CREEPSHOW Season 3 Is Out On Blu-Ray And DVD Now
This season of Creepshow includes six episodes from directors Rusty Cundieff (“Chappelle’s Show”), Greg
Nicotero (“The Walking Dead”), Joe Lynch (Mayhem), Jeffrey F. January (“The
Walking Dead”), John Harrison (Tales from the Darkside: The Movie), and Axelle
Carolyn (Tales of Halloween).
For those who are unaware, CREEPSHOW is an anthology series based on the 1982 horror-comedy classic.
The stories are laid out like a comic book coming to life. The content of each
vignette explores terrors ranging from murder, creatures, monsters, and delusions to
the supernatural and unexplainable. Just like a comic book, you never know what will be on the next page.
The third season sees stars Ali Larter (“Heroes”), Justin Long (Jeepers
Creepers), Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), and Ethan Embry (Sweet Home Alabama) enter the world where anything is possible.
Anthology TV series are not new, but most run out of steam or ideas after a few seasons. Creepshow season three is overall still a train built for speed. Most of the vignettes are satisfying and have great detail of storytelling and practical effects. This alone is worth the price of admission (or DVD/Blu-Ray set purchase).
Episode 1 MUMS / QUEEN BEE
Directed by Rusty Cundieff
Short Story by Joe Hill
Written by Greg Nicotero
Starring Broyden Benson, Ethan Embry, Erin Beute, Lowery Brown and Malone Thomas
The lead-off Episode which includes stories “MUMS” and “QUEEN BEE” is very polar opposites of each other. MUMS deals with a story of a boy named Jack whose life is turned upside down when his mother is taken away from him. This short story is based on one by Joe Hill. The story itself is expanded by writer Greg Nicotero and includes cast such as Ethan Embry, Brayden Benson, Erin Beute, Lowery Brown and Malone Thomas. Although the special effects are really good, the story itself feels depressing and very dark. Embry is good as a dirtbag of a father and the conclusion to the story is satisfying. The series lead-off might have been better served by switching the two vignettes around.
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Erik Sandoval & Michael Rousellet
Starring Kaelynn Gobert-Harris, Olivia Hawthorne, Nico Gomez, Hannah Kepple and Monica Louwerens
This story opens with Trenice (Olivia Hawthorne) and her friends gossiping about the pop star Regina (who they happen to be obsessed with). When they hear the news that Regina (Kaelynn Gobert-Harris) has gone into labour and is in a local hospital, they devise a plan to meet her in person. Things don’t go as planned and Regina is more than they expect. This story has a great mixture of practical effects and a 1980s retro feel to it (the effects do anyway). Seeing little easter eggs like Haddonfield Hospital (a reference to the Haddonfield where John Carpenter’s Halloween film takes place) is applaud worthy. The cast of this one is fairly unknown and this helps suspend reality to a degree. Queen Bee starts and ends strong, did I mention the effects are out of this world?
Episode 2 SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET / FAMILIAR
SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Story by Greg Nicotero & John Esposito
Written by John Esposito
Starring Victor Rivera, Valerie LeBlanc, Lucas Godfrey, James Remar, Paul Kim and Casey Wortham
A movie buff named Lampini (Victor Rivera) opens a prop museum, but a rival collector could put everything at risk.
This episode is a blast. If you like horror nostalgia and props then this is the episode for you. The cast plays up the campiness of the dialogue and also revisits some classic horror moments including a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s shower scene in Psycho. The only thing negative about this one is it felt a tad rushed and predictable.
Directed by Joe Lynch
Written by Josh Malerman
Starring Andrew Bachelor, Hannah Fierman, Keith Arthur Bolden, Robert Stevens Wayne and Dusty Mitchell
Jackson (Andrew Bachelor) is being followed by a dark force, but will his attempts to rid himself of it work or will it make things worse?
Jackson and his girlfriend Fawn (Hannah Fierman) go out to celebrate Jackson’s up-and-coming lawyer status. While out on the town and after a few drinks they both stop in to see a fortune teller named Boone (Keith Arthur Bolden). Although he tells Fawn’s fortune, he delivers some unsettling advice to Jackson. Creepshow does what it does best and the climax is unnerving as all heck.
This one has some great storytelling, engaging characters and decent pacing too. There are some good scares in Familiar also.
Episode 3 THE LAST TSUBURAYA / OKAY I’LL BITE
THE LAST TSUBURAYA
Directed by Jeffery F. January
Written by Paul Dini & Stephen Langford
Starring Brandon Quinn, Jade Fernandez, Gia Hiraizumi, Kenny Alfonso, Joe Ando-Hirsh, Joseph Steven Young and Nate Andrade
An art collector named Wade Cruise (Brandon Quinn) purchases the last painting from an artist who is renowned for creating terrifying works. Cruise does not anticipate the ways that the painting will change his life.
