Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Stephen King, Ted Danson, Leslie Nielsen, Ed Harris, Viveca Lindfors, E.G. Marshall, Fritz Weaver, Joe King, Tom Atkins, Jon Lormer, Carrie Nye, Don Keefer, David Early, Gaylen Ross
To passionate supporters of the quintessential, and hopefully resurging, “horror anthology” format, 1982’s Creepshow, the brainchild of Stephen King (who wrote the screenplay) and George A. Romero (director of zombie movie classics like Night of the Living Dead and the original Dawn of the Dead), is the genuine article. Because, unlike most genre omnibus features, those jam-packed efforts that feature anywhere from three to five individual segments, Creepshow doesn’t have a rotten apple in its bunch. Not all of the five stories are golden, of course, but even the film’s weakest link—arguably the Leslie Nielsen-led, zombie-inspired revenge tale “Something to Tide You Over”—is still a hell of a lot of fun.
Inspired by the old E.C. horror comics of the 1950s and ’60s, King and Romero joined forces to recapture the old E.C. tradition of watching awful people get their gruesome and ironically humorous comeuppances. Even when Creepshow is, pun intended, really creepy (see: the two best segments, “The Crate” and “They’re Creeping Up on You!”), though, its scares are always punctuated by riotous sight gags and a sharp playfulness that invites applause rather than gasps.