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4 Horror Classics: Children of the Corn/Creepshow 2/C.H.U.D./House [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

House
A mild box-office hit for New World Pictures, this lightweight attempt at horror parody from Friday the 13th producer Sean S. Cunningham stars former Greatest American Hero William Katt as a best-selling pop-horror novelist Roger Cobb (à la Stephen King) who suffers an insurmountable case of writer's block after separation from his soap-star wife (Kay Lenz) and the disappearance of their young son. Hoping to purge his personal demons by writing his Vietnam War memoirs, he moves into the massive mansion once occupied by his deceased aunt (who hanged herself in her bedroom), and finds himself surrounded by demons of a completely different kind. Roger takes the weirdness in stride, attempting to face down marauding monsters, interdimensional trap doors, and other supernatural horrors while concealing his predicament from the neighbors (except for the befuddled Harold Gorton [George Wendt], who tries gamely to play along with Roger's hare-brained monster-fighting schemes). ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Creepshow 2
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. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

C.H.U.D.
People are disappearing all over the Big Apple. Nobody cares, though, because most of the missing are homeless. But when investigative reporter Murphy (J.C. Quinn) tips off principled photographer George Cooper (John Heard) to a government conspiracy involving the dumping of nuclear waste beneath the streets, Cooper decides to dig a little deeper. Soon he discovers the existence of C.H.U.D.s, or "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers," derelicts who have become grotesque monsters after being exposed to the mountains of hazardous waste. Meanwhile, Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry), a cop whose wife is among the missing, forms an unlikely alliance with the Reverend (Daniel Stern), a leftist soup-kitchen cook who knows the score. Murphy, Cooper, Bosch, and the Reverend soon run up against the stonewalling tactics of Wilson (George Martin), a government toadie. As the titular monsters begin to tire of their underground habitat, the protagonists -- including Cooper's wife, beautiful model Lauren Daniels (Kim Greist) -- face a race against time to defeat not only the C.H.U.D.s, but the government's cover-up. The debut, and only film, from writer Parnell Hall and director Douglas Cheek, C.H.U.D. was followed by 1989's C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the C.H.U.D. Co-stars Stern and Heard would later appear together in the first two Home Alone pictures, while Curry would appear in the third. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

Children of the Corn
Narrator Job (Robby Kiger) relates the tale of Gatlin, NE, where one day the children, led by a boy preacher named Isaac (John Franklin), rose up and slaughtered all the grown-ups. A few years later, Job and his sister, Sarah (Ammemarie McEvoy), help their friend, Joseph (Jonas Marlowe), try to escape through the cornfields of Gatlin. Meanwhile, Burt Stanton (Peter Horton), a commitment-phobic young doctor, and Vicky Baxter (Linda Hamilton), his frustrated girlfriend, travel through the cornfield-lined roads of Nebraska on their way to Burt's new internship in Omaha. Their car hits Joseph, who appears out of nowhere, but upon examining him, Burt realizes the child's throat was slit before he ever wandered out from the corn. Attempting to locate help, Burt and Vicky turn to gas-station owner Diehl (R.G. Armstrong), who urges the couple to go anywhere but nearby Gatlin to report the murder. Several contradictory street signs later, they arrive in Gatlin anyway, and, befriending Sarah and Joseph, attempt to uncover the mystery behind Isaac's cult and its mysterious deity, known only as He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Stephen King cash-ins flooded the market between the successes of Brian DePalma's Carrie (1976) and Rob Reiner's Misery (1990), many of them, like Children of the Corn, based only loosely on the author's fiction. The original short story appeared in the collection Night Shift. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • William Katt
    William Katt - Roger Cobb
  • George Wendt
    George Wendt - Harold Gorton
  • Richard Moll
    Richard Moll - Big Ben
  • Kay Lenz
    Kay Lenz - Sandy
  • Image coming soon
    Mary Stavin - Tanya
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.