The three men had come together to discuss the possibility of making a movie version of The Stand. Stephen King, George Romero and producer Rik Rubinstein spent several weeks during the summer of 1981 talking about the pros and cons of adapting what was, up until that time, King’s most ambitious novel. George Romero had long been eager to work with King and had narrowly missed out on directing Salem’s Lot before the studio decided to pull the plug on plans for a big screen movie and go with a television mini series instead.
The three men realised that making a movie of The Stand would prove
far too expensive and after looking at several other projects, it was
decided to make an all original horror story based on the comic books
that had influenced the young Stephen King – the project would end up
being called Creepshow.
was like a big kid,’ Rik Rubinstein commented during a documentary shot
to accompany the special edition DVD of the movie. The author threw
himself into the production and not only starred in one of the segments,
as the moronic Jordy Verrill but also roped in his son Joe King (these
days known as writer, Joe Hill) to play the young boy reading the
Creepshow comic in the movie’s prologue.
The movie was made up of five stories plus the prologue and epilogue –
two of the stories, The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill and The Crate
were based on King stories, while the remaining three stories were
written for the movie. All of the tales had something of the flavor of
the old horror comics about them which was intentional although some
critics seemed to misunderstand this point and found
many of the performances over the top. King’s performance ( mouth agape
and bulging eyes) in the Jordy Verrill story is perfect, even if the
author does these days seem embarrassed by his acting. Sure it’s comic
book and OTT but then the film’s meant to be that way – a celluloid
version of a comic book and on that level it succeeds fully.
Creepshow is both a horror movie and an affectionate almost loving
tribute to the tacky horror comics of the 50′s and 60′s. It’s not meant
to be taken seriously but to be fun and it sure enough is.
The currently available two disc special edition DVD is superb. A
rich clean transfer backed up by a wealth of special features, including
a fascinating making of documentary as well as a commentary by George