Jamal Almustapha

I like to use Geek like I would any other skill (strength, intelligence, pie-throwing, etc.). I genuinely feel that energy of being obsessive, excited and passionate all at the same time can bode well for many number of things besides the obvious channels. When the time is right and more importantly, advantageous, I unleash the geek within and something positive/progressive usually happens...well, there also might be some confused looks but I'm pretty sure laughter is achieved most of the time. Thanks for reading folks, Seek out, Speak out, Laugh out loud!

FearTASTIC Vault O’FUN #79

Creepshow (TV Series – 2019)

…and with THAT we reach PART THREE of our Creep-tastic Journey through horror anthology bliss! One of the best things about writing these articles is I get to do some “research” and view the films/shows that I review but I was hesitant in doing that for the Creepshow TV Series because the epic binge of all these episodes all went down just months ago in December 2019! After watching the first episode however, I realized, like in most situations dealing with my own instincts, I was dead wrong. Only a mere couple of weeks after binging the entire series, there I was watching Ep.1 like I was watching it for the first time. 

There were definitely movies in the past that had that affect where as soon as the credits rolled, I popped out the VHS tape, popped it right into the rewinder machine, waited (somewhat) patiently for about 2-3 minutes, then popped it right back into the VHS player (okay, the whole exercise I just described is a litmus test for old age so congrats if you understood any word of that last procedure)! This show is no different, I was sucked right back into the FEARtastically entertaining world of vintage macabre made famous by my heroes like Savini, Romero and King. 

The show itself is to be applauded for keeping the esthetic, gore and FUN of the original movies and it was such a pleasure to see a great mix of stories that was sometimes suspenseful, at other times grotesque and some were just downright FUNNY. I was pleasantly surprised about some of the celebrities that were up for joining the Creepshow family; at times I forget that there are horror fans from all walks of life, even the super successful and although I’m sure they were paid, I have a sneaky suspicion that they were excited to be on set as well on something as iconic as Creepshow.  I write this now with both excitement to gush about the last four horror-rific stories of this series but with a somewhat heavy heart knowing that it’ll be a while until Season 2 breaks onto the horror streaming channel, Shudder (start writing them checks!). Let’s get this party started. 

Night of the Paw

Director(s): John Harrison

Writer(s): John Esposito

Starring: Bruce Davison, Hannah Barefoot

This classic short story that’s been written, performed and even spoofed (good ole’ classic Simpsons) made it’s way to the Creepshow universe and gave it the kind of spooky fun tone that has been consistent throughout all these episodes. The story itself is quite simple, a woman on the run finds herself at the doorstep of a quirky old man with a cautionary tale involving a monkey’s paw that grants wishes, what can go wrong right? Although at this point you can pretty much figure out how the too-good-to-be-true theory plays heavily on this story, the performance by the wonderful Bruce Davison gives this tale the sort of creepy/fun camp it deserves. The scenes are shot beautifully to go along with his acting and this simple tale ends up being a fun watch just for the performances alone. 

Almost a SIN CITY feel to this shot

…while this shot has a Puppet Master 3 feel, that one’s for my HORROR FREAK PEEPS

Times is Tough in Musky Holler

Director(s): John Harrison

Writer(s): John Skipp, Dori Miller

Starring: Dane Rhodes, David Arquette 

This is a nice hip entry that takes you toward the end of the story and works its way backwards before the gory finale. I loved the way the story plays out; a group of people that are about to be presented to some sort of ritual are begging for their freedom (and as the story goes on, you realize it’s more their lives). There is a tinge of sadness as these people are being marched towards their doom but as the flashbacks unfold and the story becomes more clear, you realize these folks are not as innocent as they seem which makes the ending SO MUCH MORE satisfying! Great performances by the horror alumni David Arquette and again, the ending some something to cheer for once the story becomes more clear. 

Worst game night EVER

the Creepshow / SCREAM crossover we never know we needed

By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain

Director(s): Tom Savini

Writer(s): Jason Ciaramella, Joe Hill (story)

Starring: Logan Allen, Voltaire Colin Council, Afemo Omilami

The hometown legend, Tom Savini makes his way home to Creepshow but this time in the director’s chair in what is arguably the story that has the most potential to be a full blown movie or even its own TV series. It’s almost to a fault that this tale was part of a horror anthology because the story itself is something you can imagine being told with a lot more detail and had a sense of adventure that you wished you could see more of by the time the story ends. All of this so far is QUITE complimentary I  assure you since it’s definitely a testament to how well this episode is directed. The story follows a girl who insists that her long lost father was not crazy as she tries to find a legendary creature. She has all the perfect things you’d see in a movie/series; horrible home life, a best friend that obviously wants to be MORE than friends and some creature features that has a haunting fairy-tale like quality to it that makes you wish there was more in the can. I would argue this is one of my favorite in the series but I hope this inspires Savini to make something similar but in a full blown movie/series. Ball’s in your court legend, do something! 

Are you getting a Stranger Things feel?
OH HELL yeah I’m getting a Stranger Things Feel

Skincrawlers

Director(s): Roxanne Benjamin

Writer(s): Paul Dini, Stephen Langford

Starring: Dana Gould, Chad Michael Collins

This was the VERY BEST WAY to end the first season. This tale of overweight folks finding a cure to their obesity though creepy means mixes everything I love about this series of stories. There was humor, gore suspense, creatures and yes, somewhere in there a lesson as to be learned. It’s almost as if this tale took parts of the other stories and became a MEGA-STORY (sort of Power Rangers style)! I loved Dana Gould in the lead role, although I’m sure he was wearing a fat suit, you felt bad for the guy who just wanted to fit in and be loved but you also knew he had some sort of common sense that everyone else around him seemed to lack the minute they found a quick fix to their weight issues. There are plenty of bloody sequences and even a decent fight scene that makes you cheer for the main character and it has the perfect balance of entertaining and grotesque. A great way to end the first season and makes you excited to see what’s coming next. 

Yes, this is Jenny from Jenny Craig
Gaaahhhhh Groooossss…yet cool

Well folks, now for some topical statements; I understand some (or most) of the folks that read this might currently be in quarantine or practicing some sort of social distancing due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 (Corona Virus). If you are reading this, don’t fret (too hard). Be cautious but not crazy. Think of those who are affected the most but don’t forget about yourself. Having said that, if you find yourself bored and wanting some mindless fun in the spookiest kind of way, download the Shudder app and feels free to binge watch  the Creepshow TV Series…SEND ME THEM CHECKS SHUDDER! SEND SEND SEND! 

Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us

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