I have never seen the original Creepshow film, but I'm definitely familiar with the film. This whole phenomenon all started back in 1982 with the anthology film, and we have horror masters George A. Romero and Stephen King to thank for this. The movie spawned two sequels, with the second film coming out in 1987, while the third was released in 2007, 20 years after the second film. It also spawned a spinoff series that we're all familiar with: Tales from the Darkside.
The Creepshow TV series premiered on September 26, 2019 on Shudder, and I have seen a few of the episodes. Not surprisingly, the show's pretty good; I do love that the anthology horror/suspense series are pretty much back, mainly because I grew up watching shows like Tales from the Darkside and Tales from the Crypt. A vast majority of the episodes are split into two separate segments, though there have been full half-hour episodes with one story. From what little I've seen and learned, the villainesses are delicious, and the episode, "Parent Death Trap/To Grandmother's House We Go," is definitely no exception.
The first half, "Parent Death Trap," centered on Lyle VelJohnson, a rich, but awkward young man who is under the constant pressure of his wealthy parents, Gloria and Archibald. It's actually an understatement; Lyle is seen as weak and unmanly by Archibald, and incompetent by Gloria. The segment began with Lyle learning that his parents set him up on a prom date with Violet Meyers, the most popular girl at his high school, with Violet's parents also being part of this arrangement. However, Lyle is stood up, and his dear parents blame this on him as well. Having had enough, Lyle takes a sword and offs both parents; beheading his father and stabbing his mother. So for Lyle, the torment was over.
Or so he thought.
Gloria and Archibald weren't going to let little things like matricide and patricide get in the way of their smothering of Lyle, so their ghosts resurfaced and continued to scold him...for four years. Even as Lyle was grocery shopping, there they were with their motherly and fatherly wags, when all of a sudden, Lyle sees Violet Meyers, the same girl who stood him up all those years ago, and after a brief conversation, sparks fly. Lyle does tell Violet his parents are deceased (though he would tell a pair of Special Agents that they were on vacation), while Violet reveals the same about hers, adding that they were exposed as running a Ponzi scheme and both of them died after the hammer came down.
Lyle and Violet consummate their budding relationship, much to the chagrin of his parents, but after Violet overhears Lyle's second encounter with the Special Agents (Ella and Mann), she confronts Lyle over his deception regarding his parents and later dumps him. The ghostly parents cheer and tell Lyle that Violet wasn't good enough for him, only for Lyle to lash out at his deceased parents over how they kept telling him that he was never good at anything, yet claimed that Violet wasn't good enough for him. Lyle later grabs the sword and planned to kill one more person: himself. However, his parents stop him and apologize to their only son for how they treated him, adding that all they cared about was their reputation, but it made them lifeless. It's a posthumous apology, but better late (in more ways than one) than never.
With his parents blessing, Lyle goes back with Violet, and as we see later on, they became husband and wife. They are left alone to celebrate being newlyweds, though once their high school days are mentioned, Violet responds to Lyle's statement that he was never invited to parties by referring to Lyle as a "creepy fucking loser," and stating that she had to stand him up because she had a reputation to uphold...and still did. This is where the truth gets sinister. So Violet stated earlier that her father committed suicide and her mother drank herself to death. Turns out, she poisoned them both to get her hands on her parents' life insurance money, and Lyle's wooziness after drinking the wine was because Violet poisoned the drink in an attempt to kill him as well.
Meanwhile, Gloria and Archibald saw that the police found their bodies, as well as the bodies of Violet's parents, Viviane and Chester Meyers, whose ghosts appeared and cheered on Violet's murderous plan. Lyle finally admitted that he killed his own parents, but also revealed that everything was in their name, meaning that Violet would get nothing. We now see both pairs of ghostly parents face to face, and upon seeing Lyle down on the floor, Gloria and Archibald both shriek, unleashing quite a supernatural glow. The next day, the police are at Lyle's house looking over Violet's body, as she died of fright, and as for Lyle, he survived, but he was under arrest for his parents' murders. Violet emerged as a ghost, vowing to make Lyle's life a living hell, and as Lyle was taken into custody, all five ghosts berated him. Wow!
