Masters of Horror Stephen King and George A. Romero return to deliver more comic book style thrills in "Creepshow 2." With original "Creepshow" cinematographer Michael Gornick stepping in as director, the film is not only slimmer on content (three stories instead of five) but on budget and star-power as well. That doesn't mean that horror fans aren't in for a heaping serving of campy carnage candy, though. In tradition with the original, "Creepshow" is hellbent on making its viewers laugh and squirm in their seats simultaneously.
While Gornick is no George A. Romero, he certainly brings a touch of style to the film that serves it well. Animated segments aside, the look and tone of the original is carried over into its sequel, with some surprisingly flashy moments that make one wonder why the director fell off the face of the Earth (you know, aside from the fact that this flick flopped). The script, penned by Romero, has its ups and downs, with some stories being more effective and more competent than others. Variety, however, is the key to the film's success. If one thing can be said about this affair, it is that it never bores and it certainly goes by quickly enough. In fact, some would say the fun ends far too early.
The three stories are a mixed bag of creepy and goofy, with the first concerning a wooden Indian propped outside of a small-town general store. When local punks rob its kindly owners, the statue comes to life seeking revenge. This bit is rather slow moving and sets the movie off on the wrong foot. Although not terrible by any means, it is in sharp contrast to the two that follow. Next up, we follow a foursome of guys and gals going for a swim in a secluded lake. Soon they find themselves being feasted upon by what can only be described as an oil slick surrounded by a Hefty bag. Of the three, this is probably the strongest, with some genuinely creepy moments and terrific special effects. Then, to wrap things up, we find a woman of questionable morals being stalked on the highway by a drifter she accidentally hit. While his insistence on thanking her for the ride makes him seem harmless enough, the woman quickly slips into madness as she tries to rid herself of the passenger to no avail. This is the one segment most likely to induce a few unintentional chuckles for its ridiculously over-the-top premise and execution.
Overall, there's a noticeable drop in quality from the first, but the sense of dread and humor is still intact. "Creepshow 2" is certainly a worthy sequel with a few moments of brilliance that may have panned out better in feature length films. "The Raft," in particular, would have been a great 80's teen monster movie in the vein of the remake of "The Blob" that would roll into theaters a year later. Taken for what it is, though, this sequel is like a bag of Halloween candy -- some hits, some misses, but certainly worth the time regardless.