Marked For Justice: Creepshow 2

As the father of a nine year old, I’m forced to watch and listen to a lot of garbage. Kids of this generation listen to some of the worst music in the history of recorded sound. It’s hard to believe but the television shows are worse. The ratio for movies fares a bit better. For every Batman Vs. Superman, at least there is usually a palate cleanser like a Rogue One or Guardians of the Galaxy available that you can watch and reaffirm your faith in film. Whenever we have to see something like Tomorrowland I quietly wonder to myself, “Dear God. Did I enjoy trash like this when I was her age?” As I pondered what I would skewer when writing this piece I realised that yes, childlike naievete can actually make a steaming pile of dog shit seem like a good movie. 

It was the month of May in 1987 when I first saw Creepshow Two. I was nine, and after a dinner of Chinese food my father took me to Ridge Cinema (RIP) to see the second instalment in the Creepshow series. Four and a half years had passed since the release of the original (and far superior in casting and directorial choice) Creepshow, which I missed in the theatre but watched at a friend’s house on HBO. I remember my nervous excitement as we sat through the previews. In some ways I wish I could go back to that innocence that would allow me to feel afraid after watching a horror movie.

Watching a movie like this now, as an adult in my 40s, it’s comical the things that stand out to me. When “The Raft” started all I could think about was how smoking hot nine year old me thought Laverne was. In hindsight it makes sense, my standard for attractiveness was set by the videos I saw on Headbanger’s Ball. Given to the fact that Laverne could have had a starring role in a Ratt or Cinderella video, it was a pretty obvious jump. When the kids are swimming to the raft, my adult self was disturbed by the amount of lake water they were actually ingesting while swimming. Close your fucking mouths guys. They already saw the ducks in the water, and now they are swallowing big mouthfuls of water that’s full of duck shit and god knows what else.

After spending a night trapped on the raft because of a sentient oil slick that eats intruders, Randy basically molests his best friend’s girlfriend only moments before she is eaten by said oil slick. Never mind that less than twenty four hours previous the aforementioned friend suffers the same fate in front of both Randy and Laverne. I guess grief can make people do odd things. I mean I’ve never been sad enough to try to put my mouth on the boobs of my dead best friend’s sleeping girlfriend, but that’s just me. I think the real absurdity of it comes when you realize that this guy just watched two people die, then he spent all night freezing his stones off on a raft, and in the morning the only thing this guy can think about is getting his dick wet? What the actual fuck. Maybe it’s not such a stretch considering that Stephen King was one of the writers. This seems like a move he’d really be into.

In “Old Chief Wood’nhead” one of the most disturbing things about the events in this tale was watching Hal Holbrook’s son drink straight from a two litre of Diet Pepsi. I couldn’t stop thinking about the burning sensation that would come from drinking a hot two litre of 1980’s Diet Pepsi. Not long after that Holbrook the Younger is seen throwing up after witnessing the murder of a shopkeeper and his wife. But I wonder, was he sick because of seeing two innocent people being blown in half by a shotgun, or because he just chugged room temperature white trash sugar water?

Another thing that was lost on a single digit Jay were the puns. Oh, the puns. Puns, when used correctly, can be quite effective. In order to be effective though, they require an amount of subtlety. The ones penned for this script however are the equivalent of some asshole hitting you with a fifty pound sledge right in your dome, and then saying “Did ya feel it?!?”  Sam Whitemoon, the main hard ass in “Old Chief…” meets his end being scalped by a six foot tall cigar store Indian that was brought to life to seek revenge. When the story closes, the narrator says, “The debt was just too much for Sam to pay.” To pay. Toupee. Fucking hilarious right?  Come on. Then, as we are transitioning from “The Raft,” our clever narrator quips “Well, that was slick.” Get it? He got eaten by some kind of predatory oil slick, and…never mind. I guess puns have a time and a place. Unfortunately, that time and place is not here.

I loved Creepshow Two as a child. I found it to be both hilarious and frightening. To this day if I am swimming in a lake I always keep an eye out for a mysterious oil slick heading my way. Reflecting on it thirty years later, I found myself wondering what other movies that I loved would age less like a fine wine and more like milk. Looks like I need to start making a list…..

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