Blu-ray: Recommended
3.5 Stars out of 5
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Release Date: October 23rd, 2018
Movie Release Year: 1982
MPAA Rating: Restricted
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

Creepshow: Collector's Edition

Review Date October 29th, 2018 by
Overview -

Creepshow is a movie that is more Twilight Zone in nature than something you'd expect from the minds of George Romero and Stephen King, but it's maintained a cult following over the years among horror fans, and is given a brand new 4K restoration here that is the highlight of this new release. Add to that a nice selection of bonus materials (both new and old), and it all adds up to another impressive Blu-ray release from the folks at Scream/Shout! Factory. While I personally don't think this anthology film is anything more than pretty average, loyal genre fans will almost certainly want to pick up this release, and given the restored image and bonus materials, I'm still putting this one firmly in the Recommended category.

OVERALL
Recommended
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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: BRAND NEW 4K REMASTER SOURCED FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE, with color correction supervised and approved by director of photography Michael Gornick
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:120
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.85:1
    English Descriptive Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio,2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
    Subtitles/Captions: English SDH

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

2 Stars out of 5

Whatever horror fans were expecting from Director George Romero and Writer Stephen King in 1982's Creepshow, it almost certainly wasn't what they got here – a rather tame and very "mainstream" thriller that attempted to bring the concept of an anthology movie to the masses (1983's The Twilight Zone would do the same thing less than a year later). The result is far from fantastic and rather middling, overall, but that didn't stop people from swarming the box office, as Creepshow was the #1 movie the weekend of its release and went on to make a respectable $21 million (on a budget of about $8 million).

Unlike most anthology movies, Romero directed all of Creepshow's segments, and Stephen King penned all of its five stories (plus a bookend segment featuring his real-life son, Joe King, now known to everyone as author Joe Hill). The first story presented is "Father's Day" and, in many ways, it's the worst of the lot. It tells the story of the now-deceased Nathan Grantham (Jon Lormer), who was killed on Father's Day by his daughter, Bedelia (Viveca Lindfors). Ever since that day, Bedelia has returned to the family home to visit both Nathan's grave and her grandchildren. The most entertaining part of this segment is watching a young Ed Harris doing some disco dancing in a scene I'm sure he wishes would be erased from his movie resume.

Stephen King himself is the star of story #2, "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill", which is based on his short story "Weeds". King plays Jordy and gives him a very Jerry Lewis-like characterization, but sadly this segment also feels a bit lackluster (although it's better than "Father's Day"). A meteorite crashes onto Jordy's farm, and he's hoping to get a few bucks from the local college for the space rock. However, some goo from the rock gets on his hands and soon he finds weeds growing on his body...and growing...and growing.

Creepshow finally finds a story worth checking out in the third segment, "Something to Tide You Over". It stars two very recognizable future comedians – Leslie Nielsen and Ted Danson – playing it straight. Danson is Harry Wentworth, who has been having an affair with Becky Vickers (Gaylen Ross), Richard Vickers' (Nielsen) wife. As the tale begins, Richard pays Harry a visit, letting him know that he has Becky captive, and if Harry ever wants to see her alive again, he must do what he says. Richard takes Harry out to the beach and forces him to bury himself in sand, with only his head uncovered. Needless to say, Richard never had any intention of letting Harry save Becky, although this is the one story in the movie where you can say the heroes of the tale get their just revenge.

"The Crate" is based on a King short story of the same name, and for my money, it's Creepshow's best segment. This one stars the great Hal Holbrook as Henry Northup, a rather mild-mannered college professor with an extremely overbearing wife, Wilma (played by Adrienne Barbeau). His friend and fellow professor, Dexter Stanley (Fritz Weaver), has learned of a strange crate that has been discovered by a janitor in the basement of a campus building. When Northup learns of the vicious creature that has been found in the crate, he sees it as an opportunity to finally get rid of Wilma.

While most of the "gore" and effects used in Creepshow are pretty cartoonish by today's movie standards, the last segment, "They're Creeping Up On You" retains most of its visual impact thanks to the use of thousands of actual cockroaches. This story has E.G. Marshall as Upson Pratt, a germophobe and ill-tempered businessman who finds himself becoming obsessed with getting rid of one bug...until there are several...then more and more until his once pristine (and completely white and sterile) apartment is swarming with the critters. I'm no fan of cockroaches, so this segment was tough for me to sit through, but if you're okay with creepy crawlies, this bug's for you.

