Just Desserts: The Making Of “Creepshow” (Blu-ray Review)

Just-DessertsFor years, fans have been clamoring for the definite word on the making of George A. Romero’s classic 1982 horror anthology CREEPSHOW, the first of his many big screen collaborations with best-selling novelist Stephen King.  Now 34 years later, Synapse Films and Red Shirt Pictures join forces to bring this terrifyingly entertaining story to life in JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF “CREEPSHOW, a special edition Blu-ray release documenting one of the greatest horror films ever made!  JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF “CREEPSHOW” is filled with rare behind-the-scenes footage, photographs and other exciting memorabilia.  Featuring over a dozen interviews, including George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Harris, Tom Atkins and many others, this Special Edition Blu-ray also contains hours of additional supplemental materials. These are the terrifying stories behind the film that promised you, “The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have BEING SCARED!”

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In 1982, Author Stephen King, and Director George A. Romero collaborated on a feature-film tribute to the popular, and often controversial, EC comics of the 1950s.  Told through five terrifying tales of terror, CREEPSHOW was a hit with critics and audiences alike, and has become a venerated horror classic over the past three decades since its release. With an all-star cast, and featuring gruesome and groundbreaking creature and make-up effects by genre legend Tom Savini, CREEPSHOW stands as a horrific and often hilarious tribute to the stories that helped influence (and corrupt) a generation of writers and filmmakers, and now the tales behind the creation of this chilling masterpiece can finally be told.

You can purchase Creepshow on Blu-ray for roughly ten dollars.  Its got the original stereo sound mix uncompressed and features a rock solid nice looking transfer.  When you select Special Features from the menu, all you’re rewarded for your purchase and fandom with is the Theatrical Trailer.  UNTIL NOW!  Synapse Films Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow is that Disc 2 or Bonus Disc that you always were hoping would be with Creepshow.  Its loaded with pretty much everything you’d want and then some.  Horror’s pinnacle 1980s anthology film now finally gets its love.  If there can’t be a special edition, then let there be this!

If you’re a fan of the Scream Factory Collector’s Editions, you’re going to love this release.  It has a feature length retrospective documentary directed by Michael Felsher and done by Red Shirt Productions.  These are the folks who do all that stuff over there, but also for Synapse Films and other boutique labels.  Just Desserts plays just like one of those.  The only…and this is the only disappointment that comes with the release, is that there is no Stephen King on here to talk about the film.  Aside from that, most everyone gets a little bit here and there.  Its a fascinating full on look at this terrific and very popular film.

Education and entertainment don’t stop there.  This release features an additional interview, extended segments, a 1980s documentary on Tom Savini, a Horror’s Hallowed Grounds episode and more.  If you’re a fan of Creepshow, your’e missing out on your second disc.  So you really need to eat this one up and complete the rather bare bones Blu-ray you already have.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  The film features a lot of different video sources and qualities, taking from modern interviews, film footage, VHS footage and video from television and the like.  Primarily focusing on the interview stuff, it looks pretty great, which would be hard not to achieve.  The image is well lit, full and features plenty of close up detail on the close-up shot.

Depth:  As said, there are many different sources here.  The interview segments look free and 3 dimensional with smooth, natural movements.

Black Levels:  Blacks are rich and inky.  No real detail taken away, but some terrific shading work.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are full and natural on the verge of some vividness.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout the feature.  Interviewees facial features are in full force with wrinkles, make-up, lip texture, scarring and such showing through at all times.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics:  Thank you, Synapse Films.  No need to go overboard with a 5.1 or 7.1 track on something of this natural.  As such, the modern stuff (interviews, score) sounds lovely and well rounded.  Archived footage and audio sounds as good as it could be.  This all just sounds right.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are clear, rich, crisp and full.  

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Audio Commentary

  • With Director and Editor Michael Felsher
  • Featuring Interviews With Actor John Ampas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller and Make-Up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci

Creepshow Days With Michael Gornick (HD, 8:01) – An interview with Creepshow’s director of photography.

Tom Savini’s Behind-The-Scenes (HD, 26:31) – The always cool Tom Savini home video footage of the effects and make-up work in the film.

Extended Interview Segments (HD, 23:45) – Features George Romero, Tom Savini and Bernie Wrightson.

Horror’s Hallowed Grounds With Sean Clark (HD, 14:56) – Another terrific look at the shooting locations as they are now, and Tom “F***ing*” Atkins shows up on the tour as well to talk about the house in the wrap-arounds of the film.

Vintage 1982 Evening Magazine Segment (HD, 7:31) – A local Pittsburgh “Magazine” entertainment TV show covers Creepshow’s release in this segment.  VHS/video sourced.

Behind-The-Scenes of CREEPSHOW Photo Gallery (HD, 8:30) 

Scream Greats Volume One: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects (HD, 52:54) – Comes with optional commentary.  Oh man, I had always wanted to see this.  I remembered seeing it advertised on a lot of VHS rentals back in the day.  Had a very creepy, awesome trailer.  And now, I have it.  Its quite a fun vintage look at one of the greatest to ever grace the genre.

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Basically this is like buying the bonus features without the movie.  Except, the retrospective is basically a full length documentary.  If you are a fan of Creepshow or even just horror in the 80s, this is a good pickup.  All the features sport great video and audio and the information on board here is top of the line.  Stephen King isn’t present on this, but that’s the only bummer.  Getting a good deal on this would make for a nice companion with your Creepshow Blu-ray that has been hungry for “Just Desserts”.



2 Responses to “Just Desserts: The Making Of “Creepshow” (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Jay

    This doc is actually on the UK edition of Creepshow which was the 1st region B disc I bought when I bought a region free player. I’m sure I will pick this up for the bonus features though.

  2. Jason Coleman

    So jealous – totally want to get this one! (Thanks for posting yet another Blu-ray I didn’t know about that I’m gonna have to buy – too many man!) Also Greg Nicotero has the actual crate as I saw it in his old office! Tom Savini had it in his attic and was going to throw it away until Greg nabbed it and saved it! I would kill to have that thing!