by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **2 (out of 5 stars)
AJ Bowen as JERRY
Kris Allen as DR. FARWELL
Stephanie Pettee as ALICE
Emmett McGuire as PROFESSOR DAYTON
Ryan Carty as VICTOR
Camille Lacey as RACHEL
Studio: HBO Video
Directed by: Ana Clavell and James Dudelson
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I was only in fifth grade when the original “Creepshow” came to the theaters. But that didn’t stop me from begging my parents to go see it. To my delight, they caved and took me to see the horror movie on Thanksgiving weekend.
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While my mother wasn’t a huge fan (but then again, she never liked horror films much), I loved the movie. Stephen King and George A. Romero assembled a near-perfect homage to the old EC horror comics. While many people remember the Crypt Keeper from the HBO series “Tales from the Crypt,” they forget that this came almost a decade after “Creepshow” hit the screens.
I liked the film so much that I paid to see the sequel in the theaters. “Creepshow 2” was a noticeable step down from the first film. Not only did it only give us three stories instead of five, the quality of the horror stories was considerably lower.
That was back when I was in high school. I never thought they’d make a third film, but they have. “Creepshow III” is now available on DVD from HBO Video.
As you might expect, this is a much lower production than the first and even the second film. “Creepshow III” is a direct-to-DVD (and probably direct-to-cable) production. It features the same format, being a half-dozen stories tied together with separate plots.
I wasn’t expecting perfection from “Creepshow III,” but it wasn’t entirely horrible either. The stories are a bit rough, often without much direction or purpose. I didn’t always understand the actions of the characters, and some endings were a bit confusing.
The highlight of the movie is the middle segment, entitled “Rachel the Call Girl.” While this features a stale plot from old horror stories and comics, it was executed relatively well. The opening segment “Alice” gives us an interesting twist on the original King story “Word Processor of the Gods” with about as much coherency.
Considering the anthology movie concept has been around for years, with only “Creepshow” and “Twilight Zone: The Movie” really getting it right, this film isn’t in the greatest company. I remember after the mild success of “Creepshow,” there were other movies made with multiple storylines, including the other King attempt “Cat’s Eye.” None of them ever caught on with an audience, yet they still make them.
The nice thing about movies like “Creepshow III” is that the stories resolve themselves somewhat quickly. They don’t try to stretch a 20-minute story into a two-hour film. If you don’t like the current story, wait for a bit, and a new one will start.
The DVD comes with a lengthy behind-the-scenes documentary, which includes in-depth interviews with the filmmakers to reveal the film’s secrets and history. It looks like it was made on a shoestring, and I figure it’s made it’s money back from the DVD release alone. For “Creepshow” fans, it’s not bad to check out.
Specifications: 2.0 Mono Sound. Widescreen (1.78:1). French and Spanish subtitles. English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.