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The Most Fun You'll Ever Have...BEING SCARED!

In 1982, horror author Stephen King teamed up with zombiemeister George A. Romero and special effects wizard Tom Savini to make Creepshow, an anthology film that paid homage to 1950s horror comic books like Tales from the Crypt from EC Comics. It featured an all-star cast (including Leslie Nielsen, Ed Harris, pre-Cheers Ted Danson, Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, E. G. Marshall, and Stephen King himself) and told five stories:

  1. "Father's Day": Many years ago, Bedelia Grantham's (Viveca Lindfors) wealthy, abusive, and domineering father Nathan (Jon Lormer) made her life a living hell, even going so far as to have her lover killed just so he could keep her under his thumb. That Father's Day, she proceeded to bash her father's head in with a marble ashtray as he yammered loudly for his cake. Seven years later, the rest of the Grantham family, including newly-made in-law Hank (Harris), gather together at the family estate on Father's Day, the anniversary of the murder. Unfortunately for the Granthams, you can't keep a hungry man down. Nathan still wants his cake, and not even death itself is going to keep him from getting it.
  2. "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill": Backwoods redneck Jordy Verrill (King) thinks his financial woes are solved when he witnesses a meteor crash-land on his farm, intending to sell it to the local college for a small fortune. After splashing a bucket of water on the meteor to cool it off, it splits in half, revealing a strange liquid that Jordy innocently dumps into the ground. Despite his setback, Jordy resolves to try and fix the meteor in the morning. Unfortunately for Jordy, the meteor turns out to contain some rapidly-growing alien plants that not only spread all over his farm, but also on his body. Based on King's short story "Weeds".
  3. "Something to Tide You Over": Wealthy control freak Richard Vickers (Nielsen) learns that his wife Becky is having an affair with well-to-do beach bum Harry Wentworth (Danson). When he confronts Harry about the affair, he plays a recording of a terrified Becky begging Harry to come save her. He soon lures Harry to his private beachfront estate, and once there, he forces Harry to jump into a hole in the sand, whereupon Richard buries him up to his neck. To make matters worse, Richard has buried Harry below the high-tide line, ensuring that he'll drown when the tide comes in. As a final insult, he even shows Harry live footage of Becky suffering the same fate before he drowns. Richard is certain that once they drown, his problems will be solved. Unfortunately, Richard never took Harry's vow of revenge seriously, and ends up receiving a visit from two scorned lovers from beyond the grave. Or rather, from the bottom of the sea.
  4. "The Crate": At the prestigious Horlicks University, janitor Mike Latimer (Don Keefer) finds an old, dusty crate underneath a basement stairwell. The crate also catches Mike's interest when he discovers that it has been stored underneath the staircase for over a century and supposedly contains specimens of an "Arctic expedition". He notifies biology professor Dexter Stanley (Fritz Weaver) about the find, and invites him to the basement to help him open it. Once opened, the crate is revealed to contain a shaggy, diminutive, and ferocious creature. After the monster kills and eats Mike, the frightened Professor Stanley enlists the help of grad student Charlie Gereson. After the monster also kills and eats Charlie, Dexter goes to his colleague and fellow professor Henry Northrup (Holbrook) for help. Henry turns out to be married to an abusive and alcoholic shrew of a woman named Wilma (Barbeau and her cleavage), and upon hearing Dex's story, he decides that a flesh-eating monster is a rather tempting alternative to divorce. Adapted from a short story of the same name.
  5. "They're Creeping Up on You!": Upson Pratt (Marshall), a miserly, racist, germophobic business tycoon, hates pretty much everybody. He spends much of his time conversing with his hard-working subordinates through the phone, treating them all like dirt and insects while he rules his multinational business empire from his sterilized, germ-proof penthouse. One night, George Gendron, one of Pratt's employees, informs him that a business rival, Norman Castonmeyer, ended up committing suicide after Pratt took his company out from under him. Pratt actually reacts joyously to this news, but soon after, he soon begins finding cockroaches, which he fears more than anything, crawling all around his apartment. He also gets a message from Norman's widow, Lenore, who furiously berates him for what happened to her husband. It all comes to a climax when a rolling blackout hits Pratt's building, and the cockroaches begin to overwhelm him, swarming by the thousands.
In addition, the movie also has a Framing Device of a young boy named Billy (Joe Hill) who reads the eponymous Creepshow comic while enduring abuse from his father, Stan (Tom Atkins). Thankfully, Billy manages to get the last laugh.

It had a less well-received (but still mostly good) sequel, Creepshow 2, which was followed by the unofficial and nowhere near as popular Creepshow 3. The film would inspire other EC Comics-style horror anthologies such as Tales from the Crypt and Tales from the Darkside.

A 12-episode series aired on Shudder streaming service, beginning September 26, 2019. Here is the official trailer. In addition to more adaptations of King himself, the series also boasts stories from Joe Hill, Joe R Lansdale, Josh Malerman, and more.

