Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 12th, 2016
BluRay released: December 13th, 2016
Approximate running times: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, LPCM Stereo English, LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $34.95
Creepshow 2 picks up right where its predecessor left with three new tales of macabre. Also this film opens and closes with comments from a character named The Creep. And in-between each tale there are interludes with The Creep who provides setup for each of three tales.
The first tale is titled Old Chief Wood’nhead and this story revolves around the inhabitants of decaying town and its very generous shop owner who allows those less fortunate then him to a line of credit at his store. And outside of his store is a wooden native American statue that he takes great pride in maintaining and restoring its features. Later that evening things take an unexpected turn, when the owners of the store are murder in robbery gone bad. And things culminate with the native American statue coming to life and exacting revenge against the three hooligans that killed the owners of the convenient store.
The second tale is titled The Raft and this story follows the misadventures of four friends looking for a relaxing day of swimming at the lake. Shortly after their arrival things go awry and takes a turn for the worse when they discover a mysterious blob in the lake. Now trapped on a raft in the middle of the lake the four friends frantically try to come up with a way to escape the now approaching blob. From there the blob then extracts them one by one from the raft.
The third tale is titled The Hitchhiker and this time around this story revolves around a woman who leaves the scene of the crime after running over a hitchhiker. Besides running over the hitchhiker the woman is also worried of her affair being exposed. Stressed out and extremely tried the woman frantically tries to get home before the hitchhiker makes her pay for what she has done.
Before Michael Gornick made his feature film debut with Creepshow 2. He was George A. Romero’s cinematographer on five films, Martin, Dawn of the Dead, Knightriders, Creepshow and Day of the Dead. Key collaborators on Creepshow 2 include, composer Les Reed (The Girl on a Motorcycle) and screenwriter George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, The Crazies). Also there were two tales that were meant to be part of Creepshow 2 that did not make the final cut. The first of these two is titled The Cat from Hell (this tale would later reappear as part of Tales from the Darkside; The Movie) and the latter of these two tales was titled Pinfall.
Content wise, this film does a very good job recreating the vibe of its predecessor. Also the narrative is well constructed and there is just the right amount of backstory. Others strengths include its brisk pacing and its ability to maximize its scares.
Out of the three tales featured in this film. The strongest of the three is The Raft and though on the surface it is easily the simplest of the three tales. The end result is by far and away the creepiest of the three stories.
The weakest of the three tales is The Hitchhiker and though things start off strongly. By the time this one trick pony concludes, it has all but exhausted its ability to maintain fright.
Somewhere in the middle is Old Chief Wood’nhead. This is by far and away the most fleshed out of the three tales. Another strength of the one it is performance from its cast, especially George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke) and Dorothy Lamour (The Jungle Princess) in the role of Ray and Martha Spruce, the owners of the convenient store. Also out of these three tales this one is goriest.
Creepshow 2 comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new 2k transfer has been created and the end result is a solid transfer. Grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression. And when compared to 88 Films Blu-Ray release, this transfer differs most notably in two areas. This new transfer has more information than the aforementioned 88 Films transfer and Arrow Video’s transfer looks brighter of these two transfers.
This release comes with three audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English, a LPCM stereo mix in English and a LPCM mono mix in English. There is a wide variety of audio options included with this release. All the audio mixes sound clean, clear, balanced and robust when they need too. Range wise the DTS-HD 5.1 mix is the most dynamic of the three and all three deliver when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras for this release include, an image gallery, a T.V. spot (34 seconds), two trailers (1 minute 38 seconds) and (1 minute 12 seconds), behind the scenes footage with Tom Savini from Creepshow 2 (5 minutes 50 seconds), five interviews – the first interview with filmmaker George A. Romero titled Screenplay for a Sequel (10 minutes 45 seconds), the second interview with Tom Savini titled Tales from the Creep (7 minutes 53 seconds), the third interview with FX Artist Howard Berger titled My Friend Rick (2 minutes 43 seconds), the fourth interview is with actor Daniel Beer titled Poncho’s Last Ride (14 minutes 44 seconds) and the fifth interview with actor Tom Wright titled The Road to Dover (13 minutes 51 seconds), an archive featurette titled Nightmares in Foam Rubber (32 minutes 3 seconds) and an audio commentary with director Michael Gornick.
Topics discussed in the interview with George A. Romero include, EC Comic’s and the public’s outcry against their content, Creepshow and how it was a box office success, how Creepshow 2 was originally going to the have five stories, working with Stephen King and remaining faithful to his voice as a writer when adapting his stories, working with director Michael Gornick and his thoughts on Creepshow 2.
Topics discussed in the interview with Tom Savini include, the significance of Creepshow to his career as a special effects / make-up artist, Creepshow and his contributions to the film beyond his portrayal of the Creeper, how his characters’ dialog was prerecorded and how on camera he had to lip sync all of his dialog and other memories from working on Creepshow 2.
Topics discussed in the interview with Howard Berger include, FX artist Rick Back, how he first meet him, collaborating with him and his overall legacy as an FX artist.
Topics discussed in the interview with Daniel Beer include, his character, special effects, his character’s death and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the featurette with FX artists Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero include, their thoughts about the film and how they got involved in its making, their cinema influences, special effects and who created the FX for each scene in Creepshow 2.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, how he got the chance to direct his first feature film, New World Pictures, the film’s limited budget and how they maximized their resources and other production related topics.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art, the film’s original screenplay (BD-ROM Content) and a twenty page booklet with cast & crew info, an essay about the film titled Deadtime Stories written by Michael Blyth and information about the transfer. Overall Arrow Video gives Creepshow 2 its best home video release to date, highly recommended.