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STUDIO: HBO Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes
• Behind The Scenes: Creepshow III
No King? No Romero? No chance.
AJ Bowen, Kris Allen, Stephanie Pettee, Emmett McGuire, Ryan Carty.
The corpse of a franchise that hasn’t seen the light of day in 20 years is exhumed and found to still be oozing plenty of bodily fluids as five interconnected tales of the decidedly disgusting kind slime their way across the screen. The only problem is that several of the stories stink worse than the aforementioned pustuled cadaver…
Luckily, it didn’t take Rosie O’Donnell long to find another gig after The View…
We’ve all seen plenty of direct-to-DVD sequels of movies and/or franchises long since done away with. Usually they have little or nothing to do with the originals and rarely feature any of the returning stars. And mostly they turn out like you’d expect them to, which is why they’re direct-to-DVD in the first place. Now since one-off tales like Road House that have received this treatment don’t usually lend themselves to lengthy hiatuses before revisiting, it’s no wonder that most of the sequels are forgettable tripe. But Creepshow, which in itself is only a bunch of short horror tales wrapped in a comic book package, one would think that this franchise could be dusted off at anytime and resumed. That’s assuming of course that one of two things occurred: 1. That anyone even remotely associated with the franchise oversaw the return or 2. If not, some new horrific auteur took over the thing and brought his own spin to the property; especially considering that he’d have to bring his A-game since he was following two undeniable masters of the genre in Stephen King and George Romero. So do either of these things happen with Creepshow III? Um…not really.
The scary thing about this story is that Jerry eventually dumped the radio and started fucking his Tivo instead.
Creepshow III centers around five interconnected stories that all happen within the confines of a joint called, aptly enough, Creepyville. The first story is a throwaway yarn called “Alice,” that deals with a teeny bopper (Pettee) who is the recipient of some funky goings-on by a strange universal remote. Pretty much, her father presses the wrong button and she’s stuck with a black family, then a Latino family, then she gets boils on her body, then all over her body, then she’s turned into a furry woodland creature… Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction too. Then we come upon probably the best story, “The Radio”, which finds a security guard named Jerry (Bowen) who comes across a radio with a female voice that commands him to do dirty deeds involving stealing money and murder. The radio only has Jerry’s best intentions in mind…or so we would think.
The third story is another forgettable bit of fluff involving a murderous call girl who likes to make sure her clients really get off…by way of a knife. She meets the wrong john and things don’t exactly go her way. Story #4 is called "Professor Dayton’s Wife" and concerns Professor Dayton, who reunites with two former students, Charles and John, whom he invited to his wedding to Kathy, a Swedish hottie that they mistake for his latest invention – a robot. When they seek to pull a prank on him as payback for all of the ones he used to pull on them, things get a little out of hand…and out of leg…and out of torso…and out of cranium… Finally, Story #5, “Haunted Dog” concerns an asshole doctor (Allen) doing court-ordered penance at a free clinic. He gives a homeless man a bad hot dog that he accidentally dropped, presumably in some dog shit, and the man dies as a result…not that stops him from trying to give the hot dog back.
Needless to say, Jim Carrey really has to start picking better material…
Of the five stories, “The Radio” and “Professor Dayton’s Wife” are the standouts, the former for the story and the latter for the carnage and comedy. The rest are so bad that you’re almost hoping that you get eaten, or shot, or eviscerated or even offered a funky frankfurter to put you put of your misery. And even though “The Radio” and “Professor Dayton’s Wife” are the best of the lot, they’re still a far cry from the best stories of the first two movies… and hell, even the worst stories of the first two movies. Creepshow III is a nice attempt, but it fails utterly to capture any of the magic, either the quality of the stories, or their creepiness, of Creepshow 1 or 2 and only “Professor Dayton’s Wife” even remotely approaches the campiness of those two films. What it does have is some pretty impressive gore, and some halfway (barely halfway anyway) decent makeup effects. But of course a lot of it is for lame stories, so that bonus is quickly nullified.
What Creepshow III really could have used is a least one name actor. Considering the names that appeared in the first movie: Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Harris, Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Dansen, E.G. Marshall, and even Lord King himself, this movie was sadly lacking in that department. Creepshow 2 didn’t have many name actors either, but it did have much better stories. So in the end, you can pretty much pass on this one.
"Dude yeah, I like Ann Coulter this way much better too…"
The only special feature is a behind-the-scenes piece that runs around 23 minutes and is actually pretty good. Other than that, nada.