Creepshow 2 (Michael Gornick, 1987, USA)

Creepshow 2 is the 1987 follow-up to George Romero's 1982 classic horror anthology Creepshow. At this point, both Romero and King had both moved on from direct involvement in the Creepshow franchise, and the reigns were handed over to Romero associate Michael Gornick. Romero, however, wrote the screenplay - based on ideas by King, including a story called "The Raft" which appears in King's anthology Skeleton Crew (1985). The film also lost the involvement of Warner, the distributor of the first Creepshow, and the film was handed off to Roger Corman's New World Picture. The budgetary constraints show, especially given that this round we are treated to three segments instead of the five as in the original Creepshow

The film starts with "Old Chief Woodn'head," which is perhaps the weakest segment in the entire first two Creepshow films. Feeling stretched out beyond all necessity, the film does have a brutal finale, but it takes a long segment of Little House on the Prairie-style drama to get there. "The Raft," the film's second segment, brings us to familiar territory. The group of teens going on an outing to a lake feels very reminiscent of Friday the 13th. Unfortunately, the lake monster here looks like a floating pile of garbage. Still, there are some cool effects.

The film's highlight is the final segment starring Bond girl Lois Chiles. Filmed in Stephen King's hometown of Bangor, Maine (and featuring a cameo from the author as a truck driver), "The Hitch-hiker" is a tale of a woman haunted by a hit and run. The performances are solid here, and the segment is high-intensity throughout, reaching manic levels. Creepshow 2 is uneven overall, although each segment has some interesting ideas. It is worth a watch for King or Romero fans, but those outside won't find much interesting here.



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