Review Date: July 10, 2001
Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date: 3/26/2001
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.85:1 | 16x9: Yes
The first tale, Old Chief Wood'nhead
, tells the story of Ray Spruce (George Kennedy
) and his wife Martha (Dorothy Lamour
), who run a small general store in the desert town of Dead River. Though once a thriving community, the town has now fallen on hard times, and Ray is doing scant business. Only the couple's savings from more prosperous days are keeping them afloat, and Martha wants Ray to close down and retire. Ray, who spends most of his time waiting for customers to show up and taking care of a carved Indian on his porch named Chief Wood'nhead, resists, saying that things will perk up for the town soon.
One day the couple is visited by Ben Whitemoon (Frank Salsedo
), the leader of a group of Indians living at a local reservation. The group has amassed a considerable debt to Ray and his wife through credit purchases, and Ben has come to make amends. He gives the couple a pouch containing the most valuable possession owned by each family at the reservation, and tells them to hold onto the stuff while they try to repay their debt. If they haven't done so within two years, Ray and and Martha will keep the objects for good. Ray pledges to guard the items with his life, and unfortunately, that's just what he does. That night the store is visited by Sam (Holt McCallany
), Ben's nephew, and his dim-witted friends Fatso (David Holbrook
) and Richboy (Don Harvey
). The three, determined to escape the town and go to Los Angeles, rob the store at gunpoint, taking cash, food, and the pouch. They kill both Ray and Martha and head home to pack up their things for the trip. However, as they leave the store, something bizarre begins to happen with Chief Wood'nhead - the old Indian springs to life, and wielding his tribal weapons, prepares to avenge the murders!
The second story is The Raft
, which tells the tale of a bone-headed jock named Deke (Paul Satterfield
), his wimpy friend Randy (Daniel Beer
), and their girlfriends, Laverne (Jeremy Green
) and Rachel (Page Hannah
). The four pot-smoking teens are on their way to go swimming at a lake that has been closed for the season, but which still has a raft floating in it. The four arrive at the lake, but as they are swimming out to the raft, Randy spots something weird in the water coming towards them, which seems to devour several lake birds. They manage to make it to the raft, but the mysterious object, which looks like a huge oil slick, floats right up to them. Rachel bends down to examine it, and she is grabbed by the thing and dragged into the water, where it devours her. Whatever the thing is, it's alive, and it's hungry for more. Trapped on the raft, the three friends must find a way to make it back to shore before they become food themselves.
The third and final story is The Hitchhiker
. Annie Lansing (Lois Chiles
) is a rich housewife having an affair with an expensive male gigolo. One night the two fall asleep in bed, and a power outage prevents the guy's alarm clock from going off. Annie wakes up and realizes that she has just a few minutes to get home before her husband gets back and notices that she's missing. As she hurriedly drives down the highway, she's momentarily distracted and slams into a hitchhiker (Tom Wright
) on the side of the road, killing him instantly. Instead of calling for help, she is so distraught that she just drives away, leaving the body to be found by other commuters. However, Annie isn't going to get away with what she's done - as she drives away, she is continually harassed by a bloodied apparition of the hitchhiker, who keeps trying to force himself into her car and say "Thanks for the ride, lady!" Annie tries shooting him, running him over, bashing him into a tree with her car, but nothing works. Will she ever be able to get rid of this guy?
Overall, I'd say that I was pretty disappointed by Creepshow 2
, especially when held up against the first film. Like most sequels, it just can't capture the feel of the original material, which can make it quite frustrating at times, and it's definitely one of the weaker horror anthologies out there. The stories are all of variable quality. For instance, Old Chief Wood'nhead
sports nice performances from George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour (both of whom look rather embarrassed), but the story itself is lame and completely predictable. From the moment the wooden Indian is introduced, you know exactly what is going to happen. There aren't any surprises, and it isn't scary at all. The Hitchhiker
suffers from the exact same problem - it's got some good FX work, and Lois Chiles does a very nice job in the character of Annie, but the story is marred by the fact that it too is totally predictable. You'll spot every plot twist five minutes before it happens. On the other hand, The Raft
has the worst acting of any of the three stories, but it still the best of the bunch. It's scary, suspenseful, creepy, funny, and much less predictable when compared to the other tales, with a blackly amusing ending. It's also got great gory effects as the kids are eaten one-by-one by the creature, and it's not surprising that most people who think fondly of Creepshow 2
do so because of this one story. If you haven't seen the movie yet, it certainly makes a decent rental, but The Raft
is the only story that I can truly say I enjoyed, and overall the movie just can't stand up when compared to the original Creepshow
is presented letterboxed at 1.85:1 and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Overall this is another great transfer from Anchor Bay. The colors look great, and the image is nice and sharp, although there are still some shots here and there that look a bit soft. Dark scenes are very nicely rendered, even the day-for-night shots that make up part of The Raft
, which is a process that can be problematic on home video. There is very little grain, except for the The Hitchhiker
, where it's noticeable in a few scenes. There aren't any noticeable compression problems.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby 2.0 Mono, and it sounds about as good as a Mono soundtrack is ever going to. The soundtrack has decent range, there is no background hiss or distortion audible, and I never had any problem understanding the dialogue. There are English captions available.
The only extras included are a theatrical trailer (which, be warned, is full of spoilers), a 3-minute still gallery presentation, and liner notes by Anchor Bay's own Michael Felsher.
looks and sounds great on DVD. It's not the greatest movie, but The Raft is a good little horror story and the other two tales have some nice bits in them. Despite the lack of supplements, anybody who likes the movie shouldn't hesitate to pick this release up.
Movie – C+
Image Quality – A-
Sound – B+
Supplements – C+
- Running Time - 1 hour 29 minutes
- Rated R
- 1 Disc
- 23 Chapter Stops
- English 2.0 Mono
- English captions
- Still gallery
- Liner notes