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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Season 1


Starring: David Arquette, Adrienne Barbeau, Tobin Bell, Big Boi, Jeffrey Combs, Kid Cudi, Bruce Davison and Giancarlo Esposito
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £29.99

5 036193 020704

Certificate: 15
Release Date: 25 September 2023

Acorn Media International releases Season 1 of the Shudder Original series, Creepshow. This is an updated version of the 1982 horror anthology film and its two sequels by George Romero and author Stephen King, this time with new tales from notable names in the industry. Showrunner Greg Nicotero  (Executive Producer of The Walking Dead) has split this series into six episodes, with two segments per episode – so, that’s twelve scary stories in total. They are presented across two Blu-ray discs, with an impressive overall running time of 265 minutes. Of course, the legacy of Creepshow extends much further back than the 1980s films; its origins are in the E.C. horror comics of the 1950s. Accordingly, we have the resident Ghoul introducing the segments with no more than an evil chuckle and a pointed indication of animated representations of these aforementioned comics. We see the adverts for monster masks and other items for sale, before the aspect moves to the comicbook introduction of the story in question. One frame becomes live and, abruptly, we are plunged into the live action tale.

Episode one begins with Gray Matter. A group of locals take refuge in a tiny shop from a storm. A boy arrives to buy a crate of beer for his dad who, he tells them, has changed. He is frightened and doesn’t want to return. Whilst the chief of police and Doc walk to the man’s house, we hear the backstory as told to the shopkeeper (Adrienne Barbeau, of John Carpenter’s The Fog, and Escape From New York). The visitors soon realise the beer has turned the boy’s father into a monster of a different kind. The House of the Head is one of the best stories in this collection. It’s a masterclass of how to be sinister on a moderate budget. A young girl has a one-of-a-kind dollhouse. The family of figures inside are haunted by a monstrous decapitated doll’s head. The figures move whenever the girl isn’t looking – even if she glances away for a moment. Horrific events escalate to the point the girl feels forced to intervene.

Bad Wolf Down has WW2 soldiers trapped inside an abandoned police station by Nazis. Their only salvation rests on the forgotten prisoner in the cells. Inspired by Dog Soldiers, perhaps. In The Finger, a lonely man collects random objects. This includes a severed finger which grows into a lizard creature that needs to be fed human parts. In All Hallows Eve, five trick or treat kids call themselves the Golden Dragons. Each year they kill a member of a family, but they are ghosts and this is their final victim: perpetrators of a Halloween prank which went devastatingly wrong. The Man in the Suitcase has a student discover a man squeezed impossibly into a suitcase. Whenever the man is caused pain, gold coins are produced, tempting the student into violent torture. But the man will have his revenge.

In The Companion (by Joe R. Lansdale – check out Bubba Ho-Tep), a boy is chased to a farm by his violent, bullying brother. Here he finds a hideous scarecrow which comes to life. We see the farmer’s backstory with the scarecrow and, in the present, the boy utilises it to attack his brother. In Lydia Layne’s Better Half, a woman corporate boss passes over her girlfriend for promotion and is killed by her in retribution. She attempts to smuggle the body out but gets trapped in the lift. The body then comes back to life. In Night of the Paw (based on The Monkey’s Paw), a woman suffers a car accident and finds herself in a funeral home. The mortician has a monkey’s paw which allows three wishes. She misuses the paw to bring her murdered husband back but brings alive all the dead bodies as zombies. In Times is Tough in Musky Holler, a ruthless businessman uses the zombie apocalypse to become mayor and drive out all of the honest politicians and policemen with twisted torture games. However, the tables are turned as retribution is sought.

In Skincrawlers (by Joe Hill), a miraculous weight loss procedure is unveiled. One man holds back, undecided, but is later selected to promote the transformation on live TV. However, before it begins, there is a solar eclipse which triggers a complete structural breakdown of those who have undergone the procedure – revealing carnivorous leeches and a larger version of the creature that the reluctant man is forced to fight for survival. In By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain, a teenager attempts to continue her father’s work when he was killed proving the existence of a mythical lake beast nicknamed Champ. She endures regular abuse from her sadistic stepfather but has the last laugh when the creature arrives at a critical moment.

Creepshow is a great return to anthology shows of old. The constant connection to the ghoul Creep and the animated comics keep you invested. It’s an eclectic mix well worth checking out and will instantly appeal to horror fans.


Ty Power

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