Horror Anthologies bring together separate short films into a larger landscape to create one cohesive frightfest for the delight of the fans, there have been many great ones over the years but none can compare to the legacy of Creepshow.
In 2007 a documentary was released called Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow revealing some of the more interesting unknown behind the scenes knowledge that a die hard fan would be interested in, of course it is not for everyone but if you are like me and enjoy watching the extra deleted scenes, director’s cuts and concept art to get a more intimate feel for a movie this is a must.
Just Desserts is 7 chapters each comprised for detail into different facets of each story and film planning, starting with interviews into the concept origin specifically how the minds of George A. Romero and Stephen King were introduced. These are two masters in their own right and it is fascinating listening to Romero himself discuss first meeting with Stephen King to possibly make a Salem’s Lot adaptation or The Stand (can you imagine what we would have gotten?). The E.C. Comic feel was introduced as an idea for an homage to the old Tales From The Crypt, Vault of Horror, and Weird Tales in anthology design with 5 separate stories brought around a central axis story to bring them all together.
Details into what went behind to create the comic feel, how optical shots done with panels of comics moved at pivotal moments and pushing other panels off screen with word balloons added in for effect to make the on screen marriage of 1940’s comic with 1980’s horror film all done years before the creation of digital effects.
Cast interviews with the likes of Ed Harris (The Rock), Ted Danson (Cheers), Tom Atkins (Halloween III) and Adrienne Barbeau (Escape From New York) who said she did the film as a favor to her now ex-husband John Carpenter, saying that Romero was a genius and she had to be a part of this film.
The likes of Leslie Nielsen (Airplane), Hal Holbrook (The Fog), and E.G. Marshall (12 Angry Men) enjoyed working on the film with stories of Leslie Nielsen and Ted Danson’s antis that made the crew laugh even during impossible shooting conditions.
Chapter Five is primarily aimed at special effects and the master mind of Tom Savini, I am bias for this part with deep admiration for Tom Savini and my romantic fascination with special effects specifically those done in the 1980’s. Savini explains how he loved the opportunity to work away from primarily gore that he was known for in previous Romero films, given the ability to explore into creature effects, explaining how shots were done for The Creep, how he blew off Jody Verrill’s head and brought the infamous Fluffy out of The Crate to wreak havoc on a poor college professor.
The film is everything from the thousands of cockroaches for They’re Creeping Up On You, and in my opinion the coup de grace of the film: the musical score, which still raises my skin each time I watch Creepshow with the unsettling ominous score.
If you are not one for “behind the scenes” information and can care less about outtakes and set design then I wouldn’t recommend Just Desserts, but if you are a fan and think their could be a hundred year old box under every alcove then I would investigate this documentary. You may find yourself smiling when you discover who created the phrase “Meteor Shit!”