In 1982 George A. Romero and Stephen King came together to deliver one of the best horror anthologies ever to grace the genre. It paid homage to classic EC Comics like Tales From The Crypt and The Vault of Horror. The labor of love was known as Creepshow and has become a classic among horror fans. Over the years, we’ve seen a few action figures based on the film. One of those is NECA’s Ultimate 40th Anniversary version of the movie’s “host,” known as The Creep.
Created by Tom Savini, the rotting corpse guided us through the five frightful tales. He was also the star of the film’s well-known poster. We only ever see The Creep from the waist up, and his screen time can be measured in seconds. So, that leads a lot of stuff up to interpretation when it comes to making an action figure. How did NECA do? Let’s take a look.
To begin with, I’ll let you know my history with NECA products. I’ve been steering clear of collecting NECA action figures for years now. In the mid-2010s, I picked up a Terminator, Robocop, and Batman ’89 figure. Each of these three had some sort of defect. The ears on Batman’s mask were badly curled inwards, and his left wrist broke the first time we tried to pose the figure. Robocop’s leg gun holster was broken out of the box. The T-800 Endoskeleton had a broken heel, and whatever was used to keep the wires on the clavicle together didn’t work. Last year I received a 2015 Marty McFly for Christmas, and it stayed in the box out of fear that some part of the time-traveling teen may be broken. In short, I’m now looking at all NECA action figures from the mindset that production issues are common.
The Creep’s overall details are hard to see, even when looking at a high-res copy of Creepshow. The ghoul is bathed in blue light and lots of shadows. However, thanks to Tom Spina Designs, we know exactly what the character looks like. The original prop underwent a rehab, which resulted in plenty of photos of The Creep up close. This will help when we compare the toy to the on-screen counterpart.
We’ll first look at the box. It’s great, like most of NECA’s Ultimate figures. The film’s original poster art adorns the front of the book-style box. Upon folding back the flap, we see The Creep and all of his accessories. These include two film-inspired heads, one poster-inspired head, Billy’s pumpkin, a candle with holder, and a small replica of the in-movie Creepshow comic book.
The inside flap shows off a picture of the prototype Creep. There are some noticeable differences between this guy and the finished product. The Creep in the images has brighter whites in his eyes, making them stand out from the rotten flesh in the surrounding area. The death shroud is also different. The original appears to be made from gauze, while the finished product is made of a much thinner material that is better scaled to the 6″ toy.
Another change spotted was in the hair. The final product has hair that’s made out of translucent plastic with white and grey highlights. This helps pull off the thin and whispy hair the character had in the film.
Out of the box, the figure looks pretty good. 90% of the character is covered with the shroud. It is unfortunate that the cloth isn’t thin enough to see through like it is in the film. It’s a missed opportunity because The Creep has a fully modeled body. Yes, under all that faded cloth is a rotting corpse with several points of articulation.
Some joints on this body are very tight, including the elbows and ankles. It took a bit to get The Creep to stand on his own. So, we’d suggest a figure stand or base for this guy. Thanks to multiple wires hidden in the shroud, it’s easy to hide any stability aids you use to display this guy.
There’s nothing spectacular about the body. It’s a withered and rotting body. There’s no genitalia, you sickos. I checked. See below.
The Creep’s visible body parts are what we’re going to focus on now. In Creepshow, we see his face and hands. NECA included two movie-inspired heads. One has a neutral face with the eyes forward. The second is a grinning head with The Creep looking to his right. Thankfully, the lower jaw is articulated, allowing The Creep to pull off a sickening smile.
The problem with these two heads is in the eyes. The original prop had yellow irises, which appeared almost pale in the movie. The toy’s are green and kind of get lost without whiter scleras.
The balljoint for the head also proved to only truly fit the head that came installed. When we tried to fit the alternate head or the poster head, the sockets were too loose. Thankfully, the shroud’s hood has a wire in it, which can stabilize the head and keep it in one place.
Billy’s pumpkin didn’t really need to be included, but it’s welcome. Surprisingly, it’s fully detailed except for a light source. The top comes off, and the squash’s interior looks like it was carved out. That’s way more detail than we expected to be put into something so trivial.
The included candle is too big for the pumpkin, unfortunately.
The candle holder has some of the finest detail I’ve ever seen in an accessory from NECA. The candle is held up by four tiny sculpted gargoyles, one missing his head. It’s a great accessory, but sadly, The Creep can’t really hold it. One hand is wide open, and the other is posed for pointing rather than holding.
The comic book features fine printing and a waxy covering, making it decently durable. The interior does not contain a complete replica of the film’s prop. Instead, it’s a double-sided print with panels from the final story, “They’re Creeping Up on You!” It can be held by The Creep after some effort.
I wasn’t sure if I would like the poster head, but after I attached it to The Creep’s body, it quickly became my favorite of the three. This is because the single remaining eye visually pops. This is where The Creep’s other two heads fail.
Regardless, I would strongly recommend picking up The Creep if you’re a fan of the original ’82 film. Although some parts felt a little too delicate, I did not encounter the same problems present in other NECA figures. The attention to detail is fantastic and makes me almost want to go out and buy the Universal Monsters TMNT line. If you can look past the lackluster eye detail on two of the heads, The Creepshow Creep makes for one hell of a display piece among your other horror collectibles. Even if you never open the box, all the accessories are clearly visible, making it easier to keep this 40th-anniversary figure MIB.
Here are a couple more shots of The Creep to finish out our review.
“That’s why God made fathers, babe. That’s why God made fathers.”