Directed by Ana Clavell, Jim Dudelson & Scott Frazelle
When this project was first announced, fans across the ‘net carried some pretty high hopes for the end result. Stephen King and George Romero started the series, after all, so a continuation of it couldn’t be a bad thing … even if neither of them were involved with it in any way, shape, or form. Right?
Wrong. This new anthology comes to us from the people behind Day of the Dead: Contagium, a film I never bothered to check out since none of the reviews of it had anything less than scathing criticism about for it. Through some fluke of bad business Dudelson’s Taurus Entertainment managed to get the name rights to both Day of the Dead and Creepshow and decided to bank on the fan popularity of the titles with their own entries, having almost zero knowledge of what makes for effective horror movies.
Five stories make up Creepshow 3, which kicks into gear after a really badly done animation opening featuring a kid in a hood nabbing a neighborhood dog and then appearing later with a hot dog stand. An inauspicious beginning for a film that never comes anywhere close to the quality of the first two Creepshows. The animation is of the same quality that Flash cartoons were about 3 years ago online; it certainly doesn’t give it the updated feel I’m sure the filmmakers thought it would.
The first story is “Alice”, about a vapid, self-centered girl who comes home to find her father playing with a new universal remote which, when he hits random buttons, makes the girls family change from white suburbanites to black suburbanites to Spanish suburbanites; she watches them all have the same conversation each time a button is pushed, all the while slowly mutating into what is supposedly her “true form”. Some prosthetic effects come into play for this transformation, which serve as the only thing in the story that’s in any way decent. Well, that and the fact that it’s the shortest of the entries.
“The Radio” is the only story with a halfway decent lead, Al Bowen, playing a man named Jerry who nabs a radio from a street vendor that tells him how to be successful through a ghostly voice, which eventually leads to murder and double crossing. The problem with this one, besides the fact that it’s way too long, is that it tries to be an old-fashioned “be careful what you wish for” morality tale that packs absolutely zero emotional resonance or anything that could be considered “horror”, unless you count the performance of Jerry’s call girl neighbor Eva, who overtly and disgustingly flirts with him throughout. Her performance is truly awful.
“The Haunted Dog” almost becomes entertaining if, again, it weren’t so goddamn long. Maybe it’s just the editing or the setups that serve to drag it on forever, but whatever the case I wish it’d have lost about 10 minutes. Kris Allen plays Dr. Farwell, working in a free clinic for 30 days in order to prove he actually cares about humanity, which in actuality he doesn’t at all. After dropping a hot dog purchased from a street vendor onto the filth-laden ground, he gives the dog to a homeless man who promptly dies in the middle of the street. As Dr. Farwell goes about his days he begins to be haunted by the bum, utilizing one of the film’s only barely passable visual effects and eventually dies himself. Is there a point to it? A lesson to be learned? No, sir, it’s just an overlong story about a morally reprehensible man getting is comeuppances.
“Rachel the Call Girl” follows the titular lady of the night as she makes a visit to a new john’s house, he being unaware that she is actually a serial killer who apparently gets off on killing men. Said john has a few secrets of his own, though, and doesn’t stay dead. This one’s all right but, again, goes on for too long and has very little payoff; though the makeup is pretty good for what they had to work with.
Finally there is “Professor’s Dayton’s Wife”, about a genius professor who’s been working on the same project at the local college for 20 years, never telling anyone what it actually is. When he invites some former students over to meet his bride-to-be, who is way too young for the prof and doesn’t remember ever meeting him in the first place, they assume she’s some kind of triumph of robotics. When the professor goes out they decide to try and take her apart to see how she works and things get messy. This story I have to give some props for actually moving along at a good pace and featuring a whole lot of blood, most of which looked pretty damned good, though the overall tone was more splatstick than horror.
One of the aspects about Creepshow 3 that I’m sure the filmmakers saw as cool but I just found annoying was how all the stories are connected somehow; a character from one tale shows up in another, which happens over and over. It would have been a good idea if any of these characters were interesting in any way. Sometimes it seems like they try to be, but mostly it just comes across as bad, over the top acting. The score also got on my nerves more often than not, featuring sitcom-esque music for the most part (you’ll understand what I mean when/if you hear it) or, for some inexplicable reason, jazz. And not good jazz, either. None of the score really made any sense in the context of the stories, so I’m hoping it might have just been a temp track.
At the end of the day I really didn’t hate Creepshow 3 as much as I expected, but that in no way means it was a good movie. If, like with any series that has nothing to do with their originals, they had just given it a different name and released it as a stand-alone anthology, it’d be easier to appreciate what they were doing with their obviously limited budget. Since, however, it’s blatantly cashing in on a fan-favorite franchise, some points and props need to be taken away from it. This is not a movie worthy to be called Creepshow for any reason, believe me.
There’s absolutely nothing out there about when this film will be out or who will be putting it out (Anchor Bay had Contagium so there’s a likelihood there), but as soon as we find out we’ll be sure to let you know, if for no other reason than so you can avoid it. If you feel like you need to see Creepshow 3 do yourself a favor; don’t pay anything for it cause you’ll only end up thinking less of yourself if you do.
2 out of 5
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