Against all odds, this is turning out to be a pretty great Halloween season after all! Not only do we get Season Two of “The Mandalorian,” but Shudder also recently released a special animated episode of “Creepshow”!
Since Season Two of “Creepshow” was delayed due to COVID-19, Greg Nicotero and co. have come together to deliver something special for the fans. This animated special is purely a product of love, and I suppose that’s why I was so happy about it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. I loved Shudder’s series so much that I wasn’t sure how well these cheesy B-movie stories would translate to animation. Well…it’s a mixed bag.
The special is 45 minutes long and includes two stories. The first story, “Survivor Type,” is an adaptation of one of Stephen King’s best short stories in his Skeleton Crew collection. I really enjoyed this one, even if the animation didn’t quite live up to the story’s gore potential. What really made it work for me was Kiefer Sutherland’s performance, which was pretty much one giant monologue fixed with arrogance, fear, denial, and finally madness.
The sound effects in “Survivor Type” were also great, and they came close to making up for a lack of live action gore. The story’s about a cocky doctor who’s marooned on an island after his cruise ship sinks, and he must find ways to eat…even when he runs out of preferable food sources. He keeps one question in mind, something he asks himself everyday as a surgeon dealing with patients on Death’s door: how badly does the patient want to survive?
The second story, “Twittering from the Circus of the Dead,” is the one that didn’t work for me. It’s based on a Joe Hill story, and I’ve never been much of a Hill fan. I didn’t know it was based on Hill’s work until I saw his name in the credits, so I stand by my claim that I didn’t go into this story intending to dislike it.
This story’s made up of a teenager’s ongoing series of tweets, most of which comprised of complaints and angst. It’s as if every breath this character takes is in preparation for a complaint, and that became exhausting.
The premise is also pretty lame. A family road trip takes a detour when they discover a roadside circus. The circus seems to have a horror theme, which interests them at first. After a few disastrous acts filled with zombies and murderers, the family discovers nothing is as it seems.
This second story feels like it would work better as online creepypasta, since the visual element only takes away from the overall effect. Nothing about this story was very effective, and the strange animation style didn’t help the content.
I’m sure some people will absolutely love both stories, and these are just my opinions. By all means, get Shudder A.S.A.P. and binge watch the entirety of their “Creepshow” series, including the animated special. If nothing else, it’s incredibly cheesy fun, and that’s what the Halloween season should be: fun.
Check out all of my other reviews for the month of October here.