It’s part and parcel to the whole anthology format, going back to the original Creepshow movie, and indeed nearly all anthology-style movies and TV shows to follow – that duds are inevitable. That’s not even a bad thing; it kind of makes the whole more exciting when a great installment does come up.
But I’m honestly selling this episode of Creepshow short by implying that it’s a “dud”. I do think it’s the weakest episode to date, but it’s still an entertaining and thoroughly “Creepshow” entry that you should not skip.
By the way – we’re officially WAY off course from the episode/segment order originally announced and still (as of episode 4 airing) posted on Wikipedia. This time around, we get a classic creature feature about a killer scarecrow in The Companion, and a different kind of classic “bad person gets comeuppance” tale with Lydia Layne’s Better Half.
Companion presents a typically exaggerated case of bullying against an embattled teen set in the 1980’s. Seriously, why are bullies in movies and TV always SO aggressive and committed about it? It always escalates straight into attempted murder, which I suppose does make for a more dramatic horror tale, so I guess I answered my own question. This bully happens to be the older brother of the main character, which makes his extreme abuse even more puzzling.
Desperately seeking a hiding place in an abandoned farmhouse, our protagonist unwittingly unleashes a vengeful scarecrow with a, let’s say passionate sense of loyalty to the deceased former resident. Nice practical creature effects and a good level of tension and traditional scares, a la Pumpkinhead, make this segment a solid if somewhat predictable entry in the Creepshow saga.
Next up, Lydia Layne’s better half, stars Tricia Helfer as a high-powered executive in a semi-secretive relationship with a female subordinate (because all powerful women in business MUST be lesbians). When she passes up her own lover for a big time promotion, a confrontation ensues that gets messy…
These kind of crime stories that EC Comics, and especially Tales From the Crypt in adapting EC, used to favor never really were my thing. Fortunately, this one does have actual scares and mild supernatural elements, so it meets its horror quota, but like The Companion there isn’t anything especially noteworthy about this segment. That it’s more or less a crime-and-punishment story at its core is the reason it scores lower marks for me.
But even a weaker episode of Creepshow, I’m finding, is still pitch-perfect October viewing, and only makes me salivate all the more for the two episodes to come – with a finale airing on All Hallows Eve itself.