Girth Radio Presents…
Horror movies have consistently taught us it’s hard to keep a good creep down.
Then: Creepshow is a 1982 horror-comedy anthology film directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King (this film is his screenwriting debut!).
Now: Creepshow is a 2019 horror anthology television series airing on Shudder debuted on September 26, 2019. And more now Creepshow is broadcast on AMC starting on May 4, 2020.
From Walking Dead producer and special effects wizard Greg Nicotero who is Creepshow’s showrunner and one of the key individuals bringing back this horror goodness.
The reanimated tv show features graphic and cool comic book style work from Michael Broom, Ron Frenz and Kelley Jones who is creepily perfect for this. We’re almost back to the EC horror comics of the 1950s…Seduction of the Innocent days.
Creepshow not only successfully means the return of the Creep but also the horror classic cliche: it was a dark and stormy night.
The show begins with Greg Nicotero adapting Stephen King’s “Gray Matter.” (Gray Matter is a short story in King’s 1978 anthology Night Shift.) Classic King the episode opens on a small town boarded up patiently awaiting the passing of a fierce storm. Doc (Giancarlo Esposito) and Chief (Tobin Bell who most will recognize as Jigsaw from the Saw movies) are holed up in the local general store. When suddenly a terrified teen arrives to…buy his dad beer. This isn’t Superbad; as it’s a small town all the characters including the shop owner (Adrienne Barbeau) are aware of the dad’s alcoholism.
Still, rather than send the youth out into the storm Doc and Chief decide to deliver the beer and check up on the alcoholic dad. As they trek towards the house in the fierce storm the teen begins to tell a disturbing tale. Something is wrong with his dad…and it’s not alcoholism. Slowly the teen shares his story via frightening flashbacks and as the past catches up to the present Doc and Chief arrive at the house to make a gruesome discovery. It has gotten worse since the teen left, but to tell you what got worse would be…creepy.
Keep your eyes wide open for many Stephen King easter eggs. This is classic horror all grounded in the present with a this could happen in any town type of vibe and an ideal way to kick off this Creepshow revival.
The darkness continues with “The House of the Head” the second segment written by John Malerman who is the Bird Box writer. (Never read the book or saw the Netflix movie…any good?). While the first short connected back to Stephen King The House of the Head builds on the show’s eerie tone with a haunted dollhouse.
To use a phrase I picked up from King’s novel-writing: now we’re cooking with gas.
Little Evie (Cailey Fleming) is your classic girl (beret and all) with a classic dollhouse home to a warm doll-family that is abruptly menaced by a grisly severed doll head. (The playful symbolism is endearing…connecting back to that girls aren’t in horror narrative that, of course, isn’t true.) As the horrific segment unfolds Evie is initially puzzled by the bloody head’s appearance but then so are her doll-family.
Like every haunted house story the doll-family grow more disturbed as their home becomes more unsettled: the viewers don’t see dolls move but their fear and emotions are readily conveyed by Evie. Who, in a failed effort to protect the doll-family buys a police officer doll. There that should keep the doll-family safe from the menacing severed head, right? She wakes up to find the police-officer doll beheaded in a pool of his own blood. Oh.
I really enjoyed the second segment: the tension and fear are real; just like the danger the doll-family is in.
The doll-family are not the only ones in danger. As Creepshow unfolds we can expect scary segments from Joe Hill (By The Silver Water of Lake Champlain), Skincrawlers written by Paul Dini (woah…really?) and a broad range of actors like David Arquette, DJ Qualls, Big Boi, and Kid Cudi. Strange and curious lineup.
It’s great to have a (horror) anthology show as a break from the continuity heavy tv shows popular these days. This lets viewers pop in and out…to select which of the 2 stories per episode they will watch. Watch ’em all or watch some of them, either way, keep your G.I. Joe night light handy to keep those night terrors at bay.