Movie Discussion: George A. Romero’s Creepshow (1982)

  • Monthly Theme: Sean’s FavoritesMPW-25592
  • The Film: Creepshow
  • Country of origin: U.S.A.
  • Date of U.S. release: November 12, 1982
  • Studio: Warner Bros., et al.
  • Distributer: Warner Bros.
  • Domestic Gross: $21 million
  • Budget: $8 million (estimated)
  • Director: George A. Romero
  • Producers: Richard P. Rubinstein, David E. Vogel, et al.
  • Screenwriter: Stephen King
  • Adaptation? Sort of. The film is an homage to the classic EC horror comics of the 1940s and 1950s.
  • Cinematographer: Michael Gornick
  • Make-Up/FX: Tom Savini, et al.
  • Music: John Harrison
  • Part of a series? Followed by one theatrical sequel, 1987’s Creepshow 2, and one direct-to-DVD sequel, 2007’s Creepshow III. The 1990 film Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is sometimes considered to be the “true” third installment in the series.
  • Remakes? No.
  • Genre Icons in the cast? Yes. Scream queen Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, Swamp Thing, etc.). Genre actor Tom Atkins (Night of the Creeps, The Fog, etc.). Cameo by genre icon Tom Savini (From Dusk till DawnManiac, etc.).
  • Other notables?: Yes. Hollywood stars Ed Harris, Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen and Ted Danson. Character actresses Viveca Lindfors and Carrie Nye. Character actors E.G. Marshall and Fritz Weaver. Cameo by actress Gaylen Ross (Dawn of the Dead (1978)).
  • Awards?: n/a
  • Tagline: “The most fun you’ll ever have being scared!”
  • The Lowdown: The film is an homage to the classic, pre-Code horror comics of the 1940s/50s (for instance, EC Comics titles like Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror). It consists of five short tales: In “Father’s Day,” a murdered patriarch rises from the grave to take revenge against the daughter who killed him; in “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill,” a rural man (played by screenwriter and horror author Stephen King) is plagued by a fast-growing alien grass that’s unleashed from a fallen meteor; in “Something to Tide You Over,” a wealthy man (Leslie Nielsen) takes a bizarre revenge against his adulterous wife (Gaylen Ross) and her lover (Ted Danson); in “The Crate,” a professor (Fritz Weaver) accidentally unleashes a murderous creature from an old crate; and in “They’re Creeping Up on You,” a reclusive, germaphobic millionaire (E.G. Marshall) finds his futuristic penthouse overrun by cockroaches. In addition, there’s a frame story involving a young boy (Stephen King’s son Joe Hill) who takes revenge against his father for throwing out his horror comics. Creepshow is now considered a classic of the 1980s and one of the best horror anthology films of all time.

If you haven’t seen Creepshow our discussion will include massive SPOILERS. 

Sean: I was shocked at how timeless Creepshow felt. I haven’t watched it in years, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it still holds up.

Kristine: It wasn’t dated at all, in my opinion. I was most impressed with Creepshow out of all of the movies we watched because of that quality, and how it managed to embody the horror comic book sensibility through and through, in style and in content.

Sean: Was the most traumatic moment of the night Pratt’s body exploding with cockroaches at the end of the movie?

Kristine: Yes it was. OMG. Remember when that segment started and my boyfriend was like, “I remember this”?

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 3.14.50 PM
Protein overload

Sean: I loved that he’d forgotten having seen the movie, but retained that one iconic moment in his memory.

Kristine: Totally iconic gross-out trauma. Is there a better kind?

Sean: Not really. I really did think it was weird how many of the movies we watched are “about” film and media. That was an accident. I guess that was just a trend in the 1980s?

Kristine: Maybe so… Or maybe that is one of the reasons they resonated with young Sean. Media and media awareness is your main jam, your personality-defining trait and your main area of interest, no? Do you think that you were subconsciously attracted to that element of these movies?

Sean: I guess so, yeah. So, you said “Father’s Day” was the dumbest segment, right? The least successful?

Kristine: The least successful for me, yes.

