Creepshow Collector’s Edition Blu Ray Review (Scream Factory)
Creepshow is a 1982 horror anthology film directed by George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, The Crazies, & Martin). It was written by horror author Stephen King (Sometimes They Come Back, The Dark Half, The Tommyknockers, Needful Things, & Dolores Claiborne). It’s a homage to the early EC horror comics from back in the day. All the cockroaches used in this film cost around $125,000. The budget was $8 million & it made $21 million at the box office worldwide. Two sequels were made after this feature. “Prologue” follows a young boy Billy (played by: writer Joe King from Horns & Tales from the Darkside) that gets yelled at & slapped by his father Stan (played by: Tom Atkins from Halloween III: Season of the Witch, The Fog, Escape from New York, Night of the Creeps, & Two Evil Eyes) for reading a horror comic Creepshow. Stan reminds his wife (played by: Iva Jean Saraceni from The Bride, Knightriders, & Money for Nothing) that he had to be hard on Billy because he does not want their son to be reading such “crap”. As Billy sits upstairs cursing his father with hopes of him rotting in Hell, he hears a sound at the window which turns out to be a ghostly apparition in the form of The Creep from the comic book, beckoning him to come closer. “Father’s Day” follows Nathan Grantham (played by: Jon Lormer from The Boogens & Rooster Cogburn) who was the miserly old patriarch of a family whose fortune was made through bootlegging, fraud, extortion & murder for hire. He is killed on Father’s Day by daughter Bedelia (played by: Viveca Lindfors from Stargate, Frankenstein’s Aunt, Silent Madness, & The Hand) after nagging her endlessly about a cake. Nathan’s family has a get together which includes his granddaughter Sylvia (played by: Carrie Nye from Screaming Skull & The Group), his great grandchildren Richard (played by: Warner Shook from Dawn of the Dead & Knightriders), Cass (played by: Elizabeth Regan), & Cass’s husband Hank (played by: Ed Harris from The Rock, The Abyss, Knightriders, & State of Grace).
Bedelia accidentally spills her whiskey bottle in front of Nathan’s headstone. He comes back from the grave as a putrefied,maggot infested corpse (played by: John Amplas from Martin, Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, & Knightriders) looking for revenge & finally getting his cake! “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill” follows a dimwitted backwoods farmer Jordy Verrill (played by Stephen King from Pet Sematary, Sleepwalkers, The Stand, & The Langoliers) that discovers a meteorite on his property & he thinks it will get him some quick easy cash. He contact with it & soon after have some strange reactions to it. He starts to lose his mind as his problem grows! “Something to Tide You Over” follows Richard Vickers (played by: Leslie Nielsen from the Naked Gun franchise, Airplane!, Prom Night, & Day of the Animals) who plots revenge on his unfaithful wife Becky (played by: Gaylen Ross from Dawn of the Dead & Madman) & her lover Harry Wentworth (played by: Ted Danson from Cheers, Damages, Body Heat, & Becker). He sets them both up for a day of torture & terror at the beach. He watches them suffer until their very last breathe or at least he thought he did! The two lovers have a surprise for the jealous psychopath that he will never forget. “The Crate” follows Professors Henry Northrup (played by: Hal Holbrook from The Fog, Rituals, Girls Nite Out, & Wall Street) & Dexter Stanley (played by: Fritz Weaver from Marathon Man, Demon Seed, Jaws of Satan, & Tales from the Darkside) that investigate a mysterious crate marked “Arctic Expedition – June 19 1834” found by janitor Mike (played by: Don Keefer from The Car, Walking Tall, Mirrors, & The Twilight Zone).
The two friends must cover up & fix their new problem before it gets worse but unhappy Henry uses the situation to his advantage when he lures his verbally abusive wife Wilma (played by: Adrienne Barbeau from The Fog, Swamp Thing, Two Evil Eyes, & Escape from New York) to it. Fluffy (played by: special effects artist Darryl Ferrucci from Nightmare, The Burning, & The Prowler) is hungry & he is ready to make some new friends after being trapped in there for all that time. “They’re Creeping Up on You” follows real life grinch & ruthless businessman Upson Pratt (played by: E.G. Marshall from Superman II, Two Evil Eyes, Tora! Tora! Tora!, & The Defenders). He is the reason one of his business associates just committed suicide & he’s actually proud of that disturbing fact. He never leaves & he always keeps his high tech place clean. He notices a cockroach at his spot & he begins to freak out about it. He panics & demands his staff to take care of the problem ASAP or they are fired. They are in no rush due to his poor treatment & the bugs rapidly increase while he’s trapped at home with no help! Karma pays back a man with no morals or manners when his worst nightmares come true. “Epilogue” follows Billy getting revenge on his angry father Stan from a voodoo doll that he ordered from the Creepshow comic that he previously threw away.
