Creepshow – The Friendship of Romero and Stephen King

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Welcome back Nasties, to Manic’s Monstrosity of Macabre Memories where horror’s dastardly history is celebrated in all it’s ghastliness. Take a seat, cozy up with the ghoul of your dreams as we delve headfirst into the bone-chilling conclusion of George A Romero and Stephen King’s insatiable CREEPSHOW.

George Romero had just released his unique take on vampirism, Martin, and Warner Bros. took notice of the man’s brilliant vision. They suggested he meet up with an up-and-coming writer named Stephen King. After all, Romero had just released a vampire movie and King had just written a new vampire classic, Salem’s Lot. The logic being a vampire director should naturally meet a vampire writer.

That’s how Hollywood works sometimes, and in this case, it was in the best interest of the fans. The studio flew Romero out to meet King for the first time, and Romero admitted he knew of Carrie but – other than that – precious little else concerning Stephen King. The two met and after hanging out for three days they quickly became good friends. It was a friendship that would last until the end.


image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Honestly it was magic – dark, brooding, thunderous magic, but magic nonetheless – in the making. At the end of the trip, the two creative minds talked about bringing The Stand to the silver screen. It was King’s intention for Romero to direct his seminal epic of the apocalypse and the ultimate battle between Good and Evil.

Could you imagine what we almost had if this plan had gone through? It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up just thinking about it! The studio – on the other hand –  didn’t want to risk taking on such an enormous undergoing and decided to turn it into a made-for-TV special, which has earned itself its own cult following – but oh what we almost had!

However, in spite of this set back the two masters of horror kept in touch, and how lucky for us they did! For as the dark fates would have it Romero had been brewing up an idea for a fresh anthology film and met up with King to discuss the new project.

Stephen King leaped at the idea and without any doubt knew the anthology project had to be based entirely on the old scary comic books released by EC. Today – with all the excitement there is over comic-book cinema – it’s fun to know that Creepshow is in fact among the earliest of the genre. Seems as if our devilish duo were trend-setters.

image via Bloody Disgusting

Stephen King took hold of the script and wrote with such furious passion you would think a demon was driving him to completion. Memories of the good ol’ days flowed from his twisted mind and onto the pages, opening beautifully dark visions of a bygone (spooky) era. An era he fully intended to unleash upon horror fans around the world.

Being the genius that he was, Romero knew King was on to something big and left it in King’s hands. Within a few weeks, King handed a script to Romero and the two made history.

And guess what? It was an instant success!

What touches me most about the origins of Creepshow is the friendships behind the screams. According to interviews by both Stephen King and George Romero, there was never a hint of jealousy or rivalry. These were two masters of the genre who went about telling terror in their own different mediums, but both men respected one other and worked as a team rather than opponents.

It’s refreshing to see men from the same field but with two opposite means collaborating to give fans a hell of an experience. It’s a trait – the gift of friendship – I’d like to see take over more people across the field.

George Romero credited Stephen King for Creepshow. However, both men say (or playfully blame) Romero for casting Stephen King in the role of Jordy Verrill in the fan-praised second segment The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill.

image courtesy of Warner Bros.

This was a hilarious treat for fans to get to see Stephen King lumping around as the lovable doofus who has a bad run-in with some “meteor shit.” Trust me, if you haven’t already, you really must go watch this segment right away. You’ll be doing yourself a favor. Honestly, I couldn’t even write about it with a straight face. It’s just some good and goofy fun

Poor ol’ Jordy. Let this be a lesson to us all. If we see a glowing rock fall from the night sky let’s not go picking it up.

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