Sean: That hurts my heart. I think it’s one of my faves.

Kristine: Explain what you love about it.

Sean: Well, it doesn’t hurt that it is 100% camp diva queerness. I mean, Aunt Bedelia and Sylvia (who gets her head twisted off) and the cunty gay brother and his slutty sister? My 8-year-old self was like, vibrating with pleasure. How Sylvia opens the segment by being like, “Cass, you’re such a hog, my dear” and serving a ton of shade?

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 3.29.38 PM
Disco diva

Kristine: I know, it is pretty queertastic.

Sean: The queer codes are bouncing all around that segment. From Richard, the gay brother, describing Bedelia as “the patriarch of our clan” to how the abused boy from the frame story is doubled with Aunt Bedelia herself – the movie moves right from him wishing his father would rot in hell to the character of Bedelia, someone who did commit the crime of patricide. Bedelia is offered up as a someone who has usurped and/or managed to ascend beyond patriarchal power, right? She’s “older than God,” after all.

Kristine: Bedelia is pretty great, and exactly the kind of old lady I aspire to be one day, stumbling around in my eleganza, drinking whiskey straight from the bottle, screeching to a halt in my mint-condition vintage automobile. Though I think Bedelia could afford something a touch better than Jim Beam. But the whole notion of the segment is about punishing her and the rest of the family for the murder of the patriarch.

Sean: True. But there’s still something subversive about how Old Daddy Grantham is portrayed – infantile, puerile, driven by id, driven by appetite. This, the movie is acknowledging, is what Fathers are like – by which I mean men who wield patriarchal power, who believe in ruling with absolute power, who believe in the subservience of women, who believe in unjust hierarchies, who want to be lords and kings and monarchs. We’re meant to identify with Bedelia, especially in the flashbacks where we see her commit the murder. Her hysteria, her hatred of her father, feels entirely justified.

Kristine: I’d agree with that, though it’s still noteworthy that out of the family member,s it’s the two older, powerful women that are murdered. Well, I guess he crushes Ed Harris under the headstone also.

Sean: But that’s exactly the point, right? Because this is a horror story in which deranged patriarchal power is the “evil” – and so who does it come for? It comes for the powerful women, it comes for the young men who are modern, who accept women as equals, who are grooving along in the post-feminist era, dancing to disco music. Those are the people Old Daddy Grantham wants to destroy… This could be a campfire story told at feminist retreats. “Where’s my cake?” is an expression of all of our feminist anxieties about straight men and about fathers, no? That they believe we owe them something, that we’ll be consigned to the realm of the domestic, that their desires and appetites will always be at the center of our households, our culture, our social institutions. I remember, pointedly, when Bedelia is drinking at her father’s grave and ranting at him, one of her complaints is, “You called me a bitch.” She’s outraged that he spoke to her that way, she’s offended by his misogyny.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 3.29.20 PM

Kristine: Right. Remember the set design of the Grantham household and how over the top it was? With a diorama of taxidermied foxes and raccoons in the dining room?

Sean: Oh yeah. And the disco music and the crystal goblets and the glazed hams and the pairs of white slacks and just all of it. So hilarious.

Kristine: I was amused by how all the bitchy divaness and effeminacy was attributed to the upper classes. Which is like, a very old stereotype about how the wealthy lose their masculinity and ruggedness, become feminine and womanly. Talking it over, the segment sounds fun. Maybe I just wasn’t in the groove of the movie yet.

Sean: Well, it is one of the slightest offerings. It’s very short.

Kristine: I just felt like the other segments had a poetic justice or twisted morality laced with irony that “Father’s Day” didn’t possess.

Sean: Right, right. I’ve been thinking a lot about the movie’s overall attitude towards patriarchy (ie. “Father’s Day”). Because the wraparound story is so subversive and punkqueer with the disaffected and “perverse” suburban kid attacking the patriarch via the voodoo doll. The kid, fyi, is played by Stephen King’s real life son, Joe Hill, who is now an accomplished and well-regarded horror novelist in his own right.

Kristine: I love the wraparound story.

