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Series / Creepshow

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A live-action series based on the film Creepshow and its sequels, by collaborators George A. Romero and Stephen King.

The series began streaming on the horror service Shudder on September 26, 2019 and then premiered on AMC on May 4, 2020. Each episode features at least one short story by popular horror authors, including Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Josh Malerman, among others. Tom Savini will be directing, and the series features actors from the first franchise, including Adrienne Barbeau.

Here is the official trailer.

In October 2020, Shudder announced an animated special featuring two stories, by Stephen King and Joe Hill.


Tropes present in this work:

  • Abusive Parents: Richie from "Gray Matter" didn’t start out as one, but after his wife died he became an alcoholic who neglected his son. He then proceeds to take the trope Up to Eleven after he begins mutating into a Blob Monster.
  • Adaptational Heroism/Adaptational Villainy: Occurs with "All Hallows Eve".
    • In the original comic story, Skeeter is killed when a group of kids leave what is implied to a flaming bag of poop on the doorstep which accidentally burns down the house with the boy inside it. In revenge, the boy's ghost along with his friends murder the kids responsible. In the final scene the friends burn alive a very young kid who just tagged along. In the television episode, a group of teenagers burn down a treehouse knowing that the group of friends are inside it killing everyone inside. The final scene involves the ghosts getting their revenge on someone who's very much an Asshole Victim as opposed to the little kid in the original story.
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  • A Father to His Men: Captain Talby from "Bad Wolf Down" will do anything to protect his men, including turning them all into werewolves to fend off a squadron of Nazis. Of course, as Quist learns, he’s not so protective to deserters.
  • Affably Evil: Clark and Bob in "The Finger". The former is amoral, resentful, and Ax-Crazy while the latter is a murderous beast that brutally kills anyone Clark hates, but they’re both so lovable, dorky, and friendly that they wind up being some of the most likable characters in the series.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Quist in “Bad Wolf Down” after stepping on a landmine.
    • Inverted in "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain". The only thing left of Chet is his severed leg.
  • Asshole Victim: Much like the movies, roughly half of everyone who dies is a Jerkass who has their fate coming.
  • The Atoner: The woman prisoner in "Bad Wolf Down," who is haunted by all the people she killed and devoured in her werewolf form.
  • Age Lift: In the original short story "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain" the main characters are two young kids. In the 'Creepshow' episode they're much older teenagers.
  • The Alcoholic: Richie from "Gray Matter" became one of these after the death of his wife, leading to him neglecting his son and making him get him a box of beer after school every day. Things get even worse when he drinks a tainted beer can that turns him into a Blob Monster with an insatiable appetite for humans.
  • Autocannibalism: Richard from "Survivor Type" gradually chops off his own feet and legs while he's stranded on a beach, eating both his feet and part of his legs, and eventually biting off the skin from his fingers.
  • Bathos: True to Creepshow mythos, the tales pair horror with an subtle element of silliness.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: in "Tweeting from the Circus of the Dead," Blake peevishly wishes that the current family vacation be their last. She gets her wish.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Skeeter appears as one in "All Hallows Eve".
  • Big Brother Bully: Billy in "The Companion." He's so horribly abusive to his brother Harold that Harold ends up siccing the monster on him.
  • Body Horror: In the trailer, we briefly see a heavily desiccated undead being, and some slimy, vaguely humanoid thing with an enormous, deformed mouth.
    • The latter being is Richie from "Gray Matter", an alcoholic who slowly mutates into a horrific Blob Monster after drinking a tainted beer can.
    • Pretty much the entirety of "Skincrawlers."
  • Bolivian Army Ending: "Gray Matter".
  • Black Comedy: It's a good, old fashioned, Southern pie-eating contest in Musky Holler! Except that the "contestants" are ravenous zombies and the "pies" are the faces of incapacitated prisoners.
  • Blob Monster: Richie from "Gray Matter" slowly mutates into one, gaining a sensitivity to light and an insatiable appetite, at first for warm beer and then pets. By the end, he's moved on to humans, and it turns out he can multiply into more Blob Monsters, with the implication that he will wipe out the human race.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Blake in "Twittering from the Circus of the Dead" spends most of the segment as one, tweeting complaints about her parents for taking her on a road trip through Colorado and Arizona. She drops the attitude only at the very end, just before being dragged off to become the new ringmistress.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Clark in "The Finger" narrates directly to the audience several times, even as he is in the middle of the event he's describing.
  • Came Back Wrong: Anyone brought back to life by the monkey's paw.
  • Circus of Fear: The titular circus in "Twittering from the Circus of the Dead" is one where zombie clowns are given people to chase down and eat. Most of the "audience" consists of a bunch of rotting corpses tied down to their seats.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In "The Man in the Suitcase" a group of friends discover that hurting a man trapped inside a suitcase will cause him to vomit gold coins. They proceed to torture him in a get-rich scheme.
