CREEPSHOW 2 (1987)
Directed by: Michael Gornick
Produced by: David Ball
Screenplay by: George A. Romero, Lucille Fletcher (uncredited)
Based on: Stories by Stephen King
Starring: Lois Chiles, George Kennedy
Dorothy Lamour, Tom Savini
Released: May 1, 1987
Released 5 years after the first movie, this anthology film was reduced from 5 tales of creepy frights to 3 spooky delights. This bigger and badder Creepshow was another collaborative effort by two horror icons. The screenplay was written by George Romero, based on short stories by Stephen King, and directed by Michael Gornik — the cinematographer on the first feature film. Much like the first Creepshow, part two also follows a bookend interstitial story mixed between the three feature stories.
Just like the preceding entry, and others like it, I enjoy anthology horror films from time to time. They’re a nice change of pace from full features and they have a very Twilight Zone-esq style feel to them – (my 2nd favourite TV show of all time) – they’re usually fairly short, with a couple of shockers, and then on to the next story. In fact, the third story in this picture “The Hitch-hiker” has a very similar theme and tone as the classic season one ‘Zone episode also entitled “The Hitch-hiker”. In the movie, a lady hits a hitch hiker with her car driving at night distracted. Fearing the worst, she drives off leaving the man to his fate on the side of the road. The ghoulish hiker returns again and again (more mangled and bloodied than the last) and repeatedly says “Thanks for the ride lady”. After a frantic and horrified drive home, the woman may just share in the same fatal fate as her victim. I liked this chapter almost specifically because of its similarity to the Twilight Zone episode previously mentioned. Replace a ghoulish drifter with a ghostly stranger; replace the repetitive phrase upon encounter “thanks for the ride lady” with “going my way”, and swap out the perm for the June Cleaver and it’s virtually the same story. This segment’s just happened to be a teensy tiny bit more horrific, violent, and bloodier.
The low point of the film for me was the first feature, “Old Chief Wood’nhead” about an elderly merchant couple (half of which played by gentle giant George Kennedy) in a dying town that are murdered by a trio of thugs trying to rob their store. Having just been entrusted with the village’s sacred tribal stones, by the Chief of the village as a good faith for future payment, the kindly merchant refuses to surrender it to the thieves and the elderly couple share their last glance. This act supernaturally animates the life-sized wooden Chieftain that has stood in front of the store for decades like a sentinel guard — and it’s out for blood!
Interesting concept, but it didn’t really wow me.
My personal favourite of the lot for Creepshow 2 is the eerie and mysterious “The Raft” – where four young adult students ditch for a day and drive to a secluded lake / pond where a raft is floating out in the middle of the water. They swim to the raft and once they reach it, a bizarre and viscous like black substance heads rather quickly towards them. The quartet soon discover how incredibly deadly this thing is. Plus it had the best make up, special effects, and jolts.
The entire movie was not too terrifying, but still pretty good with some great scenes and it’s really worth a watch. See some of the highlights in the trailer here: