Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thanks for the ride, lady!

Sometimes I like a good anthology movie.
This isn't one of them.
No, just kidding! I happen to like Creepshow 2 even better than the first one.
(Though that "Crate" story in the original one is by far the best - I love love love the scene where Hal Holbrook fake-shoots his trampy, loud-mouthed, drunk of a wife Adrienne Barbeau right between the eyes. Classic!)

Anyhoo -
Creepshow 2 is a real campy treat. Instead of the five tales of the macabre that we got in part one, we get three longer, tighter stories here.

The first, 'Old Chief Woodenhead' stars a couple of old school Hollywood stars - George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour. The old fogies own a general store in a desolate, run-down, one horse town somewhere in the southwest. They have been supporting the townsfolk (mostly American Indians) by letting them buy on credit, and one day one of the higher-ups brings a bag of precious stones and jewels for the elderly couple to hold as a lein on their debts.
That night the couple is robbed and unfortunately killed by some local youths who proceed to steal the valuable gems as well. The wooden Indian statue out at the storefront (Old Chief Woodenhead) then tracks them down to exact some revenge for his good-hearted, well-meaning owners. It is the most inferior tale of the three but still worth a look.

The second tale 'The Raft' - appears in Stephen King's book Skeleton Crew, but differs somewhat. The bones of the story are still there though. Simply put, two couples go to a lake to hang out (get high, get laid) on a wooden raft that has apparently been there for this reason for some time. It is a deserted area and when they swim out to the raft, one of them notices a duck being sucked down into the water by what looks like an oil slick. It's all downhill from there, kiddies. The special effects here leave a bit to be desired, but it's passable and still effective.

The third story - by far my favorite - is 'The Hitchhiker'...
A wealthy woman is getting ready to leave a hotel room after a romp with her regular gigolo. She is running late, talking to herself the whole way home - devising excuses to tell her husband regarding her tardiness. She drops a cigarette, fumbles trying to find it, slides all over the exit ramp, and smacks her car right into a black hitchhiker in a yellow slicker. She freaks out and, after hearing a truck coming, drives off leaving the man for dead. Being that this IS a horror movie, you just know damn well that dude ain't dead.
Special notice should be given to the truck driver in this scene - it's Stephen King himself, making a Hitchcock-like cameo. Funny!

Another cameo (though you cannot tell it is him) is Tom Savini starring as 'The Creep'.

There's no rocket science to this script, and it wouldn't win any prizes for quality content, but it is a true guilty pleasure that I'm happy to own.

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