Creepshow is the Trope Namer for:

"The most fun you'll have being troped":

    open/close all folders 

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Nathan Grantham is the (literal) dad from Hell.
    • Billy's father in the framing story is a real scumbag. This one you can check off on the Stephen King Drinking Game.
    Stan: That's why God made fathers.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Though it's not an official adaptation (and there were such films already), many feel Romero and King perfectly captured the spirit of the old EC comics, right down to the movie being deliberately over the top and full of Narm.
  • Asshole Victim: By the bucket-full. Tragically subverted in The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill - Jordy is a decent man who has done nothing wrong.
  • Author Appeal: Stephen King adores EC Comics, and this project (and the related comic book tie-in) is his homage.
  • Back from the Dead: Considering who made this, it's pretty much a given.
  • Bathos: True to the old comics, this movie is swimming in it.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The movie's goriest scenes are generally played for laughs.
  • Body Horror: It ranges from mild to severe, depending on the story.
  • Break the Haughty: What happens to the wicked characters when they're about to get their just desserts.
  • The Cameo: Character actor and frequent Carpenter collaborator Tom Atkins appears in the film's framing segments as Billy's abusive father Stan.
    • Richard's wife Becky is played by Gaylen Ross, Francine from "Dawn of the Dead".
    • Frequent Romero collaborator John Amplas, who also appeared in "Dawn of the Dead," plays the zombie version of Nathan Grantham.
  • Creator Cameo: Aside from King as Jordy, Tom Savini is one of the garbagemen in the closing segment of the framing story.
  • Cultural Stereotypes: Jordy is a dumb redneck, and all of the rich folks (particularly Upson Pratt) are total dicks.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A big theme of the movie, in keeping with its '50s horror comic inspiration. Characters ranging from truly innocent (Jordy, Hank) to utterly evil (Richard, Upson) meet horrible fates with little regard for what's really deserved.
  • Dysfunctional Family:
    • Billy's dad Stan routinely beats him to the point the kid, a budding psychopath, snarls "I hope you rot in Hell" when he leaves, and pours himself a beer to unwind; the mother, meanwhile, is completely ineffectual and cowed, at most asking if Stan was "a little hard on him" and saying he "didn't have to" hit him.
    • The Granthams are a sniping, WASPy bunch who hang around making passive-aggressive comments to each other when they're not gossiping about family secrets.
  • '80s Hair: Ubiquitous. Adrienne Barbeau's haircut in this movie could be used in a textbook.
  • Empathic Environment: Justified in that it's a comic book. Even the frames change mood.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Like the EC Comics that inspired this movie, a few of the self-contained stories end this way just for fun.
  • Evil Old Folks:
    • If Nathan Grantham's tombstone is to be believed, at the time of his murder in 1972, he was 104. Part of the reason he was so controlling of Bedelia was because he was left dependent on her after a stroke, and Sylvia muses in a deleted scene that he "simply would not die" and he "made a pact with the Devil, or somebody" just to avoid handing over his fortune.
    • Upson Pratt, a miserly old coot who's persisted in business for decades and made a lot of enemies along the way.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Oh, so much. It's fun to pause the video to read the letters page or some of The Creep's Deadpan Snarking, with enough puns to put the Crypt Keeper to shame. For example, at the end of The Crate, in the final comic book frame the Creep snarks, "Oh, Henry. You didn't think you could drown your fears that easily?"
    • Combined with Rewatch Bonus, freeze framing the film in between the second and third stories makes it easier to notice that the send-away for the voodoo doll has already been cut out.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Several scenes transition from live-action to comic book art, in accordance with the Framing Story premise that the audience is "reading" the stories from Billy's wind-riffled comic.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Bedelia Grantham and Henry Northrup murder, respectively, their father and wife, and in both cases it's presented as a very bad thing to do... but it's very hard to feel sorry for their loathesome victims.
  • Large Ham:
    Jordy: METEOR SHIT!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Several examples, most notably:
    • Sylvia, who helped Bedelia cover up her murder of her father to spilt his fortune amongst the family, ends up as his Father's Day cake.
    • Richard, who left his wife and her lover buried up to their necks in the sand, has the same done to him.
    • Upson Pratt, who compares all of society to cockroaches and is delighted over his causing a man to commit suicide, has cockroaches pour out of him from the inside.
    • Billy's father, who slaps him over reading a comic. By the end of the film, his throat is feeling awfully sore.
  • Mood Whiplash: The film swings from horror to comedy and back in the blink of an eye.
  • Mythology Gag: At the end of "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill," we see a signpost reading "CASTLE ROCK 5."
    • Horlicks University, where the action of "The Crate" takes place, is the same college where Arnie's parents teach in Christine.
    • Jordy's complaint about "Verrill luck" always being bad is accurate. He's one of a long line of people with the last name "Verrill" who has died in some horrible way, shape, or form in Stephen King's works.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There are two Henrys (although one of them goes by Hank) and two Richards in the movie.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Despite this being directed by George Romero, the zombies in this movie don't follow those of the classic Romero movies. Richard even tries to shoot Harry and Becky in the head, but it's a No-Sell.
