Sunday, February 28, 2010

CREEPSHOW! (1982)

Creepshow is not only one of my favorite movies of all time, it's also associated (for me) with the time in my life when something absolutely WONDERFUL and perfect came into my early teen years.....VHS. As you may all remember, I grew up in a time of three (!) whole channels, and also in a time of when theatrical movies showing on TV was a big deal. We also weren't able to record them, so if you wanted to see a movie, you had to a)actually go to the theater, or b) wait a year or two (I don't even know how long it took for a theatrical movie to make it to broadcast TV) and then you better actually be at HOME when it was on.

I also lived in the middle of BUTT-FREAKING-NOWHERE, where cable wasn't even an option. At some point my grandparents were able to get a box with ON Television (anyone else remember this relic of pay TV?), and that was such a big deal that we'd make a special trip to watch some movies at their house. ON Tv actually introduced me to many classic horror films such as The Howling, Friday the 13th, Hammer House of Horror (the TV show), and a slew of slasher films from the late 70s and early 80s. But even then, getting to see those movies involved scheduling, begging, and then when I did get to actually see the movie, a certain amount of hiding under a blanket/pillow/my hands was involved. Sometimes, like with Friday the 13th, I was SO freaked out the first time I watched it (unfortunately people had spoiled the ending for me and I knew what was coming) I had to leave the room before it was over.

So long story short, even with being raised on horror films, and loving them, I was still afraid of them. But I loved it. And ON TV was my first introduction to current horror films of that time. So when the idea of VHS came along, with the idea that you could just go to a place, actually pick out movies and bring them home to watch (as many times as you wanted to!), I didn't think there could be much more of a reason to be alive. (the first time I walked into a real actual video store, I think I almost hyperventilated - the memory is just a swirl of colors and words and an overwhelming feeling of not being able to take it all in)

The first few times we rented movies, we also had to rent the machine. I think we rented machines until my mom opened her video store, so we'd get a machine and a bunch of movies for like a weekend or something. I don't know how Creepshow made it into my home - I'm pretty sure I had seen the ads on TV and wanted to see it - and I certainly knew who Stephen King was by that time and had read his books. But I do know, after I saw it that first time, my request for a movie every time we rented a machine was the same. Creepshow. Creepshow, Creepshow, Creepshow. Couldn't get enough of it. Even a few years later when my mom opened her store, and I worked on Saturdays, I'd always put in Creepshow at noon when the store opened and I'd spend my first two hours of the day with it. I even still own my original clamshell case from my mom's store (!) because I can't bear to part with it.

So last week I caved and bought it on Blu-Ray (and I say caved because it, like its DVD predecessor has, like Bruce Campbell says, two things on it, Jack and Shit. Apparently the UK DVD has some sweet extras, but from what I understand, we're unlikely to see a release here with anything like that. So I just said eff it and bought it)


For asmuch as I was obsessed with the movie all those years ago, I've probably only watched it twice in the last 7 or 8 years. Watching it today in Hi-Def took me back to the times when I was obsessed with it - and I also understood why this movie was such a HUGE deal for me (besides it just being kick-ass).

Creepshow was the first current (at that time) uncut horror film that I was able to watch and enjoy at the same time. I was scared but having so much fun that I wanted to see everything and take it in. The movie was also a huge turning point in my love of horror films as it took me from not just liking scary movies to a real fan of the genre. I watched the movie so many times that I started to notice other things like the score, the use of lighting and color, and the way the movie was cut and framed to resemble a real comic book.

The film was also my introduction to George A. Romero, which led me to look for more films by him, which led me to look into horror publications that told me more about the movies I loved, which led me to magazines like Fangoria, GoreZone, and others. Those magazines taught me about people like Tom Savini, Dario Argento, Sam Raimi, and countless others. Interviews with them and learning about their favorite films and filmmakers led me to search out those films....and in the booming era of VHS (and literally, there were video stores popping up EVERYWHERE - at that time not only were there video stores, but you could rent movies at gas stations, pizza places, you name it) I was also privy to a number of publications and catalogs that were delivered to my mom's video store that helped me get the inside track on what was available and what was going to be released.

In short, Creepshow was responsible for me crossing the bridge between being just a kid who liked scary movies to being a student obsessed with the genre. I even still own all of those magazines and books that I acquired during those early years (and maybe even still a few catalogs), and my dream is someday to have a place where I can display those things (along with other horror related items I've collected over the years). And although I don't collect much besides movies these days, it's no secret that I can't resist picking up an evil doll here and there (with possibly a new member coming soon (!)

There are other movies that also had a huge effect on me as a kid - Dawn of the Dead especially - but for me, Creepshow was the little movie with a big snowball effect. I'm sorry to see it not get any special treatment but I'm happy to have it on BluRay nonetheless. With no special edition on the horizon, it's a pretty good deal at under ten bucks.

Now - where's my Knightriders on Blu-Ray, Dammit????

















Purrrrrrrrrrrr,
Mother Firefly

5 comments:

try said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emily said...

Lovely post on nostalgia. I love me some Creepshow, although I have a weird attachment to the sequel as I can remember seeing that one in the actual theater (when I was wayyyyyy too young). The first is clearly a superior film though. I always remember getting really sad in the Stephen King segment because I thought he was such a darn lovable actor at the time.

Anthologies in general just make me so happy. Even when the stories are bad, they don't go on more than 30 minutes. Wish more came out nowadays.

Mother Firefly said...

I saw Creepshow II in the theater as well (although, sadly, I was NOT too young, haha) and although there are some things I like about it, it was sort of a disappointment to me then. with the exception of the black slime monster in the lake thing, that was a favorite King short story of mine and I thought they did a great job of putting it on screen.

You're right about anthologies, not only are they great for my (sometimes) short attention span, you don't have to suffer long if they suck. they also seem to be a thing of the past - unless Trick R Treat happens to start a new trend.....

Thanks for the comment, btw. It reminded me that not only am I posting less than I'd like these days, I'm also way behind in reading blogs I love. I'll be heading over your way today to see what's goin' on.

Jumbo's Lezis said...

I remember watching creepshow with you, scared the hell out of me, particularly the beginning. I was probably way to young for a lot of the movies I watched with you, but I did survive. In all honesty it probably made it easier for me to live in that haunted house we had in marlette.

Mother Firefly said...

I was hoping you'd comment on this. I DO remember how freaked out you were by this movie and I also remember even Mom saying how much it scared you.

I did probably have you watching stuff that was probably way too scary for you at that age, but you were a trooper.

Glad to hear I had a part in preparing you for living in the portal of paranormal activity known as Mom's house.

People need to start writing their stories about that block on the Spooky House blog!