is creepy. These college students don’t tell anyone where they are going, it is fall and it is freezing out. They don’t know what this creature is and they become trapped. My problem here is that Deke is misogynistic and Randy is a pervert. You don’t notice it when you’re a kid, but as an adult I cringed. I don’t really like any of characters because of that. I also think the ending is cheesy. I also question if no one is supposed to be swimming here, how did the raft get here? Or is this something new that has taken it over? The ending works for me though, I will say that as it is fitting. The last thing for this story is that effects are on point for sure so that is a plus.
What is interesting is that my least favorite segment is now my favorite. The Hitchhiker is such a rich and deep story that didn’t really click home until this viewing. I know a lot of people were high on it and I didn’t get it. I like there is a reading here that Annie seeing the hitchhiker is a manifestation of her guilt. He keeps disappearing and she has a tendency to talk to herself. This is also the most EC Comics of the three. The ending is really worth it to me and again, fitting for the tale we are given. This is another one where the effects are on point. The hitchhiker is technically our villain here, but it is framed where Annie should actually be for what she did and is doing. That is what sets this one apart now that I’ve seen that.
The wraparound here doesn’t work as well, which is a shame with how strong the one in the original is. I don’t like they went with a cartoon for it and it makes me wonder if this was budgetary reasons? It just didn’t click home for me and it isn’t as impactful.
In conclusion here, I do still enjoy this anthology film. It runs fast with these three stories and the wraparound. The stories aren’t as impactful, but I do have fun with them. The acting is good I would say with the last one having the strongest performances. If the effects were better in the first short, I would say that they were strong throughout as well. They did too much off-screen there though. Aside from that, the soundtrack worked for what was needed, but didn’t necessarily stand out. I would say that this is still a good movie for me.
My Rating: 8 out of 10