Friday, October 2, 2009

October Horror-thon #2: "Creepshow III" (2007)

Even though George Romero and Stephen King are nowhere in sight, that hasn't stopped the bean counters at Taurus Entertainment from cashing in on their anthology classic Creepshow. The first of this unofficial sequel's vignettes sees a bratty teen swapping families and dimensions when her dad fiddles around with a universal remote. Next up, a security guard falls under the sinister spell of a talking radio snatched up from the street. The proceeding story features a psychopathic hooker having a close encounter of the undead kind when she cozies up to her latest victim. Two guys ponder whether their old professor's new wife is a robot in the penultimate tale, while things wrap up with a surly doctor hounded by the ghost of a bum he helped to the grave.

For all the bellyaching I do about sequels and Hollywood's lack of imagination at large, it must be said that most of them succeed at least in technical competence. Creepshow III doesn't even have that going for it; this is a glaring example of greed at work, as the Taurus folks are clearly banking more on fan familiarity with the Creepshow name than on actually making something good. There's actual potential here, especially with the radio story, which, though a little too long, is actually pretty solid. But nonexistent budget and hilariously awful actors aside, Creepshow III still has no clue what the hell it's doing. It tries to blend horror and gallows humor like the first two movies, but just slapping on a score more suitable for "Home Improvement" doesn't translate to chuckles. What it does result in, though, is as inept a work as has ever been shat into the laps of gorehounds everywhere, thanks also to excrutiating pacing and virtually no impact from the would-be scares.

Creepshow III is what people who've never seen a horror movie think all horror movies are like. It's crude, tactless, and not the slightest bit entertaining, even in an ironic sense. Save for the admirable radio story, not one of these tales is worth being told -- at least not in the oafish way they're conveyed here.

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