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Streaming Review: Shudder – A Creepshow Animated Special
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creepshow animated special circus of the dead

A Creepshow Animated Special
Written by Greg Nicotero & Melanie Dale
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Joey King
Shudder
Release date: Thursday, October 29, 2020

Creepshow is back on Shudder… at least for one special episode in honor of Halloween month. Creepshow Season 2 is currently in production for a 2021 debut and major cast additions were announced with the likes of horror veterans Marilyn Manson, Ali Larter, Barbara Crampton, Ted Raimi, Ryan Kwanten, and more. A Creepshow Animated Special went up on horror’s premiere streaming service Shudder last night at midnight and is available now. The 45-minute episode boasted an impressive Creepshow pedigree. Both stories were directed by series EP and horror makeup effects legend Greg Nicotero, who worked on the original film, and the stories come from Stephen King and his son, author Joe Hill.

King was instrumental in writing the original 1982 anthology film, which was directed by his friend and fellow horror icon George A. Romero. King also starred in one segment as slow-witted Jordy Verrill, who falls afoul of “meteor sh*t” in the segment “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill.” Joe Hill was also in Creepshow, appearing as the son in the anthology’s wraparound story who gets revenge on his father, played by genre vet Tom Atkins.

The first story was “Survivor Type,” based on the King short story from his collection Skeleton Crew, published in 1985. Narrated by Kiefer Sutherland, the story details a surgeon stranded on an island with a corpse and a bad foot. We’re asked how much does a man do to survive and how much does he really want to live? With nothing left to do aside from starve, we get his life story: highs of high school football and entrance to medical school; lows of selling and facing arrest. His darkening story sees him to China and then the fateful sinking ship which lands on his current isolation station. Things get real dark real fast as a surgeon stuck with tools, heroin, and a never ending craving for food lead to murdering gulls, self surgery, and then graduation to self mutilation and cannibalism. The animation is perfect and just as grotesque as this would’ve been in live action. Kudos must go to Adam Martin & Eben Matthews, who directed the animation for both shorts.

“Twittering From the Circus of the Dead” is based on the story by Joe Hill, where we follow a cross-country family trip narrated by teenage daughter Blake (Joey King) who has just discovered Twitter and will live tweet her boredom/adventures as she goes. After a few minutes her dad pulls off the road at a detour and they decide to kill time at a roadside attraction, the Circus of the Dead, which features zombies as top stars. Blake is grossed out but in a sign of this generation’s biggest flaw, is too focused on her phone to realize how real the horror truly is until it’s far too late. Again, the animation is the top star with eye-popping gory visuals and plenty of gut-munching zombie goodness. The King apples don’t fall far from the tree.

There are tons of subtle nods to the filmmakers, and writers throughout that eagle-eyed viewers will catch. As an event, A Creepshow Animated Special flies by and is entertaining, gory, and stunning to behold.

Download Shudder now and watch this immediately and then stay around on Saturday, Halloween day for Shudder-Fest, an all-day virtual event starting 12:00 PM ET and going straight through till an evening double feature. Go to Shudderfest.com for the full schedule and shudder.com to sign up for the best in horror streaming for about $5 a month with 7-days free. And make you check out The Lasser Cast channel on YouTube for coverage of Shudder, including previews on their November collections and more.

Poster

creepshow animated special poster

Trailer

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