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Creepshow 2 (1987) - Blu-ray Review

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Creepshow 2 - Blu-ray Review

2 beersThe follow-up to the 1982 hit Creepshow probably arrived three years too late.  While George A. Romero and Stephen King are involved with the project, it simply doesn’t have the same deadly bite that the first one did.  Directed by Michael Gornick and written by Romero, the horror film breaks from the EC comic book formula a bit and presents three tales of terror that run themselves ragged, presenting everything that is good and bad and just downright ugly in the wheelhouse of both Romero and King.

Creepshow 2 should be approached very carefully.  Sequels are hard things to pull off.  We need to keep that in mind, especially when an extended period of time has passed.  It begins, expectedly, with a morality tale called “Old Chief Wood’nhead” in which a cigar store Indian enacts revenge upon a trio of thugs who rob an elderly couple of the turquoise jewelry a Native American elder left as payment for the tribe’s debts.  Starring George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour as the elderly couple knocked-off by the gang, Creepshow 2 starts with a stylistic dud and, regrettably, doesn’t get much better.

While “The Raft” is a better tale of teenage terror in which a group of young pot smoking adults get trapped in the middle of a lake and eventually devoured by a surfacing mutant blob, it probably only works as well as it does due to our adjustment to the stylistic (and animated) shock of just how different the film operates when compared to the highs of the original.  The first tale is a letdown.  This one has to be better.  And, to a degree, it is – even if it lacks the stylistic touches Romero would have given it.

Finally, there is “The Hitch-hiker” which features a panicked adulteress (Lois Chiles) getting her comeuppance alongside the road thanks to a hitchhiker who won’t stay dead.  It’s a complicated tale, further distancing itself from EC comic book material (even if it does feature King as a truck driver).  It’s hard to tell if the poor girl is getting tormented due to her affair or because of her bad driving, which results in running over the hitchhiker. 

Connecting all these stories is Tom Savini back in make-up gear as The Creep.  There’s also a collection of animated sequences about a boy’s run-in with a bunch of bullies.  Neither really work in establishing a working thread.  Blame the budget.  It seems no one at New World Pictures or Laurel Entertainment – even with the success of Tales from the Darkside and HBO’s Tales from the Crypt – was willing to take a financial risk. 

Maybe – with a bit more dough – Creepshow 2 would have been improved.  We will never know.

Creepshow 2 - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Michael Gornick
Writer:
George A. Romero
Cast:
George Kennedy, Lois Chiles, Domenick John
Genre
: Horror | Horror
Tagline:
Good to the last gasp!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Ooooh, mucho ecological, Poncho! Mucho ecological!"
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 1, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 13, 2016
Synopsis: 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.

Creepshow 2 - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow
Available on Blu-ray
- December 13, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: LPCM 2.0; English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Single Blu-ray Disc
Region Encoding: Region A

Arrow Video presents Creepshow 2 with an exclusive restoration in 2K for its blu-ray debut.  It is presented in its original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1 with mono, stereo 2.0, and 5.1 audio options.  Dirt and debris has been scrubbed from the original 35mm interpositive.  The image itself has been stabilized and the results, while never stunning, are satisfactory.  Colors are improved and more saturated and skin tones are improved.  Shadows are still an issue – due to budgetary limitations – but, overall, this is a quality release from Arrow Video.  Fans should be pleased.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Director Michael Gornick provides the commentary.  It is interesting to hear his side of the production and what he considers to be the successes and failures of his movie.

Special Features:

Arrow Video goes all out with the supplemental items and makes the decision on whether or not to buy this release an easy one for genre hounds.  Be sure to scoop up the first pressing of this release, though, as it will be the only to feature the booklet and essay by Michael Blyth.   

  • Nightmares in Foam Rubber – featurette with special make-up effects artists Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero
  • My Friend Rick – Berger on working with make-up legend Rick Baker
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Trailers and TV Spots
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Mike Saputo

Creepshow 2 - Blu-ray Review

 

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