Sean: The message of the frame story is ‘Down with Daddies,’ right?

Kristine: Yes, and I would argue that some of the other segments are, too… “Something to Tide You Over” is definitely a critique of the old rich white patriarch, who in this case is the cuckolded husband. Rebecca (who is played by Gaylen Ross, a.k.a. Fran from Dawn of the Dead) prefers Wentworth, the young, modern man who sees her as a partner and a person, to Richard, the classic patriarch who sees her as an object to be owned. “I don’t know whether I ever loved her or not,” Richard tells Wentworth. “That doesn’t matter. The point is I keep what is mine. No exceptions to that rule, ever.”

Sean: Right. Just like in “Father’s Day,” we’re supposed to see that mindset as monstrous. “No exceptions to that rule” is the same kind of sentiment as “I want my cake.” They’re base, repulsive expressions of patriarchal privilege. That Richard dehumanizes Rebecca is presented by the movie as criminal and disgusting. And this story performs the inverse of the patriarchal vengeance in “Father’s Day.” In that story, the power of the patriarch cannot be destroyed or stopped, becomes this evil and uncanny force that returns from the grave to punish rebellious women. But in “Something to Tide You Over,” the returning force is that of the wronged lovers, Wentworth and Rebecca, to destroy the old guard. Because remember that Richard’s economic and cultural power is what enables him to commit the two murders. When he has Wentworth at gunpoint, Richard mocks his cries for help, telling him that no one will hear him because “I own it all.”

Screen shot 2012-08-25 at 6.13.35 PM
Die Daddy Die

Kristine: And remember Wentworth tells Richard, “You’re insane.” In both this and in “Father’s Day,” the paternal figures are deranged. They are not classic men of reason and intellect – they’re controlled by their appetites (in Richard’s case, for revenge and total ownership of his wife’s body). We’re meant to view them as monsters.

Sean: Absolutely. And not just monsters, but buffoons – as evidenced by the specter of W.C. Fields, whom Richard is watching on tv right before Wentworth and Rebecca return from the grave. And little things like Richard muttering, “If that maid has been moving my stuff again…” He’s a ridiculous figure.

Kristine: As is Pratt in “They’re Creeping Up on You.” I think the “They” in the title is not just the roaches, it is the masses, right? The underclass? The urban poor, the “help” like White, the African-American buidling supervisor who assists/mocks Pratt? That segment is about exploiting and reframing Pratt’s fear of the unwashed masses in general, not just the masses of bugs, and constructing his misanthropy and power-madness as monstrous and revolting.

Sean: Yeah, like the voice of the dead underling’s wife over the phone being like “I hope you rot in hell! Die! Die!” as the bugs are swarming Pratt. It’s the destruction of The Man that we’re supposed to both take pleasure in and be repulsed by. And it’s significant that his death is “witnessed” by the woman on the phone and by White.

Kristine: Exactly.

Sean: Even the Jordy Verill segment is about ‘the Man,’ who appears as the doctor in Jordy’s imagination. In fact, the reason he dies is because he won’t go get help because he’s afraid of the system. He thinks the doctor will mutilate his body or swindle him out of his income. So he doesn’t act – his fear of the men in charge paralyzes him – and the grass gets him in the end.

Kristine: “This is going to be extremely painful, Mr. Verrill.”

Sean: Exactly. And the class consciousness of that segment is also refreshing. Verrill is poor and rural and believes himself to have been cursed with bad luck, yet he wants something better. The meteor appears to be his ticket out of his circumstances, and yet it winds up destroying him… There’s some real pathos in that, even though Verrill’s a bit of a buffoon who we’re clearly meant to laugh at. But we’re also meant to empathize with him.

Kristine: What was the movie playing on Verrill’s tv?

Sean: It’s the 1937 version of A Star Is Born.

