Adamantium Bullet

31 Days Of Horror: CREEPSHOW 2

For the next 31 days, we here at Adamantium Bullet will be reviewing one horror film a day leading up to Halloween. Each film will be horrific, terrifying, chilling, pulse-pounding, or flat-out awful. All will be endured in honor of the season. Expect SPOILERS. Welcome to Adamantium Bullet’s “All 80s” edition of 31 DAYS OF HORROR.

In this episode, J Bryant and AngieBee discuss the forgettably fun 1987 horror anthology CREEPSHOW 2 starring George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour, Lois Chiles, and Holt McCallany.

Horror titans George A. Romero and Stephen King deliver yet another fiendish selection of blood-curdling tales in CREEPSHOW 2! In ‘Old Chief Wood'nhead’, a group of young hoodlums face retribution from an unlikely source after looting and murdering the owners of a local hardware store. Meanwhile, ‘The Raft’ sees a group of horny teens wishing they’d read the warning signs first before taking a dip in a remote lake. Finally, an uptight businesswoman finds herself with some unwanted company following a hit-and-run incident in ‘The Hitch-Hiker’.

Fifteen on-screen deaths total. Five during the “Old Chief Wood’nhead’ segment, four during ‘The Raft’, two during ‘The Hitch-Hiker’, and four during the animated epilogue.

CREEPSHOW 2 features three stories and an animated wraparound, so that means individual MOST MEMORABLE KILLS for each segment! Let's start with Sam Whitemoon (Holt McCallany) getting scalped by Old Chief Wood’nhead in ‘Old Chief Wood’nhead’, then move on to Randy (Daniel Beer) getting chomped by the oil slick in ‘The Raft’, then to The Hitch-Hiker (Tom Wright) getting ran over, splattered, pinned against a tree with a car, and shot by Annie (Lois Chiles) in ‘The Hitch-Hiker’, and finally wrap this up with the animated bullies being eaten by giant mail-order Venus Fly Traps.

Three stories means three times the potential for NAKEDNESS. So let’s start with Sam and Old Chief Wood’nhead shirtless during ‘Old Chief Wood’nhead’, then move on to Deke (Paul Satterfield) and Randy shirtless, Rachel (Page Hannah) in a bikini, and Laverne (Jeremy Green) topless during ‘The Raft’, and wrap up with Annie and her brief bit of full nudity during ‘The Hitch-Hiker’. Thankfully, there was no NAKEDNESS during the animated wraparound. Nobody wants to see what ‘The Creep’ has going on underneath his uniform.

While it is very tempting to do “three means three” or “four means four” thing again for this category, it would be a bit of cheat. CREEPSHOW 2 is just okay. Nowhere near as memorable as the first CREEPSHOW and nowhere near as awful as the third. It falls right in-between the two as far as quality goes. Some chills, some thrills, some spills, some …frills? I’m not sure where I was going with that. Anyways, CREEPSHOW 2 is nothing more than a decent little horror pic timewaster. That means there aren’t many SIGNATURE MOMENTS in it. The first CREEPSHOW was loaded with them, but not so much this one. There are some bits you might remember, but nothing that really stands out. You’ll enjoy the grisly sights the film has to offer, but none of them are going to stick with you. Nothing in this film transcends the genre, except for MAYBE one bit: The Hitch-Hiker. Not the segment as a whole, but the character. He’s given no backstory, no discernible traits before he’s splattered all over the highway, not even any real dialogue. He’s just a hitch-hiker who is accidentally killed by a woman on her way home from banging her sidepiece.

That said, even with his lack of definition and character, The Hitch-Hiker stands out. Mostly because of his creepy catchphrase “Thanks for the ride, lady!” and his determination in making sure Annie understands that’s he REALLY thankful for that ride she’s taken him on. That’s kind of a SIGNATURE MOMENT. Not the best we’ve ever come up with, but it’ll do. Thought about giving this category to the oil slick from ‘The Raft’, but the FX used to bring it to life was pretty wonky. It looked creepy in some shots and like straight-up garbage thrown in the water in others.

