Directed by Ana Clavell and James Dudelson
Produced by James Dudelson
Written by Ana Clavell, James Dudelson, Scott Frazelle, Pablo Pappano, Alex Ugelow
Director of Photograpy James LeGoy
Music by Chris Anderson
2006/104 mins/Color/Dolby 2.0
1.78:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the HBO Video DVD
I feel sure that someone out there knows the specifics, but as I don't, I'll ask the question: Did George Romero has a garage sale? How is it that James Dudelson and Ana Clavell got the rights to the names DAY OF THE DEAD and CREEPSHOW? They've already released one abomination into the world entitled DAY OF THE DEAD 2: CONTAGIUM and they are producing a supposedly more faithful remake of DAY OF THE DEAD. Now, they've brought us CREEPSHOW III, an anthology which features no George Romero, no Stephen King, and no quality.
As with CREEPSHOW and CREEPSHOW 2, CREEPSHOW III is an anthology, and it contains five stories. But, unlike the first two films, there is no wrap-around element here, such as the comic-book element from the first film or The Creep from the second movie. Instead, we get references to hot dogs and a hot dog vendor in each story. Really? Hot dogs? That's your big scary idea. Unfortunately, things only get worse from there.
As mentioned above, CREEPSHOW III contains five stories:
In "Alice", we meet a snobby teenaged girl (Stephanie Pettee) whose father's new remote control keeps zapping her into alternate universes. Is this supposed to be funny? It certainly isn't scary and to be perfectly honest, it's downright stupid. The special FX makeup is needlessly gruesome here, and the EC Comics style comeuppance ending is woefully out of place.
With "The Radio", meek security guard Jerry (AJ Bowen) buys a radio from a street vendor and finds that it talks directly to him. The radio tells Jerry that he must plan for his future and his assists him into getting a sum of money. But, the radio also convinces Jerry that he must cover his track and that will entail him killing anyone who gets in his way. The idea here harkens back to THE TWILIGHT ZONE, and it's not necessarily a bad plot device. But, the execution isn't very good and we never care about Jerry or his chatty radio.
"Rachel the Call Girl" is the shortest segment, as it features Rachel (Camille Lacey), a call-girl turned serial killer who go to meet her latest client/victim. The kinky sexual overtones aside, this one could have been written by a 12-year old.
The odd "Am I supposed to laugh?" tone from "Alice" returns in "Professor Dayton's Wife". Professor Dayton (Emmett McGuire) invites two of his former students, John (Ben Pronsky) and Charles (Michael Madrid), over to meet his fiancee, Kathy (Bo Kresic). Knowing the Professor's love for practical jokes, and the fact that he's a mechanical genius, John and Charles become convinced that Kathy is actually a robot and go about proving that fact. This one isn't just bad, it's odd. The "punch line" if you will happens very quickly (this movie is littered with bad editing) and instead of leaving the viewer surprised, we're left to think, "Really? Is that all?"
The final tale is "The Haunted Dog" and if you've been paying attention, then you should have guessed that the dog in question isn't a canine, but a hot dog. Apparently some people find hot dogs to be very frightening. Dr. Farwell (Kris Allen) has to do community service at a free clinic. On his way to work, he feeds a homeless man (Ed Dyer) a dirty hot dog and the man dies. Farwell then goes to the clinic, where he verbally abuses patients and takes a lot of drugs. As the day progresses, he keeps envisioning the homeless man offering him the dirty hot dog. Is this an homage to "The Hitchhiker" from CREEPSHOW 2, or simply a rip-off? Either way, it's not good. The Dr. is incredibly annoying (he appears to be channeling Jeremy Piven) and the apparition of the homeless man isn't scary. I think that the scenes where Farwell insults his patients was supposed to be funny, but it didn't elicit any laughter from me.
Just in case you didn't get the idea from those thumbnail sketches of the stories in CREEPSHOW III, allow me to sum things up for you: this movie is terrible. Not only does it not capture the spirit of CREEPSHOW, it doesn't even seem to be trying. While CREEPSHOW isn't the classic which it should have been given the involvement of Romero and King, it's still a fun movie which offers a nice blend of scares, creepy ideas, and tongue-in-cheek humor. We have none of that here. At no point does CREEPSHOW III try to be scary. Aside from the fact that it deals with murderers and monsters, there's little reason to think of it as a horror movie. There are no attempts at "jump scares", nor are there any creepy images. The movie does seem to be going for laughs, and it fails miserably. CREEPSHOW III makes the mistake of attempting mean-spirited humor, a genre which rarely, if ever works.
The lame stories included in CREEPSHOW III don't help the cause. With CREEPSHOW and CREEPSHOW 2, Stephen King gave us characters and motivations. Here, we simply get situations where things happen. At a bloated 104 minutes, the movie could have devoted some 15-20 minutes to each story, enabling it to flesh out the ideas. But, "Alice" and "Rachel the Call Girl" are both quite brief, while "Professor Dayton's Wife" and especially "The Haunted Dog" contain a substantial amount of padding.
We should welcome CREEPSHOW III with open arms, as horror anthology films have become such a rarity. But, in the hands of Dudelson and Clavel, the franchise is decimated, as they offer yet another lackluster outing. The movie isn't scary and it tries to hard to be funny. Allow me to sum this up in one word: CRAPSHOW.
CREEPSHOW III attempts to tell not one, but five stories on DVD courtesy of HBO Video. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is fairly sharp and clear, as the picture shows very little grain. However, I did not some minor defects from the source material, including a prominent white hair which flashed by at one point. The colors look good, most notably the reds and blues. The image is well-balanced and is never overly-dark. Video noise is kept to a minimum. The DVD carries a Dolby 2.0 audio track. This track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. Yet, at no time did I detect any prominent stereo or surround effects. Most of the audio seemed to come from the center channel.
The only extra on the CREEPSHOW III DVD is a 24-minute "Behind the Scenes" segment. This includes comments from Dudelson and Clavell, as well as words from some of the cast. The bulk of the segment is devoted to special make up FX supervisor Gregg McDougall and behind-the-scenes footage of the make up FX being created and applied. We never get a good explanation as to why the film was made.
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2007. ©