One of the trag­ic over­sights in the treat­ment of ‘80s hor­ror films on U.S. blu-ray is the lack of a spe­cial edi­tion for Creepshow.  It’s a beloved clas­sic for many hor­ror fans but if they live in the U.S., they have to set­tle for an extras-free cat­a­log disc from Warner Brothers.

JustDes-bluMichael Felsher picked up the gauntlet of extras for a U.K. DVD set that fea­tured his excel­lent doc­u­men­tary Just Desserts: The Making Of Creepshow.  With Warners show­ing no inter­est in doing a blu-ray spe­cial edi­tion, Felsher start­ed a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to release it him­self in the U.S. as a lim­it­ed edi­tion disc  Synapse lat­er came in to make it a broad­er release.  The result­ing blu-ray not only gives it a hand­some pre­sen­ta­tion but adds a fist­ful of new extras to make it even more appeal­ing.

The HD trans­fer looks good, cap­tur­ing the blend of Graeme Potts’ dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy, film clips and file footage in a hand­some way.  The 2.0 stereo mix is pre­sent­ed in loss­less form and the dia­logue-cen­tric mix sounds nice and crisp here.

However, the real excite­ment here lies in the bevy of extras.  Essentially, all you have to do is add this disc to the U.S ver­sion of Creepshow and there’s enough sup­ple­ments to make it feel like you’ve got your own deluxe spe­cial edi­tion of the film.  Here’s a break­down of the bonus fea­tures…

Commentary 1: Felsher starts the extras off with a solo com­men­tary track.  He starts with his per­son­al his­to­ry in the extras busi­ness and how it led to a friend­ship with Romero.  He then gets into the nit­ty-grit­ty of the pro­duc­ing the doc­u­men­tary, explain­ing the cir­cum­stances that led to its cre­ation and how it was orga­nized and shot on a tight bud­get.  You get neat tales of the dif­fer­ent inter­view sub­jects as well as insight into the work­ing process behind this sort of doc­u­men­tary.

JustDes-03Commentary 2: This track uti­lizes a trade­mark Felsher tac­tic: sim­ply put, he gets ahold of peo­ple he couldn’t get dur­ing the doc­u­men­tary film­ing and fash­ions the audio inter­views into an alter­nate sound­track choice for view­ers.  In this case, he’s got­ten prop mas­ter Bruce Alan Miller, FX assis­tant Darryl Ferrucci and actor John Amplas. It’s relaxed but full of inter­est­ing triv­ia: par­tic­u­lars on pro­duc­tion design, a view on the make­up effects from some­one who had to enact them on cam­era and the unique chal­lenges of play­ing a zom­bie.  Fans with a com­pletist streak will adore hav­ing this extra info.

Creepshow Days (8:01): this inter­view fea­tures Creepshow cin­e­matog­ra­pher Michael Gornick, one of the few key crew mem­bers who couldn’t be snared for the main fea­ture.  He makes up for lost time here, offer­ing quick thoughts on each seg­ment of the film.  Highlights include details on how the “comic pan­el” light­ing effects were done and tales of shoot­ing thou­sands of cock­roach­es.

Behind The Screams (26:31): a col­lec­tion of Tom Savini’s behind-the-sce­nes video footage from the shoot tart­ed up with fun comic-style frames and titles that break it up into seg­ments.  Look for tests of an explod­ing head that was cut from the “Father’s Day” seg­ment and Ted Danson ham­ming it up in zom­bie make­up.

JustDes-04Extended Interviews (23:45): three added seg­ments with Romero, Savini and comics artist Bernie Wrightson.  Romero gives addi­tion­al thoughts on the dif­fer­ent seg­ments and doing some recut­ting to pass muster with Warner Brothers, Savini talks about some FX not used in the “Crate” seg­ment and Wrightson offers a frank assess­ment of his work on the famous Creepshow tie-in comic.

Horror’s Hallowed Grounds (14:56): The loca­tions tour is brief here as much of the film was shot on home­made sound­stages (the neat­est loca­tion stuff involves “The Crate”).  However, the seg­ment is fleshed out with a nice sur­prise in the form of an inter­view with Tom Atkins!

Evening Magazine Segment (7:31): a vin­tage t.v. news seg­ment that includes some back­ground footage of the shoot, with a gnarly focus on the cock­roach­es from the final seg­ment.

Photo Gallery (8:30): this ani­mat­ed col­lec­tion of images has a heavy focus on behind-the-sce­nes FX mate­ri­al

JustDes-05Scream Greats, Volume One (52:54): the fan favorite of the­se extras for many is the first offi­cial release of this clas­sic VHS-era doc­u­men­tary on Savini.  It cap­tures him at the mid-‘80s pin­na­cle of his Fangoria god sta­tus, putting the FX wiz front and cen­ter to tell his sto­ry and bring­ing Romero, assis­tants like Greg Nicotero and even a cou­ple of Fangoria edi­tors to flesh out the tale.  There’s also tons of film clips alongside, a sec­tion about Savini’s oft-over­looked work as actor and stunt­man and even a few good Day Of The Dead sto­ries.  In short, a clas­sic time cap­sule that ‘80s hor­ror fans will adore.

It’s also worth not­ing that there’s a new­ly-record­ed com­men­tary track for Scream Greats with Savini and Felsher.  It delves into what hap­pened after the glo­ry era that the doc­u­men­tary cov­ers and gives some inter­est­ing back­ground about why Savini tran­si­tioned out of doing make­up effects and the chaos behind the sce­nes on the remake of Night Of The Living Dead that he direct­ed.

To read Schlockmania’s doc­u­men­tary review for Just Desserts: The Making Of Creepshow, click here.