Creepshow leaves its karmic format with foreign songs

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The last episode of ‘Creepshow’ is just fine. But where is the gruesome recovery?

AMC Networks

Vun Meg signs Published on October 14, 2021

Well, believe it or not, we are in the home of Creepshow Season 3. Feels like it just started, right? Time flies when the days get shorter thanks– Thanks October!

As this last ghoulish go-round comes to an end, it’s worth taking a minute to stop and assess the damage. Shake‘s Hit Anthology Series left behind my co-judges and crimes Rob Hunter and me colder than most. And while we can usually count on a stand-out segment, it seems like they do their best to save the latter. We hope so.

A particularly persistent thorn in our collective side was the series’ inconsistent adherence to its source material raison d’être: morbid come-rich stories that see deserved shots that do what they sow.

Creepshow was waiting outside his Karneg-filled karmic lake for the odd opportunity, and season 3 was equally rebellious. And while there is nothing “wrong” with expanding the horizons of the format, it does leave some difficult questions hanging in the wind. Namely: Does this discrepancy produce better segments?

Guess you have to read on for my review of Creepshow Season 3, Episode 4 to find out!

Foreign songs
Directed by Axelle Carolyn
Author: Jordana Arkin

In a small town that would make the Hallmark Channel proud, an innocent striker loves to separate between two seemingly innocent lonely hearts: Sara (Suehyla El-Attar) a hopeless romantic who finds no break, and Barry (Chris Meier), a recently divorced and hopefully difficult gynecologist. The couple immediately hit it off, but when they are invited to Sarah’s home for a glass of wine, Barry picks out chickens. After warning, he stops in his tracks, rolls his eyes back, and a white expression spreads across his face. One – he takes over Sara – singing in the house. When he arrives, he compliments her voice and the couple enters again.

When a wine “randomly” plays on Sara’s dress, she leaves her stuff to change. Barry goes back to the bathroom to deal with his own chaos, only to discover a corpse in the shower. It’s at this point that we meet Sara’s friend Miranda (Kadianne Whyte), eat a man Siren. The couple explains that they explicitly lied to Barry in the house, not to eat him, but to use his services as a doctor. Miranda wants to be human. Sara wants to be a male siren. They have to change the ballot boxes.

The segment offers a light-hearted tone that is mainly based on the charm of its characters. Mayers is the clear standout, selling Barry’s cartoonish reactions with a used heart feeling. El-Attar and Whyte have a warm, lively dynamic, and much of the segment’s comedy stems from their banter. This is of course undermined by where the segment finally opens up. But credit where credit is deserved.

While the soft-focused rom-com vibes of “Stranger Sings” provide a compelling lineup, the logic of the “horror” aspects of Creepshow Segments are distractingly weak. As the rules explain how the sirens work, logical gaps become painfully obvious. Barry rightly insists he is not the best man for the job, medically speaking. And you would think that with the power to force men to do whatever they want, Miranda could force the hand of a more appropriate surgeon. But Sara and Miranda draw anything but Barry’s very legitimate concern. And the unanswered “why him, though?” distracts uechter.

A similar intrusive wrinkle occurs during the pivotal operation, while Sara and Miranda go out of their way to insist that everyone monitor their operation to avoid amusing business from Barry’s scalp. And unless the sirens stay awake during the operation, this makes zero sense. None of this would have been distracting if it had not been so pivotal to the Plot Beats segment. And unfortunately, the thoroughly unconvincing singing dub does not help to make things smooth.

Even if I do not spoil the end, suffice it to say that while I have no problem with their optimistic endnote, the kill blow feels unsatisfactory left field. Overall: “Stranger Sings” is a sweet, definitely flawed and uncharacteristically mediocre Creepshow Entrance. Less than “watching what you want” and more of a “waiting time, I always try to figure out how that gynecologist did two successful laryngectomies.”

Meter Reader
Dir: Joe Lynch
Author: John Esposito

The plague rolls across the planet, forcing the healthy to take precautions and keep their distance, if necessary, to protect their loved ones. Huh, that sounds familiar. It is not clear if the plague is of religious or viral origin, and decapitation is the only way to ensure that the infection stops in its tracks (ok, that is less familiar). Dalton (eng.Jonathon Schaech) is one of the few people with natural immunity. And as such, it is up to him to identify and contain the virus. After a particularly hard night, Dalton returns home to his honest family. And while his wife, Mary (Cynthia Evans), and his son, Michael (Boston Pierce), they like to let the patriarch into the house, the eldest child, Theresa (Abigail Dolan), knows that something is not quite right.

“Meter Reader” feels like a much larger movie that was stuffed like an uncomfortable carpet and too small a blanket cover. The amount of world-building that is going on here is impressive, yes, but it is unforgettably urgent. As a function of its runtime, the segment hangs over to say rather than show. And as a result, it feels like a sloppy speedrun of a richer movie. The ideas in “Meter Reader” are ambitious and (often!) Compelling. Setzen Constantine in the [REC] in a mixer is a much more interesting idea for a COVID-19 horror movie than … most existing COVID-19 horror films. But in the context of one Creepshow Segment, consider it beyond what its limitations allow.

I’m gonna say this: hard hell yes to Theresa’s machete. Nothing but compliments with respect to that incredible piece of character detail.

When Shudder’s Creepshow wants to increase his reach, that’s good. But for my money, the extra elbow room didn’t do these segments enough favors to get out of the script. To be clear: both entries in this week’s episode were just all right. But apart from a few cut-out comic books, nothing felt right about them Creepshow.

Horror anthologies enjoy the creative freedom to jump from one story to the next. But they always share a guiding principle. A fir Creepshow, and the EC comics that inspired it, that translation was a happy feeling of crazy karma, a bloody “gotcha!” Moment that made the load in the blood and creature effects sweeter. It’s what made it Creepwhow specifically, as the best efforts of the series (“Public Television of the Dead”; “The Man in the Suitcase”) prove. Whether this trend of freewheeling off-center gruesome stories continues remains to be seen. For my part, I hope the series finds its way back to the beaten path.

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Related topics: Creepshow, Shake

Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor to the film School Rejects. She is currently running three columns at FSR: The Queue, How’d They Do That ?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found crying over John Boorman’s ‘Excalibur’ on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (Si / Hir).

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