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Creepshow 2 (1987)
Director: Michael Gornick

review by Ian Shutter

A horror story anthology based on tales by Stephen King, this sequel to George Romero's entertaining genre portmanteau took five years to get made, and has cameraman Michael Gornick at the helm, with Romero serving as screenwriter. It isn't as good as Creepshow, and it's not hard to figure out why. The material gives up on generating suspense and fearfulness, angling instead to exploit new special effects technologies and focus on violent action. Apart from the cheesy animation framing device and episode links, about the only element that's retained from the first movie is the hard lessons dealt out to bad guys getting their comeuppance in the final twist.
   Old Chief Woodenhead sees elderly general store owners, George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour (coming out of retirement for her final screen appearance), attacked by a gang of robbers. In a variation of the golem legend, a carved Indian figure outside their shop in a shabby western town comes to life and goes on the warpath. In The Raft, two young couples swimming in a lake are threatened by a self-propelled, man-eating oil slick. This chapter combines The Blob with Jaws to deliver a remarkable surprise ending. The last instalment, The Hitch-hiker, has a great performance by Lois Chiles (Moonraker, Sweet Liberty, Broadcast News) playing an adulteress relentlessly pursued by the bloodied spectre of the guy that she knocked down in the road while speeding home. Undead, and seemingly un-killable, the hitcher keeps climbing around on her car and won't go away - even if he gets crushed against a tree!
   Introduced and closed by Tom Savini, under heavy makeup as 'the Creep', this is a likeable genre flick with Stephen King himself in a cameo as a truck driver.

previously published in VideoVista #29
Related pages:
tZ - Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide by Stephen Jones
      [review includes Stephen Jones' top 10 lists of favourite & worst Stephen King movies]
Creepshow 2 - on DVD
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