5 Life Lessons From The Movie 'Creepshow'

Over the years we've heard tales that deliver lessons from the most unlikely sources, such as Beauty and the Beast or The Three Little Pigs. So why not from decaying, revenge-minded zombies?

His bony-Mr. Burns like visage hides a Ned Flanders-like set of moral lessons. Truly, we have a lot to learn from him.

Just The Facts

  1. Creepshow is a horror film released in 1982. It was directed by George Romero and written by Stephen King before their respective pre-suckage years.
  2. The film is divided into five different sections, each showcasing a different horror story, made to look like classic 50's comics.
  3. Somehow, the film contains more life lessons than two to three DVD's of Sesame Street.

1. Father's Day - Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right/Vengeful Murder is Wrong

The Plot:

The Grantham Family meets for an annual Father's Day Gathering, where they celebrate both Father's Day and the death of the family patriarch, Nathan. It is revealed that Bedelia, Nathan's daughter, murdered him with an ashtray in revenge for Nathan's murder of Bedelia's lover.

Bonus lesson: ashtrays, when applied to the head with force and speed, totally hurt.

To make matters worse, Nathan picks this particular Father's Day to rise from his grave and murder every single member of the Grantham Family, which sets the bar for 'Worst Family Reunion' at an all time-high.

"I've got my cake now...Happy Father's Day!" - Actual quote from the movie. From a zombie.

The Lesson:

Treat your family well, or they will kill you. Also, vengeful murder may feel good, but it only leads to guilt, regret, and vengeful zombies.

And Vengeful Zombies.

Bedelia's hatred of Nathan comes from the fact that he orchestrated her lover's murder. This hatred for her lover stems from Nathan's pathological jealousy of Bedelia, defined as the feeling of ownership and entitlement to someone. This is either a case of a) overprotectiveness or b) pedophilic overtones too disgusting to discuss.

Somewhere, Chris Hansen's Hansen-Sense is tingling.

Had Nathan simply learned to let Bedelia be happy, she would not have gone murder-crazy for him. Also, there are better ways to confront your disliked potential son-in-law than to have him murdered in a 'hunting accident'. A good, long talk can do more wonders and less bullet holes in your relationship than, say, a rifle.

Picture totally not related to the above sentence.

Bedelia, on the other hand, is guilty of murdering Nathan. Even during that time, it was probably a sure thing people already knew that killing your lover's murderer won't bring her back, unless you belong in a fantasy novel or are Link from the Zelda games. The other Granthams are also guilty, as they conspired to clean up the evidence.

But the real blood-caked cherry on top is the fact that they gather every year to celebrate the death of their father. If that doesn't spell 'no regrets', nothing will. This makes about as much sense as holding an all-day party to commemorate the first time you beat Bowser in Super Mario.

"Break out the champagne, Linda. Never let this day be forgotten."

2. The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill - In Case of An Emergency, Call the Authorities

The Plot:

Jordy Verrill, a simple-minded farmer, finds a mysterious meteor that crashed in his farm. His feeble brain somehow concocting a plan to sell the meteor , Jordy cracks the thing open, spilling a green, glowing liquid which falls into the ground and gets in his hands.

Silly Jordy. Doesn't he know green and slimy things are always trouble?

In a few hours, Jordy learns the lesson "Don't Touch Alien Goo" firsthand. Dark green weeds begin creeping up in a terrifyingly fast pace all throughout the farm, filling the fields, the house, the car, and even in Jordy himself - everything but the kitchen sink.

The faucet, however, was not spared.

Suffering from the agony of being a freaking living flowerbed, Verrill decides to end his pain by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. One can't blame him, though - by that time his brain was already infested with weeds, which hurts like a bastard.

Left: the good kind of weed. Right: the bad kind of weed.

The Lesson:

If you believe something is of grave importance and you don't have the skills to handle it, call the authorities. Also, greed is never good.

Contrary to what Gordon Gekko tells us.

They're not called 'authorities' for nothing. These are (most of the time) people who have studied and prepared for specific situations that concern their field. You, Jordy Verrill, on the other hand, are a hill-William played by Stephen King.

That's actually a double whammy, right there. We're sorry for you.

Also, that meteor goo that spread out through your farm (and, in the story, throughout the world) would not have appeared if you didn't crack open that thing with water. These are simple rules: smoking and burning means very hot; very hot means pain. All these should have been avoided if you just called the authorities.

"Department of Meteors? Yeah, it's right between the Bureau of Doorknobs and the Office of Throw Pillows."

Also, when Jordy notices the first large patches of weed on his skin, he again neglects to call the nearest doctor or medical practitioner. Instead, he decides to cure himself of the disease by jumping into a tub of water.

Another simple concept: water plus plants equals plants grow!

Bonus Lesson: Listen to Your Parents

Just before Jordy jumps into the tub, the spirit of his father appears in the mirror and warns him not to do it, because apparently, water makes weeds grow.

"No, son! Don't do it! Trust me and my bowler hat on this, boy!"

However, the unbearable itch wins over the fear of a mirror ghost, and Jordy plunges into the water, taking all of humanity's survival with him. This has to be the most humanity-damning case of ignoring parental advice since Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

I hope you learned your lesson - oh, wait, you're dead. But still...

