Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Gornick|
|Produced by||David Ball|
|Screenplay by||George A. Romero|
by Stephen King
|Music by||Les Reed|
|Edited by||Peter Weatherley|
|Distributed by||New World Pictures|
|May 1, 1987|
|Box office||$14 million|
Creepshow 2 is a 1987 American comedy horror anthology film directed by Michael Gornick, and the sequel to Creepshow. Gornick was previously the cinematographer of the first film, and the screenplay was written by Romero who was director of the original film. It was once again based upon stories by Stephen King, and features three more horror segments consisting of Old Chief Wooden Head, The Raft and The Hitchhiker.
Unlike the first film, Creepshow 2 only contains three stories instead of five. Originally, two additional stories, Pinfall and Cat from Hell were set to appear in the film, but were scrapped due to budgetary reasons; however, the latter has been filmed for Tales from the Darkside: The Movie. The film was Dorothy Lamour's final film before her death in 1996.
A delivery truck pulls up to a newsstand in a small town, Dexter, Maine where a young boy named Billy (named after and confused with the boy from Creepshow) arrives eagerly waiting for it. The truck's back shutter opens to reveal a sinister figure who drops off a package onto the sidewalk — the latest issue of Creepshow, much to Billy's delight. As the film momentarily turns into an animation, the package opens of its own accord, (revealing the cover of the comic is the same as the cover in the final scene of the previous film). As Billy begins to read, the delivery man reveals his true identity as the Creep.
Old Chief Wood'nhead
An elderly couple named Ray and Martha Spruce (George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour) in a small, fictional, Arizonan town called Dead River, oversee a general goods store whose decor includes a cigar store Indian named "Old Chief Wood'nhead" (Dan Kamin) on the front porch. They are humbled to see their old, run-down town coming to a bitter end. The Spruces are then visited by a Native American elder named Benjamin Whitemoon from a local tribe who gives them turquoise jewellery, which are his tribe's sacred treasures, as collateral for the debt the tribe has incurred.
The elder bids them and Old Chief Wood'nhead (who nods to him, briefly startling him) farewell and returns to his tribe. Later that night, the Spruces are subject to a vicious robbery led by Benjamin's estranged ne'er-do-well nephew, Sam (Holt McCallany) armed with a shotgun, and his two friends, Andy, and Fatstuff. After ransacking the store, Sam demands that Ray hand over the turquoise. The Spruces refuse and are fatally shot by Sam. Sam shoots out the windows and fires a round at Old Chief Wood'nhead, knocking over a can of red paint Ray had been using to touch up the war paint on Old Chief Wood'nhead. The three thugs drive away and begin preparations to run away to Hollywood, California, where the vain Sam expects to become a movie star, in part due to his long, dark hair. Old Chief Wood'nhead comes to life after they leave and uses the spilled paint to finish his warpaint and embarks on a vicious warpath to kill the thugs and avenge the murdered Spruces.
After brutally killing Fatstuff and Andy, Old Chief Wood'nhead corners Sam in his home, with Sam being unable to fight back as the shells from his shotgun have no effect on his wooden assailant. Sam attempts to lock himself in his bathroom and escape through a window, but Old Chief Wood'nhead breaks through the wall, grabs Sam by his long hair, pulls him through the wall, and scalps him.
When Benjamin Whitemoon wakes up in the morning, he finds the bag containing the turquoise jewelry by his side. He visits the Spruce's general store to find Old Chief Wood'nhead on his pedestal, holding his nephew's bloody scalp, a blood-stained knife, and fresh war paint adorning the chief's face. Now aware of what has happened to the Spruces and what Chief Wood'nhead has done to the killers, Benjamin wishes the old warrior a peaceful afterlife and drives away.
After reading Old Chief Wood'nhead, Billy is seen at the town post office, receiving a package from when he sent a product ad from his copy of the Creepshow magazine. Incensed by the skeptical clerk's dismissal of paying $9.99 for a toy from the "funny papers," Billy reveals that the package actually contains the bulb for a carnivorous Venus flytrap. The clerk doubts the actuality of the package and Billy sets off for home and the Creep presents another tale.
Four college students, Deke, Laverne, Randy, and Rachel, go swimming in a desolate lake far from civilization. After they make their way to a wooden raft, they are terrorized by a floating black blob resembling an oil slick that grabs a hold of Rachel and consumes her.
