Top 20 moments from Creepshow.
Last night I had the complete pleasure of guest speaking on my buddy Chad's podcast with Ben from Fright Rags. For almost two hours we paid tribute to Mr. George A Romero. Last Sunday, George passed away, and horror fans from across the world were left stunned. George's filmmaking made a huge impact on all of us, and one movie of his I'm sure basically everyone agrees Creepshow was one of his huge masterpieces. Here he teamed with author Stephen King, had a crazy talented cast, mind-blowing effects thanks to Tom Savini, and was able to make E.C Comics come to life. So in keeping with paying tribute to Mr. Romero here are my personal top twenty favorite moments from Creepshow.
1) The Creep
- Creepshow actually has six stories which many forget. The wrap-around is a really decent story and sets the tone for the remainder of the movie. I mean the first shot is a house in the suburbs with a jack o' lantern glowing in the window. Here we see the wraith of Mr. Tom Atkins as he freaks out over finding a horror comic that belongs to his young son Billy (played by Joe Hill aka Stephen King's son who is actually quite the author himself!) He has a typical 1950's asshole reaction, slapping his son, and freaking out over his son rotting his brain over crap like this. It's a very unsettling scene that I'm sure some people could relate to when growing up and having family members disapprove of their passion for horror (I on the other hand was extremely lucky with parents who actually got me into horror at a young age!) Being punished, Billy sits up wishing his father rots in Hell while Mr. Atkins enjoys a nice glass of beer, reminding his wife on why God made fathers. Here Billy's room lighting strikes, and he smiles looking out the window. There the creep himself waits. I have always been completely in love with this design and it KILLED me that they didn't use it again in the sequel. This was a perfect example of practical effects ruling over all.
2) The credits.
- I have always adored the opening credits to Creepshow. Here we see AMAZING artwork all featuring scenes from the movie. Between the stunning 1950's like artwork, we also get to listen to John Harrison's amazing score. Waxwork records released a killer vinyl of this movie, with different colored vinyls all based off each story. Can't wait for the sequel's release!
3) Nathan's backstory.
- Father's Day is one of the strongest segments in the entire movie. I mean that whole film SCREAMS E.C comics. What I loved was this twisted backstory between Nathan and Bedelia. How this rich family had some major skeletons in the closet, mostly dealing with Nathan, the father of the family who was basically a million years old, wanted to fuck his daughter, treated her like shit, and was insanely jealous of her while she was forced to nurse him full-time. After murdering her boyfriend, he sets on her edge and finally gives her the final push she needs to stop the abusive. On Father's Day he screams at the top of his lungs that he wants his Father's Day cake. Having enough, and snapping, Bedelia grabs a marble ashtray and kills her father. This had become family legend of this scandal since nothing could ever be proved. The family of course loves that this happened since they were all able to get their money. Now years later on every Father's Day, the date of Nathan's "murder" the few family members remaining all gather at Nathan's mansion in the middle of nowhere for a dinner. Bedelia spends the first half of the day alone at the cemetery drinking at his grave. One of my favorite moments if Nathan's actual murder. LOVE the shot of Bedelia driven to madness as Nathan screams over and over that he wants his cake while she frosts the cake.
4) Nathan's return.
- In classic E.C comic fashion we get a corpse that returns from the grave. What I completely love about this scene are three things. The red comic book lighting, the music, and of course the fact that actor John Amplas a Romero regular plays Nathan's corpse. Always loved the design of this. So cool!
5) "Don't let gooooooo...."
- Ed Harris FTW. Ed basically got his start in film thanks to George Romero. Between this and Knightriders, he was destined for fame. One of the most iconic moments from this movie has to be the EPIC dance moves between Mr. Harris and his wife. I mean what better way to pass the time waiting on a glazed ham than to dance the night away!
6) Tombstone smash!
- This moment burned inside my memory as a child. Nothing is scarier than something that could actually happen. Between this death and the one in Graveyard Shift, I always get the chills. Love the blue lighting, the music, and Mr. Harris' expression as the tomb slowly moves forward. I'm sorry but my ass would have been rolling away ASAP! I always chuckle whenever Nathan shuffles away mumbling "I want it...it's mine." Gotta hand it to him. The man knows what he wants.
7) I got my cake...
- Like I said Father's Day is one of the strongest segments in the entire story. I LOVE this ending. The lighting, the image of Silvia's head on the platter, the screams from the brother and sister. Between epic. I was lucky enough to have met John at Rock & Shock a few years back and brought him a little mini cake. The happiness captured on that sweet man's face made my year. He chuckled and held it up telling me "I finally got it!"
8) A screwdriver with a little extra...
- I hate to say it but this segment is my least favorite. Still, I love Stephen King in it. One of the best moments is as the space moss starts growing all over him, and he basically sees how fucked he is...he does what any person would do...he fixes himself a drink. I love the way he mixes it with the bottle, and sits down like a little child to listen to the television. Adorable.
9) "Just this once..."
- I think why this segment is my least favorite is because I feel so bad for King. I love movies where something overtakes the human body, and this really is a great story, still major bummer the morning after Stephen takes a bath and himself along with his entire farm is completely covered in space moss. He basically looks like a giant thing of weed. Here he gives up, shoots himself with a shotgun, and we see the space moss growing on down the road, heading in many different directions with lots of rain on the way!
