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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Season 3


Starring: Ethan Embry, James Remar, King Bach, Jonathan Schaech, Reid Scott, Michael Rooker and Mark Hamill
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £29.99

5 036193 020728

Certificate: 15
Release Date: 25 September 2023

Acorn Media International releases Season 3 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 6 episodes, with 2 segments per episode – so, that’s 12 scary stories in total. They are presented across two Blu-ray discs, with an impressive overall running time. 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 adverts of 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.

We begin with 'Mums', in which a farm boy’s mother is killed by his violent, gun-loving father. She is buried in the garden but mutates into a man-eating plant. In 'Queen Bee', three fans of a famous pop star break into a hospital to see the idol give birth, but get more than they bargained for. One of the stand-out segments here is 'Skeletons in the Closet', in which a film fanatic opens an exhibit of ultra rare props. When he is blackmailed by a rival collector, the proprietor wreaks a terrifying vengeance. There are multiple references to classic films here – even the original Creepshow skeleton Creep. In 'Familiar', a trainee lawyer visits a fortune teller where a familiar attaches itself to him and fools the man with deadly consequences. In 'The Last Tsuburaya', an unseen priceless painting is sold to a mega-rich collector, after which an ancient demon is released. In 'Okay, I’ll Bite', a model prisoner who loves spiders is cheated out of his parole by corrupt prison officials and retribution ensues. In 'Stranger Sings', a man thinks he has found his soulmate, but has instead found a dangerous mythical siren who demands he carry out an operation. 'Meter Reader' is set within a dystopian future wherein a man is immune to a devastating contagion of possession and has the task of fighting the afflicted. But his own strict rules of safety threaten his life and that of his family.

In 'Time Out', a young man in law school uses an unusual piece of furniture left to him by his grandfather to cheat time. Once inside, time stands still. He uses this for years to quickly climb the corporate lady, only to discover time will catch up with him in the end. In the animated tale 'The Things in Oakwood’s Past', a woman discovers the town’s dark past of disappearing people is related to a chest. Old writings seem to suggest the chest can save the populace, but should it be opened? In 'Drug Traffic', a bus containing US citizens reaches the Canadian border. A security officer ignores the filming and reporting of political issues, instead focussing on a woman and her very sick daughter. The woman is found to be carrying drugs; However, removing access to the drugs for the daughter triggers a terrifying metamorphosis. In 'A Dead Girl Named Sue', a police chief seeks to prevent a revenge mob from killing the son of the mayor who is a sociopathic murderer and rapist. He believes in a lawful process until he has a personal reason to change his mind. The killer is brought to the local jail for personal justice. This will make more sense in a horror context if I explain it is filmed in black and white and takes place within the classic zombie film Night of the Living Dead.

If I’m honest, I’d say this bunch of tales isn’t quite up to the uniformly high standard of Seasons 1 & 2. Perhaps I’ve become acclimatised to the format and have viewed too many in a short period of time. Don’t let my minor quibbles put you off though; this is a very competent anthology show. Season 4 has aired in the US… and long may it continue.


Ty Power

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