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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Season 2


Starring: Kevin Dillon, Ted Raimi, Ali Larter, C Thomas Howell, Iman Benson, Josh McDermitt, Ashley Laurence and Keith David
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £29.99

5 036193 020711

Certificate: 15
Release Date: 25 September 2023

Acorn Media International releases Season 2 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 five separate episodes, with nine scary stories in total. There are also another three seasonal specials. The collection is presented across two Blu-ray discs, with an impressive overall running time of 322 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 1950’s. 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 pages of the comic books in question, before the aspect moves to the introduction of the story in question. One frame becomes live and, abruptly, we are plunged into the live action tale.

We begin with Model Kid (by Stephen King) in which a 12-year-old boy is bullied by his uncle when the man moves in and takes over after the boy’s mother has died of cancer. The violence becomes more extreme when the uncle loses his job and takes it out on the boy and his cherished collection of monster models. The ghost of the boy’s mother urges him to order a model called The Victim, which is then used as a voodoo doll to issue the retribution that his uncle deserves. In Public Television of the Dead, when a TV show called The Love of Painting is cancelled, Ted Raimi is invited onto an opposing show with the Necronomicon (The Book of the Dead – as a tribute to the eldritch tales of H.P. Lovecraft and The Evil Dead films directed by Ted’s brother Sam Raimi). When the book is opened an evil entity is released, killing the studio staff. It is left to the presenter of The Love of Painting to fight the good fight. In Dead and Breakfast (wasn’t there a humorous horror film of the same name?), the grandchildren of serial killer “Old Lady Spinster” inherit her house and open it as a public haunted house. However, when a know-it-all live streamer arrives to review the place she discovers the killer’s missing victims, with devastating consequences.

In Pesticide, a self-important exterminator is approached by a businessman to clear a group of homeless people from an abandoned warehouse he wants to renovate. After refusing, he accepts a lot of money, and poisons their stew while they are asleep. But his conscience becomes his greatest enemy when he it set upon by the most terrifying and realistic nightmares. In The Right Snuff, two astronauts are testing an anti-gravity machine. An object almost collides with them, but it turns out to be first contact with an alien race. Conflict and jealousy between the two men threatens the entire future of mankind. In Sibling Rivalry, a high school girl is convinced her brother is trying to kill her, but the school psychologist believes it is attention seeking. Her brother later attacks her with an axe because he knows she has become a vampire. In, Pipe Screams, a plumber is called to an old building to pinpoint a problem with the pipes. When he identifies a drain clog it turns out to be sentient and hungry. In Within the Walls of Madness, (as a nod to the great H.P. Lovecraft, and John Carpenter’s The Thing) a graduate student in a research facility in Antarctica is accused of killing a fellow student. However, Dr Trollenberg (a nice reference to The Crawling Eye 1950s B-Movie), has summoned the Old Ones through a portal and the Cthulhu-like creature killed the student’s associate. The normal season concludes with Night of the Living Late Show, in which a man invents a state-of-the-art fully immersive virtual reality machine which places you within an existing old movie. His favourite is Horror Express (Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee), and he continually returns to the action – neglecting his young wife – to the point that he lusts after the heroine. Retribution of the most horrific kind will seek him out. This is undoubtedly the best short of season 2, along with Public Television of the Dead.

On this collection there is the added bonus of some seasonal specials. Survivor Type (narrated by Kiefer Sutherland) is an animated body horror about a man washed-up on a deserted island, who has to cut off his own body parts to survive. But where will it end? Twittering From the Circus of the Dead (by Joe Hill) is another animation wherein a family stops to visit a spooky circus – only to becomes volunteers in a real-life horror show. Shapeshifters Anonymous is a Christmas 2020 special, in which a man visits a special self-help group because he suspects he might be killing people as a werewolf. It turns out they are all were-creatures – including the quiet member, who is really an ancient creature created by God. But so, by all accounts, is Kris Kringle, but he turned to Satan. There follows a truly remarkable battle between the group and Kris Kringle’s army of evil Santas. I love Christmas horror films, and this short is excellent, gory and funny. This is another enjoyable set, with more horror than you can shake a stick at!


Ty Power

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