Creepshow was always a spectacular idea for a series, given the anthology nature of the original film. And Shudder, naturally, is the perfect home for such a thing, with Greg Nicotero taking the reins and bringing with him experience in the special effects arena AND showrunning via Walking Dead, completing the picture. Season 1 was similar to the movies, with ups and downs but also a persistent sense of light-hearted fun (punctuated by splattery gore, of course). Now we have a second season, oddly released in Spring instead of Fall. So how does it hold up?
Well, kinda “Meh”, unfortunately.
Things start out well enough, with “Model Kid” – an expanded retelling of the wraparound segment from the original Creepshow movie. Essentially, a young horror fanatic is terrorized by his drunk, deadbeat father figure who disapproves rather strongly of his hobby, and he finds a way to get his revenge from the back pages of a horror magazine. It isn’t immediately apparent what this story is, and when it clicks it’s a pretty delightful easter egg for Creepshow fans. However, Kevin Dillon’s mega-overacting comes close to being too much even for a live action cartoon such as this.
The second segment of the premiere episode, Public Television of the Dead, is quite literally “Evil Dead 2, but with Bob Ross as Ash”. Ted Raimi even shows up. It’s a straight up Evil Dead tribute that’s a pretty fun, lighthearted curiosity, but nothing more.
For synopses on the rest of the episodes and segments, go ahead and click right here. Rather than recount each one myself I will simply gather my general impressions from here on.
Every other segment making up season 2’s five episodes is at least decent, but none of them are really transcendent like a few of the highlights of season 1. The Right Snuff is a retro-futuristic space story with a wonderfully cheesy alien species showing up in the end. Within the Walls of Madness is, as you might assume, a Lovecraftian cosmic horror story. There’s a vampire segment, more than a couple revenge stories, and the final episode is one long segment that inserts modern day characters into a real 1970’s Cushing/Lee movie. But while all of these offer enough variety, horror geek icons (Barbara Crampton, Keith David, Ted Raimi, Denise Crosby, etc.), and technicolor “Creepshow” moments, few of them really stuck with me.
Season 1 set a pretty high bar, and I certainly look forward to as many seasons of Creepshow as Shudder is willing to give us, but as it stands the series season 2 is a lot like the second Creepshow movie: Good, but not great.