This story is one of the best up to this point in the season. The acting and story are well laid out. This one feels like actual “Kaidan” folklore. The monster effects are devilishly good as well. Director January really hits high notes with the yarn, Quinn as the art collector works extremely well.
OKAY I’LL BITE
Directed by John Harrison
Written by John Harrison
Short story by John Harrison
Starring Nick Massouh, Nic Starr, Deborah Bowman, Jackson Beals, Tony Demil and Glenn Magee
Elmer (Nick Massouh) is a prisoner who takes a liking to his “pet” spiders. This makes him a target on the cell block. When he finally reaches a breaking point from the harassment, he knows his pets will have his back to a chilling degree.
Although this story has amazing special effects, it feels hollow and falls flat. The characters felt generic and the bullying by the guards is something that is in many films. I recommend sticking it out until the end, that’s when the real magic happens.
Episode 4 STRANGER SINGS / METER READER
Directed by Axelle Carolyn
Written by Jordana Arkin
Starring Chris Mayers, Suehyla El-Attar Young and Kadianne Whyte
Barry (Chris Mayers) is a doctor who meets Sara (Suehyla El-Attar Young) at a coffee shop. The two hit it off and Barry can’t believe his luck when he is invited by to Sara’s place for a drink. Releasing he’s been duped by a siren, he quickly learns he’s in for more than a simple drink.
Although there is little to no character development in this one, Mayers as Barry comes across as likable. He gives the audience a reason to root for him. The story itself is paced well and sets things up well. The creature design again hits high notes. This is definitely one that is worth checking out.
Directed by Joe Lynch
Written by John Esposito
Starring Jonathan Schaech, Abigail Dolan, Cynthia Evans, Boston Pierce, Samatha Warthen, Regan Higgins, Matt Skallar, Omer Mughal, Hannah Aslesen and John Crow
A Demonic Pandemic strikes and no one is safe. Theresa (Abigail Dolan) a teenager struggles to keep her family safe, but there’s a good chance they’ve all been infected. Will the Devil’s plague wipe them all out or will Theresa find the strength to beat this devilish disease?
It is nice to see when a show no matter what genre comments on the state of the world at that moment. Using the real-life Pandemic but also weaving a story that diverts our thoughts is brilliant. Lynch does a great job of creating an atmosphere for this story. There are heaps of tension and the acting by all (especially Dolan) is superb. Once again the Special Effects artists continue to just impress with the magic that they put on screen. Meter Reader is a solid entry for this season and one that is sure to be remembered especially for referencing the Pandemic.
Episode 5 TIME OUT / THE THING IN OAKWOOD’S PAST
Directed by Jeffery F. January
Written by Barrington Smith & Paul Seetachitt
Starring Matthew Barnes, Devon Hales, Jibre Hordges, Lauren Richards, Jabari Marshall, Grant Feely, Shannon Eubanks, Kamran Shaikh, Emerson Bennett, Jody Whitehurst, David Alexander Kaplan and Garrett Zehner
Tim (Matthew Barnes) inherits his grandfather’s wardrobe and this is like no other wardrobe around. Working to become a lawyer Tim feels like there’s never enough time in a day until one day he discovers a mysterious power that the wardrobe wields. Is the success he discovers worth the cost or will it destroy him?
This episode is different than any of the other episodes in this season of Creepshow. There’s more of a classic Twilight Zone feel to it and this is destined to be a classic. There are no monsters or impending doom other than Tim’s own making. Balancing a job and a family is a hard thing to do. Tim finds a way to do it, but it physically takes a toll on him.
Tim may find more time to finish work, but it comes at a great cost. Time is a friend to no one and mortality is fleeting. There’s a great message here about knowing what is more important in life.
All the performances by the cast are fantastic, especially the conflict that the relationship between Tim and his wife Laura (Devon Hales) experienced. There’s emotion and genuine dread throughout the third act. This is basically a cautionary tale of getting what you wish for, but not fully understanding the ramifications of that wish.
THE THINGS IN OAKWOOD’S PAST
Directed by Greg Nicotero & Dave Newberg
Animation Directed by Enol Junquera & Luis Junquera
Written by Daniel Kraus & Greg Nicotero
Starring Mark Hamill, Danielle Harris, Ron Livingston, Fayna Sanchez, Kate Thulin and Andy Daly
The town of Oakwood has a storied past, and the opening of a time capsule is an exciting moment of remembrance. But can a local librarian keep a darker part of the town’s history from repeating itself?
