You may call it a “CRATE”, but FLUFFY calls it “HOME SWEET HOME”! (Image Credit: Tom Spina Designs) Note that is was shipped from the frozen wastelands to a “Dr. Carpenter”. That’s some awesome 1980s fan-service right there!

...but Fluffy was only mean to her because Evil Mark Twain said it was totally okay. Seriously.

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American academic literature review circa July 1979. __________________________________

Fluffy was the official name of the critter in “The Crate” from the 1982 George Romero/Stephen King anthology movie “Creepshow”; the segment starred Hal Holbrook and Adrienne Barbeau.

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First published in a 1979 issue of “Gallery” magazine, the original Stephen King story [read it right here!], features a pseudo-marmot described as a six-legged Tasmanian Devil. But, whether you think the film version is an ape or a demon or a mega-Tasmanian devil, the folks closest to it simply referred to it as “Fluffy”. So, from now on, when watching “Creepshow” for the 100th time, I think it should be a thing to yell “FLUFFY!” whenever the little scamp appears.

Sex Machine!

Fluffy was designed and built by the legendary Tom Savini, who some fans may remember as “Sex Machine” from the 1996 Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino movie “From Dusk Till Dawn” (or a bazillion other things, I just wanted to say “Sex Machine”).

Spoilers? Okay, I just name-dropped Romero, King, Holbrook, Barbeau, Savini, and a mutant Tasmanian Devil. American treasures all. And that’s only one segment of a five-story anthology film.

WHY HAVEN’T YOU SEEN THIS ACADEMY AWARD WINNING MASTERPIECE!?!

Seriously, kids. It’s in color and everything.

IN COLOR AND EVERYTHING

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In the movie, Fluffy was a dormant critter who was hibernating in a long-forgotten crate, stored in a University basement after being discovered during an Arctic expedition... And, being a George Romero/Stephen King joint, that’s really much more set-up than you need for zany bloody horror hi-jinks to ensue.

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Eventually, Hal lures Adrienne to be eaten alive by the otherwise innocent and cuddly varmint, who really just wants to sleep in its wooden box and think happy varmint thoughts.

(Warning: Sure, Fluffy finally got a meal or two after that long hibernation, but the story does not end well. A tear-jerker, actually. It’s really George Romero-and-Stephen King-meet-Jack London.)

“Sex Machine” with “Fluffy Attack Head”. The Jokes Write Themselves.

The lovely creature came in two flavors: A full-body costume, and a more durable “Attack Head” puppet for stunts. Both are fully utilized in the film; the more expressive puppet head was the “biter”, the costume was the “ambler”, although both versions were equipped with intricate puppeteer levers and/or cables. Savini is greatly admired by many artists, directors, and producers for achieving way more form and function with his SFX creations than his (often meager) budgets should be able to justify.

Restoration of Original Fluffy by Tom Spina Designs

Speaking of crates: Three were made for the film: One belongs to a collector, one belongs to Mr. Romero himself, and the third is in the custody of original “Creepshow” music composer John Harrison. (The crate in this article’s header photo, and at left, is a more recent re-creation commissioned by director George Romero.)

Much more Fluffy Love (including a fantastic photo gallery) can be seen over at Tom Spina Designs, where they document their restoration projects of both the Fluffy suit and the puppet “Attack Head”.

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And now for a little music, courtesy of Waxwork Records. Because it’s kind of nice for the Star Trek fans to know that the REAL John Harrison actually did some very cool things...

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This article was 15% inspired by my own personal damage, and 85% by this cool person.

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BTW: As always, the links are guaranteed to be way more interesting than the article.

Cheers, everybody!