Horror Club - Creepshow
Horror anthology films have always held a special place in my heart; with the rising popularity of films like fan-favorite Trick 'r Treat, Tales of Halloween, and The ABCs of Death series, these collections of short scary stories are becoming more popular each year. But no anthology film does it better than one of best of the best: 1982's Creepshow, directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. The five short stories held within the confines of Creepshow are some of the spookiest, gnarliest, and downright horrifying tales by two of horror's masters - it's no wonder the original Creepshow is still regarded to this day as one of the finest films in the genre.
After young Billy's father finds and discards his horror comic book Creepshow, the stories from the comic come to life as Billy damns his father to Hell for coming down on him so hard. "Father's Day" kicks off the stories, and its the tale of a woman who kills her own father on fathers day. All of her life, Bedelia took grief and abuse from her father, and it was only a matter of time until she snapped. But what pushed her over the edge on that fateful night was when he hired someone to murder her lover; add in his ongoing nagging, and Bedelia just couldn't take it anymore. She put him in his place: the grave. Each year since the murder, the remaining heirs gather on Fathers Day to mourn their father, however this year was different: father Nathan is back from the dead, in his rotting corpse of a body, to seek revenge and get the Fathers Day cake her always wanted. This story is so fantastic even on its own, it immediately became my favorite story of the entire film. Chances are, we all know someone who just nags and nags and nags, but Bedelia actually did her father in! Nathan looks absolutely incredible as a zombie and his body and demeanor just scream fucking terror. I could seriously watch this story every day and not get tired of it; its ending is one you're gonna wanna see!
"The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" follows up to "Fathers Day," and its a story of a lonesome redneck named Jordy (who is excellently played by Stephen King) who sees a meteorite come crashing down to Earth, and claims it as his own, thinking that he can resell it to a college's "meteor department" to make some fast cash (his asking price of $200!). After accidentally cracking it open, he touches this weird glowing blue liquid that came from the inside and his body suddenly begins to grow what appears to be grass or weeds. He wakes up with a beard full of weeds and, against his ghost fathers advice, he hops in the bath tub full of water which causes his entire body (along with his property as far as the eye can see) with the weed-like substance. This story freaked me out as a kid, and even still does as an adult. As a kid, we had a VHS copy of Goosebumps' "Stay Out Of The Basement," and the dad in that movie always scared the living hell out of me. Seeing Creepshow around the same time as a kid had the exact same effect on me, and the mere thought of my entire body becoming engulfed in grass makes me want to scream. An exquisite story with a dark yet clever (and open) ending you gotta see!
"Something to Tide You Over" is a strange and terrifying tale of a goddamn lunatic named Richard who essentially lures a loving couple - Harry and Becky - one at a time to a beach property he owns, where he pulls out a gun and convinces the two to bury themselves in the sand up to their necks. Only problem is that they are right up on the shore line, where over the course of time, the tide begins to hit their face and bury them in wave after wave. As he is recording their panic, he hints that there is one way to survive, and that is to see how long they can hold their breath, for if they can hold it long enough, they can wait for the sand to loosen as the water pours over them, and they can break free from the deadly weight of the sand. After all is said and done, Richard goes on about his day only to be greeted at his front door by the loving couple, covered in sea life and bloated beyond belief, who are there to seek revenge for their death. The two lovers look HORRIFYING, and to this day still makes me shudder in fear. As they yell at Richard, the camera picks up some truly disturbing footage of the pair that will live in your nightmares for years to come. It's a truly sick and twisted tale with a satisfying and justified ending!
"The Crate" has become one of the most popular stories from Creepshow, and it tells the story of a college custodian who stumbles upon a crate hidden away that has markings on it saying it is from an 1834 Arctic expedition. After he informs one of the professors, they open it up only to be greeted by a Yeti-like creature with terrifying fangs and a massive head. It doesn't waste any time in chowing down on the custodian, and the professor takes off running, absolutely horrified by what he had just seen. As he grabs a student to prove he isn't a madman, they come back to find the crate was moved back to where it was. The student gets closer to it to examine what the professor was talking about, and he gets devoured as well. Instead of calling the authorities or whatever, the professor calls up his buddy who has grown to hate his drunk, lunatic of a wife and he sees it as a way to "solve" his little problem. She brings her to where the crate is, and as she gets close enough to it, the creature feasts upon her flesh, taking yet another victim. The Crate is a fun, over-the-top story of revenge, and believe me, you'll quickly agree that this woman deserved her fate inside the stomach of the beast after seeing just how shitty of a person she is to her husband. It's a feel-good, brutal display of cryptozoology so yeah, bet your ass its gonna be a great watch!
And last but certainly not least is "They're Creeping Up on You," the story of an older, ruthless business man who is deathly afraid of bugs and germs. He even goes as far as paying an absurd amount of money for an apartment where he was promised no bugs would ever make their way in! His electric locks and camera systems are set to prevent any infiltration from the vermin, but as a storm brings forth a blackout, his system is flawed and a gnarly horde of cockroaches begin to completely consume the apartment, and soon, the wealthy germophobe. The most shocking, vile, and grotesque special effects in the entire film are held for the final moments of "They're Creeping Up on You," where the deceased body of the business man is completely overwhelmed by the cockroaches, and they begin to literally burst through his skin from the inside and they all begin pouring out all into the room. It's a sight not even bleach in your eyes will help you unsee. At first, the story seemed boring and dull, but once the cockroach army begins their descent, its full on fucking chaos and horror from that point on!
There's a reason why almost forty years since its release, Creepshow remains one of the must-see films in horror. It was (and is) shocking and just overall good old fashioned scary stories. It takes what spooks so many of us - scary beasts, disgusting bugs, and even family (haha) - and gives us even more reasons to be terrified. The legends that worked on the film have a legacy of experience in the genre, and with that experience they managed to create something truly haunting. Horror fanatics from all over love to share their favorite stories from Creepshow, and it's always entertaining to hear why a certain story resonated with them more than the others. If you haven't already seen this film, do yourself a favor and do whatever it is you need to do to see it this weekend. It will take you on a journey of shock and awe, and leave you feeling so unclean and unsettled, you'll be begging for more!!!