  • Rule of Scary: Neither the way the zombies are re-animated, nor how Fluffy was able to survive for many years without needing food, nor the cockroach invasion against Pratt are given good explanations. They just happen because they have to.
  • Self-Deprecation: Despite this being a George A. Romero-directed movie with zombies in it, they don't die from a headshot.
  • Sequel Hook: In two of the segments. "Fluffy" smashes his way out of his box and escapes at the end of "The Crate," and at the end of "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill," the alien weeds are still growing and headed for civilization. (Ultimately subverted by Creepshow 2, in which none of the stories have anything to do with the ones in this film.) It was fairly common for old '50s horror comics to end this way, though.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" was loosely inspired by Creedence Clearwater Revival's "It Came Out Of The Sky," a song where a farmer finds an object that fell from space (though the plot of the song is otherwise very different) - the main character in the CCR song is named Jody, which of course sounds similar to Jordy. In addition, the title of the segment is a play on Bob Dylan's song "The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carrol," and as noted above, H. P. Lovecraft's story "The Colour Out of Space" is also a clear influence.
    • The stenciled text on Fluffy's crate reads "SHIP TO HORLICKS UNIVERSITY VIA JULIA CARPENTER...ARCTIC EXPEDITION JUNE 19, 1834." At the time, John Carpenter was shooting The Thing (1982), which is set in Antarctica. Carpenter was also the director the Stephen King adaptation Christine, which featured Horlicks University. A lot of people involved in this movie had worked with Carpenter before, to the point where it's honestly easy to forget that he wasn't involved in Creepshow at all.
    • At the beginning of "They're Creeping Up on You!" the ragtime music that was used in The Evil Dead can be heard on Pratt's jukebox.
    • Bedelia's murdered lover Peter Yarbro could be a tip of the hat from King to his fellow horror novelist Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
    • The two new teachers in "The Crate" are named Richard and Tabitha. They are named after Stephen King's wife, Tabitha, and his writing alter-ego Richard Bachman, according to King himself.
  • The 'Verse:
    • Horlicks University (the setting of "The Crate") is where Arnie Cunningham's parents teach in Christine, and it's also where Deke, Laverne, Randy, and Rachel go to school in "The Raft." There's even a passing mention in Christine (the book, not the movie) of Mike, the janitor eaten by "Fluffy."
    • The radio broadcast at the end of "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" makes a clear reference to Castle County, another mainstay of King's universe.

    The framing story 
  • Alcoholic Parent: Stan pours himself a beer after disciplining his son, as per the Stephen King Drinking Game.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During one of the quick transition sequences that shows additional pages in the comic, there's a brief shot of a mail-in ad for a Voodoo Doll with that order cut out, but it's quickly passed by as the film moves on to the next segment. This comes into play at the very end, when it's revealed that Billy already sent away for the doll, and uses it to kill his father as revenge for throwing his comic out at the beginning of the film.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Stan's moral guardian attitude in the framing story is a pretty overt reference to the real-life scare around the '50s horror comics that inspired this film.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Stan, to an abusive degree (he even thinks it's his God-given right to slap his kid!).
  • Foreshadowing: When Stan complains about the subject matter of the Creepshow comic, he mentions "things coming out of crates and eating people, dead people coming back to life," and "people turning into weeds", giving the audience a hint of what's to come.
  • Framing Story: Quite obviously, this one focusing on the friction between a boy and his father over the former's love of horror comic books.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Judging by the jack o'lantern in the family's window, this story takes place around Halloween.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: In the end, Billy tortures his abusive father with a Voodoo Doll that he mail-ordered from an ad in the comic that his father threw out.
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: Invoked and ultimately defied, where Stan's insistence that his son avoid horror comics is presented as abuse rather than genuine concern.
  • Moral Guardians: Stan berates Billy for reading the titular comic in spite of keeping a secret Porn Stash, and then smacks him for calling him out on it. He later justifies his actions by saying that the comic was so full of horrifying material that could cause damage to him, ignoring the fact that his abuse would cause much more harm in the long term than a comic book could.
  • Scary Skeleton: The Creep appears as a rotting skeleton when he visits Billy.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Billy's father slaps him across the face for reading horror comics, talking back to him, and snooping through his things.

     Father's Day 
  • Ambiguously Gay: The prissy and catty Richard has stereotypically gay mannerisms and does not have a romantic partner during his visit, unlike his sister. It's never confirmed that he's actually gay, but he mentions that he doesn't like Hank, the only other male character in the story.
  • As You Know: An interesting variation, as Bedelia telling her dead father about his murder and the cover-up while she sits by his grave, which also informs the audience everything we need to know about why he's going to do what he's going to do later.