  • Creator Cameo: Stephen King (in animated form) plays Pinzetti's friend Phil Hammersmith in "Survivor Type."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Richard from "Survivor Type".
  • Defiant to the End: In "Bad Wolf Down", Kommandant Reinhard, when faced with a bunch of angry U.S. soldiers-turned-werewolves, shoots them repeatedly and after he runs out of ammo, gives a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Some parts of the trailer are black-and-white footage, which appears to come from WW2-era Nazi archives in-universe. There's also a "real-time" shot of a facepainted gang at night-time, which is so desaturated that the only color comes from the leader's lighter.
  • Dirty Coward: Quist in "Bad Wolf Down", who locks up his squadmates in a jail cell after deciding they were a liability in attempting to escape the Germans.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Henry Quayle is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's smart enough to realize that getting your fat sucked off by a leech is maybe not the greatest idea.
  • The Dreaded: The adults regard the Golden Dragons club kids with terror in "All Hallow's Eve". It is revealed this is because they are vengeful ghosts picking off their killers... who happen to be the adults' sons, and the adults can do nothing to stop them.
  • Elevator Failure: In "Lydia Layne's Better Half", an earthquake causes an elevator that Lydia's riding to lose power, trapping her with her girlfriend's corpse that she had recently killed by accident.
  • Eye Scream: In the trailer we briefly see a (presumably) dead body with a gaping hole in his eye socket.
    • Kelly in "Skincrawlers" dies when the leeches emerge from her eyes.
  • Facial Horror: Well, it doesn't get more horrific than seeing a man's entire face get chewed off by the undead.
  • Fate Worse than Death: "Man in the Suitcase" has Alex and Carla, who feel absolutely no remorse for torturing the man in the suitcase and even resort to attempting to kill the remorseful Justin, get trapped into bags themselves by the suitcase man who is revealed to be a genie testing their character.
  • First-Person Smartass: Richard narrates "Survivor Type", and is a complete smartass, even as he goes insane.
  • Fold-Spindle Mutilation: The Man In The Suitcase. Even looking at how he's crammed in there is painful.
  • Foreshadowing: The "Missing Pet" flyers from the opening shots of "Gray Matter". And the newspaper article about the missing twin girls seen later in the shop.
    • After getting back from the airport in the beginning of "The Man in the Suitcase," Justin stumbles upon a cartoon about a genie while channel surfing. Shortly afterwards, he starts hearing muffled screams emitting from his suitcase ...
      • From that same episode, the titular "man in the suitcase" warns that no *Western* hospital can help him with his condition. Of course, Western medicine would have little effect on a Djinn.
  • Genre Anthology : The series adapts short stories by Stephen King and a number of other well-known horror authors.
  • Genre Savvy: In "Skincrawlers" Henry Quayle is the only guy who realizes that using giant, creepy-looking leeches that are super rare that no one knows anything about to suck out fat is a supremely bad idea. This winds up saving his life.
  • Greed: Alex and Carla end up falling victim to this in "The Man in the Suitcase." It proves to be their grisly undoing.
  • Haunted House: Evie's new dollhouse in "House of Head" is revealed to be one, with an evil severed doll's head haunting the house and the dolls inhabiting it.
  • Horror Host: The Creep from the original films serves as the host.
  • Immune to Bullets: The Nazi platoon opens fire on the werewolf GIs in "Bad Wolf Down." Naturally, it has zero effect since the bullets aren't silver.
  • In Medias Res: "Times is Tough in Musky Holler"
  • Jawbreaker: The Nazi commander from "Bad Wolf Down" gets his jaw ripped off by a werewolf.
  • Large Ham: The Nazi commander played by Jeffrey Combs from "Bad Wolf Down".
  • Magical Native American: One of the dolls that Evie from "House of Head" purchases to deal with the evil severed head is a First Nations brave. He fares no better than any of the other dolls.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The trailer shows a group of creepy and clearly malevolent men, though instead of wearing masks they use KISS-style black-and-white face paint to obscure their faces.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: "Lydia Layne’s Better Half" and "The Finger" leave it unclear whether something supernatural really happened, or it was all the protagonist’s delusions.
  • Monster Clown: "Twittering at the Circus of the Dead" has monster zombie clowns.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: In "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain", Rose stumbles upon what she believes is the corpse of the Lake Monster that her father had spent years trying to find. In truth, she just found Champy's baby, and Champy is still alive and well.
  • Mouth Stitched Shut: Whitey clips the stitches holding his late wife's lips together in "Night of the Paw", once he belatedly realizes he hadn't specified where she should be restored to life and has dug up her grave.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Somewhat in "Night of the Paw." While Angela is a key character, there really was no reason for her to be shown in her underwear as Whitey operates on her hand.
    • "Tweeting from the Circus of the Dead" features a beautiful young woman in a Stripperiffic ringmistress getup. Blake notes both her brother and her dad perk up when she appears.
  • Not Usingthe Z Word: The Man in the Suitcase is very clearly a genie, but the word's never dropped.
  • Only Sane Man: Henry Quayle in "Skincrawlers", mainly thanks to being extremely Genre Savvy.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The severed head from "The House of the Head".
