Here is my review of Roger Ebert’s review of the George A. Romero/Stephen King classic, “Creepshow,” which is one of my favorite movies of all time. [Note: Because Ebert is deceased, I wasn’t sure if I should use past or present tense when addressing his review. And, yes, this is one of many tasteless “Roger Ebert is dead” jokes I’ll probably make on this page.]
Previously, I critiqued Ebert’s over the top condemnation of “Friday The 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter.” I must say, Ebert redeems himself with this review, and not only because I agree with him (though that doesn’t hurt).
He begins by noting how “Creepshow plays like an anthology of human phobias.”
Hell, yes, it does! That is one of the strengths of the movie, which not every viewer (or reviewer) would probably notice.
And I couldn’t have put it better myself, really. Ebert goes on to list some of the universal phobias involved, and, for better or worse, gives away a few plot details (a phenomenon that often occurs, though some people might not like it). Still, his respectful, calm tone offers some relief from that little flaw, and almost makes me forget his near-psychopathic tirades against Friday the 13th part 4 (and the rest of that series, and I’m sure plenty of other movies).
He notes how “These stories [in Creepshow, obviously] have been inspired, right down to the very camera angles, by the classic EC Comics of the early 1950s titles like ‘Tales from the Crypt,’ which curdled the blood of Eisenhower-era kids raised on such innocent stuff as Captain Marvel, and appalled their elders. (EC Comics almost single-handedly inspired the creation of the Comics Code Authority.)”
Very true, and the reference to “Eisenhower-era kids” somehow classes up the review for me. There are a few details missing from his review, I think. Ebert somehow omits the great acting done by Leslie Nielson, which is one of the best “cracking up” moments caught on film. And how about Stephen King’s neato guest performance as Jordy Verrill? No mention of that, either. Oh well. One supposes a reviewer needn’t delve into every little detail. Still, a little praise for those two roles would have been nice. And, hell, even Ted Danson did a swell job in this movie (in my opinion). But I’ll move on from this.
Another observation Ebert makes: “Nobody in this movie is a three-dimensional person, or is meant to be. They are all types. And their lives are all object lessons.” One can debate this point, I am sure, because some people in life seem shockingly one-dimensional. It’s like the age-old critique that Keanu Reeves doesn’t seem well-rounded and authentic in his acting. Maybe he doesn’t, but there are plenty of real people who act and sound something like Keanu Reeves (though this observation opens up the “There is only one Keanu Reeves” debate, which is a whole other can of worms).
Awkwardly, I’m going to end this review review here, leaving you to ponder my beliefs about shape-shifting Keanu Reeves clones living amongst us, and that this is how he has permeated the public imagination so successfully — by embodying a mass-produced essense of Keanu, while masking his appearance as he attends his own movies in large numbers. (Just kidding, most of his movies are actually okay.)