Creepshow “George Romero in 3D” and “Baby Teeth” (S4E6)

Creepshow Season 4, Official Trailer, YouTube, 00:38

Well Creeps, the time is here. We’ve made it to Season 4’s final episode of Creepshow. How do you feel about this season so far? For me, I feel there are more hits than misses, which is all I can really ask for. There have been ups and downs, tons of blood, the world’s greatest pizza delivery person, I’ve been harassed for a minor trigger warning, and even got a shout-out from Jamie Flanagan! It’s been a wild ride. But here we are. At the top of Episode 5’s review, I broached the topic of how there has been a lack of heavy-hitter cameos in this season, have no fear because Episode 6 is here! (Okay, it’s not really a cameo per see, but it’s damn cool.)

“George Romero in 3D”

Written by Todd Spence and Zak White // Directed by Greg Nicotero

It would make sense to have one of the world’s greatest effects artists direct this season’s most demanding creature feature, and it looks damn good. This segment brings us to Pittsburgh, PA, and a bookstore called Booktime! The exclamation point is theirs, not mine. Inside the store, we get a nod to “The Hat” with a huge poster for Stephen Bachman and a display of Jay Stratton’s novels. The phone rings and Sarah (Kyra Zagorsky) answers. Sarah “thanks” the caller for saying they should sell books online, but that they’d prefer to stay brick and mortar.

Bloody footsteps appear on the ground
Creepshow Season 4, Official Trailer, YouTube, 00:19

Once the call is over, evil landlord Mr. Cooper (Peter New) comes into the store to tell Sarah their new lease kicks in next week and she still hasn’t signed it. Why hasn’t she signed it? Well, that’s kind of complicated. Booktime! is struggling, presumably due to not selling online and being unable to meet the financial demand. Mr. Cooper is doubling the lease, due to fair market value. Martin (Graham Verchere), Sarah’s son, says what Mr. Cooper is doing isn’t illegal, but it is rather immoral. Cooper tells them he’ll be back at the end of the day with the new lease, and they can sign it or not. As Cooper leaves he says to them, “It’s kill or be killed,” and knocks a bunch of books off their display. Cooper is such a ghoul.

Martin goes to do some work on their first-generation computer from, what looks like, the mid-’80s. Sarah realizes if there is any way they’ll be able to pay their bills they will have to start selling online. In the meantime, the easiest way for them to cut back on some cash is to fire Dawn (Megan Charpentier). It turns out Martin and Dawn are possibly dating; it’s questionable, but they are both interested in each other. In fact, that night they are going to see Night of the Flesh Eaters together. Sarah tells Martin there really isn’t another way, and Martin asks if he can be the one to fire her. He goes to tell Dawn about her promotion to customer when Dawn reveals the object to solve all of their problems (or create bigger ones). Dawn found an antique wooden crate with the logo for Image 10 on it.

What is Image 10 you may ask? Image 10 is the original production company for Night of the Living Dead! Dawn and Martin look inside the box and find something rather peculiar, copies of a comic called Brain Rot. Martin tells Dawn Brain Rot is the set of unfinished comics by, none other than, George A. Romero. They look through some of the pages, the first one showing a cartoon version of George Romero with a quote that says, “When there’s no room left on the page, the dead will walk the earth.” Inside the comic book, they also find a pair of 3D glasses. There’s a hilarious bit in here where Martin tells Dawn that what she found just saved her job, and the store. Dawn looks at Martin and hilariously delivers the line, “Fuck, I was fired?” Martin puts on the glasses and looks at the front cover of Issue #1. That’s when the ghoul on the front cover moves, and not in a cheesy “it’s in 3D and looks like it’s moving” way but in a “this ghoul is actually moving” way. After looking away from the cover for a second Martin looks back… the ghoul is gone from the page.

Dawn hears a thumping and moaning sound when Martin goes back inside to tell his mom what they found. The back door to the shop opens up by itself and then gracefully closes, but Dawn is none the wiser. A customer comes into the bookstore and Martin directs him to the horror section, go figure! Suddenly, a scream echoes from the direction of the customer. Martin runs over to look, only to find the customer bent backward, kind of like the cover art for The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It’s then Martin realizes the customer looks just like the person on the cover of Brain Rot Issue #2. The customer’s throat is brutally ripped apart with an excellent practical effect. Martin gets the idea to put the 3D glasses on and reveals the ghoul from Issue #1 disemboweling the customer. Again, this practical looks gorgeous. You only get quality when you have Greg Nicotero on board.

