For Creepshow 2, the quickie 1987 sequel to the Stephen King-scripted/George Romero-directed 1982 original, Romero shifted jobs to become the screenwriter, earning King (who also has a goony cameo as a trucker) a "based on stories by" credit. Cinematographer Michael Gornick stepped up to make an uninspiring directorial debut, turning out a conventional TV-look picture unlike the sometimes striking Creepshow. A frame story mixes live action and cartoon as a small boy leafs through the latest issue of his favourite horror comic while plotting revenge against neighbourhood... bullies. A pun-dropping host called the Creep (played by Tom Savini when not a cartoon) introduces three anecdotes. In "Old Chief Wooden Head", George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour are kindly Western shopkeepers killed by tearaways and avenged by the wooden Indian which stands outside the place. In "The Raft", four obnoxious teens are terrorised on a lake by a hungry slime-monster. And in "The Hitch-Hiker", hit-and-run driver Lois Chiles is haunted by her squashed victim, who keeps reappearing in a progressively battered forms. Though King and Romero deliver a good mix of cynical and melodramatic dialogue, the stories are disappointingly thin and predictable, with especially weak punch-lines. Of the performers, only Chiles really works up the hysterical attack needed to play a comic book character. On the DVD: just a trailer. The picture is a fullscreen print that cuts off crucial details in the comic book panels. --Kim Newman [show more]
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Horror anthology based on the short stories of Stephen King. In 'Old Chief Wood'nhead' a wooden Indian from a cigar store comes to life in the town of Dead River and avenges the death of the store's owner who was killed in a recent robbery. In 'The Hitchhiker' a rich, cheating businesswoman is terrorised by a hitch-hiker she ran over. In 'The Raft' a group of teenagers find themselves under attack from a mysterious creature after going swimming in a lake.