Creepshow remains as one of the best horror anthologies ever made, the five separate stories written by Stephen King were always a favourite and for some of those five, I would have loved to have seen them fully fleshed out into feature-length films. Five years after the success of the anthology George A. Romero and Stephen King teamed up again, with Romero joining King at the writer’s table instead of directing. Would the duo be able to go past their previous successes?
Bringing the number of stories down from five to three is where a lot of people seem to have frustrations with Creepshow 2 and these are very understandable. The idea that these stories would be short and be more eventful is probably what brought in from audiences. Herewith a reduced number there appears as if there is a little more padding with some stories getting the short end of the budget stick it seems.
This is not to say that the padding is negative, in other instances it would be but with King and Romero, they are able to utilise this extra time expertly and it actually helps flesh out the characters and arcs of each story. Without further ado let’s get into the stories!
First up is Old Chief Wood’nhead which follows shop owners Ray and Martha who run a general goods store that is on its last legs. Outside on their porch is a wooden statue of Chief Wood’nhead. An elder from a nearby tribe offers jewels to help repay their debt to the store owners. Later on, a group rob the store and take the jewels to tragic consequences. As the robbers escape, this awakens Chief Woodn’head who seeks vengeance upon them.
This was a more serious take than what we were used to from the last Creepshow and shows the intent of King and Romero on what they wanted to do here. It is also has a lot of heart as we become invested in the old couple and thus the payback of the robbers. We want our wooden statue to get that muchly deserved payback. A great start for the anthology and definitely one that could have worked as a feature.
The Raft is the shortest of the films and by far the daftest. Four college students head to a lake for the weekend and begin spending time on a raft. The raft seems to manifest itself via a black ooze and set out to take kill the group one by one. An utterly weird and bizarre episode that seems to be right up Creepshows lane. You can tell that this was the story with the smallest budget as it is mostly just gunk covering people. The 1953 Blob had more costly effects. This is the weakest story mainly due to the acting, the story is fine and could have been a great piece, but the acting is just so wooden, which is ironic considering the prop they were on for the film.
Finally, we have The Hitch-hiker where we go to Maine (I mean we had to at some point right?) where we meet Annie who is leaving after an adulterous rendezvous to return home when she accidentally kills a hitch-hiker. Speeding off it is reported as a hit and run and as she tries to get home she is continually tormented by the dead hitch-hiker, not leaving her at peace for what she has done. For sheer horror, this is the best of the bunch and rightly finishes off the anthology. We get some great moments through this one and it is sure to give you a couple of jumps, with an ending that surprised me with how funny it was and shows the strength in better casting with the script.
Overall we are not in for the same ride as we were with Creepshow, but it is still a great piece of fun and worth your viewing time. It holds up well and compared to other anthologies, still holds up a far sight better.
Inside the disc, we get an abundance of content that makes the Blu-ray a must by for horror fans. Let’s look at what we have.
- Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original Uncompressed PCM Mono 1.0, Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA Surround Audio Options
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Creepshow 2: Pinfall – Limited Edition Booklet featuring the never-before-seen comic adaptation of the unfilmed Creepshow 2 segment “Pinfall” by artist Jason Mayoh
- Audio Commentary with director Michael Gornick
- Poncho’s Last Ride – a brand new interview with actor Daniel Beer
- The Road to Dover – a brand new interview with actor Tom Wright
- Screenplay for a Sequel – an interview with screenwriter George A. Romero
- Tales from the Creep – an interview with actor and make-up artist Tom Savini
- Nightmares in Foam Rubber – archive featurette on the special effects of Creepshow 2, including interviews with FX artists Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero
- My Friend Rick – Berger on his special effects mentor Rick Baker
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage
- Image Gallery
- Trailers & TV Spots
- Original Screenplay (BD-ROM Content)
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Mike Saputo
First off, the restoration is superb and really makes the price alone worthwhile as we see such an improvement, especially for a viewer who had not seen the film in many a year. Arrow as per usual stack the disc with content as you can see above with multiple new interviews that I do not believe were in previous editions. The interviews are great and it is never a bad thing to have Tom Savini and George A. Romero discuss a film.
Included is a series of booklets that look pretty special for those who are able to get them. Overall this is a great option for horror fans and a must buy considering all of the extra content provided.