(By the way, that lump of moss that's shaped like a man? Jordy Verrill.)

3. Something To Tide You Over - Adultery Has Terrible Consequences

The Plot:

Harry Wentworth is lured to the beach by Richard Vickers, who believes Harry has been having an affair with his wife Becky. Also, Vickers is played by Leslie Nielsen.

Goodnight, sweet prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Vickers, however, has far more things planned than a beachside intervention - after forcing Harry to climb a hole in the sand at gunpoint, he buries the man up to his neck, and leaves him stuck there until the high tide arrives and drowns him.

So, all in all, not the best beach outing ever.

That night, however, Vickers (who killed Becky the same way) gets a taste of his own beach-drowning medicine when watery zombies of Harry and Becky invade his home and drag him to the beach, setting him up to die the same way he killed them.

As shown above.

The Lesson:

Committing adultery is a terrible thing, but so is killing people because of the matter.

Why? Because zombies, that's why.

This is another tragedy that could have been averted beforehand. If Becky really wanted Wentworth that badly, she should just have filed for divorce. If she wanted Vicker's money along with Wentworth, tough luck - as Casablanca and Fatal Attraction has taught us anything, affairs never end well. Granted, hundreds of movies subvert this reasoning, but they don't have zombies in them, do they?

"Hold on, we just wanted to ask you that question."

In Vicker's part, learning how to deal with adultery should be one of the things to learn. True, killing would be a finality, but wouldn't you have more satisfaction with filing a case against the two? When you sue them both (thus nabbing you more money), the humiliation alone would be worse than death.

OK, maybe death is worse. But still...

The point is, there are more legal ways to deal with adultery than constructing elaborate deathtraps along the beach. If that's your way of thinking and dealing with things, then it's not hard to imagine why your wife wants to leave you.

It's like the gun-wielding pot calling the adulterous kettle black.

4. The Crate - Treat Your Spouses Well

The Plot:

Henry Northrup, a college professor, has problems with his wife Wilma, who continuously embarrasses and belittles him. All this changes when his colleague Dexter Stanley and Mike, a janitor, pound open a crate hidden under a college stairway and find (cue record scratching) a man-eating monster!

Not exactly the next romantic comedy leading man.

The monster in the crate (a god-awful specimen from an 1800's Arctic exploration) expresses its hunger by consuming around 75% (two people) of the main cast before Henry decides to lure his wife to the college, where, surprise surprise, the monster eats her. Below, monster's probable thoughts during the scene: "Surprise!"

The monster's expression is expected - it's Wilma's expression here that's baffling.

After using the creature as his personal marital hitman, Henry in turn expresses his gratitude by chaining up the crate and throwing the lot into the ocean, where the story ends.

"What? This is a horror movie, right? The monster always survives."

Apparently not. The final scene of the segment shows the creature smashing the old crate open and presumably escaping, which shows how much college professors know about disposing biological waste.

The Lesson:

Learn to treat your life partner the way you want to be treated.

Unless you want to die. In that case, knock yourself out.

This lesson applies to Wilma, Henry's wife. Had Wilma been more appreciative of her husband, or at least learned to control her words and actions in public, her husband would not have resorted to such sharp-fanged measures as, well... a sharp-fanged monster.

"So, in actuality, you brought this on yourself, Wilma."

The clincher to this is that even right before the moment of her death, she continues to nag Henry by listing down her husband's faults, only to be stopped by the jack-in-the-box appearance of the crate monster. If your personality is so shrewish that her spouse has to resort to turning you into human Sloppy Joes, you may need to reassess your personality.

Or something just might freaking reassess it for you.

5. They're Creeping Up On You! - Be Considerate of other People

The Plot:

Upson Pratt, an eccentric billionaire who is obsessed with cleanliness, is a ruthless businessman who enjoys reveling in the suffering of others. We see him in the beginning of the movie dishing out racist remarks to the building manager to make his apartment roach-free and reveling in the news that a business competitor of his has committed suicide, playing the part of 'Eccentric Rich Bastard' to perfection.

That'll fucking end well.

Soon after, he is called by the widow of his deceased employee, who presumably puts a curse on him because of his ruthlessness. Cockroaches continue to multiply in his domicile, appearing in his food, his jukebox, the cracks in the floor, the walls, and in his bed.

No, not the jukebox! I just finished paying for that!

When the roaches (now thousands) swarm him, he retreats to his safe room, where he is greeted by safety, relief, and thousands of fucking man-eating roaches hiding under his bed. The ending is self-evident.

Above: The obvious.

The Lesson:

Learn to care for the welfare of your business associates.

"That's right, sir! Ha,ha,ha. Give me a raise or I'll curse you. "

Upson Pratt, like all the other douchebags in Creepshow, learns this lesson the hard way when the widow of Pratt's competitor who committed suicide curses the hell out of him. It may be perfectly reasonable to get mad at your people once in a while, and even to fire them, but to show glee in the face of their suicide? That's Hitler-level evil. Unacceptable.

Depicted: Something indubitably unacceptable.

All this would have been avoided if Pratt called to share his condolences with the woman. Unless he fired the man wrongfully, thus indirectly causing his depression and death. That, on the other hand, is a surefire ticket to Cockroach County.

Cockroach County: It's Goddamn Nothing Like Disneyworld.