Creepshow is my all time favorite horror anthology & one of the true gems when it comes to Stephen King related cinema. The visual style & cinematography is pure genius here. It’s one of the most beautiful horror films ever made. The special effects by Tom Savini are just flat out amazing in this. After all these years, they still hold up great & they are very effective in the feature. John Harrison’s score is one of most memorable ever produced in the genre. It brought Creepshow to a whole new level. George A. Romero delivered one of his finest directing jobs here & proves that he can do more than zombie movies. Stephen King’s script has so much variety to it & it has a great balance of horror mixed with some dark humor. It also has one of greatest cast ever put together for a horror production. There’s not a single weak story out of whole anthology which is very rare. I love all of them for own reasons but my two personal favorites have always been “Father’s Day” & “The Crate”. Those two could have been easily been adapted into crazy full length features & that would have been epic! It’s so much fun to watch a live action comic book with some messed up situations. The replay value is strong here, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen this. HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Scream Factory! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a brand new 4K restoration supervised by director of photography Michael Gornick. I’ve owned this film in every possible format & I’ve seen various quality changes over the years but nothing comes close to this! It’s like seeing the feature for very first time. It looks amazing & the colorful comic book cinematography shines here. Releases like this make you appreciate modern technology & how it’s advanced so much since this was made. As far as upgrades go, this is one of the best that I’ve ever reviewed & experience in my entire life. It has two different audio options which include English 5.1 & English 2.0 DTS-HD on the disc. I’ll tell you right now, the 2.0 track is the winner here. It’s a major improvement over any home video release & it captures every moment like you are there! The dialogue is very clean & the suspense/thrills are elevated. Creepshow has one of the best scores & soundtracks of all time so it’s amazing to experience it in it’s highest quality like this. The 5.1 track some isssues, the pitch is different from the original & I thought it was really distracting. The dialogue also seemed slightly off. I highly recommend choosing 2.0 over 5.1 here. It also has English SDH subtitles. If you are fan of this classic horror anthology, you owe it to yourself to add this top notch release to your collection!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features on this disc! “Audio Commentary” # 1 with director George A. Romero & special effects artist Tom Savini moderated by Red Shirt Pictures own Michael Felsher. They joke about the opening credits being too fast. They point out Stephen King’s son at the start. They chat about the cast in the film. They go into great detail about the visual & special effects used in the feature. They bring up Stephen King’s acting performance here & crack jokes about it. They say this is the first time when Castle Rock was referenced. They mention the musical score & how specific it was for certain scenes. They talk about Leslie Nielsen always being a joker & having fun. Savini brings up that he traded The Crate used for this for Gort here. They bring up the word cunt being changed in most available versions of this. They say this experience was enjoyable & the studio didn’t interfere with the production. They mention a scene that was cute from “The Crate”. Romero tells a hilarious story at the end about not recognizing a crew member. “Audio Commentary” # 2 with first assistant director/composer John Harrison & construction coordinator/special effects Ed Fountain moderated by Red Shirt Pictures own Michael Felsher. They talk about how they got involved with this project & start working with Romero. They chat about the Pittsburgh movie industry. They bring up their experience on Knightriders. They bring up the cast & their performances in this. John Harrison talks about the music in the film. They mention that this was one of Leslie Nielsen’s last dramatic roles before he got real popular with the comedy genre. They bring up the editing on this. They are curious where some of the props from this are now. They discuss Tom Savini & his special effects work on this project. They talk about score & music for specific scenes. They chat about the script & performances. They mention that “They’re Creeping Up on You” almost didn’t get made. They have several stories about the cockroaches from the feature. “Audio Commentary” # 3 with director of photography Michael Gornick moderated by Lee Car. Gornick chats about some projects & work he did before this. He gives some advice & says never film at your own home. They talk about the variety of actors from this production. He brings up Romero had a new experience of film making with this & it started off rough. He gets technical about his camerawork for the film. He mentions that Stephen King offered them all kinds of material to make during this. He brings up Creepshow 2 which he directed. He goes over the post production process. They mention the new 4K restoration that Scream Factory did for this release. He brings up the cockroaches were everywhere on the set & it made lunch time awkward. “Audio Commentary” # 4 with with director of photography Michael Gornick, actor John Amplas, property master Bruce Alan Miller, special effects artist Darryl Ferrucci, & comic book artist Bernie Wrightson moderated by Red Shirt Pictures own Michael Felsher. This is more of a variety of audio interviews mixed together rather than an actual audio commentary but it still kinda plays out like one. Michael Felsher mentions that he rounded up some people that he couldn’t get for his Creepshow documentary “Just Deserts” for this track. Gornick talks about storyboards & the prep work for this feature. He explains how the colorful comic book visual style was achieved here. He mentions his experience working on the “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill” set & Stephen King. Bruce Alan Miller explains how he met & started working with Romero for the first time.
