CREEPSHOW Episode #1.2 Recap: There is Nothing Wrong With a Little Gore. Okay, a Lot of Gore.
Episode two of the new Creepshow anthology series on Shudder began streaming yesterday. If you have not seen the new episode yet, turn back now, cause you get no grace period from us. We're diving right in to each tale, Bad Wolf Down and The Finger
Lovers of classic special effects work need not worry. Once again, both episodes also feature good old fashioned pratical effects from animatronics, to puppetry. What we see in episode two though is a signigicant and welcome rise in the amount of gore. More on that in a bit.
If there was ever a drinking game to be had while watching Creepshow it might be 'Spot the Harrow's'. However, since that particular Easter Egg has only appeared once per episode, so far, maybe wait to play that game when binging all six episodes. Over six hours. Six drinks. Yeah. Never mind. That's just casual drinking at that point.
Astute viewers will have also seen the ashtray and there are reportedly lots of Easter Eggs. Perhaps what you need to do is gather together with the biggest Creepshow fan you can find and on the honor system, drink every time they point out something from the movies. "Okay. If you say so". Glug glug glug.
Here are some quick thoughts about each story in yesterday's episode.
“Bad Wolf Down”
A platoon of American soldiers is forced to hide out in a dilapidated police station during WWII, but they soon discover something more sinister than war has been unleashed inside the building: a werewolf.
Written and directed by Rob Schrab, Bad Wolf Down, stars Dave MacDonald, Callan Wilson, Kid Cudi, Nelson Bonilla, Jeffrey Combs and Kate Freund.
Horror icon Jeffrey Combs plays a Nazi commondant in the story. There is a certain amount of schtick to his work. Is a series like this, at a time like this, its good to make fun of Nazis. Lots of fun. And when the gore kicks in and the result is a lot of ripped up Germans. Well then, we applaud thee, Mr. Schrab.
Staying true to the original film when it hits the fan Schrab uses extreme color lighting and that patterned backdrop from the original film in his episode. He also uses real creature suits with animatronic maws. It is glorious and gore-ious. Honoring the comic book aspect of the show he uses the comic book panels to portray the transformations through illustration.
Watching Nazis get what's coming to them never gets old.
Clark has a passion for found objects. One day, he finds something particularly odd: a finger. He takes it home and it grows- first another finger, then an arm, then a whole creature. Clark names him Bob, and they get along great... until Bob starts murdering.
Written by David J. Schow, directed by Greg Nicotero and stars DJ Qualls, Antwan Mills and Jake Garber.
There is something endearing and even empathetic with DJ Qualls' Clark. It's because he breaks the fourth wall, when he starts adressing the viewer with his tale, that it becomes easier to, on some level, relate to this character.
We're used to seeing Qualls play characters who are weaklings, or sick, or - some character in line with his physical slightness.Tthere is this nice change to how we look at him in this small amount of time. By the end once he is clean shaven and bathed in sterile light we see the Qualls of old, but for the bulk of The Finger here is someone oddly relatable.
Clark is a man who has lost nearly everything finds someone, rather something, that loves him. His wife and children hate him. Debt collectors hound him daily. He cannot land decent contract work. On some level we can relate to Clark so we too would take love where we can get it, even if it is a bit boney around the edges.
It's not mopey at all. The Finger, however relatable you find it, also finds it strength with its dashes of dark humor as well. Then there is also the equal amount of gore and violence as Clark cleans up after his new guest. But by grounding this tale in the every day, versus the fantasy elements of Bad Wolf Down, it changed how we interacted with this second tale
In summary, we love the creature violence of Bad Wolf Down but The Finger was wholly entertaining charcter piece with dark humor on top of its top notch gore. Is this a trend to expect in the remaining four episodes? So far each episode has a decent first act that is followed by a much stronger second act? We shall see when we return next week for Creepshow #1.3.