Martin pulls his mother away from the murder scene and into the storage room. He tries telling his mother the creature came out of the comics they found, though she doesn’t quite believe it. Once Martin and Sarah are safe in the office they call Dawn. Dawn is in the office looking up prices for the comics. She tells Martin, “I swear this is the computer that landed the Apollo 11,” which is something Martin said earlier to his mother. Martin holds his cell phone to his chest and says, “I love you.” It’s a really cute moment. Martin tells Dawn she needs to lock the office door immediately because there is something in the store. Right about then the office window starts to crack as the invisible ghoul pounds on it. Sarah and Martin can’t get out of the storage room because the door is jammed. Ready for Creepshow’s greatest “cameo” ever?

Martin puts the glasses on and looks at Romero’s image in the comic book. The best way I could describe this is, remember what it looks like when the girl in the A-ha music video for Take on Me enters the cartoon world? A young George Romero (Sebastian Kroon) comes out of the comic book! Now, does Kroon sound exactly like the Romero we’re used to? Not really, but it’s honestly just really cool to see them trying something experimental like this. Romero tells them this used to be his old office, hence the hidden issues of Brain Rot. Martin is completely geeking out, as anyone would, to be meeting an iteration of one of his favorite filmmakers. Romero also says it’s the glasses that brought these creatures to life, and we’ll get the complete lore behind that later. Also, you’re probably wondering why I’ve been referring to what we could canonically think of as zombies, as ghouls. George Romero tells Martin the creatures he created are in fact not zombies, but by every definition are considered ghouls.

Remembering about Dawn, Martin tells George they need to get out of the office to save Dawn. George starts working on the wires of an electrical panel. Oh, and the invisible ghoul has made it into the office now. After doing some work on the electrical panel, Romero is able to get a fan (?) in the office turned on. Martin yanks the storage room door open, somehow, and gets to the office. It’s a complete mess, cabinets and papers thrown about. The ghoul tries to traverse over one of the knocked-over cabinets and ends up scalping itself.

One cleaned office later and we realize the first customer who was killed is missing. Sounds like a zombie to me. Once they see the customer, it’s clear… they can all see this one. Somehow, the real ghoul puts the 3D glasses on and pulls EVEN MORE (!) ghouls out of the comics. It’s a full-fledged zombie invasion. They ask Romero if they will make it out of this, and he says that he’s not really known for his uplifting endings. It’s time for the backstory on just what the hell these glasses are. Apparently, the person who made the glasses ended up wanting more money than was agreed upon, so Image 10 fired and sued them. Well wouldn’t you know, the person who made the glasses had an uncle who was a voodoo priest and he put a curse on the glasses. I’m a little uncomfortable with this reasoning, it kind of feels like the “this house was built on a Native American burial ground” trope that can be considered offensive when handled incorrectly. It’s not necessarily egregiously done in this segment like it is in Poltergeist, but it’s something worth mentioning.

Martin tells George Romero that he needs to write a happy ending. Only Romero writes it as he sees it, and it doesn’t look good from where he’s standing. George conks a ghoul with a fire hydrant as the ghouls try and get it. He then goes to sit down to try and write a happy ending, but the power goes out. Realizing that George is made of paper, they have him write the ending on his own… skin? I guess that would be skin. Romero writes down “Destroy the glasses, destroy the ghoul.” So Martin does so, and they are saved! No more invisible ghouls! Before disappearing, Romero says to Martin, “See ya around the graveyard, kid.” Looks like Romero did finally write a happy ending! Just kidding, Sarah was bitten by a ghoul at some point and has also turned. That’s when Mr. Cooper comes back, and Sarah takes a good chunk out of him. Martin and Dawn walk out of the store, presumably heading to see a movie.

Martin and Dawn stumble upon the mangled corpse of a customer
Creepshow Season 4, Official Trailer, YouTube, 00:50

This was a great segment. Full of fun references and possible retconning of names, but it’s a bloody good time. The ghoul design looks a bit rushed, and that’s fine because it’s not really the focus. Their kills and throat rips do look great though. The main focus is George freaking Romero! I really liked seeing them take a swing with a big idea like this, and the option to have him as a living black-and-white comic image meant they didn’t have to put a lot of the budget towards some cheesy CG Romero. Overall this might be my favorite segment of the season.

“Baby Teeth”

Written by Melanie Dale // Directed by John Harrison

Now “Baby Teeth” is without doubt the scariest entry in Season 4. We open with Shelby’s (Alison Thornton) bloody teeth, she’s just had her wisdom teeth removed. Miranda (Rochelle Greenwood), Shelby’s mother, strokes an iron pendant around her neck and questions why Shelby’s was taken off. The pendant looks like the number eight with the very top of it missing. Once they’re home, Miranda uses this time to ask her drugged-up daughter some questions. Miranda wonders if Shelby has been keeping any secrets, to which Shelby reveals a belly button ring she recently got. Her mother is aghast, saying she used to blow kisses on that belly. Shelby says, “I’m ready to try new blows and kisses.”

