Review: CREEPSHOW'S Sophomore Effort Feels More Like the Film and That's Not Bad
What a time to be alive. Shudder is gracing us all with an episodic version of the beloved Creepshow and here we are on week two. (By the way, we loved the premiere.) With our second episode, we get a proper intro as well as a little dose of some creature features, with the one-two punch of “Bad Wolf Down” and “The Finger.” While both are drastically different from each other, they perfectly fit into the Creepshow canon.
“Bad Wolf Down” is, as you could guess, a fun little werewolf romp that gives us some historical horror by dropping smack dab in Nazi Germany, as we follow a group of American soldiers taking shelter, knowing they are outgunned and outnumbered. Unfortunately for them, the abandoned enemy jail they find refuge in proves that even the terrors of war aren’t the most horrible thing happening around them.
Directed and written by Rob Schrab, the constant Dan Harmon aide and scribe of the classic Monster House, Schrab is clearly a fan of the original film. Lots of fun is being had, from references to werewolves across the cinematic landscape to the aquamarine greens and Donato reds seen throughout the original film franchise, and Schrab embraces the schlock and camp of old school horror. Jeffrey Combs pops in as a Nazi captain and is chewing scenery like a goat in the theater wings, and by the end of the episode we’re so deep into camp that Schrab is wholeheartedly winking at us in dramatic fashion, but it’s really a ton of fun.
“The Finger” is directed by showrunner and effects expert Greg Nicotero but written by the godfather of splatterpunk, David J Schow. DJ Qualls plays a scruffy down-on-his-luck curmudgeon who fills the missing holes in his existence with other peoples trash. One night, he stumbled across and odd finger that spends some time, well, developing and before you know it, we meet Bob. Bob is the xenomorphic type beastie thatC Clark befriends and the episode does a lot of meta breaking of the fourth wall. The tone seems off for the parties involved but is so odd and eccentric that it does neatly fit into the Creepshow sense of storytelling. Once Bob is fully introduced and we head into our darkly comedic ending, the team of Nicotero and Schow fit in perfectly.
We get a proper intro this episode and spend some time with the Creep, both in live action and animated form, but I would still love to see a little more from our new age Cryptkeeper. While this episode does seem to lean heavily into the Creepshow film stylings, it’s a worthy follow up nonetheless and neat little drive-in feature of monster madness.