Personally, I had no idea the Creepshow series was still in production, let alone a third one was being scuttled onto DVD this month. After watching this release, I can see why. I found this release to be completely underwhelming. Creepshow III is bizarre, yes, and the goofy tone makes it kind of fun, but where are the promised scares? Nightmare-inducing scares, as the official synopsis below goes? A few laughs and a couple “what the hell” moments, but nothing that’ll make me sleep with the lights on.
The third installment of the popular Creepshow series launched by George Romero and Stephen King features five new tales of spine-chilling horror. These nightmare-inducing stories include: “Alice” – an account of alternative realities, “The Radio” – which centers on possessed communication devices, “Call Girl” – featuring vampires and serial killers in lust, “The Professor’s Wife” – a tale of mad inventors and “Haunted Dog” – depicting hauntings from beyond.
I just do not agree with that above synopsis provided by HBO.
As cool as those stories sound, and they do sound sweet, they come across as more goofy. No one seems to be taking any of the material seriously . . .well, as seriously as you could take it, I suppose. And perhaps that is what the movie is aiming for, the inherent goofiness that comes with the 1950’s era. Comics were goofy, television was goofy, everything was somewhat goofy by today’s standards. But horror? Of the few horror comics I read from this era, which were mostly reprints, they were full of chills, irony, and just desserts. This? Not so much.
Outside of some great special effects, the only other thing I can really give this movie props for is how they manage to intertwine just about every story with each other, whether it’s some throwaway line of dialogue or a direct reference to another story. It’s cute and adds some sense of continuity to the movie, debunking the random feeling that these stories create. It makes the movie flow much easier from story to story until the final few moments, which is equally bizarre. Thankfully, the special effects were able to push the story along whenever the stories fell flat. But since special effects were used sparingly, it doesn’t happen that often.
The problem with this release is that while it tries to evoke the creepiness of the classic 1950’s horror comics, it gets lost in the goofiness. I found myself laughing and shaking my head during most of the short stories. I can actually envision how they’d play out in the comics, and I think it would actually work. But here? Not so much.
The DVD itself is standard for such a release. The audio and video are on par with current standard DVD releases. Nothing special overall, but it sounds fine coming out of a nice home theatre system. The extras are pretty run of the mill. For this release we get some behind-the-scenes interviews with the directors, writers and make-up artists.
Overall, I wasn’t too thrilled with this release. Maybe I’m missing the point of the Creepshow series entirely, but I was expecting something more . . . creepy. If anything, the movie felt very restricted. There were risks that could’ve been taken, but it seemed like the movie was playing it safe. Yes, there are buckets of blood, gore, and mature content, but it takes more than that for a movie like this to actually be scary. Or perhaps the horror we see here is something we’re no longer used to thanks to the current wave of “torture porn” horror movies. I’m sure Creepshow fans will enjoy this release, but this title gets a Not Recommended from me.
Creepshow III arrives on DVD May 15th, 2007.