Creepshow 2

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Creepshow is a mainstay of Halloween viewing for me. It’s that combination of ghoulish fun and macabre humour which makes it endlessly rewatchable and a perfect gateway movie for younger fiends. Plus, the fact that it’s an anthology means you can step away to grab more snacks without pausing, or check that the lady you have tied up in the basement hasn’t escaped; you’ll need her for later.

Creepshow 2 is, obviously, the follow-up and features more grisly tales penned by Stephen King. George Romero steps down from the Director’s Chair and writes the screenplay instead, while his frequent cinematographer Michael Gornick directs. While certain elements remain – the use of effects, the authentic comic book style, the film is not near the same level as the first. The stories, the cast and performances, the humour, and the thrills all suffer, meaning Creepshow 2 is merely a watchable, not essential anthology.

The wraparound is one of the more notable aspects of Creepshow 2, acting like more of a standalone segment than what the first delivers. We follow a boy who eagerly awaits the next edition of the Creepshow comic. It is delivered by The Creep himself and the film switches neatly from live action to animation. This is fairly well done, although now the actual animation is looks dated and cheap. Also, The Creep’s head is clearly nothing more than a giant cock and balls. These animated sequences return between each main segment as we follow the boy’s quest to pick up his venus fly-trap and get home without being attacked by bullies. Added together, these pieces form a long enough segment, but I can’t shake the feeling that this was padding given that two further planned stories by King were removed from production and inclusion.

Out first story eases us in, with a languid, over-long intro to tell of a couple of old-timers living in a ruined shell of a town who are terrorized by local hoodlums. The old-timers are played by the film’s big-hitters – Dorothy Lamour (in her final film) and George Kennedy. They add a touch of class, but it’s a pity the story is a non-mover. The couple are friendly with the local Native Americans, but when the hoodlums cause havoc in their store, the Old Chief Woodenhead statue who adorns the store-front comes to live and hunts down the bad guys. There are some genuinely cool facial effects here, but the story takes too long to get moving.

Next up is the best segment, sadly let down by being shorter and more amateurish than it should have been. The Raft is a favourite among Constant Readers, but the adaptation is another case of ‘what works on page doesn’t work on screen’. It’s still the best segment in the movie, but with a longer running time and better cast it could have rivaled the best offerings from the first movie. Four college aged kids are heading to a secluded lake for a day of drink and debauchery – the major selling point being that there is a large floating raft in the middle of the lake. The only way to get there is to swim, so they strip off, leave their clothes and food behind, and swim over. As they reach the raft, they notice something else floating in the water and it soon becomes clear that the thing is attracted to them. Not long after, one of the group is gruesomely pulled into the water and devoured by the foreign lifeform. The rest of the segment is mostly screaming and not a lot of thinking as the survivors are picked off. The segment lacks the thought and tension of the original story, and it’s one which deserves a modern retelling. Although imagining four modern day kids leaving their phones on the shore takes too much suspension of belief.

The final story almost works – having Lois Chiles talk to herself would be all fine and well if the dialogue was interesting, and ,the idea of an undead hitch-hiker is nifty. The set up is too long and a more ambiguous character would have lent some depth rather than the ‘here’s a self-interested lady who’s having an affair so she’s clearly evil – I hope she gets some ironic comeuppance’. Again, a little more thought, and this could have been a stronger segment. I get the feeling that this one would creep out younger viewers – the thought and the sight of the hitch-hiker, his body getting progressively more battered and deformed, relentlessly chasing Lois is something appealing – both funny and nightmarish, but it feels a little flat. We do get another classic Stephen King cameo as a mumbling trucker which is almost worth the price of admission alone.

I’m not sure what is missing from Creepshow 2 beyond more care and experience behind the scenes. The first and last segment are overlong and the middle is too short – another story could have balanced things, Lord knows there are still plenty of unfilmed King shorts. It’s middling tier Horror Anthology fare, and if it wasn’t for the title and the fact that King and Romero were involved, it’s likely this would have been swept under the rug long ago. There are good ideas here, and potential for a stronger installment, but as it stands it’s really only one for die-hard anthologists, King, and Romero fans. One final personal note – I always loved the poster for Creepshow 2; it was one which stayed with me for the years between seeing the poster and seeing the film.

Walk Of Fame: Inductees March 2016

To check the dubious reasoning behind these posts, check the original here:

https://carlosnightman.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/walk-of-fame-a-celebration-of-heroism/

In this new series of posts I’ll be selecting a Star at random from every decade (who was born in that decade) starting from the 1880s up until the 1990s to be interred in this land of magic and wonder, who will for ever more see their name set in stone far beyond the places where Gods dare to tread. Each name will have a unique star placed and statue built-in their honour. Often accompanying these additions will be news of a new store or museum to go alongside those stars whose work is of particular genius, and you too can visit and see the place of your dreams, simply by closing your eyes….

