Director Michael Felsher created a solid production, which appears more as a supplementary disc of extras than a documentary, an informational journey of feel good stories. The film contains a well-paced 90-minutes love for Creepshow (1982), highlighting the accomplishments of the film and the influence upon the key personal Tom Savini and George A. Romero. This 2007 flick is not without faults, which this review will mention, but it clearly proves the tribute to the filmmakers and the impact of legendary EC Comics with gothic tales of death and moral punishments for one’s actions. These macabre events all occurred in the stories of Creepshow, and hence find themselves mention again in reference. The interviews include Tom Atkins and Adrienne Barbeau among others, and given a fan treatment, and retrospective on this flick.
First, the documentary notes the ‘initial development’, one of seven segments and sets them against a comic book background, homage to Creepshow, and has Romero recounting how he met with Stephen King. For those unaware King wrote all five segments in the original film, and appears in one of the stories, these involve monsters, creeps, critters, and many freaky scenes. Romero and King wanted to bring the novel “The Stand” to the big screen, but that fell apart and then the comic book movie hatched before them. The pieces began to fall into place, Romero headed the independent production, on a very limited budget, and while King wrote the stories and Savini handled the special effects. The pages flipping in the comic, made the audience enter more into the world of evil rather than sitting back and enjoy the visual horrors. A key element for the production, using experienced actors, none of the essential roles for the inexperienced, it was a plan, everyone involved in agree to and understood the necessity. King made sure to secure himself a role in the story of “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill,” the second tale of the film, and Savini wonderful y recreates in a visual form of speaking and supplying behind the scene footage and sketches of the problems encountered in the filming. Sadly, for viewers and fans alike, Stephen King, missing in this documentary, prompting many questions of how such an important person lacks his input to the movie. No reasoning or answer supplied to comprehend his absence. Other important elements fill out the film with types of locations, thanks to the production designer Cletus Anderson credited often for saving the film, and several anecdotes on the production. The special affects fans notable finds the drowning technique in “Something to Tide You Over” fascinating, although a tad long in the explanation. The biggest challenge Romero encountered, “Roaches don’t take direction” when noting the involvement in “They’re Creeping Up on You” which contains the most humor of the bugs and creepy encounters of the crawling on everything and everyone. The cockroaches always left the set without permission and representation, and in fact had their own roach coach, where they fed, and defecated as many had stage fright.
One understands that this movie focuses on the first Creepshow; however Romero opens the door for sequels, hence never touching on parts 2 and 3, respectively from 1987 and 2006. The interviews aid the rare behind-the-scenes footage, and the discussions involve many name celebrities unable to participate for one reason or another. However, the inclusion of Ed Harris, in his minor contribution, discusses primarily his awkward dance routine, and yet again, must mention no Stephen King, which is like discussing Jason Voorhees and not interviewing Kane Hodder, no one would do it. Since the movie released in 2007, strange that certain individuals were not included, usually a documentary, sets out a shot list along with the key people to interview, determine by location and age, oldest first. For example, Leslie Nielsen who passed on in 2010, still acting in films in late in life, which was 3-years prior to do his death, and then Hal Holbrook and Fritz Weaver, both in their 90s, still performing, and then Ted Danson. All of them spoken about none of them included, one could understand Nielsen, but the rest, leaves some puzzlement. Many documentaries strive to dig deep with questions learning new information, uncovering any problems, however Felsher’s film plays everything very safe, rather than exposing the guts, the interviews surmise that the set were none other than utopia.
Horror fans, in general perhaps the loyal, and complete with the sci-fi fans, which means they crossover many times, needless to say they enjoy learning everything about their favorites. Now with the release of the Blu-ray from Synapse Films, Just Desserts is loaded with more flavorful toppings for all the dedicated fans of Creepshow to thoroughly enjoy and learn how to make the most with the littlest funding. The film gives appreciation to the fans and the artistry and of course the cockroaches!
This review was originally published on Rogue Cinema’s website in September 2016 with a view count of 1,539.
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Baron’s Rating: 8.0/10