Creepshow Episode 5 Recap and Review
A mostly middling mix for episode five of the Shudder series. Of any pairing so far these two felt pretty unoriginal. One was an actual recycled W.W. Jacobs story that felt neither like a pastiche nor a tribute but more like leftovers that were reheated. The second used the zombie apocalypse–a pretty hackneyed device on its own–as a framing device for some political commentary which was probably the most original thing that happened this week.
Episode 105: “Night of the Paw” “Night of the Paw”A mortician saves the life of a woman who shows up at his door one night, but unbeknownst to her, the man had wished for a murderer to come put him out of his misery… maybe she wasn’t so fortunate after all.
Written by: John Esposito
Directed by: John Harrison
Cast: Bruce Davison, Hannah Barefoot, Susannah Devereux, Grace Toso, Ryan Clay Gwaltney
I mean there wasn’t a lot to like about this episode. It’s probably my least favorite of the bunch. I totally dug the Wishmaster movies which did what this vignette tried to do only WAY better and with mirth and humor that made it enjoyable. This story managed to be both shallow and to take itself too serious. The combination isn’t a great one and had me looking at my watch. It also carries the bulk of the time for episode five. I think we would have been better off cutting this episode down and giving more time to the second story as that one at least attempts to do something new. Bruce Davison is fun and plays the aged widower with a haggard charm we have grown accustomed to with him. It’s not enough to save the scene. It wasn’t terrifying and the practical effects didn’t do enough to creep me out or keep me intrigued. In the end when the monkey’s paw got its way I didn’t feel good or bad for the main characters. I shrugged, which was the best response I could have had for this story.
“Times is Tough in Musky Holler”Former Mayor Lester Barkley is in prison, and with his most loyal supporters locked up too, his odds don’t look good. Their gruesome means of control went too far, and now, they’ll be getting a taste of their own medicine—or rather, the dead will be getting a taste of their former mayor.
Written by: John Skipp and Dori Miller
Directed by: John Harrison
Cast: David Arquette, Dane Rhodes, Karen Strassman, Tommy Kane, Tracey Bonner, Kermit Rolison, Connor Hammon
First off the run time on this episode was way shorter than the other story which sucks. There is a lot of really fun stuff that happens before the camera even starts rolling. It felt like part two of a Walking Dead episode I hadn’t caught the first part of. While it was disorienting I felt like it was a brave directorial choice and after the “Night of the Paw” I was ready for big brave choices even if I didn’t necessarily get them. I also dug the way we get the backstory. Which is told mostly through comic book flashbacks and big weird hick accents. The entire vignette is a political allegory. The conservative folks in Musky Holler have taken over to keep the peace during a zombie apocalypse. What follows is their reign of terror that mostly uses violence and fear to keep people in line. Lester Barkley, a poor huckster turned even worse despot kills his political rivals in the town arena. He stages zombie gladiatorial games that serve both to amuse his subjects but also rids him of his political opposition. Its all a bit on the nose I was just waiting for him to call something or someone “Fake News”. Needless to say Barkley along with his cronies (I see you Mitch McConnell) get what is coming to them. It’s a revenge tale. That within itself is nothing new.
Despite that fact, its not attempting to reinvent the shambling dead it did use zombies as a metaphor and that’s kind of my thing, so I was down for the conversation. There is some pretty direct imagery borrowed from the original Creepshow that I thought was pretty rad. It also reminded me of this pinball game I used to play all the time at my favorite bar. So, in the end, it was political allegory by way of zombies and pinball….Yea now that I am thinking about it I was pretty great.
Only one episode left. Check out all over our recaps and reviews and tell us what your favorites were.
Creepshow, the new anthology series based on the 1982 horror comedy classic, is still the most fun you’ll ever have being scared! A comic book comes to life in a series of twelve vignettes over six episodes, exploring terrors from murder to the supernatural and unexplainable. Haunted dollhouses, werewolves, murderous goblins, villainous trick-or-treaters, the dead, and medical marvels are just a few of the things to watch out for in this new series. You never know what will be on the next page..
Tyler has been the editor in chief of Signal Horizon since its conception. He is also the Director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University a class that pairs horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he is not watching, teaching or thinking about horror he is the Director of Debate and Forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.