Creepshow 2 (1987)

Creepshow 2(1987) – So I enjoyed the 1982 horror anthology Creepshow. It was written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero so it had that going for it, plus it was their loving homage to hold horror comics like Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. I admittedly went in expecting it be the perfect horror film, given its pedigree. It fell significantly short of that but it was still a lot of fun. Anyway, five years later a sequel followed. I watched that sequel with more managed expectations. Of course this time Romero didn’t direct. Instead it’s the cinematographer of the first film, Michael Gornick, in the director’s chair. Also there’s only three chapters in this one, as opposed to the five from the first film. That just means they have more time to focus on each individual story, right? Also after the star-studded cast of the first film, the only person in this movie I’ve even heard of is George Kennedy. Well… George Kennedy is awesome, so that’s cool… There’s no reason to be nervous, right?

The film begins with young Billy (Dominick John, replacing Joey King [now known as the author Joe Hill] from the first film) receiving the latest issue of the Creepshow comic book, delivered by the Creep himself (Tom Savini in make-up, replacing the puppet from the first movie). Billy’s story switches to animation, though the three stories told are still live action. The first is “Old Chief Wood’nhead” about a kindly store-owner (Kennedy) in a small town that’s quickly becoming a ghost town. The titular chief is a large old cigar store wooden Indian he keeps in front of his shop. One day tragedy strikes him and his wife (Dorothy Lamour) at the hands of some young hoodlums (Holt McCallany, David Holbrook [son of Hal from the first film], & Don Harvey), but vengeance comes from an unexpected place… you know unless you read the title of the story. The second story is “The Raft” about four “college-age” (yeah right!) friends (Paul Satterfield, Jeremy Green, Daniel Beer, & Page Hannah [Daryl’s sister]) who go out to a secluded lake and swim out to a raft in the middle, only discover a dangerous substance on the water. It looks like an oil slick but it’s sentient, predatory, and hungry for flesh. The third and final story is “The Hitchhiker.” Annie Lansing (Lois Chiles) is a cheating wife who, on her way back from her lover’s, hits a hitchhiker (Tom Wright) killing him instantly. She speeds off but as it turns out that hitchhiker REALLY wants a ride…

The movie doesn’t outright suck, but it feels like a serious step down in quality. The animation on Billy’s story isn’t very good and the live action scenes don’t have that old-time-comic-book fell that the first movie nailed so well. The acting is across the board mediocre, though nothing quite as awful as Stephen King in the first film (not even King’s cameo in this one). “The Raft” in particular suffers from what appear to be some pretty cheap effects. I won’t say for certain, but the monster looks like a sheet of plastic on the water. “Old Chief Wood’nhead” and “The Hitchhiker” are at least old-fashioned straight-up supernatural revenge stories and there’s nothing wrong with that. Creepshow 2 manages to be mildly enjoyable but there is absolutely NOTHING in this movie nearly as fun as the first Creepshow. I really do like those old horror stories like the ones found in the pages of EC Comics titles. Maybe when I have some cash I should look into buying some… Anyway Creepshow 2 doesn’t quite cut it…

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