  • Ax-Crazy: Nathan takes too much damn fun in sadistically offing his family members after he comes back.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: While the rest of the Grantham family weren't saints themselves, Nathan kills them one by one after he comes back as a zombie, and the segment ends with him finally getting his "cake."
  • Big "OMG!": Richard reacts to the sight of Sylvia's icing-covered head on a platter with a comical "OOOOOHHH MMMYYY GHHHAAAOOOOOOAAAAAHHH!!!"
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Granthams, a bickersome and snide collection of idle rich formerly under the control of their patriarch Nathan, and now implicitly by Sylvia. It's an open family secret that Bedelia killed Nathan for his abusive, manipulative ways, and none of them intend to do a thing about it.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Sylvia claims that Bedelia is "older than God."
  • Bludgeoned to Death: Nathan was killed when his daughter grabbed a marble ashtray and slammed it right into his head.
  • Bratty Food Demand: The viewers are shown just how annoying Nathan was in life so that we aren't sad when he dies, by showing him banging on the table for what's implied to be hours, screaming at Bedelia and hurling insults at her while demanding his Father's Day cake.
  • Death by Looking Up: Hank falls into Nathan's grave and gets pinned under Bedelia's dead body. He can only lie helplessly on his back, looking up, as the top of Nathan's monument is telekinetically pushed into the grave... directly on top of his head.
  • Decapitation Presentation: On a Father's Day cake, no less.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Or in this case, a headstone. Ed Harris is well known to audiences now, and his character's somewhat anticlimactic death after seemingly waiting a full minute for a headstone to be pushed onto his skull is a bit of a surprise, especially because the audience would assume that, because he's only married into the family, Hank is one of the people at the gathering that Nathan would have the LEAST issue with.
  • Evil Gloating: "It's Father's Day... And I got my cake... Happy Father's Day! HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!"
  • Evil Laugh: Nathan chuckles to himself after crushing Hank with his tombstone, and laughs maniacally after scaring Cass and Richard with Sylvia's severed head as the story ends.
  • Fan Disservice: Ed Harris disco dancing.
  • Ghostly Goals: "I want my cake!"
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Peter Yarbro's injuries after being shot point-blank with a shotgun are never shown, just the body falling back into the water, but it's quite clear he's dead. A deleted scene, also included in the comic adaptation, was filmed with Bedelia identifying him at the morgue, and the corpse has a bloody swath blown through the right side of his face.
    • Hank getting squashed by the tombstone is done in a series of cuts; he yelps, and the film cuts to the stone falling down in the foreground while Nathan watches in focus in the background.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: It's Father's Day, and Nathan wants his cake.
  • Hunting "Accident": Bedelia's beau Yarbro was (supposedly) a victim of this, courtesy of her father.
  • Identifying the Body: A deleted scene has Bedelia identifying Yarbro's body at the morgue, whom her father had shot to keep Bedelia to heel. This is one of the reasons she bludgeons her father to death with that ashtray (the other being his goddamn incessant wailing and the banging he made with his cane when he was upset, especially when he wanted his Father's Day cake).
  • Idle Rich: Most of the Granthams.
  • Libation for the Dead: Bedelia inadvertently does this when she knocks over the whiskey she was drinking on her father's grave. Nathan comes back for revenge immediately after this.
  • Madness Mantra: "Where's my cake? I want my cake!"
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: How Bedelia's father was killed. It's appropriate as well, as her father had her lover murdered the same way.
    Aunt Bedelia: Sylvia fixed it all! Ashtray back in place! Chair overturned! A fall, Daddy, a bad fall. Nobody could catch us! Nobody! You taught me, you taught Sylvia! You taught us all!
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Nathan's tombstone moves forward in a halting, maliciously slow way to crush Hank; Grantham, meanwhile, stands aside and beckons at him, at which point the stone finally topples. Is he controlling it somehow, or just mocking the soon-to-be dead man?
  • Neck Snap: Nathan kills Sylvia with the ultimate neck-snapping kill, with no effort whatsoever.
  • Nice Guy: Hank, the only in-law among the Granthams. Unlike his wife and her brother, who are absolute snobs, he doesn't do or say anything malicious or morbid. He was naturally curious about the story of Nathan's murder, and the only reason he went out to the graveyard is to see if Bedelia was okay.
  • Older Than They Look: Despite being "older than God," Bedelia actually looks a decade younger than Sylvia, her niece.
  • One True Love: Bedelia's lover Yarbro had no interest in her father's money, just Bedelia.
    Bedelia: You shouldn't have killed Peter! He was a man, see, a real man! Everything I wanted, he wanted for me!
  • Open Secret: The murder of Nathan Grantham, which has become a well-known family story in the present day.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: In life, Nathan was a cruel, spiteful, and perpetually jealous Spoiled Brat of a man, but that isn't to say that his relatives are any better. His returning from the grave to give them their just deserts could easily be seen as a case of this trope.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Sylvia goes into the dark kitchen to find Mrs. Danvers, the cook. She finds her, all right...
    • Hank also meets Bedelia by way of falling into an open grave and finding her strangled corpse.