He lists all the jobs he did for the production of Creepshow. He mentions the various props & different effects used on all the shorts. Darryl Ferrucci chats about being Tom Savini’s assistant on some early horror films. He tells the story on how he got started with special effects. He says he mainly did slashers effects before he did Creepshow. He talks about it being completely different from those features. He brings up the Fluffy character which he played in the film. He talks about the different species of cockroaches used here. John Amplas brings up that he got the role after filming already started. He jokes about being skinnier back then & that’s why he got the part. He chats about acting with the special effects applied to him. He mentions the filming location & coming out of the actual ground for it. He jokes that he chickened out with the real maggots on the set. He chats about working with Ed Harris on a few projects. Bernie Wrightson talks about working on his Creepshow comic book adaptation & the experience of the whole process, HOLY SHIT!!!! Red Shirt Pictures started this set off with a bang with all these entertaining tracks, that’s hours, hours, & hours of material just for the audio commentaries here. I highly recommend that you check out their Creepshow documentary “Just Deserts” sometime, it’s a great companion piece to this release. “Terror and The Three Rivers” is a little over 30 minutes. It’s a round table discussion with special effects creator Tom Savini, actors John Amplas, Tom Atkins, & Marty Schiff (also Grip) moderated by Red Shirt Pictures own Michael Felsher. John Amplas jokes about being scared of the maggots & letting a girl from the crew fill in for him during the scene. Tom Atkins says Romero asked him what role he wanted for this but when he answered he already had one in mind for him. They talk about this being the first time Romero worked with bigger actors rather than locals. They tell some stories about the late director. They all pay tribute to George here. They chat about Fluffy barely being in The Crate & how effective it was. They joke around about the Garbage Man # 1 & # 2 listing for the final credits. “The Comic Book Look” is almost 13 minute interview with costume designer Barbara Anderson. She talks about her experience on Knightriders. It has some behind the scenes footage for Creepshow. She chats about working with the cast including Stephen King for this & all the designs done for it. She brings up her late husband Cletus & all his work for the production here also. She jokes that she got lots of costumes for zombies at goodwill. “Ripped from the Pages” is a little over 15 minute interview with animator Rick Catizone. He said he first started working with Romero on commercials. He brings up that he did the sequel Creepshow 2 also. He chats about mixing animation & film for the feature. He says originally The Creep in the film was supposed to be all practical but the shot was too expensive to do so it ended up being animated. He shows off some original artwork & explains them. He brings up some of the special effects, characters, & working on certain scenes for the project. “The Colors of Creepshow” is a little over 10 minute interview with director of photography Michael Gornick on 4K restoration of the horror classic. He chats about the visual style & comic book look of the feature. He goes into great detail about the restoration process & the improvements on the new transfer for this. He says this is the best it’s ever looked after all these years. “Into the Mix” is a little over 13 minute interview with sound re-recordist Chris Jenkins.
He talks about being part of the B team in his crew & Romero gave him a chance. He chats about working with the late director & says if he liked something he would say “far out”. He brings up John’s Harrison’s score for the film. He goes into detail about his work on this production. He mentions the test screenings they did for the film. “Mondo Macabre” is an almost 10 minute interview with Rob Jones & Josh Curry. They mention that they do artwork, posters, & other releases for movies they love. They show their appreciation for the horror anthology. They talk about the original poster for it. They show various artwork & posters that they did for the feature. They explain each one & tell you what it was made for. “Collecting Creepshow” is a little over 12 minute interview with super fan Dave Burian. He talks about Creepshow & his dedication to it over the years. He chats about how he got into collecting & discusses items that he has picked up from it. He tells stories on how he acquired them & the people he got it from including members of the crews from this production. “Tom Savini’s Behind the Scenes Footage” is almost 26 minutes. It’s a great inside look into the special effects for this feature. It shows some of the best moments from Creepshow being created here. “Horror Hollowed Grounds” with Sean Clark & it’s almost 15 minutes. He takes you to various locations from the film & shows what they look like now. He was denied access to a few of them so you only get to see the front of them. He explains what was filmed at them & tells some stories about it. Tom Atkins makes a cameo here & talks about his Creepshow experience. They go to his house from the movie & he reminisces some more about the production. They do a hilarious skit at the end that hardcore fans will love & appreciate. It always great to see HHG episodes added to home video releases. It has a little over 15 minutes of “Deleted Scenes” from the feature. It has all kinds of promotional material like “Trailers”, “TV Spot”, “Radio Spots”, & various “Still Galleries”. It also includes reversible artwork, a high quality slipcover/box, & a top notch 37 page booklet. Scream Factory & Red Shirt Pictures really shine on this release! 2018 isn’t over with but this a great candidate for release of the year already! I am beyond impressed with the overall presentation for this. It’s available right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!