Town Librarian Marnie (Danielle Harris) discovers a reference to a “time capsule” in old journals. She then believes something evil is ready to come back and wipe out Oakwood. After striking up a conversation with a local news reporter Mac (Ron Livingston) she convinces him that evil is coming.
There’s a richness that this animated episode brings and the voice acting is superb. The only real issue is everything feels rushed and although the bulk of the story is there it would be nice to have a full 45-52 to tell it. Overall, everything works well and the tension is propped right up to dial 10. The creatures are relentless and horrifying. This is added by the illustrations that show scenes of carnage. Look for the animated Easter Egg of George A Romero in this one.
Writers Greg Nicotero & Daniel Kraus have weaved a good web with this one. Episode 5 offers up two stories that a solid and completely different from anything else this season.
Episode 6 DRUG TRAFFIC / A DEAD GIRL NAMED SUE
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Story by Mattie Do & Christopher Larsen
Written by Christopher Larsen
Starring Michael Rooker, Reid Scott, Sarah Jon and Mai Delapa
To gain access to life-saving medicine a young girl and her mother must cross the border. They are detained after a border guard discovers illegal drugs on their persons. Concerned with the young girl’s condition the border guard interrogates the mother for information.
This one is horrifying on so many levels. There are political themes having to do with healthcare. There are themes of subtle racism and political themes. Larsen, Do and Nicotero do a wonderful job of balancing them all. The story despite all this is still bloody and gruesome as all hell.
Michael Rooker is in fine form as a border guard named Beau. There are twists and turns that I never saw coming, which is a really good thing. There is even some dark humour thrown in for good measure, there’s a lot to digest with this one.
The special effects team steals the show again with some real head-spinning creations. Overall, a really enjoyable, but dark little story.
A DEAD GIRL NAMED SUE
Directed by John Harrison
Written by Heather Anne Campbell
Based on a short story by Craig Engler
Starring Cristian Gonzales, Josh Mikel, J.R Rodriguez, Brain Brendle, Rey Hernandez and Karlton Davis
When the dead rise from their graves. It’s everyone for themselves. The local townsfolk have some justice that they’d like to serve.
It’s nice to see the series pay homage to the original Night of the Living Dead with the black-and-white episode. Sure, this only takes place in the 1968 universe of the original movie, but it has the feel of Romero splattered all over it. The characters drive the story with only spatters of zombies making an appearance. Overall, it feels like a fitting way to finish the season off, Romero would be proud
Final thoughts on Creepshow season 3
There are many different themes in this season and some work better than others. Most of the stories are interesting, although there are a few that fall flat. The casting was brilliant and everyone seem really into their roles. The choice of directors was interesting and I enjoyed their vision on most if not all the episodes. Special Effects are the star of this season and boy I hope some, if not all get to work on the next season.
The little animated segments were fun and kept my interest. Stand-out stories include TIME OUT, THE LAST TSUBURAYA and DRUG TRAFFIC. The season three episodes have something for every horror fan and are worth taking the 4 hours plus to view.
Watching this on a large 55″ television shows just how good the 1080p transfer is. There were little to no artifacts or ghosting either. The rich environments used in episodes really pop and the blood spatter and gore come through tenfold. Black levels don’t hinder viewing enjoyment at all, this is what blu-ray was made for. Splitting the set into two discs really aids the transfers and enjoyment.
The Blu-ray set is mastered in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The audio on dialogue does not get lost in the score or sound effects which really effective. Don’t look for an overpowering meaty subwoofer to kick in, everything is pretty balanced. The front speakers do most of the heavy lifting with the rear speakers kicking in when they are called for. The audio mastering is perfect for experiencing this season to the fullest.
DVD & Blu-ray Bonus Special Features include:
Amazon’s Comic-Con@Home Panel Interview with Greg Nicotero, Mattie Do, Rusty Cundieff, Michael Rooker, and James Remar, moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Clark Collis
This 35-minute remote panel is the perfect way to cap off this collection. There’s a great deal of insight into what it is like to shoot during the Pandemic. They discuss the stories that will be part of season 3 and also other interesting things.
Behind-the-Scenes Raw Footage – 35 minutes of seeing what the production of this season is like. Interesting for many reasons especially seeing what shooting was like during the Pandemic.
Comic Art Booklet– This is a nice little inclusion that is great for referencing episodes and checking out the cast and crew involved.
Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery – Stills from the production of season three.
Final Thoughts on Creepshow Season 3 Blu-Ray set
This set has enough positives in quality that it is worth the price. Although not every episode works as well as others, they all still look stunning in 1080p. This is a perfect gift for fans of horror and the Creepshow universe. There’s really nothing negative that I can share about the set. This is a real gift for physical media collectors, one that is a great way of showing off your home theatre to friends and family.
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