Because I only liked two (and really didn't "love" any) of Creepshow's five stories, I don't really have the passion for the movie that many others do, but I can understand why it's gained somewhat of a cult status over the years. As you'll read below, Scream/Shout! Factory has done a very good job on the 4K restoration and in providing new (and old) bonus materials – making this a strong release for those interested.

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray

Creepshow stalks onto Blu-ray in this special collector's edition from Scream Factory (Shout! Factory's horror branch) with the 50GB disc housed inside a standard Elite keepcase. There are no inserts, but the case's slick is a reversible cover. There are no front-loaded trailers on the disc either, whose main menu is a montage of footage from the film, with menu selections listed vertically on the left lower portion of the screen.

The set also comes with a nice 36-page (not counting the front/back cover) full-color booklet that contains an essay about the movie and its production by Michael Gingold. The booklet and the keepcase slide inside a sturdy cardboard slipcover, which features new artwork for the movie (and sadly ruins its biggest shocks for those who have never seen the film).

The Blu-ray in this release is Region A locked.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    BRAND NEW 4K REMASTER SOURCED FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE, with color correction supervised and approved by director of photography Michael Gornick
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:120
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.85:1
    Audio Formats:
    5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio,2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH

Video Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

Creepshow was shot on 35mm film and this Blu-ray release from Scream/Shout! Factory contains a brand-new 4K restoration of the movie (granted, one that only is presented in 1080p). While this reviewer never saw the film in theaters (and it's doubtful I'd remember what it looked like in terms of color timing anyway), the video presentation here is pretty impressive – containing rich colors (without over-saturation) and noticeable details, while still retaining a healthy dose of grain and maintaining the "look" of film.

Black levels aren't inky deep, but they're dark enough not to create issues of murkiness – at least in those places where murkiness is not intended. I also didn't pick up on any issues with aliasing or banding.

I don't think there will be any argument among fans that this is the best Creepshow has ever looked on home video, and this new restoration is certainly the highlight of this release.

Audio Review

2.5 Stars out of 5

In addition to the audio commentary tracks (detailed in our Supplements section below), the film comes with two audio options: a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and a 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Naturally, I chose to listen to the bulk of the movie with the 5.1 track, but in comparison, I think "purists" of the film will be much happier with the 2.0 presentation, as the 5.1 track doesn't add a whole lot more to the mix (if you'll pardon the pun).

In fact, the 5.1 mix sounds a little "off" to my ears. The dialogue, while clear (if not exactly "crisp"), comes off as a bit flat (some forums online have members claiming the pitch is too high and while my ears don't hear what they're hearing, there's certainly something strange about the dialogue with the 5.1 audio), while the ambient sounds (and the soundtrack music) seem a little overbearing – as if they've been mixed at a higher level than the dialogue. The surrounds are used somewhat throughout, but not as aggressively as one would hope – and sometimes you can't even pick up that they're being used at all.

By comparison, the 2.0 track (although it obviously loses any feeling of immersion) seems much more even-handed and properly mixed across the board. Therefore, I think it's actually the better of the two tracks and the one I'll be going back to if/when I decide to watch the movie again in the future.

Subtitles are available in English SDH only.

