Art Boy and I ended up spending a good chunk of New Year's Eve watching "Creepshow." First we had to watch the ball drop, three hours later, since there is no West Coast equivalent of the ball dropping that we have been able to find. Then I got the remote back and flipped through channels.
"Doesn't that look like Stephen King?" I said.
"That is Stephen King," said Art Boy.
And so I was introduced to "Creepshow," the classic horror anthology film, the only collaboration so far between King and George A. Romero, and the perfect thing to watch after midnight with vodka-champagne martinis. This thing is just a blast. We tuned in for the second segment, a "Colour Out of Space"-inspired tale of a rural New England farmer (King) who finds a creepy meteor. The third involves Leslie Nielson burying Ted Danson up to his neck in sand, which somehow manages to be genuinely horrifying.
Art Boy thought the actress who plays Nielson's unfaithful wife might be Veronica Cartwright, which I thought would be the coolest thing ever until I looked it up and found who it really is. "MIKE," I screamed, swilling more champagne. "IT'S GAYLEN ROSS." The "Dawn of the Dead" star was in four movies and this is one of them. I thought that was pretty fabulous until we got to the fourth segment and it turned out to star Adrienne Barbeau.
Sometime before segment 5, which stars E.G. Marshall and features a Tom Savini cameo, I gently passed out on the couch, but Art Boy assures me it is very cool.
Over coffee and aspirin the next morning, Art Boy explained the frame story to me: a mean father (an uncredited Tom Atkins) takes a horror comic away from his son (played by a child who grew up to be horror novelist Joe Hill*). At the end the boy receives the voodoo doll he had ordered from an ad in the comic and uses it on Atkins. Ha!
Art Boy's breakfast conversation included a couple of vague anti-child remarks, and after the second one he said "I don't know what's gotten into me today." I told him he was being haunted by the movie because, being a secret Republican in his heart of hearts, he identifies with the dad. "You think children shouldn't have horror comics," I taunted. "You think they should be all repressed and stuff." He put down his newspaper and said "It's true. Look. One day, little Cindy Lou Who is going to be looking at Japanese tentacle porn, and you'll agree with me." I suppose he's right.
Anyway, the movie was super cool; if you like horror at all, it's heaps of fun. And champagne is great in vodka martinis. Just drink some water before bed.
*Also Stephen King's son.