I love the 1982 anthology film, Creepshow. To me, it is everything a horror film should be. Creepy stories that are told in such a campy way that they aren’t really scary anymore, but they stay with you long after the credits roll. I still have it kicking around on VHS. It barely works, but each year I watch my VHS once or twice and will happily sit back and watch. I react the same way every time and laugh at all the same jokes. I basically quote the whole film, line for line and point out Stephen King to my partner. Every single time. I don’t mean to be obnoxious, I just really enjoy that film and Stephen King did not look how I pictured him before I’d seen Creepshow when I was about 6. She questions why I still continue to watch it, over and over again. I don’t have a good answer. It’s just a defining film of my life and I like to relive it. I can’t wait to show Chicago when she is older.
I was pretty excited when I heard that they were going to do a series based on/continuing on from the Creepshow movies. I was less excited when I heard it would be released exclusively on Shudder, which at the time, was not available in Australia. You all know I’m not keen on piracy, so my only choice was patience. And after a pretty lengthy wait, Shudder made its way to Australia a couple of months ago. I signed on for my 7 day free trial and made short work of the new series.
Before I dive into my thoughts on Creepshow, I want to talk a little bit about Shudder. It has a lot of negative reviews and there have been lots of complaints about them charging early or double charging and not refunding the excess. Apparently, they are also quite difficult to cancel, even a free trial. If you decide to try Shudder, proceed with caution. I would suggest signing up directly through Apple if you can, that way you can cancel it straight from your phone. Fingers crossed, I haven’t lost any money through my trial.
Originally, I had considered keeping my subscription, but I did not have a good experience with the app. The first night it wouldn’t work at all. The following nights, it was temperamental at best. Sometimes the audio would load but not the video. Other times, the video would lag behind the audio. Sometimes it just wouldn’t work at all. Last night, it was constantly buffering. Almost every 2 minutes. There is no “my list” or “continue watching” or at least not that I could find. The app was a tad messy and disorganised. I don’t mean to pile it on them, but some work is definitely needed before I would consider subscribing.
Anyway, now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about Creepshow. It was pretty much everything I wanted it to be. It wasn’t just a retelling of the original stories (which I would have been fine with). It was 6 episodes, 2 stories per episode and they were all new to me. Some of them were based on short stories and others were new stories written for the show.
It featured a wide variety of actors (most notably perhaps Tobin Bell or David Arquette) and majority of the segments had a different director attached, some of which who worked on the original Creepshow films.
I could go in to an episode by episode breakdown, but I really don’t want to spoil it for you! I don’t even think that I have a favourite episode or a least favourite episode to dive into. I loved it all!
It just felt like ‘Creepshow”. When I was watching this, I had the same feeling I get when I watch the original film. I probably had the same dumb smile on my face. It paid such good homage and also made it’s own statement. It is successful in its own right, not just because of the ‘Creepshow’ name.
The ‘Creep’ is still in it and each segment is a story from the pages of a ‘Creepshow’ comic book he is reading. The visuals will seamlessly swap from a comic book picture to the show we are watching on TV. The narration will be in time with the words written on the page of the comics. The story unfolds as the pages of the comic turn. It will comfortably blend animation and live action. It can switch between the two. They use a comic book font on the screen when setting a time, day or location. The score blends in perfectly. They still utilise vibrant colours and gorgeous stills when filming. It feels the way Creepshow should feel.
The only downside was having it pause to buffer every other minute, but I can’t criticise the show for that! Hopefully it gets a digital and/or DVD release so I can purchase it and watch it many times to come. Is it too much to hope it comes out on VHS?
It has been confirmed for a second season as well, which is excellent news. I imagine they would have wanted to release it around now, but obviously COVID delayed everything. It was due to begin filming in March of this year, but they only just started filming last month. Oh well, it gives us something to look forward to for next Halloween.
Did you watch Creepshow? Let me know what your favourite episode or segment was in the comments!