Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 26 of the 30 Day Horror Challenge: It's Show Time! - Creepshow Time!

Day 26 - Your favorite horror film to watch as a child –

The Most Fun You'll Ever Have... BEING SCARED!

The number of movies that were in the running for this day were substantial. Honorable mention before we get down to the nitty gritty of the thing: Abominable Dr. Phibes, House on Haunted Hill, Jaws, Friday the 13th pt 4, Critters, V, Amazing Stories, the Movie, Twilight Zone, the Movie, Young Frankenstein, Monster Squad, Teen Wolf, Motel Hell… to name a few. I can remember trying to rent some of these movies even though I owned them as a child. I was so enamored with them that I couldn’t get past the fact that we had them at home. I think all parents experience this at some point with a beloved film. The winner of this day was rented over and over again until finally my father copied it from the video store. The cover was a large box title, although not a true large box… clam shelled. The cover was a combination of brown, black, greys… it had a dead person in the center. It was unashamedly rated R and it was created by none other than Stephen King and George Romero…

Creepshow is a fan favorite. My first Exhumed 24 Hour Marathon started with Creepshow on 35mm and when it started playing I slapped my buddy’s leg over and over again with excitement (he was not amused). I used to sit in our den on that same old television set from previous blogs, nose practically pressed against the screen waiting for that damn hand to pop out of the grave during Father’s Day. I even had the comic book (stole it from my dad and everything… lost it… then bought it again only to lose it again).

When you are asked what your favorite movie is as a child you probably have a favorite scene, a favorite character, a favorite line; Something that truly endears you to this picture. I can remember sitting around with my older sister and the neighborhood kids as my dad showed all of us the glory that was Creepshow… uncut. R. That’s one image that takes me back to being a kid. That strange burgundy carpet under foot. The dark floral patterned, knit sofa cushions and the panel board. It’s a firm memory from my childhood. Another is sitting on the swing set in my backyard, flipping through the comic book. Staring at illustrated Adrienne Barbeau’s breasts. Another memory… and this one is hard to explain… was walking home from a birthday party one street down from my home. I walked out into the cold night air and told all my friends that over the trees, below the full moon, a Creepshow logo would rise up and the Creep would come over the hills and get us all. I still remember what I told those kids and remembered what I saw in my head. The imagination of a young child gone wild and stuck firmly on horror films. Memories… This is the reason you don’t let your kids watch horror pictures for most parents. This is the reason I will encourage it at every turn for my own.

In the film itself, outside of my recollections that made Creepshow a movie that adhered to my memory, there’s amazing dialogue, scenes that can make you laugh and works of art painted in gore. Just remember that Leslie Neilson has the gun, what is his is his and he owns the fucking beach. Ted Dansen does some of his finest acting of his career… and let us not forget… “IT’S SHOW TIME!”. Everything from the bullet holes dripping seawater to watching your lover die via closed circuit television while buried up to your neck in sand had me going form a young age. It had a somewhat depressing side as well.

It can actually sadden you as the Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill might. Some of you would ask how that movie is sad? Something about the half plant, half human assimilated being begging for death to come swiftly is heartbreaking. Jordy is stupid but doesn’t deserve death, right? Lunkhead or not, no one really deserves to be transformed into a plant from meteor shit when their down on their luck and prone to drinking cheap vodka or bouron straight out the bottle. Nevermind the films can scare the piss out of you and you need to put your tissue over your mouth not to puke.

If I hadn’t been potty trained by the time I saw Father’s Day or They’ll Creep Up on You or the Crate… we would’ve been forced to rent a steam cleaner weekly. Each one has their own jump scare moment or a truly creepy moment or a sick kinda make you puke moment. So who do you want to eat you? The zombie, the bugs or the thing found during an Arctic expedition? At least the zombie might just snap your neck or strangles you. The thing in the Crate fucking rips you apart (probably better let your spouse handle that one) and the Bugs… with that many bugs you probably have to worry more about dying of disease than of having them eat you from the inside out but for me its heart attack before they eat me.

Anthology movies can win every category in a horror movie list. They touch on all your favorite genres, subgenres, anti genres and stereotypes. Combine that with Savini, Romero, King and the acting of every famous person in the mid 80’s (especially Hal Holbrook) and you have a picture that will win, deserves to win and should be treasured. The comic is just as good as the comic that narrates the movie. The sequel, Creepshow 2, is wonderful in its own right. It would never live up to the original, but it clearly had some good storytelling, acting and music (which both have… just ask Eli Roth why he used it in Thanksgiving). Creepshow 3… one day I will write a review of Creepshow 3, and I will compare it to Nazi fucking Germany (the bad parts, not the sexy women in S.S. gear). You will know why I hate that movie… and it mostly has to do with Creepshow being a part of my childhood.

Most people have Neverending Story or Care Bears or Cartoons or Disney… and I have those things too. I also have Creepshow. It’s the movie I’d take with me if I was stranded on a dessert island. It’s the movie I want to talk to Stephen King about when I meet him (if I meet him). It’s the movie that defined horror movies for me. They should be funny, gory, sexy and they should convey a moral. My Aesop. My Grimm… my Creepshow.

-Dr. Nathan Grantham (pssst… Terror).

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