Stephen King 3-Pack
This less-satisfying sequel to the 1982 George A. Romero/Stephen King anthology presents a new trio of King stories, framed in a similar EC Comics-style format -- this time featuring some rather lackluster animated segments involving horror-host "The Creep", who introduces each chapter with pun-heavy gallows humor. The stories vary widely in quality: first there's "Old Chief Wood'nhead," involving a cigar-store Indian who quite literally guards the entrance to an old general store and comes to life to avenge the murders of the elderly couple (George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour) who owned it. The middle segment, "The Raft," features a group of obnoxious teenagers stranded on a raft in the middle of a lake at the mercy of a murderous oil slick which looks like a bunch of plastic garbage bags stitched together. Both of these suffer in comparison to the closing segment, "The Hitchhiker," in which a bored, promiscuous socialite (Lois Chiles) mows down a hitchhiker who refuses to stay dead, returning again and again to torment her at every turn, rasping "Thanks for the ride, lady!" Despite its strengths -- a livelier pace, some creatively gory set pieces -- this is a much cheaper-looking effort than its predecessor, with the deft guidance of Romero conspicuously absent (long-time collaborator Michael Gornick took up the directorial reins); as a result, King's gross-out sensibilities don't come off as well. Makeup maestro Tom Savini appears in heavy makeup as a live-action version of The Creep, and King pops in for a bit part as a redneck trucker.