It’s clear that Miranda’s mother is incredibly protective and overbearing, though we don’t really know if it’s in a religious sense or not. Shelby tells her mother she also went to a party with her friend Kaitlyn (Micaela Nyland). Miranda needs a fainting couch right about now. She says Shelby could have been kidnapped and tortured, and that just won’t happen on her watch. From henceforth, Shelby is on lockdown. Shelby tells her mother that’s what she did with her father, and he’s gone. In fact, everyone leaves and the common denominator is her mother.

Miranda goes to Shelby’s untouched baby room and grabs a pair of rusty iron sheers that reside in the baby crib. She walks over to a chair in the corner and rocks back and forth while looking through photo albums. “I hope you’re happy wherever you are,” Miranda says as she looks at a photo of her mother. After some reflection, Miranda goes over to the standing closet. Inside are dresses with iron-nail laced hems. Also inside is a box full of Shelby’s baby teeth. The recently removed wisdom teeth are deposited inside. Oh, and Billy’s tricycle from Saw is in the corner of the room. As Miranda walks out of the room we see the iron horseshoe over the door invert itself. A gold light starts to emanate from inside the closet.

Later that day, Kaitlyn comes over to visit Shelby and check in on her. Miranda goes back to Shelby’s baby room and notices it’s now all a golden hue. She grabs the sheers and says to herself, “Iron repels them.” Shelby and Kaitlyn lay in bed together chatting. Kaitlyn has some liquor in a flask that she shares with Shelby. That’s when Shelby reveals to Kaitlyn that her mom saved all of her baby teeth, and Kaitlyn is very much taken aback by this. Though, that’s not too weird… is it?

The Fae walks out of the closet with arms stretched out
Creepshow Season 4, Official Trailer, YouTube, 00:40

Down in the kitchen, Miranda prepares some jello for the girls. Miranda says, “You can’t have her,” to something. A face appears in the spoon she’s holding and tells her that everyone leaves her. Inside the dresser, we watch as the box of teeth falls over as do some of the dresses. The teeth get vacuumed into a dress and a truly hideous creature starts to form! Kaitlyn takes a couple of Shelby’s pain meds and then they get the idea to go look for Shelby’s teeth. Cut back to the baby’s room and the tooth creature has completely wrecked it. Kaitlyn gets up to go find the teeth, Shelby says her mouth hurts so she’ll be there shortly. Inside the baby’s room, Kaityln finds the aftermath of the chaos. She notices one of the nails on the dress and cuts her finger on it. There’s finally some lore dropped here when she says her Irish grandmother talked about how iron sewn into clothes was supposed to protect from…

THE CREATURE peeks out from behind the dresses, frightening Kaitlyn. It skitters around the room and we finally get a decent look at it. This thing is skinless, strands of facial nerves accompany its lipless grin.

Miranda comes into the nursery, which is what I should have called it all along, and sees it all a mess. Shelby walks into the room and her mom quickly asks her where the teeth are. That’s when they hear a skittering. Miranda now reveals iron protects someone from the Fae. So we’re dealing with faeries! People who know a lot about Faeries probably picked that up pretty quickly, but I was stumped until they spoonfed it to me. Miranda also tells Shelby the reason why her grandmother is gone is because she saved Miranda. Shelby and her mother finally get a view of the Fae. Rather than being shocked and running away, Shelby tries to scold her mother by saying this is all her fault and that she should not have kept the teeth. As Shelby says that she looks over and sees Kaitlyn’s corpse, its lip torn off.

The Fae ends up getting Shelby to the ground. It puts its gnarled fingers into Shelby’s mouth and creepily utters, “Teeeeeth.” Miranda shouts something unintelligible and smashes the toothbox. This action causes the Fae to disintegrate. But it didn’t turn into a pile of goo or dust, it turned into a baby. There’s something mentioned about changelings, which I know nothing about so I’m just taking the rest of this at face value. The episode ends with Miranda saying, “You’ll always be my baby, won’t you?”

Roll credits on Season 4 of Creepshow.

This segment was definitely the scariest in regard to the creature. The design is spectacular and truly frightening. I think there was a bit too much lore that wasn’t properly explained in a way that made people unfamiliar with these myths understand what was going on. But, again, when taking it at face value it pretty much works. Rochelle Greenwood’s acting was a bit much, it comes off as a manic Piper Laurie in Carrie, just not as good. Overall, this season hit significantly more than it missed, and I’m really happy we got the season we did. Will there be a fifth season? I hope so! How did you enjoy this season?

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Written by Brendan Jesus

I am an award-winning horror screenwriter, rotting away in New Jersey.

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