Two of the most venerable names in the horror field, author Stephen King and director George A. Romero, present this anthology of original twisted tales inspired by the E.C. horror comics of the 50's and 60's (themselves a more direct basis for the popular Tales from the Crypt TV series). The five stories are framed within the pages of a comic book which a boy's insensitive father has thrown in the garbage. The first tale, "Father's Day," features a zombie patriarch returning to claim his Father's Day cake; "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" stars King himself as a slack-jawed yokel whose discovery of a radioactive meteorite turns him into a walking weed; "Something to Tide You Over" presents a deadly-serious Leslie Nielsen as a cuckolded husband who plans an elaborate seaside revenge; "The Crate" unleashes its ferocious man-eating contents on the enemies of a meek college professor; and "They're Creeping Up On You" pits obsessively-clean billionaire E.G. Marshall against a swarm of cockroaches in his sterile penthouse. The chapters are uniformly creative, filmed in garish comic-book colors, and Tom Savini's makeup effects are quite memorable (particularly the monster from "The Crate"), though the campy treatment does become exhausting after two hours' runtime. The final segment is the most impressive, thanks to Marshall's over-the-top performance, though the planned scope of the cockroach invasion was drastically reduced (no doubt due to budget constraints).
Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Adrienne Barbeau
Comedy. Fantasy, Horror