Creepshow: “Model Kid/Public Television of the Dead” Review

After more than a year of waiting (due to pandemic delays), horror fans can rejoice as Shudder’s Creepshow finally returns for Season 2.  Granted, we did get an animated special in October and a Christmas themed episode in December to tide us over, but nothing compares to a whole season!  The series picked up right where it left off, telling two stories that are both disturbing as well as campy (in the fun way)!

“Model Kid”

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Directed by Greg Nicotero, Written by John Esposito

Opening as a really cool 30’s style monster movie, we quickly learn that this is all in the imagination of a young boy named Joe, who’s obsessed with all things horror.  He boasts an impressive collection of monster models that he paints and maintains, all while dressing up like Bela Lugosi’s Dracula.

He and his mother have a really sweet bond that involves watching horror movies, but tragically she seems to be suffering from a terminal illness, which results in Joe’s aunt and uncle moving in.  His Uncle Kevin (Kevin Dillon) doesn’t share his passion and wants him to grow out of it and act like a normal “manly” kid.  He goes from being just unpleasant to downright abusive towards Joe (as well as his own wife).

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In horror movies/series where you have supernatural creatures, the scariest ones are still the abusive humans because they’re real.

Kevin Dillon does a great job of portraying a despicable character and not trying to have anything redeeming about him.  Joe eventually figures out a way to deal with his abusive uncle via his horror models and some supernatural help.

The story winds up playing out similarly to “Boys Do Get Bruised” segment of Tales from the Hood, although that story was much darker and more serious, while this one remains campy but fun.  It winds up playing out like one of Joe’s favorite old monster movies with awesome practical costumes and effects that are very much part of the reason why the series is so beloved.

“Public Television of the Dead”

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Directed by Greg Nicotero, Written by Rob Schrab

Without getting into too many spoilers, this story is essentially PBS meets Evil Dead, and yes those two wind up going together better than you’d think.  At a local public broadcast station, complete with a Bob Ross parody, and children’s entertainers, Ted Raimi (as himself) shows up with a very rare book.

As they read the book while filming, it unleashes all the demonic powers that come with it, and the station manager (along with “fake Bob Ross”) have to fight off their possessed coworkers.  Part of what makes this one work is that in the beginning, we’re introduced to each show and star on this network, and we’re trying to guess which one is going to end up “going full horror” so to speak.

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Ted Raimi definitely looked like he was having fun with his demonic role!

Before we ever see the Necronomicon on screen, we’re not sure if “Bob Ross” is going to snap from his pleasant demeanor and go psycho, or if the rude puppeteer is going to lose her mind, believing her puppet is real (which she does).  It’s just fun for those first few minutes not knowing what angle it’s going to take.

As far as being a spiritual sequel/spinoff to Evil Dead, you can tell they just wanted to have fun with that premise and go all out with the makeup and gore, which they definitely did.  And the fact that Ted Raimi was just playing himself added a nice meta touch to the whole thing!

What did you think of this episode?  What do you hope to see this season? Let us know in the comments!

Creepshow is streaming exclusively on Shudder

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