10) "Jump into that hole..."
- This is a brilliant tale of revenge. I really dug everything about this segment, between the cast, the makeup, the music, and the beach setting...very awesome. One of the creepiest unsettling lines is the movie is after Harry has been brought to the private beach and now held by gunpoint. Here Richard orders him to jump into the hole he dug, and to start pulling the sand down and bury himself up to his neck. The music cue at this moment makes everything ten times more terrifying. If make you honestly wonder...what would you do?
11) Harry and Becky's return.
Such an awesome way to make zombies. Love the squishy sounds of their wet feet, or the bubbling of water down in their throats. The attention to detail was insane on these two dead lovers. I LOVED the seaweed on them as well as how water logged they look. Love these two, and those famous lines "We've come to see you Richarddddddd." Also love the shot of Richard laughing like a madman with the comic book lighting and crazed background. Very cool.
12) "I can hold my breath for a long timeeeee!!!"
- I think if you talk to any Creepshow fan, they will end up screaming this quote. It's was rare at the time to see Leslie Nielsen in a serious role. Still, he played it like a complete bad ass. A true horror villain. Plus, that track suit tho...In the end Richard gets exactly what's coming to him, and the segment freezes perfectly at the best moment.
13) What's inside the Crate.
- This I would say is the second strongest entry in the entire movie. The crate truly is a terrifying classic tale of a monster and how truly insane a man can become. After perfect tension and build up after a janitor and professor discover the crate under the stairs during the summer holiday, they work on opening it up, fascinated with what's inside. The attack on Mike the Janitor is beyond amazing. Between the lighting and music, we get little details such as the blood that's pouring out making the outlets to blow out. Such a great monster!
14) Henry's plan.
- I still clearly remember when I first caught this movie late on HBO one night. How captivated I was since this was the story I tuned in on. The relationship between Henry and Billy is a complete riot. Here this poor run down man is in a major emotional and verbal train wreck of a relationship with his wife. Both actors really bring their A game to these performances. I love how the second Dex comes babbling about what happened to Mike and Charlie about what happened, you can all ready see the wheels turning. Clearly he puts the puzzle pieces together and starts thinking of how to get rid of his biggest problem. His wife! Here he uses his brains and writes a note to his wife, bringing her to the university with a huge made up story. Going ahead, he cleans up any evidence that anything happened and leads her to her death. Love the whole montage, plus let's put our hands together on how quickly Henry was able to clean that place up! To think she needed to remind him earlier to wipe the stove...
15) Billy goes bye bye...
- Henry's plan comes perfectly together at the end. I love when Fluffy originally doesn't come out and she starts hitting him with her purse. "You think this is the Friday night fights?!" When Fluffy does make his third appearance it's epic. I would say even if we don't exactly see Billy's final moments, we can tell they weren't good ones from Henry's expression. Billy's days of drinking milk and whiskey are sadly over, but at least Fluffy did all the dirty work!
16) "I hope you die, I HOPE YOU DIE!"
- Mr. Pratt was a total asshole. Still, he got exactly what was coming to him. Was it all the work of that poor widow? Maybe...or maybe it was just New York being New York and that "germ" proof apartment not making Jack shit. This isn't my favorite segment, but I still love movies with bugs. If anyone loves this story, check out The Nest. One of the best moments in this story is of course when Pratt locks himself in his bedroom after it's become overrun with roaches and pulls back his sheet only to find millions of bugs waiting for him! So gross! If it was spiders, I would have been a dead woman.
17) "What's the matter Mr. Pratt...bugs got your tongue?"
- Such a cool way to finish off the story. Another one of Tom's great effects. I love Stephen King's story of how they gassed all the roaches after they filmed this. In fact, for those Creepshow fans out there, go check out Just Deserts, a GREAT doc dealing with the making of the original film. The stories of the roach trailer always cracks me up. Still, such a cool effect.
18) Tom's cameo.
- Not only did Savini do effects for this movie, he also was featured in a small cameo. We all know how much Tom loves to act, so of course he would be featured in this movie. I do like how the other garbage man hits the truck with the barrel's cover and yells "CHEW YOUR FOOD BEFORE YOU SWALLOW!" Also the two of them discovering Billy's Creepshow comic and flipping through the mailers at all the cool stuff you can send away for.
19) Don't fuck with Billy.
- Don't ever screw with a kid and their comics. Finishing up the wrap-around story, we find Mr. Atkins VERY grumpy at breakfast, complaining of a stiff neck. His wife is ironing and notices a piece of one of his shirts has been cut. Suddenly Tom stands up in pain, holding his throat and crying in pain. Here we discover Billy has sent away for a voodoo doll dressed in his father's torn shirt. Sticking needles into it, he freezes on Billy's face as he smiles, poking away at his father's soul. Again...don't fuck with a King kid. They will end you.
- What perfect way to finish off this amazing movie than showing our Creep holding the newest issue and blowing out a candle. Again I can't rave more about how awesome the score was by John Harrison. Beyond amazing. What I really love about it is how it sounds like some twist fairytale music...it's beautiful. Again, Waxwork records knocked this release out of the park, and I honestly can't wait for the sequel's release!
R.I.P George. Thank you for this amazing movie you did with Stephen. It's iconic, and will live on forever!!!