Weed King

Kristine: Because I remember at one point an old lady in the movie is giving advice to a younger woman, and she says, “Everyone in this world who has ever dreamed about better things has been laughed at, don’t you know that? But there’s a difference between dreaming and doing. The dreamers just sit around and moon about how wonderful it would be if only things were different. And the years roll on and by and by they grow [my emphasis] and they forget everything, even about their dreams. Oh yes, you want to be somebody, but you want it to be easy.” I liked how the segment takes that idea of unrealized ambitions and dreams and literalizes it with the invasive weeds that grow out of the meteor. Statis and yearning become deadly, take over, choke you to death. Make life unbearable.

Sean: Yeah it’s kind of radical. She also talks about how people once thought “this country would never be anything but a wilderness. We didn’t believe it. We were going to make a new country.” The subtext being that the horror of the Jordy Verrill segment is about American progress being turned back. The space-grass comes along and undoes the American project, returning the land to vegetation and wildness, erasing all the efforts and labors of the early Americans. The apocalyptic ending of that segment is pretty chilling and great.

Kristine: Jordy even says, once he realizes what is happening, “I’m growing.” And rather than it being this very American statement of affirmation and progress, rather than it being this self-help-y mantra, it’s this macabre realization. Growth isn’t always ‘good,’ according to the segment. Sometimes it’s horrifying. That’s a very un-American idea.

Sean: I thought the most culturally conservative of the segments is “The Crate.” All of the others seem to have a critique of the system/the status quo lodged within them, but “The Crate” is so ickily misogynist. Like in “Father’s Day” and “Something to Tide You Over,” Old Mr. Grantham and Richard are both obviously monstrous, but Dexter, the patriarch of “The Crate,” is rendered sympathetically. Remember, Bill the janitor calls Dexter because about the crate under the stairs because “I figured, you’re the boss.” But what does he do as a boss? He gets the janitor killed. He gets Charlie, the grad student, killed. He seduces young college girls. He stands around drinking scotch and arching his bushy eyebrows at women who don’t know their place (i.e. Billie).

Kristine: If “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill” is about wild, untamed anarchic forces (in the form of Nature) taking over humanity, then so is “The Crate” – the creature (barely) contained within the crate is something that these men of academia cannot control. I did find that segment to be uncomfortable with the shrewish wife character, but considering it is only one out of five stories, and the others are anti-The Man, I don’t think the film can be critiqued as misogynistic. Do you?

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 3.33.26 PM
Punk Goddess

Sean: No, but that single story is. It’s all like, ‘God, being married to a woman who speaks her mind is such a chore.’ It just seems tonally off from the rest of the movie’s anarchic spirit.

Kristine: Maybe that’s okay? If the other stories are about how controlling white males must die?

Sean: But how amazing would it have been if when Henry dragged Billie under the stairs, the monster ate him and Billie just ran out screaming? And then Dexter had to go back and lock up the creature and toss it in the quarry…

Kristine: I am just spit-balling here, but it really does seem like Creepshow’s overarching theme is about anarchy and rebelling against controlling forces, whether that be that the angry father/patriarch who throws out your comic book, your shrewish wife, your gross husband, your germaphobic, arrogant tycoon boss. And rebelling against control is one of the key themes of childhood/adolescence. I feel like part of how King and Romero are connecting with the spirit of horror comics is by embracing this theme.

Sean: That is a good argument.

Kristine: Plus, I like Adrienne Barbeau as a cunt-on-wheels.

Sean: Sure. So, this is an example of a movie that is meant entirely as an homage to another form of media. Does it work on that level?

Kristine: Yes. As a fan of comics, I was really impressed with how it successfully channeled both the themes, spirit and aesthetics of the genre. Did it work for you? Did you read horror comics as a youngling?

Sean: A couple of quick things. I agree that part of the movie’s brilliance is that it manages to do all that homage to comics without compromising it’s cinematic qualities, if that makes sense. I never felt like the comics stuff weighed down the movie or interfered with it being a movie. But yes, this movie captures the feel and vibe of those horror comics, which I’d probably perused in stores as a kid, but never owned. But I “got” the language of them instinctively.

Kristine: I wonder why you never got into comics as a kid.

Upside Down Pineapple Diva Cake

Sean: I know – because I’m too weird about starting from the beginning of things.

