Can I have a show of hands by those that prefer “Creepshow 2” over “Creepshow”?
Okay, I realize that “Creepshow” has far more accolades than its less-respected sequel. But, I like it. I was eleven when this movie premiered, and I watched it constantly on tape until the squiggly lines appeared on the top and bottom of the t.v. screen. Actually, I watched this movie backwards, meaning I watched it before I saw it’s predecessor. So, sue me. I’m biased. Upon viewing the first one, I thought the sequel had better stories and characters that deserved my time investment. To be frank, “Creepshow” is a bit boring.
I present to you 1987’s “Creepshow 2”.
Directed by Michael Gornick and with a screenplay written by George A. Romero (Come on, you know that man!), “Creepshow 2” features stories created by Stephen King, the ultimate master of horror. Those three stories are “Old Chief Wooden Head”, “The Raft”, and “Hitchhiker”.
The movie has the same structure as the first: a prologue, the stories, interludes in between, and an epilogue. So, you’re getting a story within a story in a magazine of sorts. To get the ball rolling, the live-action prologue involves a young boy named Billy (The same name, but not the same character, from the first film) and a creepy magazine deliveryman, the Creepshow Creep, issuing the latest edition of Creepshow. Billy happily receives his copy as the film briefly takes an animated turn, and it will do so whenever Billy’s story arc throughout the interludes appear.
As the magazine opens and Billy continues to read, the first story, “Old Chief Wooden Head” starts. In my non-spoiler fashion, we see an elderly couple, Ray and Martha Spruce, owning a grocery store in a rundown small town, “fronted” by a wooden statue of a Native American chief with the eponymous name. They often deal credit with the local Native American tribe, where its leader, Benjamin Whitemoon, often visits. Upon Mr. Whitemoon’s departure, he bids farewell to both the Spruces and Old Chief Wooden Head, who nods to Mr. Whitemoon as the latter stares with disbelief and wonder. Unfortunately, the Spruces are robbed by Mr. Whitemoon’s nephew and his two cronies. That’s it. I’m not saying anymore. Watch it for yourself. However, I will say that “Revenge is a dish served….wooden”, and boy, is it ever so sweet. Unfortunately, I do have one criticism. I don’t like the fact that the actor, playing Mr. Whitemoon’s nephew is not a Native American actor, but rather a white dude in redface. That, and any other face, is not cool and simply lazy.
With each following interlude, we see that Billy is ordering a certain gift to the bullies that are bothering him. Apparently, there’s a theme of supernatural revenge, and it’s delicious.
Thus, after the first interlude, we have the next story, “The Raft”. How can I put this? Dumb college students, a raft in a lake, and the big need to follow warning signs, even if they are nearly hidden. What turns out not to be a fun afternoon of rock, weed, and sex, but a story of cringe-worthy moments. I love those moments because this is my favorite story of the film, and I’m saddened that I can’t go into detail with you. I swore that I would not include spoilers in my review because, frankly, I hate them, too. It’s rude, and why see a film, if someone is going to tell you anyway? As for the story, I will leave my feelings on it with this: “Learn to talk smack after you’ve left the scene safely.” See the film. You’ll get the reference.
Thus, our final story is presented and it’s called “The Hitchhiker”. People, it’s never cool to involve yourself in a hit and run scenario with your car. Take the time to stop, see how the person’s doing, and call for help. It may save your life later, even if you’re a selfish, adulterer.
Finally, we have the epilogue, where Billy’s bullies get their comeuppance that’s witnessed by the Creepshow Creep, who laughs as he delivers more terrifying editions of Creepshow to kids everywhere.
I recommend this film and give it 7 out 10 . Sure, it’s not as polished as the first “Creepshow”. But, that’s why I love it. It’s not put in a neat box with morality clauses that appear in the first film. It’s scary, a bit gory, and worth a watch.
Fun Fact About “Creepshow 2”: Apparently, and I had to be told this tidbit years later, there’s a post-credit scene, where 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. Well, I believe it’s a take-that to the credits worried about uncontrolled youth and the blaming of pop culture. Yeah, as if that’s ever stopped anything.