Episode 3 of Shudder’s Creepshow offers children misbehaving around Halloween and a man who spits out coins when he feels pain.
Like every installment of Creepshow thus far, this episode begins with a mostly silent but deadly Creep. When a hostile trick-or-treater interrupts The Creep’s viewing of Night of the Living Dead. it’s not something to be taken lying down. Of course, the episode really takes off with the first tale, “All Hallows Eve.” It introduces the Golden Dragons — Jill (Madison Thompson), Pete (Connor Christie) and Skeeter, Binky (Jasun Jabbar) and Bobby (Andrew Eakle). Though they appear normal at first, it becomes obvious that local parents dread them when they show up for candy. There’s a hint of danger, too, as Skeeter seems a little “different” underneath his standard ghost-sheet costume.
Mr. Boatner (Tom Olsen) is downright afraid of the Dragons, offering them his entire candy bowl. Mrs. Collins (Julia Denton) goes beyond the call of duty, offering blueberry muffins and even a sandwich. When Mr. Ralph Collins (Scott Daniel Johnson) says they “destroy lives,” it’s an additional hint that something’s amiss. Then we see their fallen tree house, learn about a bully named Eddie (Michael May) and see that the Dragons may not be the only Halloween villains in this Creepshow tale.
When all is said and done, this is a pretty straightforward story. It’s not particularly scary, but it is a decent nod to Halloween. Also, as others have eagerly noted, the revenge motif in some Creepshow stories is reminiscent of Tales From the Crypt (not surprising, though, as the franchise is influenced by the old E.C. Comics series, an addition to the two original films). Most horror fans would not do better than this story, were they the creative force at work.
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The Man in the Suitcase
“The Man in the Suitcase” is not only the best portion of this episode but perhaps the best Creepshow story in the Shudder series thus far. Some may disagree for their own reasons, but it is simply well done. In fact, it would have fit in well with the film Creepshow 2. When Justin (Will Kindrachuck) finds a strange suitcase from the airport, it potentially changes his fortune, while possibly giving him a fortune. How? Crammed inside the suitcase is a mysterious man (Ravi Naidu).
Though Justin initially tries to help him out, every time the man feels pain he spits out a gold coin! Justin, who seems to normally be good-natured, is pushed to the moral limit — especially when his greedier pals, Carla (Madison Mailey) and Alex (Ian Gregg), show up to “help.” After they have the coin examined by a specialist (Antwan “Big Boi” Patton), the question becomes: How much should they torture the poor man for maximum coinage? The story also features Carey Jones in a special appearance.
This is yet another solid installment of Creepshow. While “All Hallows Eve” isn’t the greatest story ever told, it gets the job done and should at least prove adequate for most viewers (and if people are ultra-picky, then so be it). “The Man in the Suitcase,” however, rings truer as a classic tale. Although it’s not unpredictable, it is still fun to watch. Also, both of the stories have solid acting and production value and retain the “comic book feel” so commonly attributed to the franchise.
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