Panicked, Deke plans to swim to shore so he can bring back help. Before he can, the blob seeps through the raft's cracks and pulls Deke through the raft, killing him. Randy and Laverne evade the creature until it gives up trying to grab them from under the raft. Randy and Laverne are afraid to fall asleep in fear that the creature will attack.
They manage to sleep and Randy is the first to wake up, relieved to find that he and Laverne made it through the night. He begins caressing Laverne's sleeping body and fondling her breasts. She awakes screaming in agony as the creature is revealed to have seeped through the cracks and has covered the right half of her face, much to Randy's horror. As the oil-like blob pulls her off the raft and begins consuming her, Randy jumps off to swim to shore. He ultimately makes it, barely escaping the creature, and yells "I beat you!" However, the creature rears up from the water like a wave and engulfs Randy. It returns to the lake, leaving no evidence of the four students ever having visited the lake, other than their still-running car. Unknown to the students, there was a "no swimming" sign barely visible behind some thick vegetation.
On his way back home from the post office and reading The Raft, Billy is ambushed by a gang of neighborhood bullies, who taunt him. The gang's leader, Rhino, takes his package from him and smashes it. He then opens the package, finding the Venus Flytrap bulb, and drops it on the ground after Billy attempts to threaten him to give it back, crushing it with his foot. In retaliation, Billy kicks Rhino in the groin and flees, with Rhino and his gang in hot pursuit. The Creep then appears and presents another tale.
An adulterous Mainer businesswoman named Annie Lansing (Lois Chiles) gets up from bed after sleeping with a gigolo, realizing that she has to get home before her wealthy attorney husband to avoid suspicion. Annie hops into her car and heads for home several miles away. As she loses control at a slippery corner, she accidentally kills a Dover-bound hitchhiker (Tom Wright). Seeing that no one witnessed the incident, she takes off. Shortly after she leaves, the area of the incident is crowded with passersby, who report the hit-and-run to the police.
Miles away from the scene, Annie thinks about what she has done and the consequences involved. She ultimately concludes that no one has anything on her and thinks that everything will be fine. Before she can continue, however, the hitchhiker she killed suddenly appears outside her window and utters "Thanks for the ride, lady," a line he repeats throughout the story. Annie speeds off in terror, but everywhere she goes, the hitchhiker always reappears. She repeatedly runs him over, hurls him off the top of her car, slams his body into trees, etc. and he only gets more and more battered and bloody without dying. At one point, he pulls up his "DOVER" sign which reads "You killed me". Annie eventually loses control of her car and drives off the road, down a hill and into a tree, knocking herself out.
Annie awakens a while later, not seeing the hitchhiker anywhere and believes it to be a nightmare. She gets back on the road and drives home, succeeding in getting there before her husband. As she begins to step out of her car, the hitchhiker, gruesomely mangled from the trip, appears from under her car and attacks her. While Annie vainly attempts to fight him off, the garage door swings shut and the interior begins to fill with smoke. Later, Annie's husband - the same man who reported the hit and run - finally arrives home to find Annie in her car, dead from carbon monoxide poisoning caused from her still-running car, with the hitchhiker's bloodied "DOVER" sign around her neck.
As the Creep is about to drive away, he spots Billy still being chased by the bullies. Billy leads his pursuers into a vacant lot swarming with out-of-control plant growth. As he rides into what seems to be a dead end, the bullies move in to pummel him, only to learn that the bulb they smashed was not the first one Billy had ordered, as a quintet of Giant Flytraps emerge from the surrounding weeds and devour the thugs one by one. The spectacle is witnessed by the Creep, who cackles in glee as he drives off in his delivery truck to deliver the latest issue of Creepshow to another town. In a post-credits scene, the following text appears:
"Juvenile delinquency is the product of pent up frustrations, stored-up resentments and bottled-up fears. It is not the product of cartoons and captions. But the comics are a handy, obvious, uncomplicated scapegoat. If the adults who crusade against them would only get as steamed up over such basic causes of delinquency as parental ignorance, indifference, and cruelty, they might discover that comic books are no more a menace than Treasure Island or Jack the Giant Killer".
