Director: George A. Romero
Writer: Stephen King
Starring: Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen and Adrienne Barbeau
This film is actually an anthology of stories that pay homage to the EC Comics of the 1950s. The film begins with a young boy, played by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill. His father is upset with him for reading horror comics as he thinks they are garbage, his father is played by Tom Atkins. Hill gets smart with him and Atkins slaps him across the face. His mother is played by Iva Jean Saraceni and she tries to calm the situation down. Atkins takes the comic out to the garbage. A storm is coming and Hill looks out his window to the Creep. It then cuts to cartoon and then into a comic as we move to the first story.
The first story is titled Father’s Day. We have Carrie Nye. She is with her niece, played by Elizabeth Regan, Regan’s husband, Ed Harris, and nephew played by Warner Shook. They are all rich and waiting for Regan’s sister, played by Viveca Lindfors. While they wait, we learn that Lindfors killed her father; he is played by Jon Lormer. Lormer had Lindfors’ fiancé killed 7 years ago, at least that’s what she thinks happened. It was on father’s day and we learn that Lormer was a horrible man.
Lindfors shows up and sits at her father’s grave. She drops her bottle of whiskey and this raises Lormer from the grave. He begins his revenge on her and he moves to the rest of the group. He wanted his cake the day he died, will he get it now? Will any of them survive?
The next story is The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill. The title character is played by King himself. A meteor crashes in his yard and he has dreams of selling it and paying off his debts. He burns his finger and uses water to cool it off. It splits when he does this. He thinks he has shattered his dreams. When it splits, there is this blue liquid inside. He pours it on to the ground. The problem is everything that is touches starts to grow green plants and nothing seems to stop it. Even King is growing. Can he stop it before it is too late?
The third story is Something To Tide You Over. This one begins with Ted Danson being awakened by Leslie Nielson. We learn that Danson is seeing Nielson’s wife and they were going to tell them. Nielson forces Danson to follow him out to the beach and then at gunpoint to bury himself in the sand. Nielson produces a television and a VCR showing that his wife, played by Gaylen Ross, is also buried. The problem is that the high tide is coming. Can they hold their breath and survive? Will Nielson get away with this or will they get their revenge? Can Nielson hold his breath?
The story after this is The Crate. This features a professor played by Hal Holbrook. His loud mouthed wife is Adrienne Barbeau. Holbrook’s best friend is played by Fritz Weaver. They are all at a party for faculty. We see that Holbrook is bullied by his wife and Weaver is interested in younger women. The two men are supposed to play chess later that night, but Weaver is called to one of the Halls on campus by a janitor, played by Don Keefer. He has found an old create from the 1800s underneath the stairs. They open it up to find some kind of creature inside. It kills Keefer and then a student that Weaver runs into for help. Holbrook dreams of killing Barbeau and he may have just found how to get rid of her. Will he go through with it? What will come of this crate and what it holds inside?
The final story is They’re Creeping Up On You. This one follows a rich man played by E.G. Marshall. He is in his apartment that is supposed to be clean. He wears white gloves and has a thing about germs. He has a cockroach infestation though. He tries to get the super on the phone, but he is on vacation. We also learn that a business he is buying, the man in charge has killed himself. The man’s wife calls and wishes he was dead, which we learn everyone seems to want this. The cockroaches might give her just what she wishes for. Can he kill them or will they be too much for him?
The film is then wrapped around with Hill getting his revenge on his father with a voodoo doll. Will he punish him or forgive his father for what he did?
I have to say that I’ve seen this film a few times and it is still enjoyable. The stories are not too long, but they all have a great twist or just play out like Tales from the Crypt episodes. I think the acting across the board is good. This film is two hours long, but it really doesn’t feel like it, because the stories move along so well. If you like anthology horror films, this one is definitely near the top in my book.
I would have to say that the only downside to this film is that there is some comedy and that keeps it from going scarier. The cartoon aspects I’m not a huge fan of, but being that it is a comic based film, they needed something to progress through to each story. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the ending story, but not enough to really hurt this film.
With that said, I would highly recommend giving this a viewing. If you can come in and not know how the stories play out, that makes this film that much better. Some have a twist while others are just creepy. The acting is good and the writing is as well. George Romero did a fine job in directing this one. It definitely has rewatchability to pick up on things you may have missed, like the ashtray that is used in the first story is recurring in the rest of the film. This one should definitely be seen at least once.
My Rating: 8 out of 10