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Michael Gornick
Lois Chiles, George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour, Tom Savini
Writing Credits:
George Romero

Three more bone-chilling tales that include a vengeful wooden Native American, a monstrous blob in a lake, and a hitchhiker who wants revenge and will not die.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English LPCM Stereo
English LPCM Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $34.95
Release Date: 12/13/2016

• Audio Commentary with Director Michael Gornick
• “Screenplay for a Sequel” Featurette
• “Tales from the Creep” Featurette
• “Poncho’s Last Ride” Featurette
• “The Road to Dover” Featurette
• “Nightmares In Foam Rubber” Featurette
• “My Friend Rick” Featurette
• Behind the Scenes
• Image Gallery
• Trailers and TV Spot
• Booklet


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Creepshow 2 [Blu-Ray] (1987)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 12, 2016)

Back in 1982, Creepshow brought us a moderately successful horror anthology reminiscent of the old EC Comics. Five years later, we got 1987’s Creepshow 2, a follow-up in the same vein.

Whereas the first film included five separate short stories, Creepshow 2 opts to tell us three tales:

Old Chief Wood’nhead: Ray (George Kennedy) and Martha (Dorothy Lamour) run a small general store in the American Southwest – complete with life-size wooden Indian figure out front. When thugs attack the elderly shopkeepers, supernatural retribution occurs.

Whatever pleasure we get from “Chief” revolves around the pairing of Kennedy and Lamour. While the segment doesn’t allow either to shine, I still like their connection and enjoy their time on screen.

Otherwise, “Chief” seems slow and predictable. The segment takes forever to go anywhere, as it dawdles through endless scenes of sputtering exposition that could move much more efficiently.

Even when the action theoretically starts to heat up, the result remains sluggish. The inevitable comeuppance scenes feels bland and without real drama or thrills. “Chief” feels padded and never goes anywhere.

The Raft: A group of teenagers decide to swim in a local lake. They soon learn of their mistake.

“Raft” offers an improvement over “Chief”, mainly because it moves in a more dynamic manner. While “Chief” dawdles and plods, “Raft” brings us action pretty quickly, and that gives it an edge over its predecessor.

This doesn’t make it a great episode, though, mainly because it lacks many real thrills. Though the nature of the narrative boasts room for tension, the end result doesn’t manage to live up to that potential.

Still, “Raft” isn’t a bad segment. While it lacks a lot of oomph, it gives us a decent story of nature run amok, so it ends up as passable horror.

The Hitch-Hiker: After an adulterous fling with a male prostitute (David Beecroft), Annie Lansing (Lois Chiles) rushes home to head off her husband’s suspicions. On the way, she accidentally hits and kills a hitchhiker (Tom Wright). Annie flees the scene but she learns that otherworldly forces won’t let the situation end there.

Creepshow 2 finishes with another mediocre episode. Chiles adds a little cynical zest to the proceedings, but the story seems awfully one-note.

That means it repeats the same beats over and over, without much surprise or excitement. “Hitch-Hiker” tops the drab “Chief” but falls below “Raft” on the Creepshow 2 pecking order.

Creepshow 2 also comes with linking segments. In these, a boy named Billy (Domenick John) buys seeds for a supposedly carnivorous plant. You don’t suppose this purchase might connect to his desire to deal with kids who bully him, do you?

As we follow Billy’s journey, we also get episode intros from “The Creep”. Oddly, the Billy/Creep material starts as live-action but becomes animated before long. The sequences seem out of place, honestly, and don’t add to the construction of the movie. In addition, the cartoon style doesn’t fit the rest of the film and looks cheap.

Not that anyone will accuse Creepshow 2 of stellar production values. The original film didn’t boast a large budget, but it came with a reasonable level of quality and didn’t come across as bargain basement, while the sequel always feels like a cut-rate attempt to capitalize on its predecessor without too much expense involved.

Creepshow 2 does bring back its two premier behind the camera talents: Stephen King and George Romero. However, both change roles for the sequel. King wrote the 1982 flick but now just gets a “based on stories by” credit along with a short on-screen cameo.

Romero directed the first film but here serves as screenwriter instead. Romero recruited his longtime cinematographer Michael Gornick to direct the sequel, and the film wound up as Gornick’s sole cinematic directorial credit.

I can’t say that Creepshow 2 makes Gornick’s lack of subsequent work a tragedy. The movie lacks real zing, as Gornick fails to bring life to the various stories, and that becomes a problem.