Colliers magazine, 1949
- Old Chief Wood'nhead
- George Kennedy as Ray Spruce
- Philip Dore as Curly
- Kaltey Napoleon as Indian #1
- Maltby Napoleon as Indian #1
- Tyrone Tonto as Indian #2
- Dorothy Lamour as Martha Spruce
- Frank Salsedo as Ben Whitemoon
- Holt McCallany as Sam Whitemoon
- David Holbrook as Fatstuff Gribbens
- Don Harvey as Andy Cavanaugh
- Dan Kamin as Old Chief Wood'nhead
- Will Sampson as Louis Whitemoon
- Dean Smith as Mr. Cavanaugh
- Shirley Sonderegger as Mrs. Cavanaugh
- The Raft
- Paul Satterfield as Deke Satterfield
- Jeremy Green as Laverne Green
- Daniel Beer as Randy Beer
- Page Hannah as Rachel Hannah
- The Hitchhiker
Originally, the film was planned to have five stories much like the first film, two of these consisted of Pinfall and Cat from Hell. These two segments, however, were cut from the film due to the film's budget. "Cat from Hell", which would later be used in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, focused on a wealthy old man hiring a hitman for $100,000 to kill a black cat, which was believed to killed three other people inside the residence he lives in and fears to be next. Unbeknownst to them, the cat soon exacts cosmic revenge on the two.
"Pinfall", which was set to appear after Old Chief Wood'nhead, told the story of two rivalry teams consisted of the Regi-Men and the Bad News Boors competing in a bowling alley owned by an aged millionaire; the owner is soon killed in a freak accident and the teams found out afterwards that he would award one of them $5 million for whoever got the highest score. Soon, things turn up for the worst of the Regi-Team when the Boors, after they were killed in a fiery car-crash purposely caused by the Regi-Team, return as burnt-up revenants and soon get their revenge on their killers. Unlike Cat from Hell which managed to be brought onto the screen through a different film, Pinfall was never shot and never appeared outside of the film's original script. However, in 2014, the segment was funded through Kickstarter by Dayle Teegarden and was successfully pledged by its backers with £1,231 put into the project against its £1,000 goal. The segment itself was also going to be put into the sequel for Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, but this never came to fruition.
During "The Raft" segment, actor Daniel Beer cited that he had almost died from hypothermia due to the water being very cold. While the crew wanted him to continue working with his role, the director Michael Gornick brought him to the hospital as he feared the actor would leave the set and never return if they get him to keep working during his cold condition. After a full recovery, he managed to finish the segment.
Release and reception
The film was theatrically released on May 1, 1987. On its opening weekend, it grossed $3,584,077 and has achieved $14,000,000 during its run in theaters.
Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that the film "has three suitably grisly ideas that are only glancingly developed. The episodes are marginally interesting, but each is a little too long. And each could be fully explained in a one-sentence synopsis." Todd McCarthy of Variety panned the film as an "omnibus snoozefest which is utterly lacking in chills or thrills," with all three stories "so deficient in imagination and scare quotient they wouldn't pass as even satisfactory episodes on a tv show like 'Amazing Stories' or 'The Twilight Zone.'" Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called the film "a cut-rate sequel from those two popular masters of horror, Stephen King and George Romero, that plays like leftovers. Fans of both deserve better." Richard Harrington of The Washington Post wrote that the film "goes nowhere slowly. Part of the problem is that that King's short stories simply work better in print." Allmovie awarded 1.5 stars out of 5 in a retrospective review and stated: "Despite its strengths -- a livelier pace, some creatively gory set pieces -- this is a much cheaper-looking effort than its predecessor, with the deft guidance of Romero conspicuously absent (long-time collaborator Michael Gornick took up the directorial reins); as a result, King's gross-out sensibilities don't come off as well."
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After its theatrical release, the film was released on VHS the same year by New World Home Video. While being released by Anchor Bay Entertainment on DVD, a special edition DVD of the film was released with the cover art being a homage to the Tales from the Crypt comic books from EC. In 2013, the film was released on Blu-Ray by Image Entertainment on September 3, 2013. On December 13, 2016, Arrow Video released a special edition Blu-Ray in the United States. The release contains many interviews with the cast and crew along with behind the scenes footage.
Creepshow 3 was released in 2006 via Taurus Entertainment who had purchased the naming rights. The film featured no involvement whatsoever from Stephen King or George Romero and was critically panned.
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