Monday, October 25, 2010

Desperation and Creepshow.

Yes and yes, but quickly. I am still utterly behind on everything.

Donald, my wonderful friend, picked up Desperation as a feel-better sort of gift (after the bad run of events the past two weeks), I couldn't have been more pleased. I was a little scared to watch as I knew that the (tak!) Cop was going to give me a serious case of the chatters. . . the book had been very disturbing.

"When a sheriff arrests a writer, a family, a couple, and a hitchiker and throws them in a jail cell in the deserted town of Desperation, they must fight for their lives."

It was directed by Mick Garris, released in 2006. The casting was good, Ron Perlman (left) was literally, dead on. "You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to not be silent anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. I'm going to kill you. You have the right to an attorney." Goosebumps! And as far as the story goes, I'm guessing a lot of people might be put off by all the God business, my mother was. It was a big part of the story, but I think if you were willing to buy any of the Tak, tak-a-lah/controlling the animals/evil spirits jumping from body to body, the God stuff shouldn't have been that much harder to stomach, right? The kid was a little bit Magoo, but you know, kids often are.

I don't know if I spaced this during the book or what, but going down into a pit with a hole to blow up the bad evil? I like pits with holes and bad evil, ones having to do with John Locke, or say, a smoke monster? Only instead of the doctor being the savior in this story it's (of course) the writer. Nice work, and "I hate critics?" What writer doesn't?

Creepshow, 1982, directed by George A. Romero. I saw the box for this film back when Terry's Holiday Market was still Tersteeg's, and they had a VHS selection for rental at the front of the store. The cover showed the little theater skeleton, (pictured right), and I must agree, it is the most fun I've ever had being scared, or at least extremely creeped out.

As a whole, I loved the comic structuring of each of the five stories, especially how each scene was illustrated and then faded in exactly, with the actors and setting matching the comic perfectly. It was crafty. I also thought the casting was excellent with many respectable actors taking part, music was perfect, especially the piano instrumentals. Since the film itself is made of five short story segments, let's just break each one down, shall we?

Father's Day: Bedelia bashes her father's head in with an ashtray on father's day; Father comes back from the grave, "I want my cake." For superficial reasons, I really liked this. I always thought Cass, the niece with the brown, permed hair, white jeans, shirt opened three buttons and lots of necklaces, was extremely pretty. Her dancing? Not as pretty, but bad eighties dancing and funny. Ed Harris! Met an unfortunate end (loved the splat sound the grave made when it plopped on him). And the fact that the rotten old corpse really did just want a cake, and used the other aunt's head for it, complete with frosting and candles? How wonderful and fun. My brother and I used to see that stuffy old aunt as a long-haired Julie Honzay (5th grade teacher); the mashing of the cigarette butt into the ashtray to the beat of the disco song Cass dances to was also much appreciated.

The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill: Man finds meteor in back yard, touches it, and turns into a weed. I know this wasn't the best in the bunch, but there are some good things about it. For one, I thought King was just fine in his role, he was a goofy dork, just like he was supposed to be! My very favorite scenes in this were some of the lines, "I'll be dipped in shit if that ain't a meteor!" and "METEOR SHIT!" Also the imagined antics in the doctor's office (after his fingers start to turn green) make me giggle every time. That doctor, wheeling by on the stool? "This is going to be extremely painful, Mr. Verrill" running his finger up the blade of the knife, and the random skeleton just hovering around on its own, apparently also on wheels? It was fun.

Something to Tide You Over: Husband punishes his cheating wife and lover by burying them in the sand at high tide. Fine, I guess. Good use of "Camptown Races" in a minor key, and giving a murderer his come-uppance, but probably my least favorite of all of them. The part where Harry (Ted Danson) is shown under water, holding his breath, has always been disturbing for me. Really, you let someone talk you into burying yourself up to the chin in sand? That had to be a little claustrophobic, even acting it. On an unrelated note, sometimes it's hard for me to accept Leslie Nielsen as anything other than Frank Drebbin, despite having played some real a-holes in his career.

The Crate: An ancient hell-monkey is found in a crate; it starts eating everyone. This terrified me the first time I watched it. In fact, I'm quite sure that my brother, Erica, and I watched this right up to janitor getting gobbled and then shut it off, unable to go any further with it. Granted, I was probably ten, but I still remember being rattled to hell. And while I do still find it scary, I really got into the whole nagging wife aspect this time around ("call me Billy, everyone does!"), thinking that this idea had to have been born from a random experience of King's concerning some professor's horrid wife and what in the name of God could he do to be free of her? (!) I dug it. I thought the actors were really, really good in this, with a great chemistry.

They're Creeping Up on You: An unpleasant man in a germ-proof apartment is carried away by a not entirely undeserved roach infestation. Again, not the strongest selection in the group, but a worthy one, I think. All those roaches really do give me the creeps. What I liked best about this is something extremely random, but the way everyone's voices were so distinctive and different. The wife of the man who shot himself on the telephone, she kind of sounded like Ann Margaret or Phyllis Diller maybe, and the maintenance man, through the peep hole in the door. "Oh yes, Mr. Pratt!" "What happened, bugs got your tongue?" Just fun.

These last few King nights? Winner, winner, Chicken Dinner! How exciting!


Justin Garrett Blum said...

It vaguely remember Creepshow. I think it was Creepshow 2 that I saw a few times as a kid. I probably haven't seen either in over 20 years. I remember especially well the Hitchhiker segment. Creepy as heck. "Thanks for the ride, lady," was a catchphrase in my house.

Anna said...

you know, i think we said that a lot too! that raft one kind of freaked me out too, in the land of 10,000 lakes and all. . .