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Original 1982 theatrical poster Directed by George A. Romero Produced by Salah M. Hassnein Richard P. Rubinstein Written by Short Stories & Screenplay: Stephen King Starring Hal Holbrook Adrienne Barbeau Leslie Nielsen Ted Danson E. G. Marshall Stephen King Joe King Viveca Lindfors Fritz Weaver Carrie Nye Ed Harris Jon Lormer Tom Atkins Don Keefer Robert Harper Editing by Pasquale Buba Paul Hirsch George A. Romero Michael Spolan Release date(s) August 20, 1982 (limited release); November 12, 1982 (wide release; USA) Running time 120 min (original cut: 130 min - workprint)
Creepshow is a 1982 anthology horror movie directed by George A. Romero (of Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead fame), and written by Stephen King (Carrie, The Shining, Misery, The Stand).
It was considered a sleeper hit at the box office when released in November 1982, earning over $21 million domestically, and remains a popular film to this day among horror genre fans. The film was shot on location in Pittsburgh and the suburb areas. It consists of five short stories referred to as "Jolting Tales of Horror": "Father's Day", "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill", "Something to Tide You Over", "The Crate" and "They're Creeping Up on You!". Two of these stories, "The Crate" and "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" (originally titled "Weeds"), were adapted from previously published Stephen King's short horror tales. The segments are tied together with brief animated sequences. The film is bookended by scenes, featuring a young boy named Billy (played by Stephen King's own son, Joe King), who is punished by his father for reading horror comics. The film is a homage to the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s such as Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear.
In later years, the international rights of the film would be acquired by Republic Pictures, which today is a subsidiary of the Paramount Motion Pictures Group, itself owned by Viacom. However, The film's U.K. rights is also owned by Universal Pictures, as evidenced by the special edition DVD set released in 2007.
Plot Prologue A young boy named Billy gets yelled at and slapped by his father, Stan (Tom Atkins) for reading a horror comic titled "Creepshow" instead of doing his chores. His father tosses the comic in the garbage to teach Billy a lesson, but not before threatening to spank his butt hard should Billy ever get caught reading Creepshow comic books again. Stan also refers it as "such horror crap". Later after he tosses the comic book away, Stan reminds his wife that he had to be hard on Billy because he can't believe all the crap that's in the book. He closes out the discussion with the reason why God made fathers: to project their ways of life and their children. As Billy sits upstairs hating his father, he hears a sound at the window, which turns out to be a ghostly apparition, beckoning him to come closer. Father's Day (First story, written by King expressly for the film)
Years ago, Nathan Grantham was killed on Father's Day when his daughter Bedelia bashed him in the head with a marble ashtray as he screamed for his cake. Seven years later, as his relatives get together for their annual dinner on Father's Day, Nathan Grantham comes back from the dead and returns the favor in a quest for the cake he never got, and kills off his relatives one by one. The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill (Second story, originally titled "Weeds", adapted from a previously published short story written by King)
A dimwitted backwoods hick thinks a newly-discovered meteorite will provide enough money from the local college to pay off his $200 bank loan. Instead, he finds himself being overcome by a rapidly spreading plant-like organism that comes off the meteorite. Stephen King himself plays the doomed protagonist in this darkly humorous story. Something to Tide You Over (Third story, written by King expressly for the film)
A coldblooded husband, played by Leslie Nielsen, stages a terrible fate for his unfaithful wife, Becky (Gaylen Ross) and her lover, Harry Wentworth (Ted Danson) by burying them up to their necks on the beach, below the high tide line. They drown, but the tide somehow revives them as waterlogged zombies intent on getting revenge of their own. The Crate (Fourth story, adapted from a previously published short story)
A mysterious, extremely lethal creature is unwittingly released from its crate in this suspenseful and gory monster story. Hal Holbrook stars as college professor Henry Northrup, who sees the creature as a way to rid himself of his drunk, emotionally abusive wife, Wilma, played by Adrienne Barbeau. The monster in the crate was nicknamed "Fluffy" by the film's director, George A. Romero. They're Creeping Up On You! (Fifth and final story, written by King expressly for the film)
A cruel, miserly and ruthless businessman, Upson Pratt (E.G. Marshall), is disgusted by germs and insects, but finds himself helpless to stop them when Mr. White, his put-upon employee, allows his apartment to be overrun by endless hordes of cockroaches. Epilogue The following morning, two garbage collectors (one played by special effects makeup artist Tom Savini) find the "Creepshow" comic in the trash. They look at the ads in the book for X-ray specs, a Charles Atlas bodybuilding course, and a voodoo doll, whose coupon is missing. Inside the house, Billy's angry father complains of neck pain, which escalates to deadly levels as we see Billy jabbing the voodoo doll over and over.
Sequels and adaptations The film was adapted into an actual comic book very soon after the film's release, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, an artist fittingly influenced by the 1950s E.C. Comics. A sequel, Creepshow 2 was released in 1987, and was once again based on Stephen King short stories with a screenplay from Creepshow director George A. Romero. The film contained only three tales of horror, as opposed to the original's five stories.
The general concept and plot of the film was adapted for the song "Everything Went Black," by The Black Dahlia Murder. However, the segments "They're Creeping Up on You," and "Father's Day" were omitted from the video.
Unofficial sequels A further unofficial sequel, "Creepshow III", featuring no involvement from Stephen King, George Romero or anyone else involved in the production of the first two films, was released direct-to-video in 2007 (though it was finished in 2006) to mostly negative reviews. This film, in a fashion similar to the original Creepshow, features five short darkly comedic horror stories. The company behind the film was Taurus Entertainment, also responsible for the in-name-only Romero sequel, Day of the Dead 2: Contagium, a follow-up to 1985's Day of the Dead.