Creepshow: “Mums/Queen Bee” Review

Over on Shudder, their 61 Days of Halloween celebration keeps on going with the premiere of Season 3 of Creepshow!  With Season 2 having ended only 5 months ago, this feels like quite the treat, and it’s just in time for the Halloween season!

The premiere episode gave us two more stories that were filled with all the disturbing camp we’ve come to love from this series.  Admittedly, there were some criticisms that Season 2 went a little too far into the over the top cheesy camp category, but these two stories felt like a true return to form from Season 1.

Creepshow 1
Directed by Rusty Cundieff, Teleplay by Greg Nicotero & David J. Schow, Based on the Story by Joe Hill

Opening on an idyllic American farmhouse, we quickly learn from this story that the family living here is anything but ideal.  A young boy Jack (Brayden Benson) who seems afraid of his father Hank (Ethan Embry) and close to his mother Bloom (Erin Beute) is excited when she tells him that they’re going to visit his grandmother.

However, this is put to a stop when his father and his friend cart her away for using drugs (which she claims they planted), and rather than take her to the police as they vowed to do, they kill her and bury her in the garden without telling anyone.

Creepshow 4
It definitely escalated quickly…

As far as dysfunctional relationships go, this one seems pretty bad.  Hank refers to Bloom as “some kind of hippie” and that her family is dangerous.  While Bloom reserves that Hank is a militia obsessed redneck who borders on being a neo-Nazi.  So it’s kind of amazing that Jack is as well adjusted as he is.

With Bloom buried in the garden however, she begins to reemerge as something else entirely.  A sort of creature (done with great practical makeup) that is vengeful towards Hank, but kind of loving towards her son Jack.

There’s a real sense of tragedy and melancholy to what she’s become.

You can really tell that this particular story was based on one written by Joe Hill, as there’s a real sense of poignancy towards the end.  Many of these stories end on disturbing or tragic notes, but this one seems almost heart-warming.  The love between mother and son remains strong and you really feel like you get to know this family in just 20 odd minutes of screen time.

Plus, is it even Creepshow if it doesn’t involve revenge from beyond the grave?!

Queen Bee
Creepshow 6
Directed by Greg Nicotero, Written by Erik Sandoval & Michael Rousselet

In a story that not so subtly references a real life music star whose fans are absolutely devoted to her to an unhealthy degree, “Queen Bee” manages to be scary, disgusting, and hilariously satirical all in one.

A trio of friends Debra (Hannah Kepple), Trenice (Olivia Hawthorne), and Carlos (Nico Gomez) are all obsessed with pop sensation Regina (Kaelyn Gobert-Harris).  As they argue over which of them is the true #1 fan, they discover that she’s giving birth in a hospital nearby.

Creepshow 9
The delivery seems normal…at first!

Sneaking onto the hospital floor (which is closed off), they find that not only does this hospital not believe in lighting their hallways properly, but the medical staff themselves have glowing green eyes and there’s more to Regina than they initially thought.

Not only is “Queen Bee” a term of endearment to which her fans refer, Regina’s skin rips open and is revealed to in fact be a giant monstrous bee.  The practical effects here are nothing short of amazing.  The design of the Queen Bee is detailed, frightening, and downright grotesque in every way.

Creepshow 11
Not sure how all this fit under the human skin…

It’s hard to decide what’s more disturbing, the fact that she literally hypnotizes people (hence the green eyes), or the ending in which Debra turns on Trenice and feeds her to Regina’s newly hatched babies.

On the surface, this story is a great piece of gross monster horror, but beneath the surface it’s so much more.  Horror is often a great vehicle to infuse social/political issues, as well as satirize things about society, and “Queen Bee” is a perfect example of the latter.

A certain unnamed music star also has a devoted fanbase with a bee-related nickname.  These fans have been called toxic before (especially on social media), so the idea that they could be hypnotized into literally killing other people to prove how big a fan they are is both relevant and hilarious in a dark humor kind of way.

Creepshow 12
You could definitely believe that members of the “beehive” were hypnotized like this!

What did you think of this week’s episode?  What do you hope to see next week?  Let us know in the comments!

Creepshow is streaming exclusively on Shudder

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