Going back to “four means four” for this category we begin with Sam thinking he would become a big movie star despite having murdered two people in ‘Old Chief Wood’nhead’, Randy stopping at the edge of the lake to gloat instead of running to the f*cking car in ‘The Raft’, Annie fleeing the scene of crime just because she didn’t want her husband to find out about the affair she was having in ‘The Hitch-Hiker’, and the bullies not noticing that they’ve been lead down a dead end street to a patch of giant Venus Fly Traps in the wraparound.

Actor Holt McCallany, who plays Sam in the ‘Old Chief Wood’nhead’ segment, was born in New York City, New York. His parents, an Irish actor and a former Miss Nebraska who would ultimately go on to be known as the queen of cabaret, sent young Holt and his brother to Ireland so that they could have a proper Irish education. The children ultimately came back to the United States following their parent’s divorce and were educated for a bit in New Jersey. Following that, Holt went to live with relatives in Nebraska, attended school there, ran away to become an actor, ended up unloading trucks in a screwdriver factory, got caught by his parents who sent him to boarding school in Ireland. He then graduated, moved to France for college, studied French and Theater, spent a summer studying Shakespeare, before finally moving back to New York City to begin his acting career proper which has been going on for over thirty years now. You’ve no doubt seen Holt in such films as JUSTICE LEAGUE, JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK, ALIEN 3, THREE KINGS, BLACKHAT, and GANGSTER SQUAD, as well as shows such as CSI: MIAMI, BLUE BLOODS, HEROES, and MINDHUNTER. Make no bones about it, Holt McCallany is an interesting guy and a solid actor.

I’ve only mentioned all of the above for one reason: Holt McCallany is not Native American. At least, not fully Native American. He might be a little on one of the sides of his family, but according to everything I found out about the guy on the internet, he’s a white Irish-American, or American-Irish, whichever you prefer. Either way, he’s not Native American, yet he’s totally playing a Native American in CREEPSHOW. McCallany’s character is a slightly dark skinned character named ‘Sam Whitemoon’ who lives on reservation who knows of his tribe’s history and treasures. The second part of that description isn’t where the “WTF?!?” comes in, it’s that first part. That part about his character having darker skin. McCallany either hit up the tanning salon before filming or the filmmakers put him in brownface and neither of those options were okay. No offense to McCallany – who, to be fair, was an appropriately villainous villain – but he really shouldn’t have been given this role. This was filmed in 1986/1987. There were Native American actors available. This role should’ve been given to one of them. Alas, it wasn’t, and the aftermath of that decision is the winner of “WTF?!?” MOMENT category.

For those interested, the runners-up were Randy raping Laverne following the deaths of their two best friends in ‘The Raft’ and Annie driving into the woods rather than staying on the highway in ‘The Hitch-Hiker’.

> Although the film consists of only three short horror stories, and the wrap-around animation story, there were, just like in CREEPSHOW, originally five stories written. One of these, 'The Cat From Hell', was later used in the the similar anthology film, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE, and directed by John Harrison. The other story originally intended to be in this movie was the Stephen King short story, 'Pinfall', about ghostly rival bowling teams.

> Barbara Eden was originally cast as the hit-and-run driver Annie Lansing during the last segment, 'The Hitch-Hiker'; but had to drop out prior to filming, due to her mother falling ill.

> Bob Balaban was attached to direct at one point.

> Make-up Artist Ed French left the film amidst the filming of 'The Raft', after being snubbed by Director Michael Gornick, who turned to Howard Berger for advice on how to fix the blob monster in the lake. Berger and Greg Nicotero finished the remaining effects in the film without French.

> Make-up Artist Ed French was originally supposed to play the role of The Creep, but when he left the project, Tom Savini stepped in to play the small prosthetic laden role.

> The USELESS KNOWLEDGE portion of this review was sourced from IMDB.

Posted by J. Bryant

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