Last week’s inaugural episode of Shudder’s Creepshow series brought a story larger than life itself (adapted from the mind of Stephen King no less), before shrinking our world down 1/8 it’s size for the tiniest haunted house you’ve ever seen. That first episode set a strong tone for what fans could expect from Greg Nictoreo and the entire Creepshow team, and this week’s episode is here to remind you that this show is very firmly cemented in the world George A. Romero and Stephen King created back in 1982.
The two segments featured in Creepshow Episode 2 are loaded with monsters, murder, and madness. This week’s tiny terrors brought us a mini-grindhouse extravaganza, followed by a contemporary fable that could justifiably provide Edgar Allan Poe’s ghost with a writing credit. I had some reservations about the series after last week’s episode but I knew better than to doubt such an incredibly talented roster of horror heavyweights, and I hope that every week the series runs I can say, “This is the best episode of Creepshow“.
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“Creepshow Episode 2 [is] loaded with monsters, murder, and madness.”
Episode 2 of Creepshow begins with Bad Wolf Down, written and directed by Rob Schrab (Monster House). After a quick visit from The Creeper, we’re blasted back to World War II, deep in the sh*t, taking fire from all sides. Our protagonists are quickly losing a battle they have no hope of surviving, and run for cover in the nearest building they can find. In their scramble to find shelter they miss every warning sign that they are running toward any even deadlier foe. Things seems fine after their barricade themselves in a local building, but they they soon discover their hideout contains a even deadly presence that’s about to make this skirmish a whole lot hairier.
Aside from having a story that I already wished was being adapted for the big screen for the biggest, baddest double-feature with Julius Avery’s Overlord (2018), Bad Wolf Down features some incredible performances, including a surprise appearance from hip-hop heavyweight Kid Cudi. Oh, and I did I mention Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), plays a psychopathic Nazi general? Cause he’s front and center, inhaling every second of his performance as a chaos-crazed commander on a sadistic warpath to avenged his son’s death- and it’s wonderful. This segment also features the return of Creepshow‘s patented comic book flourish, including maybe the most ingenious werewolf transformation I’ve seen in a budget restricted indie joint. Bad Wolf Down was the first segment in the show that felt like a certified Creepshow tale, and I am now over the [full] moon for this creep-tastic series.
Closing out Episode 2 is The Finger, written David J. Schow (The Crow) and directed by Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead). DJ Qualls (who you will likely remember from Roadtrip if you were also an immature boy of a certain age when that movie was released) plays a fourth-wall breaking recluse named Clark who’s just barely holding on to what he has. His wife has left him, his work has dried up, and his house is slowly being filled with “treasures” he finds in the gutters as he wonders the LA city streets. It’s on one of these late-night walks that he finds The Finger. Unable to determine exactly what animal the finger once belonged to, he places it in the fridge for safe keeping (as you do) only to discover that it has grown another finger overnight!
The finger continues to grow into a full-sized monster amigo that Clark happily names Bob. Like a creepy cat from another planet, Bob binge watches television with Clark, joins him for dinner…and leaves him gifts from his nightly prowlers. Bob is pretty much the best friend Clark could ask for, but he’s also that friend that’s better at getting you into trouble than he is at getting you out of trouble. And he’s horrifically adorable! The creature design in The Finger is nothing short of fantastic which is no surprise with Nicotero behind the camera, who takes a surprising tonal shift from last week’s dower Gray Matter. The Finger is a fun and playful story of friendship and insanity, choreographed as though it were a stage play. Episode 2 also has narration for days, sometimes right into camera, that drives home Clark’s slipping grip on sanity and the urban legend aesthetic that The Finger absolutely nails.
“[Bad Wolf Down] features the return of Creepshow‘s patented comic book flourish, including maybe the most ingenious werewolf transformation I’ve seen…”
The Creepshow series stars David Arquette (Scream), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), Tobin Bell (Saw), Big Boi (Scream: The TV Series), Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), Kid Cudi (Drunk Parents), Bruce Davison (X-Men), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Dana Gould (Stan Against Evil), Tricia Helfer (Lucifer) and DJ Qualls (Supernatural).
Creepshow Episode 2, “Bad Wolf Down / The Finger” is available now on Shudder, with new episodes premiering live and on demand every Thursday at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. If you aren’t already subscribed to Shudder, take it from me, it is the one streaming platform your horror-obsessed brain needs during the Halloween season! Click HERE to read reviews for every episode of Creepshow currently available and let us know what you thought of this week’s episode over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!