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Each of the G.I.s in "Bad Wolf Down", when transformed, adopts the stance and features of a different cinematic version of a werewolf: Rivers is a bipedal full-body hybrid a la The Howling, Doc is a bearish quadruped in the style of An American Werewolf in London, and Talby is an old-school The Wolf Man type.
  • Plot Hole: In "Bad Wolf Down," the Nazi commander orders the men to assault the station at sundown. Instead, they inexplicably attack at night, which is much later than sundown.
    • There was absolutely no reason to wait at all to attack, as the GIs already knew they were there, and his platoon were all ready to assault.
    • Naturally this in service to the story since the GIs are now werewolves, but it's still a glaring plot hole, as the Nazis would have won easily if they executed the plan as ordered.
  • Police Are Useless: Double Subverted by Chief Connors in "Gray Matter", who stays in town during a hurricane to prevent looting and attend to people who may need help. When he learns Richie has been neglecting his son Timmy and sent him out into the storm to get beer, he immediately goes to arrest him. However, Connors didn’t account for Richie having turned into a Blob Monster who feeds on humans, and is taken out easily.
  • Reality Ensues: "Night of the Paw" addresses the issue with the classic Monkey Paw tale: even though Whitey wished Marjorie back to life, she still is stuck in the coffin, six feet under.
  • Redemption Equals Life: In "Man in the Suitcase", Justin is the only one who feels remorse for torturing the suitcase man and tries to help him out. He is the only one out of his friends who survives (albeit with a head injury given to him by his other more evil friends) and is thanked by the genie and offered help with anything he could possibly need.
  • Sanity Slippage: Happens to Richard in "Survivor Type", who slowly goes insane from isolation and hunger while stranded on a desert island. Being forced to eat his own limbs doesn’t help.
  • Secret Test of Character: In the episode "Man In The Suitcase", has one of these involving the titular man. He is painfully contorted and stuffed into a suitcase, begging for help to get free, but coughs up highly valuable coins while in pain. At the end of the episode, the man in the suitcase reveals himself to a Djinn and his situation to be one of these. Alex and Carla, who show no remorse to the man, torturing him horrifically for the money and almost kill Justin when he shows remorse and tries to get help, fail the test. They suffer a Fate Worse than Death, painfully contorted and forced into suitcases like the man had been. Justin, who was remorseful and wanted to help him, passes. The Djinn gives him a get-well bouquet while he's in the hospital with a note that has an offer to help him with anything he needs written on it.
  • Sociopathic Soldier:
    • Chet in "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain" was one of these back when he was in the army, and he hasn’t changed a bit since then.
    • Quist from "Bad Wolf Down" attempts to shoot the wounded Frenchwoman to get the other G.I.s to abandon her, then locks his former comrades-in-arms in the jail cell and throws away the keys rather than wait for them.
  • Something Completely Different: The Halloween special being a cartoon.
  • Scary Scarecrows: One made of straw, cloth, roots, animal bones and a homemade Valentine shows up in "The Companion." It is both highly affectionate to its creator and violently homicidal to anyone else.
  • Space Whale Aesop: The moral of "Gray Matter" is that you shouldn’t be an alcoholic, or else you’ll turn into a Blob Monster that will destroy the world.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: The ending of "The Finger" implies some, if not all of the story took place inside Clark's delusional mind.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: A solar eclipse that is described as a once-in-a-century occurrence causes the leeches in "Skincrawlers" to emerge from their hosts.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: A slight variation occurs in "All Hallows Eve", where the Golden Dragons express how tired they are of spending every Halloween hunting down the other teenagers who killed them, and how they would rather just move on to their eternal rest.
  • The Voiceless: Played with. The Creep never speaks (we sometimes hear his laughter) but we see dialogue from him on the comic pages that pop up.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Show up in "Bad Wolf Down".
  • Too Dumb to Live: Clearly, Angela did not learn a thing from Whitey's tragic tale in "Night of the Paw."
  • Was Once a Man: The fate of Richie in "Gray Matter", who goes from a man into a Blob Monster Immune to Bullets that has a taste for humans and will likely destroy the world.
  • Wicked Stepfather: Chet from "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain" is an abusive drunk who bullies his stepchildren, who he outright tries to murder at one point, and admits he only married his wife to mooch off of the life insurance she got from her husband’s death.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The monster in "The Companion," who gruesomely impales a Girl Scout.
    • Chet from "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain" is an abusive drunk who bullies and almost murders his stepchildren. He is only stopped by the arrival of a vengeful Champy, who believes he murdered her child, which all the characters had mistaken for her after finding her washed up on the shore of the lake.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: Once fully-grown, "Bob" from The Finger looks like a miniature, bone-white one. Not that his size makes him any less lethal.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: One happened offscreen in "Times is Tough in Musky Holler".


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