Kristine: Ah. I get that, actually.

Sean: I would never have read something starting with chapter 242 as a kid. I would start with chapter 1 or not at all. Because of that, comics were off the table for me.

Kristine: I totally get that. When people tell me to start watching a TV show in season 7, I’m like, ‘Are you insane?’

Sean: Right? But I admire comics of all stripes and genres greatly and think they’re amazing.  Can I ask what the highlights of Creepshow were for you?

Kristine: Ok. Adrienne Barbeau as Billie, the boozy, loudmouthed cunt-on-wheels was a huge highlight. I also loved Stephen King as the mentally-challenged-hillbilly-turned-human-sacrifice when Mama Nature reclaims his home. I was dying and gagging and tearing off my toes during the last third of “They’re Creeping Up on You.”  I adored Joe Hill sticking pins into the voodoo doll of his dickface dad. You?

Sean: Adrienne Barbeau’s Billie is the absolute highlight of the movie for me. Even as a kid I was mesmerized by her and I found her taking the piss out of/humiliating/undermining her asshole husband to be totally punk rock and amazing. I think I had repressed fantasies of my own mother doing that to my father and totally fucking emasculating him in public and just… having power. I think that’s one of the reasons “The Crate” rubs me the wrong way is that it’s really hard for me to watch Billie, who is the one of the only women in the movie who has power, come to such an ignominious fate. Like when we first meet Billie, she’s taking the piss out of this stuffy, bourgeois party. Billie is irreverent and crass and, to me, totally subversive and amazing, how she acts as this destabilizing force in this bullshit upper class environment, refusing to ‘act appropriately.’ “Buying real estate in a college town is a friggin’ pain in the ass,” she says, violating the WASP social codes by talking openly about money and property, by addressing the power structure of the town openly. Not to mention her dislike for Dexter Stanley, who is a louche sexual predator. Even how he acts when he’s introduced to that young couple in the first scene at the party – “What a lovely name you have,” he says to Tabby (note the connection to ‘pussy’), who actually insists on being called Tabitha in response. “They don’t know what they’re doing,” she says to the bartender about the uptight, prudish couple. “When Parker told me I was out of line, I told him he oughta get laid,” she says. Henry is so embarrassed, but she’s a fucking rock star. She’s a woman who is ‘out of line’ and I love her for it. That Henry keeps fantasizing about destroying Billie and yet he is so admiring of his rapey friend Dexter is one of the creepiest things about Creepshow. It’s like, she dares to tell him to clean up after himself (“Wipe the stove;” “[Don’t] leave a mess for me”) and so we’re supposed to cheer when he imagines strangling her to death with his necktie? Ew, disgusting. No.

Kristine: You make a good point – it’s not like Henry is this heroic figure we care about, right? Henry is a loser. He can’t even kill his wife himself. He needs the creature to do it for him. So him slamming Billie against the crate and calling her “poisoned meat”? Saying that the creature has “the remains of two human beings… and Wilma” in its crate?

Male rage

Sean: Exactly. He’s a boring putz who wants to play chess and admire his lecherous friend who sleeps with his 20-year-old students. Ick.

Kristine: Exactly. And what about how Henry lures her to the crate with that weird rape story?

Sean: Bedelia from “Father’s Day” is the only other powerful woman in the movie, who also pays with her life. I don’t love it.

Kristine: I felt like when Henry says, “I’m expecting to playing chess with you… forever,” there is an implied threat that he is blackmailing Dexter. That the subtext is, ‘You’re stuck with me or I will rat you out / pin the murders on you.’

Sean: Henry’s a creeper. A mouthbreather.

Kristine: Yep.

Sean: So even though the movie offers us these radical figures, like the kid from the frame story, it also asks us to swallow some bullshit, like the idea that we should like Henry and Dexter.

Kristine: Yep. The kid from the frame story is you.

Sean: I mean, what could be more liberating and queer and antisocial and rebellious and punk than the kid with his voodoo doll at the end of the movie? Sissy plays with doll – destroys bully father. Love it.

Kristine: Perfection.

