Television

Episode Guide to Shudder’s New Creepshow Project

The news about Shudder’s Creepshow continuation coming later this year is really positive.  A partial list of authors and stories along with the stellar names directing and producing, leave little doubt this will be a hit.  Here is all we know so far.

The series will feature six episodes and each episode will include multiple segments just as the original film did.  Greg Nicotero will act as Executive Producer as well as direct a few segments.  As a teen living in Pittsburgh in the ’80s he remembers first hand what Creepshow was like as he was on set.  He says, “Creepshow lives in a special place for me”.  A firm appreciation for the past with an eye on the future is exactly what this reboot needs.  This multiple award winning head of KNB EFX Group has worked on EFX for classics like Nightmare on Elm StreetAliensThe Mist, and Sin City.  His group will bring the comic book world of Creepshow to life.  You can see his makeup effects work in AMC’s Preacher as well as Alita: Battle Angel releasing this week.  This powerhouse will have his capable hands full.

Additional directors include David Bruckner of last year’s Netflix hit The Ritual, Roxanne Benjamin who directed incredible smart segments of both Southbound and XX, Rob Schrab who directed episodes of Ghosted and the criminally underappreciated Community, and John Harrison who worked under George Romero on the original film version of Creepshow.  They are continuing to add directors and as they do watch for updates to this dream list.

The list of short fiction known so far is as good as it gets.  Many of these stories I have read many times and keep coming back.  The authors listed are all top names in horror and the stories lend themselves well to the twisted type of horror Creepshow is known for.  Each story is a bit of a cautionary tale.  A morality play of sorts where revenge is a dish best served often, and sometimes you get exactly what you had coming to you.  The stories currently confirmed have a distinctly supernatural vibe and are all fairly ambiguous, leaving plenty of room for interpretation and expansion.  Here is the list so far.  BEWARE LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD

Survivor Style by Stephen KingIf Tom Hank’s Castaway took a much darker route this is what you would end up with.  A man gets stranded on a desert island and has no food beyond the meat on his body.  This short is deliciously dark(pun intended) and arguably the most twisted.  It first appeared in the anthology Skeleton Crew.  For lovers of King this one is a fan favorite.  You can’t have a Creepshow reboot without including the master himself.  I wonder if he will make an appearance like he did in The Lonely Death of Jordy Verrill? Which has its own roots in a Lovecraft classic.  

 By The Silvery Waters of Lake Champlain by Joe Hill- This lake monster story is really about the monstrous behavior humans are capable of.  Three young kids make the discovery of a lifetime on Lake Champlain-a recently deceased dinosaur they originally mistook for a boulder.  The kids must fight fate, their families, and risk everything to protect their find all without realizing there might be more danger lurking.  Not unlike his father this is a story about the loss of innocence and gaining of knowledge.  It reads more like an Amazing Story than a Creepshow, but that’s fine by me as I loved both.  Joe Hill is white hot right now with AMC developing his novel NOS4A2 into a series starring Zachary Quinto.  

  House Of The Head by Josh Malerman- A traditional ghost story told from a decidedly nontraditional place, a doll house.  Little Elvie was lucky enough to get a huge, gorgeous doll house from her parents but unfortunately for her, something is haunting the residents.  Who is terrorizing the tiny family and why are not nearly as important as what Elvie can do about it.  I literally see this story play out in my mind as I read it.  There is so much unexplained and the fear is so palpable it will translate perfectly into a segment.  It reminded me of two different Twilight Zone episodes, only is far scarier for inexplicable reasons.  Malerman’s next novel after Bird Box which Netflix made a killing off of this past Christmas is Unbury Carol.  It just released a few weeks ago and already there is talk of adaptation.  You can find his story and a number of others in the phenomenal compilation New Fears.  

 The Companion by Joe Lansdale- This short found in 2004’s Bumper Crop is reminiscent of one of the creatures from Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.  A murderous, indestructible scarecrow take center stage as an unwanted companion for poor Harold who just wanted to explore the abandoned farm nearby.  This story first written by Lansdale and his two children will be adapted by writer Matt Venne(Bag of BonesFear Itself).  A true monster story that was made for this type of series.  The creature is unsettling and what is Creepshow if it isn’t about creepy creatures?

 The Man In The Suitcase by Christopher Buehlman-  A travel story like none other forces us to embrace the paranoia many feel about our luggage.  A young man inadvertently brings the wrong suitcase home and finds a man inside.  That man has something very wrong with him and has even bigger problems than being confined to a suitcase.  I would love to see Channel Zero’s Troy James unfold his gangly frame from this bag.

All Hallows Eve by Bruce Jones- Perhaps the most wildly known and revered of all horror graphic novels, All Hallows Eve is the one every lover of the genre may know.  Bruce Jones wrote the story in Twisted Tales #1 published in 1982 by Pacific Comics.  This comic is seriously disturbing both in content and theme.  A revenge tale that does not blink.  Something terrible happened seven years ago and each year another member of the group who was involved dies in a truly horrific fashion.  If done right this segment will f@#k you up!

Night of the Paw by John Esposito-  He has written for Teen TitansThe Walking Dead:Webisodes, and was a co-producer on From Dusk Till Dawn so this man knows horror.  Very little, or actually nothing is known about this story yet, but with his pension for gnarly gore, cool twists, and character driven drama we know this will be a hell of an episode.

Bad Wolf Down by Rob Schrab- This period piece set in the heart of World War II shows just how far American soldiers are willing to go to avoid capture and torture by the Nazi forces.  The unholy and the supernatural whatever that means, are not off the table.  Schrab co-wrote the screenplay for Monster House.  That terrifically bizarre animated scary movie was all heart.  The dialogue and story are stellar.  With such quirky horror history under his belt this segment should fit right in.

We only have to wait until Fall to see the new Creepshow.  Until then watch the original on Shudder and watch for additional details as they are released.  Also Greg Nicotero just put out the first pictures for the new Creepshow.  It sure looks good.  

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