FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 7, 2009

Day 7: "I call it 'the sucker'"

I've let it be known far and wide for a long, long time: I loves me some anthology movies. Just a couple of days ago, I introduced some friends to Creepshow- yes, horror movie fans who've never seen it. It's just. So. Good. I manage to appreciate it more and more as the years wear on, and I can't imagine there'll be a day when I don't love Creepshow. Even if "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" finally wears on my nerves (if any segment is ever going to, it's gonna be that one), I'll just have to watch 30 seconds of Adrienne Barbeau as Wilma Billie in "The Crate" to fall in love with the movie all over again. After all, she knows all the best stores.

Folks, can't I talk about Creepshow today instead of the movie I watched to fulfill my SHOCKTOBER obligation? Wouldn't you rather I go on about Creepshow rather than Creeptales? No? Well, damn you! Damn you all to hell I say! Siiiiigh...fine.

Yes, I said Creeptales. Surprisingly, it's also an anthology movie. It's available in the same multi-pack as Slash Dance and Knight Chills...and if you've read my reviews of those movies, then you can surmise that Creeptales pretty much stinks. But does it stink in a delightful fashion? That's the real question here.

The wraparound story is one of the most irritating I've ever witnessed: some doofus hunchback ghoul-types set about trying to find a copy of Creeptales, but unfortunately for them the video store is closed. Then they remember that their Uncle Munger was buried with a copy, so they dig it up, then invite all their doofus monster friends over to watch it.

I know- it doesn't sound so bad...a little corny-cute, even. But it dragged on for so long and was so full of irritating doofus chatter, I almost couldn't take it. My finger was even on the STOP button, but then at last the first segment hindsight, I wish I'd pressed the button.

Story #1: Warped

Elizabeth goes to stay with her much-older cousin Viola and crippled Aunt after a lengthy hospital stay. Viola has a secret: after she was raped by Elizabeth's father (yes, her own brother) she gave birth to a still born baby, and later went a bit cuckoo nutso. She kills a nosy cop and Elizabeth, then cradles her skelebaby. See? Cuckoo nutso. The end.

It did, however, feature this line, which I'm going to use with regularity whenever anyone starts bitching at me: "You're making my gallbladder act up!"

Story #2: Snatcher

A purse snatcher steals the handbag of a "helpless old lady"...but it turns out that the purse is a monster, and it eats him. Brief and sort of cute, but mostly notable because the snatcher is played by Tom "SpongeBob" Kenny.

Story #3: The Closet

A little boy is afraid of the monster in his closet. His older brother tries to convince him that there's nothing in the closet, but the monster is real and it attacks the older brother...the end. It took me longer to type this than it took for the segment to play out.

Story #4: Groovie Ghoulie Garage

Two guys are on their way pick up the sister of one of them, when their car breaks down in Tower Springs. Everyone is a little weird, but nice enough- they invite the boys to a Halloween party, blah blah blah. Their car gets fixed and they split, but on the way out of town they pass a sign informing them that everyone in Tower Springs died due to a horrible chemical spill in 1969. Egahhhhhh!

Though this segment was fairly pointless, the garb of the two guys (as seen above) made me a bit nostalgic for my junior high days. You know, being "punk" but not at all punk, and wearing lots of buttons on a tweed trench coat. Also, when they got in their car, one of them said "Come on, let's rap some more!" and then they rapped...and I don't mean they talked. I mean they rapped.

Story #5: Howling Nightmare

A bunch of hunters are chasing what one assumes is a werewolf- finally, one of them shoots it with a silver bullet, killing it...but it was all a dream! A man wakes up from this nightmare, all sweaty, and he promptly begins turning into a werewolf. The hunters show up and kill him before the transformation is complete.


Story #6: Sucker

"Sucker" began with this shot...

...and so I thought I was in for a a music video from the long-lost love child of Bonnie Tyler, Stevie Nicks, and Stockard Channing...but no, it was just a dream wherein a woman shoots her husband with a bow and arrow.

She's awakened by a ringing doorbell, and we see that the woman is not all flowy and ethereal like her dream-persona; actually, she's a big slob. The man at the door is a traveling salesman who gives her a magic dustbuster that she can use for one day to rid her life of all the filth, which she blames on her husband. The only caveat is that she can't point the vacuum at people, and she can't use it for more than 30 seconds at a time, lest there be eeeevil consequences. In the course of cleaning her entire house, however...well, I guess she uses it longer-than-30-second intervals or something, because all of a sudden she's gained 500 pounds. By the time her husband (who's not at all the jerk she's made him out to be, by the way) gets home, she looks like this:

Then she sucks herself into the magic dustbuster, the end.

"Sucker" was probably the strongest of the bunch- the best of the worst- and it felt like it probably could have been an episode of Tales from the Darkside when the show was hobbling along on its last leg. That should give you a clue about this whole affair; I realize I've skimped on the descriptions, but there wasn't much to describe in any of these. Creeptales is a low-budget anthology flick, and the stories are middle of the road at best. The framing narrative was excruciating, and when the film cut back to it between segments, I hit fast forward.

The late Forrest Ackerman was listed as a "Creative Consultant", but I have no idea what that means. As anthologies go, this isn't enjoyably bad like, say, House of the Dead, and it certainly can't hold a candle to Creepshow or the Amicus efforts.

There, now I've written about it, so leave me're making my gallbladder act up!


Anonymous said...

The pictures (not to mention the ripoff title) make it seem like it's from the 80s but IMDB says 2004. Amazing.

Kmork said...

Just out of curiosity, how would this film stack up against Night Train to Terror?

Stacie Ponder said...

It's definitely an 80s movie- there are varying reports whether it's '86 or '89...but for example, the guys in the framing narrative are looking for a VHS tape. Why imdb lists it as 2004, I have no idea.

Comparing it to Night Train to Terror...hoo boy. Night Train is probably worse technically, but it's way more ridiculous and therefore more enjoyable. They're both bad, but Night Train is more campy bad.

Dean said...

Anthologies, eh? Well how about Freakshow (1989)? I usually LOVE ANYTHING that was made that year, movies AND music. And indeed, anthology movies hold a special place in my heart too, but that one REALLY stank to high heaven. A good one from that same year was "After midnight". Then again, I loves me some Marg Helgenberger...

Anonymous said...

This looks terrible. I recommend cleansing the palette with Trick'r'Treat.

Anonymous said...

So I watched this tonight. Holy crap. You're right, Stacie... it is simply "bad" bad. It is not awful enough to become entertaining, and it's just utter crap next stuff like Creepshow. I wonder if Elaine Minton really appreciates having this film dedicated in her memory. If this film had been dedicates in my memory? I would rise from the grave and take horrible revenge on all involved. It would be righteous. Well, back to the grave.