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Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow (2007)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
This 90-minute documentary takes a look at the making of George A. Romero's CREEPSHOW, the 1982 anthology film. Romero, Tom Savini, Richard P. Rubinstein, Tom Atkins, Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Harris and various other crew members are all interviewed about the ups and downs of making the picture. Romero starts off talking how Warner first saw MARTIN and asked him to meet Stephen King because they were interested in him doing SALEM'S LOT. Romero talks about how everything led to this movie and then we hear about the casting of the picture and then we get a story-to-story breakdown of the shooting of each film. There are some great stories told about the making of the picture and we also get some very good behind-the-scenes material as well as some outtakes. Most of this comes from 'Something to Tide You Over' and the King acted episode. Fans of the film are certainly going to enjoy all of these stories as you really get a great idea of what it was like filming it. We get stories from each film and there's also an entire sequence where Savini talks about his work on the picture. There's also some terrific stories about all the cockroaches that they brought in and how it all turned to a real nightmare. The documentary covers the making of the film as well as the release of it. The only negative thing is that they don't talk about the extra episode that was cut from the picture. Still, fans will certainly enjoy this thing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love every second of the great classic that is Creepshow, from the opening image of the pumpkin right down to the final candle blowing out in the wind... If like me, you consider the movie to be the Fillet Mignon of horror anthologies, then by all means you should be in hog heaven when you watch this! No stone is left unturned... All segments of this movie-length doc have hilarious intros in which quotes from the movie are used ironically. Major trivia alert!!! In Father's Day, the guy who wore the excellent suit of the Grantham zombie-a gruesome masterpiece of makeup effects to this day-refused to have mealworms(not maggots!) put on him, and so a female member of the crew happily volunteered! And it was kinda disturbing to learn that the owner of the mansion later buried his dog in the hole that Mr.Grantham crawled out of. Ew... ::: I never had a clue that in certain shots the house in Tide was a matte painting. It sure fooled me... I also found it very interesting and cute to learn that, because the story called for a cold deserted beach where you could "scream all you want" and never be heard, all members of the crew had to walk in single file so as not to leave footprints all over the sand. What I love about Tide is the mystery. I don't need to know exactly why Richard and Becky emerged from the sea onto that cold dead beach. In classic Grand Guignol fashion the situation speaks for itself, a terrible and cruel deed is done, and 'something' in some dark place allowed them to avenge themselves. "The sea always gives up its dead..." ::: Some of the most fun I had with this was listening to Tom Savini talk about how he created all his monsters. It turns out, that the enchantingly eerie skeleton seen in the opening was actually a real skeleton underneath that they had shipped in from India. There's a fascinating little sketch that shows how the puppet was operated using many puppeteers. Also, the crate monster was actually a person in an elaborate suit, with the lips and jaws being remote-controlled. Savini says that the teeth really were very sharp and could seriously injure a person if they clamped down. Even in its most basic stages as a mere face mold you can clearly see the striking ferocity of his most awesome creation. Savini also states that his happiest time was with the unlimited creating that he was free to do on the set of Creepshow, and it shows, it really does. He reused parts of the monster in an episode of the rancid TV series "Tales From the Darkside" called "Trick or Treat". It was heavily remodelled, but I never forget a face! Adrienne Barbeau speaks of how she had to dig deep to play the fabulously wicked drunk Billy, and that the "unmitigated bitch" as she calls her, is high on her list of favourite roles-mine too! My favourite part of The Crate is the sequence in which the two guys are preparing to open the Pandora's Box of lurking death. The way there's such atmospheric close-ups of them hammering down the huge old nails, and then slowly bending them back out, and then eagerly lifting up the lid and then the little puff of ancient dust escapes... God I love that, such magnificent moments of pure awe and dread are what I live for with my favourite kind of horror. Savour the moment.... ::: It was especially awesome to see the secrets behind the infamous roach eruption scene-one of the finest moments in horror cinema as far as I'm concerned. Their first attempt to force the bugs to tear their way out of the Upston Pratt dummy didn't work and they simply jammed and wadded in the mouth. It was then the director himself who suggested they merely leave the chest uncovered and use toilet paper to conceal the cavity, and then it went off perfectly. I felt a bit sad for all the poor little roaches, learning that that they were obliged to exterminate them all afterwards-all the ones that they could manage to wrangle anyway! ::: I loved the part that dealt with all the film's amazing music, which I believe is what really keeps the film alive and gives it its very special magic. I can't really pick any particular track that I like best as it's all so good! Hmm...probably the Crate score cause it's so dark and brooding, followed closely by the mournful tones heard in Tide. I also loved when they discussed the stylistic comic-panelling and electro-shock back-lighting effects that they felt were very important to keep because they were intended to capture the spirit of the old E.C. comic books-and for me, all truly great tales of terror... For me they positively crystallised that spirit. This was thorough, witty and immensely fun. Everything a fan could possibly ever want in a documentary on Creepshow. See ya!
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