I decided to go with another episode of Creepshow for this entry. I picked this episode because I saw Bruce Davison in the thumbnail, and I enjoy his acting. I was mixed on these episodes, and even though they are vastly different in tone, I did see how they fit together. Once again, I wish both segments had been even a few minutes longer.
Night of the Paw
We open with a woman driving in the rain and the radio talking about a suspect. We can put two and two together. She gets in a wreck and wakes up seemingly patched up but missing fingers and upset. The mortician seems perfectly happy with the threats she makes against him but asks her to wait and then tells her his story when she agrees. He shows her a monkey paw, and most of us know what that means.
The monkey paw originally appeared in a short story and has since been used in various parts of the horror genre. The basic idea is that it is a monkey paw that will grant you three wishes, but there is a cruel irony to teach the wishers about fate.
His story starts with his wife having it and ultimately causing her own death with a wish. He then tries to bring her back and suffers the cruel fate of that. Now he wished for a killer, the woman. However, she is reluctant to kill him as she only killed the last time in the act of mercy. Things unfold, she eventually gets the paw, and makes the same mistake that everyone makes.
This was a decent look at the monkey paw story that has been adapted with varying degrees of success. The hard part about it is most people know the story, so you really have to depend on it just being a solid story because there is a degree of predictability. Davison is the lead for most and does a good job; I enjoyed have him as the narrator. The ending was a solid scare.
Time is Tough in Musky Holler
The idea of this one I really liked. A corrupt man takes advantage of a zombie outbreak to seize control of his town. He maintains that control by surrounding himself with cruel people and feeding his enemies to the zombies as punishment while it’s shown to everyone in town.
Like Night of the Paw, this is mostly told through storytelling. Unlike Paw it uses a lot of comic book art in these flashbacks, which gave it a stylized feel that I like. In fact, the whole thing is meant to be a bit over the top, and I honestly loved it.
It’s just not a well-developed story. It is rushed. This is the fourth I have seen, and all of them have felt underdeveloped, but this one more so. And damn it because I really like the core of this one a lot. It just grabs me. Hell, I wrote a whole series of short stories in a similar vein as this. I also love violence when used in this type of pop way. Add David Arquette on it, and I just… I liked it, but it was so close to being better.
As mentioned above, the thread that seemed to follow them is that they were again largely flashbacks and storytelling. They feature a central narrator, who is also a character. Paw is more quiet and subdued, where Musky Holler is loud and in your face. The juxtaposition is interesting, but Holler ends up weaker sadly. I think you could also question if Musky Holler is a “sequel” to Paw since part of the “irony bit” that frequently shows up in shows like this is that the woman very poorly words her wish to wake up her boyfriend and instead wakes up many corpses. I don’t think it’s really meant to be the case, just another interesting thread to connect the two.
Four in, and I like Creepshow. I will just probably have to stop repeating that I have the same issue.