  • Revenant Zombie: Nathan Grantham, in case it wasn't obvious.
  • Rise from Your Grave: Again, Nathan Grantham. Oddly, it looks like he was buried without a coffin only a few feet down.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Somewhat subverted. Nathan doesn't come back from the dead to get revenge, so much as he does to just get his Father's Day cake. We say "somewhat" because he settles for Sylvia's head, complete with icing and candles.
    • To say nothing of him sadistically killing his entire known family and an in-law that had nothing to do with him just because he's there.
    • Possibly played straight with the Grantham's cook Mrs. Danvers, who overheard Nathan's murder yet presumably never told the police.
  • Rule of Seven: Nathan comes Back from the Dead seven years after his murder... and he still wants that Father's Day cake he never got.
  • Scary Skeleton: When Nathan rises from his grave to begin his cake-motivated killing spree, his zombified corpse is almost entirely skeletal, with bits of dirt, mold, decaying flesh, and maggots clinging to his bones.
  • Sinister Sweet Tooth: Nothing will stop Nathan from getting his cake. Not even death...
  • The Sociopath: After what he does to Hank, it's safe to say Nathan has zero empathy.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Nathan slips in a few when he's screaming at Bedelia for his cake. She calls him out on it when sitting at his grave, mocking him in the process.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Hank lies underneath Nathan's tombstone for almost a full minute before the zombified Nathan gets around to squishing his head with it, far too long to just chalk up to being paralyzed with fear. Poor guy must not have had the "fight or flight" reflex.
  • Un-Paused: Nathan crawls out of his grave, still ranting, "I want my cake! It's Father's Day! I want my cake!"
  • Villain Has a Point: Nathan's ranting and raving about his family being "vultures." While Bedelia seemed innocent enough (until a certain "accident"), it's clear that the Granthams have always been smarmy, spoiled people who keep kissing up to the main heir to the family fortune. Such is the case with Richard, Cass, and Sylvia, who blithely overlook the murder. The latter even disguised the killing as an accident to steal Nathan's wealth and divvy it amongst the family.
  • The Watson: Hank. As an outsider to the Grantham family, he gives Sylvia the perfect opportunity to explain the backstory.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What became of Cass and Richard? The film doesn't answer the question directly, but the comic book adapation states that Nathan proceeded to "blow out their candles".

     The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill 
  • Alien Kudzu: The green "meteor shit" is an extra-virulent example, being able to spread over living creatures as easily as soil.
  • Ate His Gun: Jordy blows his head off as the growth overwhelms him, finally managing to do something right.
  • Born Unlucky: Jordy, according to the man himself. He's not wrong. Apparently, the luckiest thing to happen to him is that his shotgun did put him out of his misery.
  • Came from the Sky: The meteor that lands in Jordy's backyard.
  • Comically Small Demand: Jordy plans to profit from the meteor by selling it to the local college for $200.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Jordy reaches it while talking to his father's ghost, lamenting that not getting into the tub at this point would only delay the inevitable.
  • Driven to Suicide: Poor Jordy.
  • The End... Or Is It?: After Jordy's suicide from the plants that thrive on water:
    TV Weather Forecaster: And in today's weather: Well, not much for the outdoor types, but you farmers are going to love this. The current 30-day forecast released by the US Meteorlogical Station in Portland, calls for moderating temperatures and lots of rain. Castle County is going to turn green so fast in the next month, that it's going to be almost miraculous.
  • Half-Witted Hillbilly: Jordy is very much the stereotypical dumbass redneck, played with over-the-top gusto by Stephen King himself. Nevertheless, he is possibly the most sympathetic character in the whole movie.
  • Homage: While most of the movie is an obvious Shout-Out to EC Comics, this segment also functions as one to H. P. Lovecraft's The Colour Out of Space.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: As the plants grow on Jordy, he ransacks his liquor cabinet for a half-full fifth of Popov, dumps it in a pitcher of O.J., uses the bottle to stir it, and sits down to watch TV with his extra-large screwdriver.
  • Idiot Plot: An In-Universe example. Jordy's story only works because he's ignorant, stupid, and desperate, and he even acknowledges near the end that jumping in his bathtub, even though it will relieve his horrible itching, will still mean his death.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Jordy has a few of them throughout the segment, playing through various possible outcomes regarding the meteor.
  • Lighter and Softer: While Jordy's ultimate fate is inevitably tragic, his segment is the most-lighthearted in the film, with his Large Ham mannerisms and over-the-top fantasy sequences, and the fact that there's practically no blood or guts whatsoever.
  • Network Sign Off: Jordy's TV is left on while Jordy drunkenly falls asleep. The blaring signoff tone wakes him up, allowing him to see that the alien growth has reached his living room and has grown further on his own body.
  • Not of This Earth: Jordy's meteor.
  • Plant Person: The alien plants grow so rapidly over the course of a single night, that Jordy becomes a walking, talking lump of greenery, before he puts himself down with a shotgun.
