Creepshow (1982): Dated Yet Timeless Tales To Tide You Over


It’s been 34 years since George A. Romero’s ‘Creepshow’ first graced the silver screen. Today, we both its dated charms and its timeless qualities. Welcome Creepers.

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Occasionally, a movie is both dated and timeless, seemingly in perfect balance.  An outdated feel can add significant charm and realness to a story. In my opinion, one such movie is Creepshow.

In case you didn’t know, Creepshow is a horror anthology piece directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King, who also acts in one of the stories (and very well).To illustrate my point, I direct your attention to the character of Hank Blaine, portrayed by Ed Harris.

One might be familiar with Ed Harris from films such as Needful Things or Pollock (about the artist Jackson Pollock), but in Creepshow‘s story, “Father’s Day,” Harris plays a minor role with a big disco dance scene.  It truly is a sight to behold — almost matching the prowess of Crispin Glover’s dance scene in Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter.  Little touches like this add a sense of time and place to a story, and much needed realism to an otherwise far-fetched tale.  Disco may have been considered “dead” for a time, but it easily springs back to life in Creepshow (even if those who dance are eventually killed off by a vengeful corpse).

George A. Romero’s ‘Creepshow’ One-Sheet-Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Another way to tell that Creepshow is old is the technology.  In “Something To Tide You Over,” Richard Vickers (splendidly played by Leslie Nielson) antagonizes Harry Wentworth (Ted Danson) by kidnapping him, forcibly burying his body by the beach near the shore, and offering advice on how to avoid drowning in the tide.

In the process, Vickers sets up a closed circuit TV in front of Harry, featuring Harry’s love interest (Gaylen Ross) also buried neck deep in sand.  When Richard heads home, he gleefully watches their situation, and looks through his VHS tape collection — presumably featuring others who faced his wrath.  Obviously, VHS tapes are no longer cutting edge technology, and no one in this movie had cellphones or the internet.

VHS technology may be old, but Creepshow seems forever young (Leslie Nielson and Ted Danson).

This raises the question: Will Hollywood ever make an updated version of the original Creepshow? It seems plausible, given all the horror remakes and “reimaginings” out there now.

For example, A&E’s Bates Motel gives a young Norman Bates a cellphone and Japanese manga comics(!). I could imagine Creepshow enjoying (or suffering) a similar fate. I could easily see the Crate Monster devouring people as they’re taking selfies next to it.

In that vein, the Pokémon Go phenomenon has lots of parody potential in an anthology tale. I can imagine those creatures actually being real when people find them, and that they are hungry. The point is, the potential is there, and this offers a potential competitor to the Tales From The Crypt reboot.

Or maybe Creepshow will be left alone, and Jordy Verrill won’t become a constantly texting, dubstep-listening lunkhead. Only time will tell.

Next: ‘Friday the 13th’ Game: How Gun Media Got Film License

To tide you over for now, check out Ed Harris and his epic dance moves!

Love ‘Creepshow’? Can’t get enough of Ed Harris dancing? Let the other Creepers know what you think in the comment section below.