Plot: What’s it about?
“Hey lady… thanks for the lift.”
Arrow Video have always done a great job of releasing cult films in pristine collector’s editions since they first crossed the seas from the UK to the USA. They have had such a steady stream of output that occasionally a film slides past me. Such is the case with their release for Creepshow 2. I had misplaced my copy but when I saw that Shout Factory was doing a collector’s edition of the first Creepshow, I made it my mission to watch the sequel.
Creepshow 2 is an anthology film like its predecessor. There are three tales in the film and a small animated connecting line for the film. The three tales are:
Old Chief Wood’nhead – a general store owner and his wife (George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour) accept some Native American trinkets as a payment of a debt. When they are attacked and the trinkets are stolen, the wooden Indian at the front of the store seeks out revenge.
The Raft – four college students paddle out to a wooden raft in the middle of a lake only to find themselves facing a mysterious and potentially deadly blob.
The Hitch-hiker – a cheating wife (Lois Chiles) drives home from her gigolo. When she drops her cigarette while driving she hits a hitch-hiker (Tom Wright.) Fleeing the scene of the crime, she continuously encounters the hitch-hiker she killed who seems unwilling to stay dead.
These three stories are admittedly pretty silly, but they are still fun and engaging. I have always enjoyed anthology films and series and though this does not rank up there with a great Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone episode, it was still a relaxed and enjoyable horror film. Fans of the first film will consider this a good example of the law of diminishing returns, but they should not dismiss the movie completely. This is a fun film from the Eighties that should be given a second chance from the fans that were disappointed in it originally. Two of the three stories for the film were leftover ideas from the first film, so they are not that far removed from the first film.
What horror enthusiasts will most likely enjoy the most about the film is some of the more elaborate practical effects done in the film. The film has a few fairly gory scenes that are pulled off with bravado by Greg Nicotero and others. Some of the effects are really well done. I prefer practical effects to CGI and this film checked off the boxes for me.
At the end of the day, fans of anthology series and horror films that don’t mind somewhat corny dialogue and situations will find it an easy enough way to spend an hour and a half.
Video: How’s it look?
Arrow Video have provided a good-looking transfer of the film using an MPEG-4 AVC codec of a brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negatives. This is an interesting transfer because there was already a pretty decent looking Image release that had some DNR but still looked pretty good. This transfer is much more film-like, but grain is pretty apparent, and it does not look like it was cleaned up very much. Overall, I was pleased with the transfer, but it isn’t as beautiful as some of their more recent 4K transfers they have been doing recently.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Arrow Video have provided both a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track and an LPCM 2.0 track. Purists may want to stick to the LPCM track, but I went with the 5.1 track. I have no real complaints here. The sound design for the film benefits from the surround treatment but it still is very much a product of its time. This is a good sounding track overall and it’s nice to have both tracks.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Screenplay for a Sequel – this interview with George A. Romero is interesting because he openly admits that the sequel doesn’t match the original while discussing how this could have been a good long-term series.
- Tales from the Creep – this interview with makeup artist and actor Tom Savini finds him gladly recollecting his acting work, makeup effects, and his paycheck he received.
- Poncho’s Last Ride – is an interview with Daniel Beer, who played Randy in “The Raft.” This interview is much more interesting than I expected, largely due to the amount of hypothermia he experienced.
- The Road to Dover – this interview with Tom Wright from “The Hitch-Hiker” has some good background on what he went through in the makeup chair each day.
- Nightmares in Foam Rubber – this archival interview features special effects artists Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero. They have fond memories of the production due to their young age and inexperience at the time.
- My Friend Rick – this brief archival feature has Howard Berger discussing how he first met his hero Rick Baker.
- Behind the Scenes
- Image Gallery
- Trailers and TV Spot
- Audio Commentary – Perry Martin talks with director Mike Gornick about the film. Gornick has a great voice and a good memory.
- Original Screenplay is available as BD-ROM content.
The Bottom Line
Creepshow 2 is admittedly not as good as the previous film. George Romero writes but does not direct the film and the stories are not as strong as the previous film. That said, this is still a fun anthology film that entertained me enough to earn a recommendation for a rental. If you are a fan of the film, Arrow has continued to show why they are some of the best in the business with their extensive and interesting supplements and good-looking transfer of the film.