Creepshow is a homage to the old EC comics such as Tales from the Crypt (1950-5) and The Vault of Horror (1950-5) or Warrens Uncle Creepy (1964-83) where a sinister figure would introduce a self-contained horror tale that would usually end with a black twist and an outrageous pun. George Romero and Stephen King clearly have a love of these horror comics. Unlike previous adaptations of these comics, such as Amicuss Tales from the Crypt (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973), King and Romero get the delicious sense of black humour and the hilarious just desserts twists that Amicus missed in their EC adaptations down perfectly. Some of the images like the corpse of Uncle Nathan emerging from the grave moaning Wheres my [birthday] cake? or the flash fantasies Hal Holbrook has of killing wife Adrienne Barbeau are uproarious. King and Romero have a great deal of fun creating and setting up deliberately straw figures for nasty endings there is a wonderfully malicious scene where Leslie Nielsen buries Ted Danson up to his neck in the sand before the oncoming tide. Romero consciously mimics the nature of the comic-book, even down to framing the screen with comic panels and panning between them to change scenes with typical announcements like The next day....
Romero also directs the horror with considerable tension. The Crate is the most satisfying segment in this regard, filled with some wonderful Jack in the Box pop-up effects with the monster in the crate, not to mention the aforementioned murderous flash fantasies. Certainly, the brevity of length makes some of the stories such as Something to Tide You Over feel dramatically incomplete. (The best of the segments, The Crate, is also notedly the longest). The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill is the weakest segment, ending on an inconclusive note.
Romero ropes a surprisingly good cast in, including Ted Danson who went onto stardom with Cheers (1982-93) later the same year. Everybody clearly has a great deal of fun, most notably Adrienne Barbeau who lets all stops go in an hilarious performance. In The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, Stephen King himself plays the title role, a hay-for-brains hick local, where it is best said that King should stay at what he does best writing rather than acting. John Harrison, himself later to become a director, delivers an excellent score.
Creepshow II (1987) was a weak sequel George Romero wrote, adapting one Stephen King story, and turned the direction over to this films cinematographer Michael Gornick. The sequel however lacked the black comic edge that this version has. With the renewed interest in George Romeros films in the 00s, there was a further sequel with the universally derided Creepshow III (2006). A remake of the original has been announced during the 00s.
Following Creepshow, Laurel Entertainment developed a number of horror anthologies in the EC style, including two tv series Tales from the Darkside (1984-6) and Monsters (1988-90). Laurel also made the excellent anthology film Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), which was a cinematic spinoff from the Tales from the Darkside series, and is directed by this films musician John Harrison, adapts one Stephen King story and is partly written by George Romero.
George A. Romeros other genre films are: the classic zombie film Night of the Living Dead (1968); Jacks Wife/Season of the Witch/Hungry Wives (1972) about suburban witchcraft; The Crazies (1973), an underrated film about a madness-inducing biospill; Martin (1976), a superb deconstruction of the cinematic vampire myth; his two zombie sequels Dawn of the Dead/Zombies Dawn of the Dead (1979) and Day of the Dead (1985); Monkey Shines (1988) about a psychic link between a paraplegic and a murderous monkey; Two Evil Eyes (1990), an Edgar Allan Poe anthology made in collaboration with Dario Argento; The Dark Half (1993), from a Stephen King novel about a writer haunted by an evil doppelganger; Bruiser (2000) about a man whose face suddenly becomes a blank mask; Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009). Romeros scripts include Creepshow II (1987), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990) and the remake of Night of the Living Dead (1990). Romero has also produced Deadtime Stories (2009), Deadtime Stories 2 (2010) and the remake of The Crazies (2010).
Other Stephen King screen adaptations include:- Carrie (1976), Salems Lot (1979), The Shining (1980), Christine (1983), Cujo (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), Children of the Corn (1984), Firestarter (1984), Cats Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985), The Running Man (1987), Pet Semetary (1989), Graveyard Shift (1990), It (tv mini-series, 1990), Misery (1990), a segment of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Sometimes They Come Back (1991), The Lawnmower Man (1992), The Dark Half (1993), Needful Things (1993), The Tommyknockers (tv mini-series, 1993), The Stand (tv mini-series, 1994), The Langoliers (tv mini-series, 1995), The Mangler (1995), Thinner (1996), The Night Flier (1997), Quicksilver Highway (1997), The Shining (tv mini-series, 1997), Trucks (1997), Apt Pupil (1998), The Green Mile (1999), The Dead Zone (tv series, 2001-2), Hearts in Atlantis (2001), Carrie (tv mini-series, 2002), Dreamcatcher (2003), Riding the Bullet (2004), Salems Lot (tv mini-series, 2004), Secret Window (2004), Desperation (tv mini-series, 2006), Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (tv mini-series, 2006), 1408 (2007), The Mist (2007), Children of the Corn (2009), Everythings Eventual (2009), the tv series Haven (2010-5), Bag of Bones (tv mini-series, 2011), Carrie (2013), Under the Dome (tv series, 2013-5), Big Driver (2014), A Good Marriage (2014), Mercy (2014), Cell (2016), 11.22.63 (tv mini-series, 2016), The Dark Tower (2017), Geralds Game (2017), It (2017), The Mist (tv series, 2017), Mr. Mercedes (tv series, 2017 ) and 1922 (2017). Stephen King had also written a number of original screen works with Golden Years (tv mini-series, 1991), Sleepwalkers (1992), Storm of the Century (tv mini-series, 1999), Rose Red (tv mini-series, 2002) and the tv series Kingdom Hospital (2004), as well as adapted his own works with the screenplays for Cats Eye, Silver Bullet, Pet Semetary, The Stand, The Shining, Desperation, Children of the Corn 2009, A Good Marriage and Cell. King also directed one film with Maximum Overdrive (1986).