Creepshow 2

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Creepshow 2
Creepshow2poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Gornick
Produced byDavid Ball
Screenplay by
Based onStories
by Stephen King
Starring
Music by
Cinematography
  • Richard Hart
  • Tom Hurwitz
Edited byPeter Weatherley
Production
company
Distributed byNew World Pictures
Release date
May 1, 1987 (1987-05-01)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$3.5 million
Box office$14 million[1]

Creepshow 2 is a 1987 American comedy horror anthology film directed by Michael Gornick,[2] and the sequel to Creepshow. Gornick was previously the cinematographer of the first film, and the screenplay was written by George A. Romero who was director of the original film with the film starring Lois Chiles, George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour, and Tom Savini. It was once again based upon stories by Stephen King, and features three more horror segments consisting of "Old Chief Wood'nhead", "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;[citation needed] however, the latter has been filmed for Tales from the Darkside: The Movie.[citation needed] The film was Dorothy Lamour's final film before her death in 1996.[citation needed]

Plot[edit]

Prologue[edit]

In the small town of Dexter, Maine, a delivery truck pulls up to a nearby newsstand. A young boy, Billy (Domineck John),[a] eagerly follows the truck on his bike to the newsstand. The truck's back shutter opens to reveal a sinister delivery man (performed by Tom Savini, voiced by Joe Silver) who drops off a package onto the sidewalk. As the film transitions to animation, the package is opened by a pair of miniature winged demons, revealing its contents to be copies of the latest issue of Creepshow (with the comic having the same cover as the comic in the final scene of the previous film), much to Billy's delight. The delivery man reveals his identity as The Creep and vanishes. As Billy picks up an issue and begins to read it, the film changes location to a sinister castle where the Creep welcomes the audience. After feeding a hunk of meat to a monstrous lizard, the Creep proceeds to tell the first story.

Old Chief Wood'nhead[edit]

Ray and Martha Spruce (George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour) are an elderly couple who live in the small, fictional town of Dead River, Arizona. They own and operate the town's general store, whose décor includes "Old Chief Wood'nhead" (Dan Kamin), a cigar store Indian who stands on the front porch. Seeing that their old, run-down town is dying, Martha encourages Ray to shut down the store to save what money they have left, but Ray is hesitant to do so because of the memories the store has given him. The Spruces are visited by Benjamin Whitemoon, an elder of a local Native American tribe who gives them a bag of turquoise jewelry, his tribe's sacred treasures, as collateral for the debt the tribe has incurred. Despite initially refusing to accept them, Ray vows to guard the jewels with his life.

Whitemoon bids them and Old Chief Wood'nhead (who nods in response, briefly startling him) farewell and returns to his home. Later that night, the Spruces are subject to a vicious robbery led by Benjamin's estranged ne'er-do-well nephew Sam Whitemoon (Holt McCallany) armed with a shotgun, and his two friends, the wealthy Andy (Don Harvey) and the gluttonous Fatso (David Holbrook). After ransacking the store and emptying the register for what little money it has, Sam demands that Ray hand over the jewelry, holding Martha at gunpoint. In the struggle, Sam's gun goes off and shoots Martha, killing her. No longer holding back, Sam shoots and kills Ray as well before grabbing the jewels. In celebration, Sam shoots out the store's windows and fires a round at Old Chief Wood'nhead, knocking over the can of red paint Ray had been using to touch up the Chief's war paint. 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. After they leave, Old Chief Wood'nhead comes to life, uses the spilled paint to finish his war paint, and lets out a howling battle cry before embarking on a vicious warpath to kill the thugs and avenge the murdered Spruces.

Old Chief Wood'nhead first goes after Fatso, killing him by puncturing him with arrows. Old Chief Wood'nhead then goes after Andy, hacking him to death with a tomahawk. Finally, Old Chief Wood'nhead corners Sam in his home. Sam is unable to fight back, the shells from his shotgun having no effect on his wooden assailant. Sam attempts to lock himself in his bathroom and escape through a window, but Old Chief Wood'nhead manages to break through the wall, grab Sam by his hair, pulls him through the wall, and uses a hunting knife to scalp him offscreen.

The next morning, Benjamin Whitemoon wakes up to find the bag containing the turquoise jewelry on his bed. He visits the Spruce's ruined general store to find Old Chief Wood'nhead back on the porch, holding his nephew's bloody scalp, with fresh war paint adorning the chief's face. Now aware of what has happened to the Spruces and what Old Chief Wood'nhead has done to the killers, Benjamin wishes the old warrior a peaceful afterlife and drives away.

