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Friday, 21 October 2011

Halloween Movies - Creepshow

The three men had come together to discuss the possibility of making a movie version of The Stand. Stephen King, George Romero and producer Rik Rubinstein spent several weeks during the summer of 1981 talking about the pros and cons of adapting what was, up until that time, King’s most ambitious novel. George Romero had long been eager to work with King and had narrowly missed out on directing Salem’s Lot before the studio decided to pull the plug on plans for a big screen movie and go with a television mini series instead.
The three men realised that making a movie of The Stand would prove far too expensive and after looking at several other projects, it was decided to make an all original horror story based on the comic books that had influenced the young Stephen King – the project would end up being called Creepshow.

‘King was like a big kid,’ Rik Rubinstein commented during a documentary shot to accompany the special edition DVD of the movie. The author threw himself into the production and not only starred in one of the segments, as the moronic Jordy Verrill but also roped in his son Joe King (these days known as writer, Joe Hill) to play the young boy reading the Creepshow comic in the movie’s prologue.

The movie was made up of five stories plus the prologue and epilogue – two of the stories, The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill and The Crate were based on King stories, while the remaining three stories were written for the movie. All of the tales had something of the flavor of the old horror comics about them which was intentional although some critics seemed to misunderstand this point and found many of the performances over the top. King’s performance ( mouth agape and bulging eyes) in the Jordy Verrill story is perfect, even if the author does these days seem embarrassed by his acting. Sure it’s comic book and OTT but then the film’s meant to be that way – a celluloid version of a comic book and on that level it succeeds fully.

Creepshow is both a horror movie and an affectionate almost loving tribute to the tacky horror comics of the 50′s and 60′s. It’s not meant to be taken seriously but to be fun and it sure enough is.
The currently available two disc special edition DVD is superb. A rich clean transfer backed up by a wealth of special features, including a fascinating making of documentary as well as a commentary by George Romero himself.

1 comment:

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

I, and my kids love this movie. Seen it a ton of time, but it never gets old. And Cat's Eye, oh man! King rocks. We own all the Tales From The Crypt and Darkiside dvd's, plus Night Gallery, Night Stalker, and Twilight Zones. This is a great time of year if you love spooky!