Admittedly, I think Romero’s screenplay doesn’t show great potential, but I think it had enough basic merit that a superior director could’ve created a more exciting program. Under Gornick’s eye, Creepshow 2 fails to present tension or terror – it plods along without the necessary pizzazz.

Creepshow 2 never becomes a terrible film or an embarrassment, bit it also doesn’t offer much of real value. A limp sequel, it falls flat.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C+/ Bonus B

Creepshow 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a decent transfer but not one that excelled.

Sharpness was usually adequate. While the movie lacked great definition, it showed reasonable accuracy and didn’t suffer from problematic instances of softness. I witnessed no issues with moiré effects or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent.

Grain seemed heavy, but the movie came free from print defects. The animated segments showed marks, but those came from lackluster clean-up work, not from actual source defects.

Colors were decent but reflected the issues that affected some of the era’s film stocks. This meant hues that seemed a but mushy, but the Blu-ray mostly displayed acceptable to good tones. Blacks were also a little inky at times, but they seemed fine as a whole, and shadows showed reasonably solid clarity. Nothing here stood out as great but the image was acceptable.

Like the picture, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack also showed its age and origins. The soundscape showed decent stereo imaging for the music and gave us a lackluster sense of environment. Occasional effects showed up in logical locations, but a lot of the time, the soundfield failed to demonstrate clear localization and movement.

Audio quality was dated but passable. Speech could be a little brittle, but the lines remained intelligible and were usually natural enough. Music gave us acceptable vivacity, and effects seemed okay; they lacked great clarity but suffered from no obvious distortion or other flaws. This was a serviceable soundtrack for a movie from 1987.

This Blu-ray of Creepshow 2 offers a broad mix of extras, and these launch with an audio commentary from director Michael Gornick. Along with moderator Perry Martin, Gornick looks at the project's roots/development and his shift from cinematographer to director, cast and performances, the movie's animated sequences, sets, design and locations, storyboarding and cinematography, makeup and various effects, music and various production challenges.

From start to finish, Gornick provides a pretty terrific commentary. Martin acts as a good interviewer and helps spur Gornick's memories. These factors combine to turn this into an informative and enjoyable piece.

A series of video features follow. Screenplay for a Sequel lasts 10 minutes, 45 seconds and provides an interview with screenwriter George Romero. He discusses the comic books that inspired the series, the first film and its expansion toward a sequel, his screenplay, and thoughts about Creepshow 2. Romero gives us a decent collection of notes but this doesn’t turn into a particularly informative chat.

With the seven-minute, 53-second Tales from the Creep, we hear from actor/makeup artist Tom Savini. Hired to play the Creep, Savini talks about his experiences as an actor from his vantage point as an expert makeup effects creator. Savini delivers a short but engaging discussion.

Next comes Poncho’s Last Ride. It fills 14 minutes, 44 seconds with remarks from actor Daniel Beer, as he covers his casting, aspects of his performance and the miserable conditions under which he worked. Beer brings us a fine overview of his time on the shoot.

During The Road to Dover, we locate a 13-minute, 51-second reel with actor Daniel Wright. Like Beer, Wright discusses his career, what brought him to Creepshow 2 and what he remembers of his performance and the shoot. Since Wright’s role required gore makeup and stunts, he adds an unusual perspective.

Nightmares In Foam Rubber goes for 32 minutes, three seconds and features makeup effects artists Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero. They chat about what led them to their career choices as well as their work on Creepshow 2. In addition to the insights Berger and Nicotero share, we find lots of good behind the scenes footage in this strong segment.

After this we find My Friend Rick, a two-minute, 43-second clip with Berger. He talks about makeup effects creator/mentor Rick Baker and the impact Baker had on his career. I’m not sure what prompted this clip’s inclusion – Baker’s still alive, so it’s not an “In Memorium” clip – but Berger does offer a few interesting thoughts.

Under Behind the Scenes, we get a five-minute, 50-second reel. It displays elements related to the movie’s opening shots of the Creep. Some useful moments arrive but the segment becomes redundant.

In addition to two trailers and a TV spot, we find an Image Gallery. It presents a three-minute, 34-second running reel with shots from the film and some production elements. Nothing memorable appears.

The package concludes with a booklet. This offers photos, credits and an essay from BFI film programmer Michael Blyth. It wraps us the set well.

As an inexpensive sequel, Creepshow 2 doesn’t bomb but it also fails to provide anything that I’d call memorable. Sluggish and without much inspiration, it never develops into a compelling horror experience. The Blu-ray provides acceptable picture and audio along with a nice set of supplements. As a film, Creepshow 2 falls flat.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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