Creepshow 2, the corny follow-up to the 1982 collaboration between George A. Romero and Stephen King, had some value as a time capsule of when New Line Cinema ruled the horror shelves of video rentals in the late 1980s. But I can’t imagine there will ever be an era where dedicated gorehounds will reminisce over Creepshow III (brought to you from the same team who raped the legacy of Romero’s Day of the Dead and called it Contagium) and chuckle, “Remember when we saw 10 copies of this shit sit on the shelf at Best Buy for five years without a single copy disappearing?” It’s not the cut-rate production values that really sink Creepshow III since, after all, even the best representations of the format (Dead of Night, Tales from the Crypt, and, yes, the first Creepshow) were still resolutely B-movies. Where Creepshow III really fails (well, the most ruinous failing point, anyway) is in its post-Crash attempt to complicate the diverse stories’ connective tissue. The shared features of the first two films’ tales were not complicated: naughty people do evil things, and decent and wronged people (or their reanimated corpses) make them pay. That’s it. So simple, so universal, as elegant as one could expect from a franchise that once featured King (as an actor) trying to convey the unique sort of itch Martian moss would give your crotch.
Creepshow III contains five hastily concocted approximations of stories that, in an effort to make the entire film pay off, are needlessly connected at various junctures; for example, the hooker whose keen instincts tell her something’s wrong with that guy who murders people because a radio tells him to later turns up in her own feature story as a killer in her own right. Either the directors think these connections shed some light on our societal fractures (which, it could be said, is more eloquent in this film than it was in the aforementioned Paul Haggis atrocity), or they couldn’t figure out any other way around the fact that they had two adjoining street façades to choose from (as though the entire thing were filmed on a studio tour). Of the five stories, the only two that truly stand out—the film’s first and last—do so for the wrong reason. The capper involves a drugged-up, self-righteous doctor who gives a homeless man a hot dog he accidentally dropped on the sidewalk. So naturally, the hot dog kills the bum, who then haunts the doctor from beyond the grave.
While that gem may signify the single most retarded plot in all filmed history, the opening segment represents what must be considered the most incomprehensible. In it, a girl named Alice really hates her neighborhood. You can tell she does because she says it three times, even if she neglects to click her heels together when doing so. So what happens? Her dad starts fiddling with a universal remote he bought “from a street vendor,” which then changes Alice into a mutant whose bubbling, melting skin sort of resembles Pizza the Hut. It also transforms the rest of her relatives into a black family and, later, a Hispanic one. Oh yeah, and then Alice spends half the story’s running time trying to find something to wash wedding cake out of her mouth. (“Oh no, this half gallon bottle of milk is empty. I’m so visibly annoyed. It just makes me want to shake it in frustration!”) While I’m sure I could charge a few from the demographic still trying to figure out exactly what happened in Inland Empire with decoding this landmark of incoherence, I prefer the theory of an IMDb message board participant who suggested the lesson Alice was taught was that, no matter how much a white girl may hate her neighborhood, it’s better than being a member of a black or Hispanic family. I guess Creepshow III really is derivative of Crash.
Looks fine, sounds fine. I hate having to give anything connected with this film passing marks, but the transfer is solid. The opening animation involving what appears to be a character from The Boondocks sawing the head off a dog (which is exponentially more entertaining than the film) is almost eye-popping.
A 25-minute behind-the-scenes featurette is the only bonus on the disc. I think it’s this segment that they’re referring to when, on the back of the package, they crib the original Creepshow’s catchphrase: "The most fun you’ll ever have being scared."
Makes meteor shit smell sweet.