Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HORROR EPICS: Creepshow

CREEPSHOW (1982)
1982 was a great year for hardcore punk records, and apparently was a pretty good one for horror movies too, as this is the third one in a row that came out that year. One of my all-time favorites, ranking second in the George Romero library to the original Night of the Living Dead. When I was a kid, I loved reading the reissues of 1950s horror comics like Tales from the Crypt. Director George Romero and writer Stephen King cut their teeth on those comics back in the day themselves, and I honestly can’t think of a more appropriate pair to team up and bring those great comics to cinematic life. If you’ve got a better idea, I’d love to hear it. Romero and King paid a lot of attention to details to make this authentic. The beginning and end of the movie is a direct nod to the McCarthy-esque hysteria that took place in the early ‘50s over horror and crime-themed comic books. Child psychologist Fredrich Wertham was convinced that these comics would unravel America’s moral fabric by corrupting the minds of impressionable young kids, and even published a book about his ridiculous theories titled Seduction of the Innocent. When Wertham was able to take his case to the courts, he caused a lot of trouble for Bill Gaines in particular, who ran EC Comics—the publisher of Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, Crime SuspenStories, and Mad. Yes, as in Mad Magazine, which was actually a comic book then. Can you imagine that? Am I wrong that Mad Magazine deserves American cultural icon status? Someone actually wanted to stamp that out of the picture completely, along with the horror comics. It’s actually a very interesting (and downright maddening, no pun intended) story to read up on. Even if you don’t look it up, just think about that the next time you watch Creepshow, or any gory piece of horror cinema for that matter. This is what America is all about, people. Revel in your right to watch a patriarch come back from the grave to finally have his Father’s Day cake in bloody style. The backwater bumpkin turning into a walking, talking piece of grass after touching a crashed meteor. Or the hotshot actor buried up to his neck in sand as the tide starts to come in. How about offering up your overbearing bitch of a wife as food for that scary monster locked in the box under your stairs? Who doesn’t like watching the millionaire with an attitude and a fear of insects get his from more cockroaches than New York City? All lovingly presented with the great macabre sense of humor that made those original EC comics such a wonderful read. Creepshow is one of those movies that’s great to break out once every couple of years and revisit like you’re looking up an old friend. Fortunately, the old bastard’s doing better than ever.

1 comment:

Nickthrone said...

i remember this movie. my mom wouldn't let me go see it so i went with my dad. my brother used to collect thoughs Creep Show comics