Shout-out to Arrow Video for this beautiful artwork for a film that is quite the opposite in quality.
One of my all-time favorite horror films is Creepshow. It’s a great film I discovered at an early age and I enjoy the love letter that it is to the horror comics that were a major influence on the genre. Whenever I see a list of the greatest horror films, I always smile and shake my head when Creepshow is never mentioned while numerous dull pretentious films you can barely sit through once without falling asleep are always on the list.
The follow up, Creepshow 2 certainly isn’t comparable to the first one but a decent viewing for fans of the genre.
The film opens up fairly strong. Tom Savini in makeup as the Creepshow Creep throwing the latest batch of Creepshow comics off the back of the truck is entertaining, although it’s odd Tom Savini has a bit role but doesn’t do the makeup.
Old Chief Wood’ nhead
This segment about a wooden Indian statue that seeks revenge on the gang that killed his owners is by far the most memorable Creepshow 2 segment. Holt McCallany is a lot of fun to watch as the charismatic leader of the gang obsessed with his good looks. The gore used in this isn’t bad, but compared to the first Creepshow very lackluster. As you’ll notice in this segment the shocked looks of victims against red and blue lighting seen in the original sadly isn’t used in the sequel and makes it pale in comparison.
This segment more than any of the others truly demonstrates the problem with Creepshow 2. Due to budget constraints the film’s plan for five stories like the first film were cut down to three and somehow, this story made the final cut. If you’re doing a horror anthology film and something like The Raft is one of the three ideas you have, just shelve the project.
This story features a group of college students on a raft being picked off by what appears to be a floating film of fake vomit is the definition of dull, even though this segment as some of the best use of gore in the film. There’s also a bizarre moment where the final survivor creepily feels up a girl while she’s sleeping. It’s obviously so rapey you can’t decide if this guy or the spooky fake vomit in the water is the villain of this story.
The budget constraints of Creepshow 2 really show towards the end when the spooky dog vomit crash in a wave over the rapist. We never see the result of the death and it ends with a slow cut over towards a sign covered in bushes that says No Swimming.
The budget for this film is a little under half of the first Creepshow and The Raft really shows the constraints of the Corman like budget. If you’re doing a sequel you should be offering something the original didn’t have. Creepshow 2 instead is a B movie version of the original and nothing says B movie like The Raft.
A decent story to send the film out on, The Hitch-hiker was originally going to be in the original Creepshow if They’re Creeping up on You proved to be too difficult. Similar to Chief Old Wood’nhead, this segment is watchable but can’t compare to anything from the first Creepshow. Because it was on the sidelines for the first film, I couldn’t help wondering as I watched this how great it could’ve looked if it were shot in 1982 for a film that had more energy, enthusiasm and budget.
The great Tom Wright stars as the hitchhiker and it’s hard to completely hate a segment with a veteran of the genre who starred as Martin Moorehouse in Tales from the Hood and was also in one the greatest Tales from the Crypt episodes, Abra Cadaver.
By far the worst moment of this segment is when Annie’s corpse is revealed and her body barely looks like she was murdered by a vengeful spirit. With the lack of gore it was hard to tell if she was dead or just fainted. As you see this dead body holding a sign, you can’t help but wonder how great this ending could’ve looked in the first Creepshow with an actual budget and Tom Savini doing the prop work.
There are also brief moments between the segments with cheap Saturday morning animation of the time that is as lackluster as it sounds.
Overall Creepshow 2 feels like three bland episodes of Tales from the Darkside thrown together. It’s a watchable film, not the hardest thing you’ll ever have to sit through but it’s unforgivable they made a sequel to such a great horror film with half the budget of the original and MAYBE ten percent of the creativity and love the first Creepshow obviously had.