Five tales of horror comprise this fun, giddy compilation written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero. Much in common with the omnibus films of the late sixties and early seventies (“Tales from the Crypt”), “Creepshow” features five comic-book episodes tied together by a wrap-around tale of an abusive father and how his son gets even with a voodoo doll.

creepshowLike all compilations, some episodes work better than others. Most effective are the first and last chapters, which deal with a family reunion and the sudden appearance of the dead patriarch, and a Howard Hughes-like businessman whose seemingly sterile environment is invaded by cockroaches.

The middle chapters are okay. One features an adulterous couple who get the tables turned on them by a jealous husband. Another deals with an old crate found on a college campus which holds a most unexpected surprise. The only weak link stars writer King as a hillbilly who discovers a meteor and begins to dream of wealth and fame. Unfortunately, contact with the astral object turns him into a human Chia Pet.

The screenplay by King is functional and funny, while director Romero totally respects the tone and look of the source material. Indeed Romero, the director of the “Night of the Living Dead” trilogy, does a splendid job of making the film look like a living comic book. The colors are bright and sometimes garish, while the performances are one-dimensional and over- the-top. That is not a bad thing. The actors seem to be having a blast as they encounter one grisly situation after another.

In one segment, college professor Hal Holbrook takes great delight in plugging a hole into the middle of his nagging wife’s head. E.G. Marshall also seems to have fun with his Hughes-inspired performance as a man whose battle with pesky roaches turns nasty. Perfectly realized, “Creepshow” isn’t a classic, but it is classic fun. One of the props at my last Halloween party was the old crate with a monster inside. I was surprised at how many guests recognized the reference.



check.gif (406 bytes) 1.85:1 Widescreen

check.gif (406 bytes) 1.33:1 Full Frame

check.gif (406 bytes) 16:9 Enhanced

check.gif (406 bytes) There are some age issues with the original negative. Some scratches, the occasional reel change mark. That aside, the digital transfer is strong. No compression artifacts or visible noise. The widescreen transfer respects the films garish color scheme, delivering vivid, almost brilliant colors. Flesh tones are flattering and realistic. Shading is decent, with deep blacks and clean whites. Depth of field seems to go on forever, while attention to detail is evident in every frame.


check.gif (406 bytes) 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround

check.gif (406 bytes) Playful surround track replicates the original theatrical presentation. Rear speaker action is dedicated to the occasional sound or music cue (lightning strikes, some ambient noise). Surround effects are okay but not definitive. Dialogue mix is strong. High and low sound fields sound clean and pure, with no noticeable hiss or distortion.

ORAL: Good

check.gif (406 bytes) Closed captions in English for the hard of hearing, subtitles in French.


check.gif (406 bytes) Colorful main and scene access menus.

check.gif (406 bytes) The film’s original theatrical trailer.


check.gif (406 bytes) “Creepshow” delivers the goods. The DVD makes it easy to appreciate them.


check.gif (406 bytes) $19.99/Rated R/120 Minutes/Color/41 Chapter Stops/Snapcase/#16053




HMO: Warner Home Video

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