  • Spoiler Title: Would you care to guess what happens at the end of the story?
  • Stealth Pun: When Jordy wakes up after briefly falling asleep in his chair, the moss-like alien growth has spread throughout his farm. While he's taking all this in, the film adaptation of How Green Was My Valley can be heard on his TV set.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Jordy almost calls a doctor about the alien growth on his hand, but he reconsiders when he imagines that the "cure" will be to chop off his afflicted fingers. Without anesthetic.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing!: "This is going to be extremely painful, Mr. Verrill..."

     Something to Tide You Over 
  • Badass Boast: As the tide rolls in, Harry looks at the camera Richard set up to record his death and lets this fly:
    Harry: Richard! I'm gonna get you! You hear me, Richard? YOU HEAR ME, RICHARD?! I'm going to get you f...!
    [a wave washes over his head, cutting him off abruptly]
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: At one point, Richard kicks a crab away from Harry when it approaches his face.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Richard is obsessed with cameras and video equipment, having decorated his beach house with a myriad of surveillance equipment.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Richard tries this on Harry and Becky. Unfortunately for him, they aren't that kind of undead.
  • Cold Ham: Richard, played by Leslie Nielsen, manages to be hammy while just wearing a smirk, for the most part.
  • Defiant to the End: An insane Richard demonstrates this, as he receives his Karmic Death.
  • Evil Detecting Fish: The fish in Richard's aquarium become panicked and agitated when the undead Harry and Becky enter his house.
  • Fan Disservice: Harry is played by the exquisitely handsome Ted Danson, but the viewer only sees him buried up to his neck in sand left to die, and then as a waterlogged zombie.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Richard puts on a friendly façade as he's extracting his revenge. He talks to Harry almost like he's meeting an old friend he hasn't seen in a while, all while arranging to bury him and drown him as he gloats about how he's also currently in the process of murdering his wife.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Richard tries to shoot the waterlogged corpses of Harry and Becky as they invade his home, but they aren't bothered.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: Harry's last words.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Richard admits to Harry that he never really loved his wife, but she belongs to him, and he keeps what he owns.
  • Immune to Bullets: Harry and Becky each take point blank rounds to the head and barely even flinch.
  • Ironic Echo: When the now undead Harry and Becky return to get revenge on Richard, they repeat many of the same phrases he said to them, such as "We dug a hole for you," and "Don't panic!"
  • Laughing Mad: Richard goes mad with fear and begins laughing hysterically when he realizes the undead Harry and Becky are Immune to Bullets, and it continues when he gets his Laser-Guided Karma.
  • My God, You Are Serious!: Harry to Richard when the latter (in his own twisted way) keeps his word about Harry being able to see Becky, while explaining that he's going to die: "Oh my God. You are insane!"
  • Oh, Crap!: Harry, when the biggest wave yet comes right at him, and he realizes he is soon to be submerged completely.
    Harry: Oh my God...
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Harry and Becky are able to pull off a textbook example of this when they return from the dead.
  • Plant Person: The zombified Harry and Becky appear as though they were made of seaweed, even bleeding greenish-black blood.
  • Psychic Powers: The zombified Harry and Becky are able to manipulate devices in Richard's house without touching them.
  • Revenant Zombie: Harry and Becky are very soggy revenants once they return from the grave.
  • Sand Necktie: Richard does this to Harry and Becky on seperate occasions. Richard himself gets the same treatment by the story's end.
  • Smug Snake: Richard Vickers. Even before we realize he's a murderous psycho, he's already an amazingly smug asshole.
  • The Sociopath: Richard, who gets sick enjoyment out of watching people who have crossed him die a slow, torturous death.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Harry and Becky, because Richard clearly does not care about his wife at all, and his harsh punishment for the two is solely out of the principle of "What's mine is mine."
  • Together in Death: Harry and Becky, in a rather tragic way.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Richard discovers that he can't kill Becky and Harry, nor can hide from them, he breaks down into a hysterical laughing fit before being dragged off to the beach to suffer the same fate he gave them.
  • You Can't Kill What's Already Dead: Richard tries to kill Harry and Becky again by shooting them in the head, only for them to No-Sell the bullets and continue shambling after Richard. They both even outright tell Richard that he can't kill them because they're already dead.
  • You're Insane!: Harry to Richard. Then Harry realizes he is insane. Richard knows he's insane, and doesn't give a shit.

     The Crate 
  • Actor Allusion: During his first Imagine Spot, Henry, played by Hal Holbrook, uses a .44 Magnum to off his wife.
  • Animal Assassin: Henry plans to use "Fluffy" (the beast in the crate, whatever it might be) to kill his shrewish wife Wilma.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Fluffy looks more like a baboon than anything else, but is clearly some kind of supernatural entity or at least biologically alien, capable of surviving for over a century inside a crate with no food or water. It also escapes from the crate after an undisclosed period of time when it's thrown into the quarry, though it's unclear whether the thing even needed to breathe, or if Henry just really pissed it off.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Protagonist Henry is married to Wilma, an abusive, alcoholic shrew of a woman, and he loathes being married to her so much that he fantasizes about killing her.