Interlude 1[edit]

As the film returns to animation, Billy is seen at the town post office, still reading the comic book. He receives a package from the clerk Mr. Haig that supposedly contains a product advertised in his copy of the Creepshow magazine. Incensed by the skeptical clerk's dismissal of paying $9.99 for "a toy ordered out of a funny paper," Billy mentions that the package is the bulb for a meat-eating Venus flytrap. Mr. Haig still doubts the contents of the package, but Billy sets his money on the counter and sets off for home with his package. The Creep appears behind the post office counter, surprised to find the audience still watching after the last story and proceeds to tell the next story, which he describes as being about "some people who are left stranded without a paddle on a sea of blood".

The Raft[edit]

In mid-October, four college students, Deke (Paul Satterfield), Laverne (Jeremy Green), Randy (Daniel Beer), and Rachel (Page Hannah), drive out to Cascade Beach, a desolate lake far from civilization, for some fun. Arriving at the lake, the foursome discover a wooden raft left out in the middle of the water. While swimming to the raft, Randy witnesses a duck struggling against and being pulled under the water by an unseen force. Meeting Deke on the wooden raft, he urges the girls to swim faster. Once all four are on the raft, they discover what Randy was so nervous about: a large, black, blob-like creature resembling an oil slick floating on the surface of the water. As Rachel leans over the raft to try and touch the creature, it grabs hold of Rachel, pulls her into the lake, and digests her. Panicking and mourning the loss of Rachel, the three remaining students remember that it's currently the off-season, meaning that there is no caretaker to rescue them anytime soon.

As time passes, Deke plans to swim to shore so he can bring back help. Before he can make a break for it, however, the blob seeps through the raft's cracks and grabs Deke by the foot. Despite Randy and Laverne trying their hardest to save him, the blob manages to pull Deke through the raft, killing him. Noting that the creature is still hungry, Randy and Laverne evade the creature as it tries to grab them from under the raft. When night falls, Randy and Laverne are afraid to fall asleep in fear that the creature will attack. The two of them take turns watching for the creature, then fall asleep in each other's arms.

The next morning, Randy discovers that he and Laverne are still alive. Neglecting to keep an eye on the creature, Randy lays Laverne on the raft and begins kissing and caressing her sleeping body. Shortly after, Laverne awakens screaming in agony, revealing that the creature has once again seeped through the cracks and has covered the right half of her face, much to Randy's horror. As the blob pulls her off the raft and begins consuming her, Randy jumps off the raft to swim to shore. He ultimately makes it, barely escaping the creature, yelling at the top of his lungs, "I beat you!" Unfortunately, the creature rears up from the water like a wave and engulfs Randy.

Sometime later, the blob returns to the lake, leaving no evidence of the four students ever having visited the lake other than their discarded clothes and still-running car. Unknown to the students, there was a sign barely visible behind some thick vegetation that reads "No swimming".

Interlude 2[edit]

As the film returns to animation, Billy is seen making his way back home from the post office, still reading the Creepshow comic. He is then ambushed by a gang of neighborhood bullies, who taunt him. The gang's leader, Rhino, takes Billy's package from him and smashes it. As the bullies continue to mock Billy, Rhino opens the package, finding the Venus Flytrap bulb, and drops it on the ground. Billy attempts to threaten him to give it back, but he ends up crushing it with his foot. In retaliation, Billy kicks Rhino in the groin and flees, Rhino ordering his underlings to pursue him. As Billy escapes, The Creep appears from behind a tree, mentioning to the audience that Billy knows his way around town, so the bullies won't catch him in a hurry. With that, the Creep goes on to tell the last story.

The Hitch-hiker[edit]

Annie Lansing (Lois Chiles), an adulterous Mainer businesswoman, wakes up and gets out of bed after sleeping with her gigolo lover (David Beecroft). Upon discovering that there was a power outage the night before, Annie realizes that she only has 15 minutes before her attorney husband George (Richard Parks) arrives home. Desperate to beat George there to avoid suspicion and a potential divorce, Annie hops into her car and races for home several miles away. A spilled ember from the cigarette she was smoking causes Annie to lose control at a slippery corner, where she runs down a Dover-bound hitchhiker (Tom Wright). Seeing that no one witnessed the incident, Annie takes off and doesn't look back. Shortly after she leaves however, the area of the incident is crowded with a truck driver (Stephen King), a passerby (Cheré Bryson), and George who reports the hit-and-run to the police.

