Keep your arms, legs, and any other appendages safely to yourself because Creepshow is bringing more monsters into your home! While there’s plenty of human monsters to be found throughout the series, the fourth episode of Creepshow’s second season television series is busting out some creative cinematic adversaries, big and small.
The double creature feature segments Pipe Screams and Within The Walls Of Madness defend the monsters of our nightmares, whether they come from above, below, or from the walls that surround us. In their own respective ways, Pipe Screams and Within The Walls Of Madness throwback nods to fan-favorite tropes, films, and most importantly monsters that are both familiar and new to the screen. Beware each and every hole… you never know what’s waiting to get out.
Joe Lynch (Mayhem) has certainly found a fitting spot in the Creepshow family. Returning to direct the fourth episode of the show’s sophomore season, Pipe Screams, Lynch is landing straight back on Earth to tell another eerie tale. New York Times bestselling author Daniel Kraus (The Living Dead) pens the segment that maximizes a simple story in a big way, just like any good memorable entry to The Creep’s collection.
The twisted, classic spin on revenge plays out as “A drain clog turns out to be more than just a little matted hair and soap scum, and a down-on-his-luck plumber is tasked with getting the problem under control. Trouble is, the problem has a mind of its own.” The awesome ensemble cast made up of Eric Edelstein (Green Room), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), and Selena Anduze (Doctor Sleep) adds a load of performance power to Pipe Screams along with a scary, impossibly lovable, little monster.
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“…the silly star of Pipe Dreams is a tiny but mighty worthy horror monster.”
I can’t speak for everyone, but the hair clogs in my shower drain are some of the most disgusting and frightening natural concoctions so it was about time someone turned one into a menacing creature. Pipe Screams turns the nastiest little piece of sludge into a hairy problem that eventually pays off in a dark, satisfying ending. Using terrific practical puppetry to give the slime its gross form combined with squishy sound effects and delightfully realistic gore, the silly star of Pipe Dreams is a tiny but mighty worthy horror monster.
Supplemented with a little slapstick humor paired with exaggerated quipped dialogue, this creepy-crawly segment checks off necessary points of entertainment value and relevant storytelling. Edelstein provides charm, Anduze confidently saves the day, and Crampton rocks her vindictive role. It’s a ton of fun to see the beloved genre icon theatrically portray a careless, condescending racist who eventually gets the Creepshow villain treatment she deserves. Between the story, the performances, the effects, and the monster, Pipe Screams gets the job done.
Headcanon side note: The furry sludge is an origin story of a past Creepshow monster favorite that also likes to snack on mean ladies? Just a thought.
Within The Walls Of Madness
Conspiracies, believability, cover-ups, and government toxicity have made for some of the world’s more realistic horror lately, but what happens when an extra element of terror is added to the equation? The very active showrunner of season two, Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), joins a returning John Esposito (Graveyard Shift) to tell a suspenseful story that merges realms and beings with large-scale consequences. Directed by John Harrison (Tales From The Darkside: The Movie) in the segment Within The Walls Of Madness.
The far-reaching scares begin when “A top-secret government compound is evacuated as the last few scientists in the building fight to contain the creature they’ve been studying – but is the true threat one of them?” The segment manages to pack a blockbuster idea into a short amount of time with truly impressive ease. Starring Drew Matthews (Paper Towns), Denise Crosby (Pet Sematary), Nicholas Logan (I Care A Lot), Brooke Butler (All Cheerleaders Die), Brittany Smith (Venom), and Leonard Butler (Acrimony), Within The Walls Of Madness is a neat venture into uncharted territories with a story that is as big as its monster.
“Within The Walls Of Madness would make a great movie, maybe even a franchise.“
Though the segment’s name bears similarity to John Carpenter’s In The Mouth Of Madness, Within The Walls Of Madness is not a direct channel of screenwriter Michael De Luca’s mysterious narrative. Instead, it renews a borrowed complexity that gears more towards cosmic horror made famous by a different sci-fi genre creator. A containment breach in the Arctic leads to mass slaughter, but one survivor has quite a story to tell. When telling a narrative in a flashback within a flashback the events can easily become convoluted, especially one told in less than 30 minutes, however the combined talents of Nicotero, Esposito, and Harrison keep a firm grasp on the segment’s flow.
Grand set pieces, location set-ups, and digital environments expand Creepshow’s ability to jump off the pages and place viewers within the walls of a larger setting. Special effects company KNB continues to brilliantly combine CGI and practical effects to bring another tentacled monster to life with a surprise appearance by a familiar earthly foe. Within The Walls Of Madness would make a great movie, maybe even a franchise. Who knows what the future holds for humanity… Do we even want to know?
The fourth episode of Creepshow’s second season anthology, “Pipe Screams/Within The Walls Of Madness”, is available on Shudder April 22nd, 2021, with new episodes premiering live and on-demand weekly on Thursdays at 9:00 pm ET/ 6:00 pm PT through May 6th, 2021. If you haven’t already, now is the time to catch up on the previous three episodes and prepare for the upcoming final two of the 6-episode season. Let us know what you thought of the season’s premiere episode over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!