EPISODE 6a: “Skincrawlers”
Written by Paul Dini & Stephen Langford
Directed by Roxanne Benjamin
Cast: Dana Gould, Chad Michael Collins, Hina Kahn, Melissa Saint-Amand, Beth Keener, Jason Graham, Darin Toonder
EPISODE 6b: “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain”
Written by Jason Ciaramella and Joe Hill, story by Joe Hill (from his new collection, Full Throttle)
Directed by Tom Savini
Cast: Sydney Wease, Connor Jones, David Alexander Kaplan, James Devoti, Gena Shaw
Air date: October 31, 2019
Streaming Review: Creepshow Episode 6 – Skincrawlers/By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain
Happy Halloween, everyone! Once trick or treating is over, lay back on the couch with a huge bag of candy and watch the Season 1 finale of Creepshow on Shudder. The hit series from executive producer Greg Nicotero was just renewed for a second season and ends its first season 6-episode run on AMC’s horror and supernatural streaming service. The finale ends an already strong season with a double banger of monster goodness, with “Skincrawlers” and “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain.” The latter was directed by make-up effects guru Tom Savini, who helped Nicotero break into the horror business years ago and who worked on the original 1982 film from George A. Romero and Stephen King.
The first segment in the final anthology pairing is “Skincrawlers,” written by Paul Dini and Stephen Langford and directed by Roxanne Benjamin (Body at Brighton Rock). This was a fantastic old school morality tale that felt akin to an episode of Tales from the Crypt. Henry Quayle (Dana Gould) is an overweight man looking for a quick fix. The solution, Skin Deep by Sloan; Dr. Henry Sloan that is. Sloan (Chad Michael Collins) has a rather interesting technique for rapid weight loss. South American leech worms that suck fat, not blood. Henry is initially grossed out, but eventually succumbs to the pressure and agrees to do the procedure live on a morning talk show that just so happens to be on during a full solar eclipse. Well, that eclipse messes with animals and”¦ let’s just say things get very messy, very fast. Combining outrageous and slimy gore effects with great practical monsters, this was a total winner. My poor daughter ran screaming and crying from the room during the climax and shamefully, I’m proud. This felt like an homage to John Carpenter’s The Thing by way of “Hair,” his anthology story from 1993’s Body Bags.
Secondly and, perhaps fittingly, we end the season with the Tom Savini-directed “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain.” Written by Jason Ciaramella, the episode is based on a short story by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King and actor who played the little kid in the original “˜82 film. This segment, like the first, deals with monsters, both classic and frighteningly realistic. Rose (Sydney Wease) and her brother Joseph (David Alexander Kaplan) live lakeside with their abused mom and evil stepfather Chet (James Devoti). Their father was obsessed with Champ, the Nessie-like sea monster of legend. When Rose finally has enough of Chet’s abuse and storms off to the water’s edge, we find out if the legend is real or not. More great practical effects, and some unnerving scenes of tension help end the season on a high note.
Creepshow was as much fun as any show in 2019. Each episode breezes by at about 45 minutes long, and there was not a stinker in the season. The show currently sits at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and drew such good numbers for Shudder, that it was renewed before season’s end. Hopefully we get more than 6 episodes in Creepshow season 2.
AMC’s Shudder is the best horror streaming service available. Go to shudder.com for a 7-day free trial and sign up for great horror for less than $5 a month.
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