THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!
Creepshow 2 (1987)
Directed by Michael Gornick
“Creepshow 2 might be the “Great Value” brand of Tales from the Crypt, but it’s entertainingly generic.”
To view Creepshow 2 properly, it’s important to remember a few key elements. 1) Wait for the gore. It comes eventually and looks fantastic. 2) Enjoy the worst dialogue ever written, seriously terrible. 3) Doubly enjoy some of the worst acting recorded (special awards for George Kennedy’s death scene and everyone involved with “The Raft”). 4) Don’t take anything seriously. 5) Watch the movie with a heavy drink and some folks in the mood. It’s an easy recipe for a perfect evening of enjoyable stupidity. Sure, not as easy recipe as say making spaghetti with canned sauce, but still simple enough.
With that said, Creepshow 2 deserves some criticism, which we’ll get over with up front. The fact that both Stephen King AND George A. Romero wrote this movie either means they aimed for the result here or they enjoy a few too many beverages (or something a little stiffer) when they wrote it. Regardless, this is THE laziest, most eye-rolling dialogue ever written. Oh, and then there’s the logic (like in “The Raft” where characters stranded on a raft in swimsuits manage to produce two joints and a sweat shirt out of thin air.) More dumb things occur, but this is a positive review, the laziness of the film is what makes the movie. Along with top-notch, blood drenched effects.
Besides…that’s the point, right? This isn’t serious horror. This isn’t serious anything. Creepshow 2 might be the “Great Value” brand of Tales from the Crypt, but it’s entertainingly generic, though often overlooked compared to the first Creepshow, a classic with memorable talent (before they were A-list Ted Danson, Ed Harris, and Leslie Nielsen). Few would say the same for Creepshow 2 as it’s…less than classic. Not that it matters. Creepshow 2 plays as if King and Romero didn’t care what anyone thought. With only three stories (though the stories feel a bit stretched) instead of five like the first film, they did whatever probably sounded good at the time.
The first tale is the weakest, with lackluster gore and painful effects (I’m looking at you, Chief Wood’nhead). Entitled “Old Chief Wood’nhead”, it’s about an old couple running a general store without customers near an Indian reservation. When an outlaw Indian and his boys rob and kill the couple (as mentioned, Kennedy’s death is overdramatic perfection), the old wooden cigar Indian comes to life to seek revenge. The best part: the outlaw Indian’s love for his hair. He thinks he’ll make to Hollywood with it, because he looks so good. That’s his motivation, which is pretty, pretty dumb.
The second tale, “The Raft,” is by far the best where four young folks swim to the middle of a lake, only to be trapped by some sort of oil slick monster. The death sequences are effectively brutal here as the oil thingy devours the poor suckers, one by one. Very painful to watch…not as painful as the dialogue though, but it ensures interest never wanes. Actually, more painful might be the near molestation scene when the last guy makes out with the last passed out girl. It’s…awkward. The best part: the oil monster. I’m pretty sure it’s just a black tarp with some goo that they moved around. But what the hell, it works.
The final tale, “The Hitchhiker,” has all the good lines. “Now you’re seeing things, bitch,” says the main character, Mrs. Lansing. And boy, does she see some shit. But why shouldn’t she as she’s had quite a day. She buys a male prostitute for 150 bucks, collecting six orgasms for her trouble. On her ride home, she’s talks to an empty passenger seat the whole way home until she hits a hitchhiker and runs from the scene. Then the dead hitchhiker keeps coming back for her, again and again. Nothing makes sense as the story is a mess, but it’s got the line, “Thanks for the ride, lady,” which makes up for everything. The best part: The ridiculous driving. When the hitchhiker jumps on top of her car and she can’t shake him, she drives into the woods, destroying her car in hopes he’ll hit a branch or the leaves might suffocate him. Maybe hit the brakes next time?
You won’t be smarter for watching Creepshow 2, but what the hell. You got some cells to burn. Enjoy.