188os: Samuel Goldwyn: For contributions to Cinema. Known as the founder of movie studios such as Goldwyn Pictures, Goldwyn was also a successful producer and popular figure in Hollywood. Known for ‘discovering’ and hiring some of the best writers and directors in the business, Goldwyn is remember for creating movies including Wuthering Heights, Little Foxes, and The Best Years Of Our Lives. 

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1890sGeorge Burns. For contribution to Cinema, Television, Radio, Literature, and Theatre. One of the longest lasting and most loved comedians to straddle different mediums, Burns won an Oscar when he was 80 and continued working into his 90s. Author of multiple books and having many TV cameos, he is known for his early Vaudeville and Radio shows and remembered for works including The George Burns Show, The Sunshine Boys, and Radioland Murders.

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1900sLaslo Benedek. For contributions to Cinema and Television. A writer in Hungary until the outbreak of WWII, Benedek escaped to the US where he made a series of successful movies and became a reliable TV director, with works including The Wild One, Death Of A Salesman, and The Night Visitor.

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1910sSpike Milligan. For contributions to Cinema, Literature, Television, Theatre, and Radio. One of Britain’s most loved comedians and part of one of Britain’s most influential comedy troupes, Milligan was an accomplished writer and performer with a career spanning five decades. Recognised for his voice as much as his visual performances, Milligan is remembered in works including The Goon Show, The Q Series, and Life Of Brian.

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1920sGeorge Kennedy. For contributions to Cinema and Television. Kennedy came to show business relatively late, having abandoned his lengthy military career due to injury. Starting out as a military advisor on the Phil Silvers show, he eventually was brought into the supporting cast and went from there to Academy Award winning success and a career spanning seven decades, appearing in such works as Cool hand Luke, Airport, and The Naked Gun series.

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1930sF. Murray Abraham. For contributions to Cinema, Theatre, and Television. Abraham started out having bit parts in movies and voice work in commercials before thinking about giving it all up until he scored big in the early 1980s, winning an Oscar. Since then, Abraham has maintained a steady career on three fronts appearing in works such as Amadeus, Homefront, and Last Action Hero.

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1940sIvan Reitman. For contributions to Cinema. One of Canada’s most successful Producers and Directors, Reitman started out like many others on CITY TV before becoming involved in a string of hits in the 80s. Now focused more on Producing, he is known for works including Ghostbusters, Twins, and Meatballs.

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1950sTom Hanks. For contributions to Cinema and Television. One of the most loved and commercially successful actors of all time, Hanks has appeared in a variety of genres, has been nominated for and won multiple Oscars, and is known by colleagues and fans as the nicest guy in the business.Hanks is known for works including Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story, and Forest Gump.

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1960sCraig Charles. For contributions to TV, Radio, and Music. For British comedy and sci-fi fans, Craig Charles is a legend, crafting one of cult TVs favourite characters in Dave Lister, going on to appear in many other shows as actor, writer, presenter and maintaining a music and radio career. He is known for works including Red Dwarf, Robot Wars, and Takeshi’s Castle.

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1970sThandie Newton. For contributions to Cinema and Television. Newton began her career as a teen when her boyfriend Director cast her in one of his films, and from there she picked up minor roles on major movies and major roles in minor movies, gradually picking up speed and eventually becoming a housewold name and Bafta winner. She is known for works including Interview With The Vampire, Mission Impossible II, and Crash. 

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1980sJewel Staite. For contributions to Cinema and Television. A prominent child actress in Canadian TV and movies, Staite made the transition to adult roles appearing in many popular Sci Fi series including Stargate Atlantis, Firefly, and The Killing.

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1990sMaddie Hasson. For contributions to Cinema and Television. An actress who got a big break in the excellent God Bless America, Hasson has gone on to appear in a small number of movies and TV series (Twisted, Underdogs) while finishing her education.

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In addition to stars and statues erected in honour of the people above, the following attractions have been created:

In honour of Craig Charles, the Takeshi’s Castle Park has been built. Featuring full size replica’s of every single game and obstacle from the hit show, you can take on other competitors as you try to storm Count Takeshi’s Castle and take home a top prize. Crack your shins on Skipping Stones, break your neck on the High Rollers, crack your arse on Velcro Fly, and cover your nuts on Bridge Ball – if you do particularly badly or well you may find yourself appearing on TV as we air new episodes of the show!

In honour of Ivan Reitman, the Ghostbusters Sandbox has been built. Enter a fully rendered living, breathing recreation of New York City as a Ghostbuster and track down various spooks as you sample the city’s famous landmarks armed with a Proton Pack.

Which attractions based on any of the movies or shows that the above people were involved in would you love to experience? Free your mind and let us know in the comments!