Tuesday, June 21, 2016

JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF CREEPSHOW (2007) SPECIAL EDITION (Blu-ray Review)

JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF CREEPSHOW  (2007) 

Label: Synapse Films
Region Code: Region-FREE
Release Date: July 12th 2016 
Duration: 90 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English  DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo 
Director: Michael Felsher
Cast: George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Ed Harris



Synopsis: In 1982, Author Stephen King, and Director George A. Romero collaborated on a feature-film tribute to the controversial EC comics of the 1950s. Told through five jolting tales of terror, CREEPSHOW has become a celebrated horror classic over the past three decades. With an all-star cast and featuring groundbreaking special effects by genre legend Tom Savini, CREEPSHOW stands as a horrific and hilarious tribute to the stories that helped influence (and corrupt) a generation of writers and filmmakers. Now the tales behind the creation of this chilling masterpiece can finally be told!


Creepshow is one of my favorite horror anthologies, a horror project that brought together director George A. Romero with horror scribe Stephen King, these guys were the undisputed kings of horror in the 80s and it was a pairing that hadn't been rivaled since someone stuck a Hershey's bar in a jar of peanut butter. The resulting anthology was a wonderful blend EC Comics morality and pitch perfect campiness that has yet to be matched in my opinion, this is about as near perfect an anthology as I have ever seen. Sadly, on home video, at least here in the US the movie has been somewhat neglected, dumped onto a bare bones Blu-ray release while horror fans in the UKhave been treated to a deluxe release courtesy of Second Sight Films, which is stuffed with audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and a wonderful retrospective making of documentary titled Just Desserts; The Making of Creepshow from Michael Felsher and Red Shirt Pictures,  a definitive feature length making of doc containing in-depth interviews with director George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Adrienne Barbeau and many others.  

Now Synapse Films have brought the doc to Blu-ray as a stand alone release, and added a ton of new stuff, beginning with two audio commentaries, one with  with Director and Editor Michael Felsher and a second with Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, and Make-Up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci. I have only listened to the Felsher commentary thus far, but its a good listen as he speaks about how Creepshow was his entry into horror films, how he came to form Red Shirt Pictures after a stint at Anchor Bay before heading out on his own, right up to pitching the idea for a Creepshow doc to the studio, which was initially turned down, before being picked-up by Universal in the UK.


There's a new Red Shirt Pictures interviews with Director of Photography Director Michael Gornick who does not appear in the documentary proper, Gornick looks back on his time making the movie, the shooting days and night, his opinion of Stephen Kins performance and the safety concerns on certain shoots. There are also 24-minutes worth of extended interviews with George A. Romero, Tom Savini, and Bernie Wrightson, all containing some great stuff, including Savini speaking about some footage cut from the movie of Adrienne Barbeau's characters shredded remains floating to the surface of the lake. 

There is a new Horror's Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark who revisits some of the set locations from the movie with a special appearance from actor Tom Atkins who appears in the wrap-a-round segment in the movie. A nice addition is the inclusion of the Fangoria produced doc Scream Greats Volume One: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects with Optional Audio Commentary with Tom Savini. A nice walk down the morbid memory lane of his body of work, a greatest hits compilation of sorts with Savini's back story, how he became obsessed with make-up effects after seeing a Lon Chaney movie. There's also a commentary for it with Tom Savini moderated by Michael Felsher. 


Behind The Screams is a 27-minute compilation of on-set video footage from Tom Savini's personal archives offering a  look at the making of the special effects work in the movie, shots of Ted Danson and Stephen King being made up for their roles, more awesome stuff for fans to drool over. Another nice addition is the vintage 1982 Evening Magazine Segment shot on the set of the film, featuring rare cast and crew interviews, which seems to be some sort of local entertainment show recorded back in the eighties round the time of the films release. We get interviews with Romero, King, Holbrook, Barbeau, Savini and others, along with some cool behind-the-scenes footage. Lastly we have a nine-minute photo gallery of behind-the-scenes images of the cast and crew, plus some great shots of various creatures and make-up being sculpted fr the film. 

Special Features:

- Audio Commentary with Director and Editor Michael Felsher
- Audio Commentary featuring interviews with Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, and Make-Up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci
- Creepshow Days - An interview with Director of Photography Director Michael Gornick (8 Mins) HD 
- Extended Interview Segments with George A. Romero, Tom Savini, and Bernie Wrightson (24 Mins) 
- Behind The Screams -- A compilation of on-set video footage from Tom Savini (27 Mins) 
- Horror's Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark (15 Mins) HD 
- Scream Greats Volume One: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects with Optional Audio Commentary with Tom Savini moderated by Michael Felsher (53 Mins) 
- Vintage 1982 Evening Magazine Segment shot on the set of the film, featuring rare cast and crew interviews (8 Mins) 
- Behind-The-Scenes of CREEPSHOW Photo Gallery (9 Mins) 



This is such a wonderful watch, obviously Felsher loves horror and has a special fondness for this anthology, a movie that brought together the horror super-powers of Stephen King and George A. Romero. The glaring omission which is the pink elephant in the room is that Felsher was unable to get Stephen King on-camera, but what we do have is pretty great and did not leave me wanting in any way, this is eighty nine minutes worth of in-depth interviews from the cast and crew who recall their time making the iconic movie with a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage, there's  just a lot of eye candy that will fill your horror heart with happiness. 

Synapse Films and Michael Felsher have gone above and beyond with this release to give the doc a true special edition worth owning, glad to see it get a proper US release with so many cool extras, this is officially one of my favorite making of docs.  


 

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