New York Comic-Con (NYCC) returned to the Jacob Javits Convention Center in midtown Manhattan on Thursday and provided a perfect venue for a screening of the second episode of Shudder’s new Creepshow series. Based on the 1982 horror anthology, the collaboration between George A. Romero and Stephen King was done in comic book form, with panels and the Creeper there to guide the way between stories. The new streaming series premiered on Shudder last Thursday and features six episodes with two horror stories in each, ending appropriately enough, on Halloween.
Before the screening of the new episodes Shudder curator Sam Zimmerman hosted a brief trivia game giving out copies of Joe Hill’s latest novel to those who participated. Joe Hill, if you didn’t know, is the son of Stephen King and had a cameo in the original 1982 film. Executive Producer Greg Nicotero then delivered a taped message from the set of The Walking Dead. Nicotero working under makeup guru Tom Savini cut his teeth on the original and not only is the EP, but directed one segment in each of the first two weeks.
The first segment in the anthology was “Bad Wolf Down,” written and directed by Rob Schrab of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return and writer of Monster House. Set in Germany during WWII, a group of American soldiers take refuge in an abandoned German police station to hide from the Nazis. There they encounter a young woman who begs them to kill her before the sun sets. As the Nazis approach, led by a crazily over the top Jeffrey Combs, the Americans realize they are stuck and the only way out is a bite and the moonlight. This opening part reminded me a lot of Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers, but with a tongue in cheek approach. I particularly enjoyed the Evil Dead-style gore gags and comic book panel werewolf transformations. This was a bloody fun opener that featured a supporting role from singer/rapper Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi.
While I enjoyed the first part of this week’s episode, like last week, I felt that the second segment was a dominant one. “The Finger” is powered by a hilariously self-aware script by David J. Schow (The Crow, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) and an inspired performance by DJ Qualls (The New Guy). Directed by Nicotero, “The Finger” tells of loser Clark Wilson (Qualls), who finds the titular body part out on a walk in Los Angeles and brings it home. Soon it sprouts a second finger, then an arm, then… well, you can imagine. Whereas most would be freaked out, Clark treats this new entity as a pet all the while his enemies seem to be getting wiped out. Another gory treat, with plenty of laugh out loud moments, this segment was for me and many in attendance at NYCC the winner.
Shudder’s Creepshow is now two for two, delivering feverishly fun comic book horror. The audience laughed along as heads rolled, blood shot high in the air, and bone crunched. Also to horror fans, the show is packed with Easter Eggs. One I caught tonight was a carton of The Stuff in Clark’s freezer as the entity rested.
New episodes of Creepshow debut on Shudder every Thursday night throughout October. You can get a 7-day free trial of Shudder by going to shudder.com and it costs less than $5 a month after that. New York Comic-Con continues this weekend through Sunday, October 6th.
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