Sissy rage

Sean: The movie really goes out of its way to establish his father as The Patriarch, too, as being symbolic of male authority. Like how he’s complaining that he’s the one who puts the food on the table. When he says “That’s why God made fathers, babe,” and the movie treats that like an uncanny moment, like a moment of horror. That’s subversive. And then the kid sitting in his bedroom, his face red from where his father hit him, cursing him, saying, “I hope you rot in hell.” That’s every abused kid, every powerless person caught under the thumb of a tyrannical male figure. It’s a bit surreal to think of me as a little boy sitting in the theater with my own father – a tyrant himself – watching that moment and responding so viscerally to it, so completely identifying with that kid wishing death on this giant bully that runs the house.

Kristine: Well, what’s so great about that moment, too, is how “The Creep” appears as this fairy godmother figure outside the boy’s window in response to his hatred of his father. There’s a pretty basic but great argument being made there about the power of these disrespected pop forms – namely the comic book and the horror movie – to empower the disenfranchised. The thing outside the window is the avatar of both those forms, reminding us that they’re destabilizing forces, that they can critique patriarchy, they can critique unfair systems of power, they can imbue the underdog with dark power.

Sean: What’s weird about it is that the culture always imagines that kind of power as dark, the power that threatens to topple the fathers. It’s feminine, it’s Other, it’s occult, it’s evil and wicked. But also it’s cathartic.

Kristine: I’d agree that there’s something essentially feminine or queer about the Creep-figure, just in terms of its embodiment – its slightness, its frailness, its wispy hair and long flowing robes. It’s not masculine.

Sean: Which brings us to the spineless mother in that frame story, who I actually love. Like, agonizing over her knitting and letting her husband walk all over her. She’s a real mythic construct of post-war America. I also thought it was kind of awesome that her attitude was ‘Horror comics is nothin’ to get upset about’ and the dad is the conservative, oppressive force being like, ‘That trash!’ Post-Tipper Gore, I feel like there’s this assumption that middle-class mom-types are all anti-art, anti-free speech.  So it was cool to see the mom being the one who didn’t view the horror comic as a potentially corrupting force. She was more worried about the psychopath she’s married to (as she should be). That sequence is classic Stephen King, who has a tendency to side with the underdog (ie. the kid trapped in a house run by a psychopath with a useless mother who can’t protect him) – though his recent tweets about Dylan Farrow are pretty vile and cut against that side of his earlier work.

Bumpkin rage

Kristine: I agree with all that. Which leads us to… King’s acting debut as Jordy Verrill. React.

Sean: I was shocked that the sequence held up, because it is notoriously everyone’s least favorite and considered sort of an embarrassment/abomination. But I actually really dug it this time around.

Kristine: Really? I thought it was ethereal and spooky and kind of beautiful.

Sean: I know, I think it’s aged well. Tell me why you found it beautiful.

Kristine: I know it was presented like a nightmare at first, but by the end…. Didn’t you feel that the world depicted in the final moments of the story was a better reality? I am obsessed with nature reclaiming things – my boyfriend’s sister owns this old church and bees moved into the structure and honey started seeping down the interior walls. I love that. Jordy is a stupid man with a stupid, unhappy life and nature just decided to take it over and envelop him into the new landscape. And that is a beautiful thing.

Sean: Well, our Picnic at Hanging Rock throwdown makes a lot more sense to me now…

Kristine: You’re right.

Sean: I like your perspective – but that invasive grass doesn’t really work as a symbol of nature. It’s from a meteor. It’s an alien invasion.

Kristine: Eh, that’s a technicality.

Sean: I think that’s a pretty big thing to overlook. Not that I don’t still like your idea that the grass taking things over might be “better” anyway.

Kristine: It’s nature. FYI, meteors are also part of the natural world.

Sean: Yeah, but the segment clearly presents the grass as uncanny/unnatural. Those STD blisters on Jordy’s fingers?

Kristine: Uncanny, I agree with. Nature is uncanny and freaky to humans. Swarms of cockroaches are uncanny. Man-eating beasts living in long-forgotten crates are uncanny. We all get reclaimed by nature at the end. These segments just show the process being sped up.

