Shudder made camp horror fans frightfully happy when the scare network announced earlier this year that Creepshow would be returning with a new batch of deliciously demented episodes for a third season. After all, the anthology series’ first pair of seasons have gone to inventive lengths to carry forward the legacy of its iconic namesake 1982 film (written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero).
During Saturday’s San Diego Comic-Con lineup, show EP and all-around horror maven Greg Nicotero joined up with writer Mattie Do, director Rusty Cundieff, and stars Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy) and James Remar (Dexter, Black Lightning) for a panel chat to dish on how the series is cooking up a cauldron of fresh, fun-to-be-scared moments for its third season. Check out the panel.
Because of the one-and-done anthology format, stars like Rooker and Remar have to make the most of their comparatively brief time on set. But each said they actually relished answering the Creepshow call from Nicotero, because the Season 3 episodes they’ll be featured in can get away with the kind of metaphorical, boundaries-pushing murder that’s hard to duplicate on the set of blockbuster movies.
“‘I’m a huge fan of anthology series,” confessed Remar, who’ll be appearing this season in an episode titled “Skeletons in the Closet” as a museum collector obsessed with nabbing rare horror movie prop artifacts — no matter the cost. “We try to hit the ultimate movie nerd episode in terms of the story,” added Nicotero, “being a prop collector myself, and understanding the level that people will go to acquire a prop from a movie.”
Peppered throughout the Comic-Con panel (and included in the above video) were a pair of highlights from upcoming Season 3 episodes, including Rooker’s role in "Drug Traffic" as a border patrol officer who gets more than he bargained for, after detaining a woman in possession of a supernatural secret.
“I’m an officer who guards the border, and folks are coming in, and I wanna go home,” Rooker teased. “This bus come in, and all of a sudden you’ve got all these people, and I’m like, ‘Oh, geez, give me a break.' But there are certain things that catch my attention that I can’t ignore, and I have to pull [her] aside and do a big interview and talk — and the rest becomes absolute mayhem and…fun stuff!”
Under Nicotero’s guidance, Creepshow has never been short on typical horror-movie staples — you know, zombies, vampires, werewolves, and other spine-chilling classic movie monsters. But new Season 3 writer Mattie Do instantly won Nicotero over by drawing on the lore of her southeast Asian ancestry, introducing a new kind of embodied evil for an upcoming S3 episode.
“I’m like, ‘We have some pretty messed up stuff here in southeast Asia,” Do joked, explaining her original one-paragraph story pitch about a sinister beast sharing a body with a beautiful woman. “On certain nights, it becomes extremely hungry, and the head detaches from the body and its entrails hang from its neck,” she explained. “We see this head, floating down the hallway with the entrails hanging out — it’s so wild and so unique and different,” added Nicotero.
Returning director Cundieff (Tales from the Hood), who directed the Season 2 episode “Sibling Rivalry,” is back to helm another episode for the new season titled “Mums,” which is based on a Joe Hill story of the same name.
"It kind of takes place in this little farming area. It deals with some social issues that we won’t give away, very lightly,” Cundieff teased. “…It’s about this kid whose father and mother aren’t quite getting along, and the father decides he needs to do a little something with the mom… There’s death and there’s blood and all the good s*** that Greg brings to all of his stuff.”
Fortunately for fans, Creepshow’s bloody batch of six new episodes is carving a fast path back to Shudder. Nicotero used the SDCC spotlight to reveal the show’s third season will premiere on Sept. 23.
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