Special Features

5 Stars out of 5
  • Commentary with Director George Romero and Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini – This is a moderated commentary (by Michael Felsher) featuring two of the more notable names in horror films. This track originally appeared on a 2007 UK DVD release of the film. It's lighthearted, fun, and contains lots of behind-the-scenes trivia.
  • Commentary with Composer/First Assistant Director John Harrison and Construction Coordinator Ed Fountain – This is another commentary moderated by Michael Felsher that isn't quite as much fun as the Romero/Savini track, but perhaps gives much more technical info on how the movie was created.
  • Commentary with Director of Photography Michael Gornick – This is a brand-new commentary featuring the movie's DP and moderated by Lee Karr.
  • Audio Interviews with Director of Photography Michael Gornick, Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, and Make-Up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci – This isn't a commentary track in the traditional sense, but rather audio interviews with those listed here, with comments included by Michael Felsher. The track was put together for the UK's Blu-ray release of the movie, which came a few years after the 2007 release mentioned above.
  • Terror and the Three Rivers (HD 30:10) –This is a brand-new roundtable discussion with John Amplas, Tom Atkins, Tom Savini, and Marty Schiff, which is hosted by Michael Felsher.
  • The Comic Book Look (HD 12:51) – This is a brand-new interview with Costume Designer Barbara Anderson.
  • Ripped from the Pages (HD 15:37) – This is a brand-new interview with Rick Catizone, who was in charge of the animation sequences in the film.
  • The Colors of Creepshow (HD 10:10) –This brand-new featurette has Director of Photography Michael Gornick discussing the 4K restoration of the movie for this Blu-ray Collector's Edition.
  • Into the Mix (HD 13:05) – This brand-new featurette has Sound Re-Recordist Chris Jenkins discussing the movie's audio mix.
  • Mondo Macabre (HD 9:42) – A look at the popular Mondo posters and collectibles companies, featuring Mondo Co-Founder Rob Jones and Mondo Gallery and Events Manager Josh Curry.
  • Collecting Creepshow (HD 12:31) – This final of the brand-new featurettes on this release has die-hard collector David Burian talk about his Creepshow collection.
  • Tom Savini's Behind-the-Scenes Footage (SD 25:52) – This is archival footage from the movie shot by Tom Savini, the film's special effects makeup guru (who also has a cameo playing a garbage man).
  • Horror's Hallowed Grounds (HD 14:56) – This is an episode of a TV series that took viewers to the locations of famous horror movies. This one (from 2016) takes us to the Pittsburgh/Monroeville, Pennsylvania area, where Creepshow was shot.
  • Deleted Scenes (SD 15:31) – A collection of deleted scenes from the movie, which must be watched together rather than individually. Note: while the introduction text is in full HD (and the featurette has been rendered in 1080p), potential viewers should know that the deleted footage is in rough shape – both very grainy and full frame. Therefore like the Savini BTS footage bonus feature (also rendered in at 1080p, but with SD-shot and grainy footage), I've listed this bonus feature as SD, since that is a more accurate description of the content.
  • Trailers– A full-length theatrical trailer (HD 1:49), followed by a minute-long, full-frame Spanish-language trailer (SD 0:58).
  • TV Spot (SD 0:28) – A brief TV spot for the movie.
  • Radio Spots (1:04) – A couple of radio spots, playing over a still of Ted Danson trapped in the sand from his segment in the film.
  • Gallery – The bonus material wraps up with a gallery of stills (which will just play as a slideshow if you chose not to use your remote to jump ahead) broken up into the following categories: Posters and Lobby Cards (HD 6:44); Movie Posters (HD 2:20); Color Stills (HD 2:15); Special FX Makeup (HD 6:04); and Behind the Scenes (HD 6:29).

Final Thoughts

I'm not a huge fan of Creepshow as an overall film, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the effort made here, and hey – I even moderately enjoyed two of the five tales told. But regardless of how I feel about the actual film, there's no denying the 4K restoration here is well done, and Scream/Shout! Factory has once again done a fine job with the bonus materials, with enough new stuff to make this release Recommended.

Sale Price $39.93
List Price $39.93
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3rd Pary $39.93
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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    BRAND NEW 4K REMASTER SOURCED FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE, with color correction supervised and approved by director of photography Michael Gornick
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:120
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.85:1
    Audio Formats:
    5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio,2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH
    Special Features:
    NEW Audio Commentary with director of photography Michael Gornick
    NEW Audio Commentary with composer/first assistant director John Harrison and construction co-ordinator Ed Fountain
    NEW Terror and the Three Rivers – a round table discussion on the making of CREEPSHOW with John Amplas, Tom Atkins, Tom Savini and Marty Schiff
    NEW The Comic Book Look – an interview with costume designer Barbara Anderson
    NEW Ripped From The Pages – an interview with animator Rick Catizone
    NEW The Colors of Creepshow – a look at the restoration of CREEPSHOW with director of photography Michael Gornick
    NEW Into The Mix – an interview with sound re-recordist Chris Jenkins
    NEW Mondo Macabre – A look at Mondo's various CREEPSHOW posters with Mondo Co-Founder Rob Jones and Mondo Gallery Events Planner Josh Curry
    NEW Collecting Creepshow – a look at some of the original props and collectibles from the film with collector Dave Burian
    Audio Commentary with Director George A. Romero and Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini
    Audio Interviews with director of photography Michael Gornick, actor John Amplas, property master Bruce Alan Miller, and make-up effects assistant Darryl Ferrucci
    Tom Savini's Behind-the-Scenes Footage
    Horror's Hallowed Grounds – a look at the original film locations hosted by Sean Clark
    Deleted Scenes
    Theatrical Trailers, TV Spot, and Radio Spots
    Still Galleries

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