Miles away from the scene, Annie thinks about what she has done and rationalizes the consequences involved. While she briefly considers turning herself in, Annie ultimately concludes that no one has anything on her and thinks that everything will be fine. Before she can continue however, she spots the hitchhiker she killed approaching her car through the rearview mirror. When she glances again, the hitchhiker is gone, making her think that her guilt is making her see things. The hitchhiker 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 the hitchhiker's hand reaches through the sunroof and grabs her. She drives off the road and through the woods, where she knocks the hitchhiker off the roof of her car with a low hanging branch.

Nervous, Annie reaches through the glove compartment for a revolver, which she proceeds to load. The undead hitchhiker appears once again, opening the door to the passenger seat. Annie shoots him multiple times, but fails to kill him. She manages to kick him out of the car and run him over repeatedly. As Annie hysterically rants to herself, the hitchhiker climbs onto the hood of her car, where he pulls up his "DOVER" sign, which now reads "You killed me". Annie once again loses control of the car and drives off the road. She and the hitchhiker careen down a hill and into a tree. Annie proceeds to repeatedly slam the hitchhiker into the same tree, knocking herself out in the process.

A while later, Annie awakens from her accident. Not seeing the hitchhiker anywhere, Annie believes the experience was all a nightmare. Believing that the accident will give her a valid explanation as to why she is late to George, Annie gets back on the road and drives home, actually succeeding in getting there before him. As she begins to step out of her car, the hitchhiker, gruesomely mangled from the trip and still uttering "Thanks for the ride, lady!", crawls out from under her car and attacks her. While Annie vainly attempts to fight him off, the garage door swings shut as the interior begins to fill with smoke.

Sometime later, George 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 sitting in her lap.

Epilogue[edit]

As the film returns to animation, The Creep is seen inside the delivery truck from the beginning of the film. He is prepared to drive away and bids the audience farewell, until 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, Rhino and his gang move in to pummel him, only to learn that the bulb they smashed was not the first one Billy had ordered. A quintet of Giant Venus Flytraps emerge from the surrounding weeds and devour the thugs one by one, saving Rhino for last, spitting out his boot. Billy opens his copy of Creepshow to display the advertisement for the Giant Venus Flytraps he ordered, reaffirming that they eat meat.

As the film returns to live-action, the spectacle is witnessed by the Creep, who cackles in glee as he drives off to deliver the latest issue of Creepshow to another town as the credits roll.

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".[3]

Cast[edit]

Prologue

Additional voices by Marc Stephan Delgatto, Jason Late, P.J. Morrison, Brian Noodt, and Clark Utterback.

Old Chief Wood'nhead

The Raft

The Hitchhiker

Production[edit]

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.[citation needed] "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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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, director Michael Gornick brought him to the hospital, as he feared the actor would leave the set and never return if they forced him to keep working. After a full recovery, he managed to finish the segment.[7]

Release and reception[edit]

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.[1]

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."[8] 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."[9] 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."[10] 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."[11] 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."[12]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 29% approval rating with a 4.3/10 average rating based on 24 reviews as of March 2021.[13]

Home media[edit]

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.

Sequel[edit]

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[14] and was critically panned.[15]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This character was named after and confused with the boy from the first Creepshow.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Creepshow 2 (1987) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Creepshow 2". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  3. ^ "Editorials". Collier's Weekly. July 9, 1949. p. 74. Retrieved 20 March 2017 – via unz.org.
  4. ^ "Pinfall: The 'Creepshow 2' Tale That Never Was". Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "PINFALL - Lost Creepshow Story- Fan Film". Kickstarter. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Gingold, Michael (May 1993). "Shocker Sequel Checklist". Fangoria. page 71: Starlog Communications International.CS1 maint: location (link)
  7. ^ Daniel Beer. "Shooting Creepshow 2 with my Paramedic". Facebook. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet (May 4, 1987). "Film: 'Creepshow 2' of Stephen King". The New York Times. C17.
  9. ^ McCarthy, Todd (May 13, 1987). "Film Reviews: Creepshow 2". Variety. 19.
  10. ^ Thomas, Kevin (May 5, 1987). "'Creepshow 2': Tales as Exciting as Leftovers". Los Angeles Times. Part VI, p. 5.
  11. ^ Harrington, Richard (May 6, 1987). "Horror and Humor". The Washington Post. B6.
  12. ^ "Creepshow 2 (1987)". Allmovie. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  13. ^ "Creepshow 2 (1987)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Barton, Steve (May 3, 2007). "Creepshow 3 (DVD)". Dread Central. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "Creepshow 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-08-25.

External links[edit]