Film review by Thomas M. Sipos




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Creeptales (2004, dir: Tim Boxell, Stephen Hegyes, Steve Hegyi, Ken Mandel, Greg Middleton, Roger Nygard, James Salisbury, Rod Slane)





I bought Creeptales as part of the Afraid of the Dark DVD set, which has an additional three horror films. Its version is fullscreen, and looks like an old TV or VHS print. The other three movies are also of low visual quality.

Regarding Creeptales -- I love horror anthology films, but this one is pretty bad. It was shot in the 1980s, but only released in 2004.

Considering when it was produced, and its title, one can surmise that Creeptales was hoping to cash in on the success of George Romero's and Stephen King's Creepshow (1982) horror anthology film.

But don't be fooled. Creeptales is no Creepshow. It's a collection of short horror films -- or in some cases, mere scenes from unfinished horror films -- plus a wraparound. The wraparound appears to be the only original part of Creeptales.

Yes, this is one of those anthology films where a producer bought the rights to several unrelated shorts, features, or even just footage from unfinished films, then tried to tie them together with his own wraparound. Lacking a unifying creative voice, such anthology films are often a wildly uneven mixed bag.

The short films in Creeptales are mostly boring and unoriginal. In one of them, some men hunt for a werewolf, which kills some of the men, and then is killed in return. Big deal.

The only really good story is "Sucker," which evokes TV's Tales From the Darkside in its humor and tone. Another tale, about a Halloween party in an abandoned town, is fairly good. Those two are the only ones worth watching.

Creeptales's wraparound is abysmal. Horror anthologies benefit enormously when they have a suspenseful, thematically unifying wraparound. Consider the opening job interview in Asylum, or Peter Cushing as the conspiracy theorist in The Uncanny. But Creeptales's wraparound is just a bunch of "monsters" in rubber masks, grunting as they watch the Creeptales videotape on TV.



Even worse, the opening wraparound is some eight minutes long. Eight minutes of mind-numbing "hilarity" while two hunchbacked ghouls search for a VHS copy of Creeptales, which they bring home to their monster friends. No witty dialog, mostly just campy grunting, groaning, and mugging for the camera. Which goes on and on, until you feel compelled to fastforward to the first short film.

A horror anthology completist, or hardcore horror film shorts fan, might find some value in Creeptales. That's about it.


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