October 15, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Creepshow 2'

Creepshow 2 (1987)

Review by Jude Felton

Going back to the good ole’ days of VHS, Creepshow 2 was one of those movies that got rented on more than one occasion. I always preferred it to the original Creepshow, for whatever reason, even though the first one is a better movie, so I was pretty damned happy to hear it would be getting a release on Blu-ray.

The film itself is the classic anthology style, with an animated wraparound, featuring Tom Savini as The Creep, and three tales of varying quality directed by Michael Gornick. It’s actually a really uneven film, with it starting off well, but then it peaks with the second tale, and then whimpers off with a tired final segment. Still, the Romero and King touches are still there to see, with Romero penning the script based on King’s stories.

The first tale, entitled Old Chief Wood’nhead, is a supernatural story of revenge, when a gang rob kindly old Ray Spruce’s story. It’s short, sweet and well-acted, especially the wonderful George Kennedy as Ray. It doesn’t bring too much to the table, but it’s done well, and it’s more than a worthy opening.

Creepshow 2 hits the jackpot with the middle story, called The Raft, and it is simplicity itself. Four kids head out to a remote lake, for smoking tokin’, drinkin’ and swimming, and I’m sure a lot more besides. However, once they make it to the titular raft, in the middle of the lake, they soon realize that getting back might not be so easy.

The Raft is perfect trash horror. You get obnoxious kids, plenty of grue, naked flesh and some killer 80s swimwear. In short, The Raft rocks and makes Creepshow 2.

The final segment, aside from being the most gruesome and featuring a cameo from Stephen King, is also the weakest. Truthfully, it’s boring, and even the humor is wasted on this tired tale of a rich lady driving home from an illicit rendezvous. Sure, the twisted humor is fun, but this is a tale that that could have been half the length or, better still, the opening story.

As for this new Blu-ray release though, it’s not all good. Instead of hitting Blu with a bang, it kind of just appeared, with little fanfare, and for fairly good reason I hate to admit. Whereas a company such as Scream Factory takes an old school charmer, such as Prison or Body Bags, and gives it brand new artwork, a load of cool features and more love than the film might deserve, Image have done very little with Creepshow 2.

For a start you’ll get the exact same artwork that accompanied the VHS release, and later the DVD version, absolutely no extras whatsoever (and no, scene selection does not count as an extra) and the picture and sound, whilst okay, are far from spectacular. Hell, the Anchor Bay DVD I own has more on it, and even that is pretty bare.

With all that in mind, I find it hard not to recommend Creepshow 2, as it’s just a really good fun Halloween flick. Some movies you want to sit and watch, whereas this one is perfect for when you have a group of mates round. It’s not a perfect film, and neither is this release, so if you already have a copy on another format, you might want to give it a swerve. However, if it’s missing from your collection, I’d grab a copy.

Creepshow 2 is released on Blu-ray by Image Entertainment and is available now.

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