Portmanteau-a-go-go #7 – Creepshow III

Now we are really cheating. While our remit is to cover films from the ’80s, we are relaxed enough that we’ll consider late ’70s and early ’90s efforts if they are in keeping with the spirit of the site. 2006 is probably pushing things all a bit too far but when the movie in question is a bonafide Creepshow sequel, it gets an exception.

We say bonafide but unlike its prequels, Creepshow III has no involvement from Stephen King or George A. Romero. But it says Creepshow and that’s good enough for us.

This time there is no wrap-around story and instead the film opens straight in with part one, Alice, which sees a typically annoying teenage girl being irritated by her family. During this, her father is trying to get the remote control to work and when he presses the ‘colour/hue’ button, Alice is warped into an alternate reality where her family is black.

Alice gets a really bad case of myxomatosis.

Alice gets a really bad case of myxomatosis.

Then when new black dad presses ‘subtitles’, she is warped again and finds herself with a hispanic family. Another warp and she’s a fairly unconvincing mutant with a bad leg before ending up back in her normal reality one more time.

The acting is this sequence is irredeemably poor and the production values would be unacceptable for a 1980s episode of The Twilight Zone but that’s not why it was the worst portmanteau segment we’ve ever covered. Nope, the ending. Jesus. April turns into a rabbit. Oh the horror.

Things get somewhat better with the second segment, The Radio, which sees a downtrodden security guard buying a radio from a tramp that turns out to be sentient and starts advising him on improving his life and making some money. It’s a fairly interesting story that jumps up a level when the radio’s relaxed attitude to humanity leads to her suggesting murder.

This section has a pretty satisfying ending as well which makes it just about worth bothering with and the darker tone is at odds with the Alice section but makes it all a lot better. The darker tone continues with Call Girl which follows Rachel, the titular call girl, as she discusses her next job with prospective client Victor on the phone. After a quick altercation with a crazy religious lady, in which Rachel pulls out a knife and kills her in cold blood, the radio in Rachel’s car broadcasts a news report about Rachel’s serial killing activities.

Not as dead as his acting career.

Not as dead as his acting career.

When she gets to what she thinks is Victor’s house, he asks to be tied up, to which Rachel is more than agreeable as it makes the kill easier. She teases him briefly before plunging a knife into his chest. Unfortunately for her, Victor isn’t quite dead. He’s undead, a vampire to be precise. At the end of the story we see Rachel dead and strung up alongside the occupants of the house. Dark.

The tone of Creepshow III lightens up with The Professor’s Wife. The professor has been working on a top-secret project at the university for almost twenty years and surprises everyone when he announces he is getting married.

He invites his two former star students around in advance of the wedding and on meeting the extremely odd, but pleasant, wife-to-be they realise that she must be a robot and set about disassembling her. It’s only when they are in a kitchen literally full of blood and bodyparts that they realise they’ve killed a person. It’s a ridiculous story and the way it is told is even crazier than the premise but it’s in the comic tradition of such Creepshow segments as Green Fingers.

If you think this is silly, wait until you see how they resolve this situation.

If you think this is silly, wait until you see how they resolve this situation.

Another stylistic call-back to Creepshow history is in the film’s final segment entitled Haunted Dog which is basically The Hitch Hiker from Creepshow 2 but with the female driver replaced by an absolute dickhead of a doctor, the hitch hiker replaced with a tramp and the car replaced by… a hotdog.

Yep, the titular dog is a hotdog that the tramp chokes on. Doctor Farwell, who is working in a free clinic as part of some kind of disciplinary incident treats everyone he meets with contempt and is only bothered in partying and sleeping it off. So when he drops his hotdog and decides to maliciously give it to the tramp, he’s definitely got some sort of revenge coming and it does as he is stalked by a trampy ghost saying ‘thanks for the good dog’ (as opposed to ‘thanks for the ride’). As a story in its own right, it’s a load of bollocks but it is in keeping with the ridiculous nature of the movie.

I made you a poo.

I made you a poo.

As I mentioned previously, there is no wrap-around story as such but Creepshow III does interlink the stories. For example we find out that the radio was created by the Professor (who also turned Alice into the rabbit). All the stories have characters that cross over into other ones and it works quite well.

Unfortunately though, this film’s acting is so bafflingly terrible that it makes the whole thing kind of hard to watch but it is in the tradition of the horror portmanteau and is possibly worth a watch if you’ve literally got nothing else to watch or do. Maybe. Perhaps.

2 thoughts on “Portmanteau-a-go-go #7 – Creepshow III

  1. After watching the first 2 Creepshows, this was so much poorer than I even expected, in hindsight? it seemed like they filmed the lot, put the film through a shredder then spliced it back together at random in the editing suite. The Doctor section made me laugh though for many many wrong reasons

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