It’s a safe bet that if you’re settling in to watch Shudder’s Creepshow series—based on the films by George A. Romero and Stephen King—you’re already a horror fan. Creepshow knows this, and it would like to thank you for your support of season one by kicking off season two with an episode targeting the hearts of scary-movie fiends everywhere.
Just like season one, the episode is bookended by appearances from series mascot “the Creep,” with comic book-style credits that set up each story. The season premiere brings us the 1970s-set “Model Kid” and “Public Television of the Dead,” which both lean heavily into horror nostalgia with the kind of enthusiasm only a show made by horror fanatics for horror fanatics could convey.
Written by John Esposito (Graveyard Shift, Masters of Horror) and directed by series producer Greg Nicotero, “Model Kid” introduces us to some familiar character types. Joe (Brock Duncan) is a pre-teen misfit whose only friends are his mom and his collection of model-kit monsters; he’d rather hang out watching a movie (or dreaming up movies in his imagination) than do much else, especially since he’s a frequent target of bullies. But his quietly nerdy life turns upside down when his mom passes away, and he’s thrust into the care of his Aunt Barb (Jana Allen) and his dreaded Uncle Kevin (Kevin Dillon, whose many credits include the 1988 remake of The Blob).
“Model Kid” doesn’t throw too many curveballs with its plot—even before you see Joe sending away for a voodoo-doll-type model kit featuring a suspiciously Uncle Kevin-ish figure (branded as “The Victim”), you know that Joe’s beloved monsters are gonna rise up and help him out, especially when his uncle starts muttering stuff like “We gotta get rid of all this horror crap.” But there’s still plenty of fun to be had in this compact story, which wraps its revenge-against-an-abuser plot in loving tributes to the Universal Monsters while awarding hero status to a kid who’s never happier than when he’s hanging out in full Dracula make-up and cape.
The second segment, “Public Television of the Dead,” is set at a Pittsburgh public TV station (shout out to Romero) where the top ratings-getter is a kiddie reading show starring Mrs. Bookberry (Coley Campany). She’s sweet as pie on-camera, but in reality—she’s a bitchy, racist, foul-mouthed diva. Other programs on the channel include an Antiques Roadshow-type series offering appraisals of rare objects, and a painting show whose host is a Bob Ross clone (Mark Ashworth)...if Bob Ross had been hiding intense Vietnam combat experience underneath his gentle exterior.
I don’t want to spoil too much about this one—also directed by Nicotero, and written by Rob Schrab (Monster House, Rick and Morty)—but let’s just say all the elements converge in a plot that will thrill any and all Evil Dead fans (see: our top pic). And really, if you’re watching Creepshow, you quite obviously are an Evil Dead fan. Groovy!
No joke, Creepshow’s second season begins tomorrow, April 1 on Shudder.
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