Stephen King’s Hubris

Horror icons George Romero and Stephen King memorably teamed up for Creepshow, a horror movie anthology patterned after the gruesome tales put out by EC Comics in the 1950s. A love letter to their boyhood interests with a vibe all their own, the 1982 chiller became a certified cult classic despite a few minor kinks.

Featuring striking effects by Tom Savini and a strong line-up of veteran Hollywood players, the guilty pleasure is a fun movie if a little light on actual frights. Everyone from Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, Hal Holbrook, Ted Danson, and E.G. Marshall have a role. There’s even an appearance by a young Ed Harris with hair!

Creepshow’s 4K UHD becomes a must for any self-respecting videophile

Creepshow’s five creepy tales of terror are held together by a framing story featuring a boy punished for reading a horror comic. “Father’s Day” sees a family patriarch reaching out from beyond the grave exacting revenge on the relative who murdered him. A rural Maine farmer played by Stephen King is infected with an alien growth in “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill.”

The third tale has a husband memorably handling a cheating wife and her lover in “Something to Tide You Over.” A monster in a shipping container is used for illicit purposes at a university in “The Crate.” “They’re Creeping Up on You” is about a wealthy, intensely germophobic New Yorker discovering his money can’t protect him from cockroaches.

My sole quibble with Creepshow is Stephen King badly trying his hand at acting, playing a rural bumpkin infected by a meteor. Great horror novelist, lousy actor. It became something of a tradition to stick King in his books’ film adaptations but usually nothing more than a cameo. He sticks out so badly from the rest of the legitimate Hollywood cast, who turn in almost uniformly glowing performances. Known for their comedy chops, it’s a hoot seeing Ted Danson and Leslie Nielsen in darker material.

There’s a good sense of variety between each tale, usually patterned after the storytelling found in Tales From the Crypt. Creepshow relies on irony and twisted karma for most of its devious punch lines. Some are scarier in tone, while others are more cautionary tales laced with black comedy.

Two horror legends come together for Creepshow and the results are enjoyably grotesque. Good writing, a fine cast, and clever direction make for a cult gem which has stood the test of time.

Video

Scream Factory gives Creepshow maybe the best-looking 4K presentation ever seen of a horror film from the 1980s. The horror film benefits from UHD’s expanded color space and potential detail a great deal in terms of sheer visual appeal and overall video quality. Romero’s filmmaking leaps off the screen in utter clarity and razor-sharp definition, far surpassing prior efforts.

Offering a 2023 new transfer from the original camera negative and blessed with a magnificent Dolby Vision FEL pass, the authentic 1.85:1 presentation absolutely soars in 2160p resolution. The warm, fresh color correction is some of the best work I’ve seen released on UHD, properly saturating the deeper primary colors while subtly improving contrast and shadow delineation. All while maintaining a more realistic palette.

The film scan has gone unfiltered with virtually no detectable, extraneous processing. The elements are in beautiful condition, untouched by the ravages of age and decay. Creepshow probably never looked this good in theaters, much less home video. Grain reproduction is fully transparent and naturalistic. The HEVC encode is maxed out on a triple-layer UHD in flawless transparency.

Rarely does a new transfer reap this many stunning video improvements. Creepshow’s 4K UHD becomes a must for any self-respecting videophile.

Audio

A brand-new Dolby Atmos mix has been created for Creepshow with active height channels engaging the sound field when suitable. Scream Factory also includes the 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 DTS-HD MA stereo options they used for their 2018 Blu-ray edition.

The audio is dynamite – a stupendous recording full of clean dialogue, powerful staging, and a palpable electronic score. Visual effects are enhanced with a nicely immersive sound design boosting the realistic atmosphere.

Many older horror films sound fairly weak when pushed into expansive surround mixes but Creepshow is a big exception. There’s nothing dated or retro about the enveloping bass, tight channel separation and often interesting musical placement. Dynamics are mastered in a sweeping range without losing dialogue intelligibility.

Purists may prefer the original theatrical stereo mix but those looking for heightened ambience and immersion should go with Dolby Atmos if they can.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font.

Extras

Scream Factory issues the original Creepshow in a 2-disc UHD/BD combo with a plethora of bonus features spread across both discs. The extras are a mix of earlier featurettes from the 2018 special edition Blu-ray and new ones.

This UHD release is by far the best-looking and most complete edition of Creepshow ever issued on home video. The last time you’ll ever need to purchase the movie. A handful of special features are exclusively available on other editions.

Extras on 4K UHD:

Audio Commentary With Director George A. Romero And Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini – Michael Felsher moderates this lucid older commentary

Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick

Audio Commentary With Composer/First Assistant Director John Harrison And Construction Coordinator Ed Fountain

Audio Interviews With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick, Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, And Make-up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci

Mondo Macabre (09:42 in HD) – A Look At Mondo’s Various Creepshow Posters With Mondo Co-Founder Rob Jones And Mondo Gallery Events Planner Josh Curry

Collecting Creepshow (12:31 in HD) – A Look At Some Of The Original Props And Collectibles From The Film With Collector Dave Burian

The Colors Of Creepshow (10:10 in HD) – A Look At The Restoration of Creepshow With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick

Into The Mix (13:05 in HD) – An Interview With Sound Re-recordist Chris Jenkins
Still Galleries for Poster And Lobby Cards, Movie Posters, Color Stills, Special Effects Makeup, Behind The Scenes

Extras on Blu-ray:

Audio Commentary With Director George A. Romero And Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini

Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick

Audio Commentary With Composer/First Assistant Director John Harrison And Construction Coordinator Ed Fountain

Terror And The Three Rivers (30:10 in HD) – A Round Table Discussion from 2018 On The Making Of Creepshow With John Amplas, Tom Atkins, Tom Savini, And Marty Schiff

The Comic Book Look (12:51 in HD) – An Interview With Costume Designer Barbara Anderson

Ripped From The Pages (15:37 in HD) – An Interview With Animator Rick Catizone

Horror’s Hallowed Grounds (14:56 in HD) – A Look At The Original Film Locations Hosted By Sean Clark

Deleted Scenes (15:31 in SD)

Theatrical Trailers (01:49 in HD)

TV Spot (00:28 in SD)

Radio Spots (01:04)

Tom Savini’s Behind-The-Scenes Footage (25:52 in SD)

Full disclosure: This UHD was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Creepshow
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

A horror anthology classic from George Romero and Stephen King at the height of their creative powers

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4.33 (3 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 58 full resolution, uncompressed 4K screen shots ripped directly from the UHD:


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