Horror anthologies seem to be a dying breed. Sure, there have been a couple of good ones in the last few years– the first two V/H/S films and Trick r’ Treat come to mind– but for every good one you get stinkers like The ABCs of Death, Holidays, or XX. It’s unfortunate, mostly because the horror anthology structure gives a movie the opportunity to create multiple stories in one film that could be thematically connected, or not– they can just be a bunch of random films! Whatever the case, horror anthologies are the best, and it’s worth going back to watch the ones that matter, such as George A. Romero and Stephen King’s joint collaboration film Creepshow. Consisting of five fantastic horror shorts, Creepshow showcases a revenge tale against a daughter who killed her father, a meteor that turns everything into plant life, a man exacting revenge on a cheating wife, a creature in a box hiding under the stairs, and a really disgusting one involving a bunch cockroaches overtaking a man with a fear of germs.
All five of these stories run at a perfect pace, with a perfect length for each one. Carefully constructed and worked in a manner where it’s never jarring jumping from one to the other, Creepshow perfects the art of horror anthologies, creating a model genre films could copy for years to come. All of this thanks to the masterful directing of George A. Romero, who handles every segment, and Stephen King’s incredible storytelling. This is the dream team of horror film making! The icing on this cake is the inclusion of some great name actors as well: Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Harris, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, E.G. Marshall, and more. Hell, even Stephen King plays the dumbfounded and over-the-top farmer who discovers the meteorite in the second segment. Its really understated how stacked Creepshow is, and it seems the years have detached us from what made horror anthologies great. With all the shit films that have come out as of late, maybe its best we go back to the beginning and look at the best of the best. Lets hope horror anthologies reach the level and class of Creepshow someday!
dir. George A. Romero
Screening this Saturday, November 18th, as part of the Coolidge After Midnite Award honoring actor Adrienne Barbeau!