  • Big Eater: Staying locked up in a crate for so long must have played hell on Fluffy's appetite, because it tucks away two full-grown men and still has enough room to fit Wilma for dessert.
  • Black-Hole Belly: Referenced when Henry and Dexter marvel at how Fluffy can eat so much so quickly, yet still fit into its crate.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Henry shoots his wife right between the eyes in an Imagine Spot, prompting everyone at the party to applaud him.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Henry notices Dexter apparently talking privately with an attractive blonde grad student at the party. His phony story meant to lure Wilma into Fluffy's maw has him fabricating an incident where Dexter attempted to rape a young grad student and needed her to calm the traumatized girl down.
  • Country Matters: Billie drunkenly lets one of these slip during the faculty party, leading the shocked guests listening to her to excuse themselves and leave. This is dubbed over in most releases, replaced with the less-vulgar "crotch".
  • Domestic Abuse: Billie's treatment of Henry is a shining example of emotional abuse.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Fluffy is seen bursting out of the crate after Henry's dumped both of them into a quarry. It looks pissed, and Henry's probably going to get a very unfriendly visitor in the near-future.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Subverted. Henry baits his wife Billie to come to the location where the killer Arctic beast is located by writing a letter asking her to come help a student that was apparently nearly raped by his friend Dexter. Billie reads the letter with glee about having more gossip ammunition on Dexter and arrives faking being concerned. Just as planned.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: A meta-example in that the ape-like creature is never actually referred to by this name in-universe, but being named "Fluffy" by the production crew is what led to the trope's name.
  • Hated by All: The guests at the faculty gathering can't stand Wilma as much as Henry does, even asking why she keeps getting invited.
  • Henpecked Husband: Henry is completely under the thumb of his shrewish and domineering wife Billie. Whenever she's around, he spends his time mindlessly agreeing with her and fantasizing about killing her. He eventually decides to make these fantasies a reality with the help of Fluffy.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Henry and his best friend Dexter remain close into middle-age, even happily playing chess together following Billie's murder.
  • Hong Kong Dub: There's a very obvious ADR insert where Billie refers to an advice columnist as "that etiquette crotch," while the disgusted faces of the other party guests show why the line was edited later. The unedited line can be seen in the film's deleted scenes.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Henry has a couple of them where he imagines himself offing his wife.
  • Karma Houdini: Henry gets away with murdering his wife. Although Fluffy escapes, there's no indication that it can or otherwise would seek him out. However, the text in the comic book afterward implies that it's going to come after him before long.
  • Kick the Dog: Billie gives Henry an immsensely spiteful "The Reason You Suck" Speech right before she gets devoured. She spends so much time insulting him, though, that she doesn't notice the flesh-eating Animalistic Abomination right behind her, which promptly grabs her and kills her.
    Wilma: Same old Henry; afraid of your own shadow! You know what, Henry, you're a regular barnyard exhibit. Sheep's eyes, chicken guts, piggy friends... and shit for brains! No good at departmental politics, no good at makin' money, no good at makin' an impression on anybody, and no good at all in BED! When was the last time ya got it up, Henry? Huh? When was the last time you were a man in our bed? Now get outta my way, Henry, or I swear to God you'll be wearin' your balls for earrings!
  • Killer Space Monkey: Fluffy, the crate monster, looks like a Lovecraftian baboon. In King's original short story, it was more like a badger or wolverine, as befits its Arctic origins.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Wilma, a shrewish wife and overall Jerkass of the most supreme caliber, mentions that her belittled husband Henry is "no good at all in bed" as part of her overall insulting of how much of a loser she thinks he is (oblivious to the notion that she and her abhorrent attitude are likely the very reason for his lack of arousal).
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Henry tells Dexter about how he got rid of Fluffy while it was still full of the remains of the victims, but then corrects himself, saying that it contained the remains of "Two human beings and Wilma."
  • Named by the Adaptation: The original short story the segment is adapted from has Dexter never catching the name of the doomed janitor (something he regrets). The movie gives the janitor the name Mike Latimer.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Fluffy, which has been dormant under the stairs since 1834 and is somehow still alive when the crate is finally opened.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Henry slips sleeping pills into Dexter's drink to knock him out so he can go to the lab, clean up the carnage, and set up his plan to dispose of his wife.
  • Throw 'Em to the Wolves: Henry pulls this on his harpy of a wife Wilma, courtesy of Fluffy the crate monster.
  • Tomboyish Name: As Wilma will tell you, "Just call me Billie, everyone does!" Her spunky nickname does not make her endearing.
  • Villain Protagonist: Henry is a more morally grey one, a Sympathetic Murderer and victim of emotional Domestic Abuse. We may not agree with his actions, but we can understand them, and he gets an apparently happy ending as a Karma Houdini... although a few threads are still left hanging.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Dexter to Charlie, the grad student. Charlie doesn't at first, but when he finally finds proof that Fluffy ate the janitor, it decides to eat Charlie next.