Sean: I love that you’re arguing like a conservationist for (a) Venusian rape grass (b) feral cannibal monkeys and (c) killer cockroaches. You’re all, ‘They’re just part of God’s plan!’

Not cute

Kristine: Yeah, I’ve decided I’m against the human race determining its own fate. I don’t know about “God’s plan” but it’s definitely The Plan and we have no control over it. So make like Jordy and take a bath and a sit on the couch and await your fate.

Sean: You also loved the organism in Alien, remember? You’re against the human species.

Kristine:  I am on the organism’s side, this is true. Who are we to try and control shit? Fuck the humans. I’m with Nature.

Sean: That Kurt Cobain ending to Jordy Verill was pretty dark though. That gurgling voice? He puts a shotgun in his mouth and pulls the trigger?

Kristine: Meh. Still beautiful. Do you really see me as a radical naturalist now?

Sean: Then why weren’t the roaches spilling out of Pratt’s body “beautiful”?

Kristine: The roaches actually were, now that I have gotten past my initial, base human prejudices.

Sean: So you would eat a live roach?

Kristine: No. Fine, the roaches were disgusting beyond description. I was trying to convince you of my new persona. So, I’ve talked with two people who’d seen Creepshow as children and only vividly remembered the roach sequence. It’s notorious, right?

Sean: I mean, in a way, the roaches are most brilliant part of the movie. Probably the most indelible image.

Kristine: I can’t even.

Water sports

Sean: Though Wentworth buried up to his neck in sand is also classic.

Kristine: Yes. Back to “The Crate” for a second. After Henry throws the locked crate into the water to ostensibly drown the creature and the creature breaks out and is swimming to the surface – don’t you think it is coming back to get Henry?

Sean: No.

Kristine: No?

Sean: I think it’s just like, unleashed…

Kristine: Yeah…

Sean: Would you rather be buried like Wentworth or attacked by roaches like Pratt?

Kristine: Oh God. Oh God that is tough.

Sean: Choose.

Kristine: This is really hard, but maybe roaches. Being incapacitated is my biggest fear. Remember my freak-out watching The Descent? When Wentworth was buried alive in the sand, my mind was racing trying to figure out a way to escape. What about you?

Sean: Buried. I’d rather drown like that, just meditate and go inward and give in to death. It could be peaceful if you accepted what was happening.

Kristine: As if you or I could ever do that.

Sean: Um, I do yoga, betch.

Kristine: Whatevs, betch.

Ratings Roundup

The Girl’s Rating: Masterpiece AND Deserves props for being innovative

The Freak’s Rating: Masterpiece AND Pop perfection AND This movie shaped my brain for all time AND Queerer than you’d think


4 thoughts on “Movie Discussion: George A. Romero’s Creepshow (1982)

  1. I can’t agree with you on Adrienne Barbeau’s character being cool. She is married to the guy, if she doesn’t like him, she should leave him, not torture him and behave like Medusa or any evil person you can think of (be it a man or a woman).
    A film can portray a female character in a way that is not entirely flattering to her without being misogynistic, and fortunately, his spouse is not too sympathetic. I wouldn’t call him a mouthbreather (the insults you, Americans, can come up with- I think we can’t keep up with you on that account). I thought it meant a creepy guy, urbandictionary tells me I was wrong. In the end, it is a matter of personal opinion.
    I think for instance that True Detective is misogynistic in his depiction of women, while the men are probably depicted in a worse way, but cut some slack for some reason.

  2. Is calling someone a “mouthbreather” tantamount to call him a “trisomique” (french for a person with Down’s syndrom, and eventually, an insult, or a “retard”?). And you are trying to be so politically correct all the while!

  3. Totally with you on True Detective being sexist and backwards in how it imagines women (they’re all either cyphers, whores or harridans). “Mouthbreather” = Cro-Magnon, ape-like, unevolved, bestial (another slang for this: “knuckledragger”). I can’t help but love Barbeau in The Crate. Totally biased.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s