The Most Fun You'll Ever Have Being Scared!
1982's Creepshow is one of my favourite horror anthologies. Directed by George A. Romero with stories written by Stephen King and staring a host of well known stars.The film is a love letter to EC Comics, right down to the comic-book style shots and animated segments. The sequel is also a solid anthology with 3 terrifying new tales, and the third film... Well, we don't mention that here at Hooked On Horror.
In 2019, Shudder dropped the Creepshow TV Series from show-runner Greg Nicotero; a special effects legend and co-executive producer on The Walking Dead. So fans knew the show was in good hands. The series starred a bevy of names such as Adrienne Barbeau, Jeffrey Combs and Tobin Bell, and each episode was directed by the likes of David Bruckner, Roxanne Benjamin and Tom Savini.
Whilst I absolutely adored the series, I can admit is was rather clunky and didn't quite find it's footing, mainly due to budgetary constraints and a crazily gruelling shooting schedule;
'We were set to do six episodes, but I insisted that we shoot twelve stories in six episodes, because I wanted that Creepshow feel. So, we ended up having to create an entirely new universe, with an entirely new cast, every three and a half days' says Nicotero.
Thankfully, the show was pretty well received by critics and fans, and we're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Season 2, which is set to star Barbara Crampton, Ali Larter, Ryan Kwanten and Marilyn Manson, amongst many more! It's beautiful to see the Creepshow family growing, and by the new season, I can pretty much guarantee those feet will be firmly in the grave! But, alas, like many other shows and films, the pandemic slowed down the production and we are likely to see it premiere sometime next year.
Meanwhile, since about July, Nicotero and the Creepshow family teamed up with animated studio Octopie and have been crafting a fully Animated Creepshow Special!
Just in time for Halloween, Shudder dropped the episode last night, and the 45 minute runtime was pure joy! We were given not just one, but two great stories; one from Stephen King and one from Joe Hill - a father / son double feature! What fun! We even get animated cameo's from the both of them - so keep an eye out!
Survivor Type is based on a Stephen King short story, which is arguably the most gruesome story King has ever written. Nicotero hoped to include the story in S01, but didn't have the budget, but the animated format of the special allowed them to bring this King story to life.
It is a one character story about a surgeon turned drug dealer who's crashed onto a stranded island with zero supplies except a ton of heroin. The character is voiced by Mr Kiefer Sutherland himself! A great choice for this type of role, giving the character that perfect edge. And in true Creepshow fashion, you can only guess that the despicable character gets what's coming to him!
Twittering From The Circus Of The Dead is from the mind of Joe Hill. And the original story is actually presented as a series of Tweets, which could have brought some difficulty in how to present that on screen, but the animated format helped lean in to Joe's story whilst being able to create great visuals of what this particular world looked like.
Similar to the first segment, the story is narrated by one character, and voiced by the very talented Joey King, who's no newbie to the horror genre. The horror tale sees Blake, begrudgingly on a road trip with her family and constantly tweeting about her deathly boredom, but when they pull off the road to see a sinister circus, things become even worse than Blake could have imagined.
I think this segment was my favourite out of the two, with creepy yet stunning visuals bringing the tale alive.
The animation itself took me a few minutes to get into. Whilst in my mind I was expecting something alongside the animation style from the first two films, we're actually given a very modern take that's meant to better replicate the experience of reading a comic, giving the sense that the comic panels are coming to life. This may not work for everyone, but the Animated Special certainly incorporates the sense of twisted fun that's associated with the Creepshow trademark.
A Creepshow Animated Special, currently streaming on SHUDDER.