     They're Creeping Up on You! 
  • Ate His Gun: Norman Castonmeyer, a business rival of Mr. Pratt, went out this way after Pratt completely took over his business and left him with nothing. According to his wife Lenore, his eyes looked so dead and soulless before he went to his room and blew his brains out. What's even worse, Pratt is delighted to hear this news!
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Discussed. Upson Pratt has ruined so many lives, possibly thousands, that receiving Leonora Castonmeyer's threatening phone call doesn't even bother him; it just annoys him that she has his unlisted number and now he's going to have to change it. The only reason he recognizes her out of everyone else he's wronged is because he's just received news that Norman committed suicide.
    Mrs. Castonmeyer: I just called to tell you what a monster you are, Mr. Pratt... and how I will rejoice when you're finally dead!
    Pratt: Lots of people are going to rejoice when I'm dead. Who are you?
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Upson Pratt, period. His conversation with the wife of a man who committed suicide after Pratt stole his business out from under him starts with him asking who he's talking to, and while identifying herself, Upson just smiles before saying her name like an old friend he hasn't seen in a while. There's also him pretending to play a violin while she describes how emotionally destroyed her husband was before he killed himself, after which Upson calls him stupid to his own widow!!
    Mrs. Castonmeyer: He came home... and his — and his eyes... his eyes were so dead... I asked him what was wrong. What could be so bad to make his eyes look that way? And the only words he could say... was your name! Ten minutes later... (sobbing) I heard the shot!
    Pratt: Yes, George Gendron told me ol' Norman went out with a bang!
    Mrs. Castonmeyer: How many men have you destroyed?! How many men have you killed, you monster?!
    Pratt: Only the stupid ones. Only the ones who handed me a knife and then stretched out their throats. Only the ones who, if you'll pardon the expression, fucked up!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Upson. His quip upon hearing the person whose company he bought right out from underneath him has committed suicide?
    "Wonderful! Now we won't have to offer the old fart a seat on the board of directors."
  • Creepy Cockroach: The segment revolves around these.
  • Death by Racism: Mr. Pratt, metaphorically. He compares minorities and others unlike himself to cockroaches. Guess how he dies?
  • Driven to Suicide: Pratt's hostile takeover of a company drives business rival Norman Castonmeyer to suicide, which absolutely delights him.
  • Jerkass: Upson Pratt, on top of being one of the most genuinely evil characters in the film, is also just a really mean person.
  • Mind Screw: Unlike the other stories, this segment lacks even a whisper of explanation. The cockroaches seemingly appear and disappear at will, and the ending teases that the whole nightmare may have happened in Pratt's head, until the roaches come bursting out of his body. The phone calls Upson has with Lenore Castonmeyer suggest she might have somehow put a curse on him for driving her husband to suicide, but even this is tenuous.
  • Modern Minstrelsy: Invoked by Mr. White, the black handyman in Pratt's building, who sarcastically puts on a very minstrel-sounding voice when he's talking to Pratt, a cruel, bigoted, white man. He drops the voice when he's trying to be completely serious.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Upson is basically an evil version of Howard Hughes.
  • Police Are Useless: Pratt tries to call the police when the cockroach swarm overwhelms him, but they're unable to be of any help due to the rolling blackout that struck the city moments ago.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Having already been established as a really bad guy, Pratt cracks a couple of racist comments to Mr. White, his building's black repairman.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Pratt equates those "beneath" him (in the most racist, classist, and elitist way) with cockroaches. The parallels are made more evident in the early script and the comic book adaptation, where Pratt looks at Mr. White through his camera peephole and briefly recoils as he sees and hears a giant, magnified roach.
  • The Sociopath: Upson, so very much. The news of Norman Castonmeyer's death absolutely delights him.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: While Lenore is tearfully recounting her husband's final, tragic moments, Upson Pratt plays a light, upbeat musical number on his jukebox. It can be justified because from his perspective, this is good news.
  • Technically a Smile: Mr. White's smile is all Upson can see of him through his door's peephole. Mr. White, however, is mockingly humoring the old man when he rants about cockroaches and how everyone is out to get him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Pratt freaks out when he sees his sterile apartment swarming with cockroaches.
  • Villain Protagonist: Pratt. His segment is almost a one-man show note  featuring E.G. Marshall as one of the most spectacularly unlikable characters imaginable. In true EC fashion, he is a rotten human being who gets exactly what is coming to him.
  • White Is Pure: Pratt's apartment is all white, stating that he's always keeps it clean. When the cockroaches start to invade his apartment, he panics and tries to hide from them only to be swarmed by the insects, resulting in a fatal heart attack.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Upson is utterly disgusted by bugs of all sorts, and his whole apartment becomes filled cockroaches as a sort of punishment for being such a wicked person.