The second half, "To Grandmother's House We Go," centered on Marcia Pierpont, who is--putting it bluntly--a gold digger. She's seen getting married to wealthy and elderly David Higgins in the beginning, but later on, David passes on, and Marcia is left everything, though David's ex-wife, Belinda, is the administrator of the estate, and she tells Marcia she won't see a cent unless she continues to care for Ruby, Belinda's granddaughter. We later see Marcia at a diner with Benny, where she dumps him and berates him for being, in her mind, broke, while she orders Ruby not to call her "mom." The conversation is overheard by Carla, a waitress at the diner, who tells Benny that Marcia's doing him a favor and that he's better off. We quickly learn a personal reason for Carla's words: Marcia was once involved with Carla's brother, Earl, but she robbed him blind and dumped Earl, who died of loneliness.
Marcia mocks Carla, but when we see her later on, she's broke and desperate. Creditors have been calling her, and she later gets a call from Belinda's caretaker, who reveals that she's on her last legs. Marcia is tasked with driving Ruby to her grandmother's house, and in true Little Red Riding Hood fashion, Ruby dresses the part and has a basket of goodies. Night falls, and Marcia and Ruby suddenly find themselves accosted by what the former believes is a coyote, but come on, we all know the only Coyotes are in Arizona--and it's been that way since 1996.
So yeah, this was clearly a werewolf, and the creature tore through the car and took off with Ruby. It was at this point that Marcia's motherly care and instincts were boosted, as she genuinely worries about Ruby and looks for help, finding it in the form of Benny. After learning everything from a frantic Marcia, Benny radioes for help, but when Marcia finds Ruby and returns to Benny's truck, she sees Benny mauled to death by the werewolf, after which Marcia uses Benny's axe to kill the beast, or so she thinks. The werewolf moves towards Ruby, which is followed by Marcia grabbing a silver knife and stabbing the creature. It's not until she sees the effect on the werewolf that she knows the knife's made of silver, and Marcia keeps on stabbing until the beast is finally deceased.
To the extreme shock of Marcia, the werewolf is revealed as Carla, the aforementioned waitress. Clearly, revenge against Marcia over Earl's loneliness and death motivated Carla's heel turn, and after that ordeal, daylight struck, and Marcia and Ruby make it to Belinda's house. Ruby hugs her grandmother, but in a typical surprise twist ending, Ruby suddenly becomes a werewolf and attacks Marcia, while also uttering the following to her stepmother:
"Why, Mommy, what big eyes you have. Now, we can be together forever."
Now here's the thing. Ruby's last line indicates that her plan was to make Marcia a werewolf just like her, but the way she went to town on her like that? Yeah, that's an outright killing right there. Also, I want to say that I loved seeing Keegan Connor Tracy as Marcia, and I really loved that she had a New York accent in this; a nice hilarious touch. Anyway, now for the villainesses.
"Parent Death Trap/"To Grandmother's House We Go" served as the third episode of Creepshow's fourth season, which was released in its entirety on October 13, 2023. Regarding the first half, Chloe Babcook appeared as the evil Violet Meyers, and boy, was she deliciously wicked and fiendish. It's no surprise. After all, we Lifetime movie fans remember Chloe Babcook in 2017's Deadly Sorority as the deranged Jubilee Swan, and I was so elated to see that she was playing another villainess in this program. Violet was an absolute sociopath--pretty much all high school mean girls are. She stands up Lyle, who was already an emotional ticking time bomb, and then years pass and she acts all apologetic, but once she gets what she wants, she strikes back against Lyle and attempts to off him, doing so after revealing that she killed her parents for money.
By the way, Violet's ghostly look? Beautiful! Babcook nailed this performance; she acted out Violet's feigned geniality very well, but she truly shined when Violet's proverbial mask was removed, and her true evil personality resurfaced. Other than this appearance, and her Lifetime film role (her only one to date), Babcook has appeared in episodes of The Tomorrow People, The 100, and Motive.
Check out Violet Meyers' profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!
As the segment also revealed, Violet's mother, Viviane Meyers, was every bit as evil as her daughter and husband were. She was a co-conspirator in Chester's Ponzi scheme, and even after she and Chester were murdered by their own daughter, we see them basically cheer on Violet as she makes her attempt to kill Lyle, which fails. Julie Howgate played Viviane Meyers, whose appearance was brief and only in her ghost form. Even in that brief time, we learn all there is to know about Viviane: she is callous, she is greedy, and she is bloodthirsty even in death. Howgate's performance in that brief moment was stellar; we only needed just a few moments to figure out what Viviane Meyers was all about.
Julie Howgate's appearances only include short films, a pair of Hallmark Movies, and an episode of So Help Me Todd. I hope that changes, I would love to see more of Julie Howgate on TV and in films!
Check out Viviane Meyers' profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!
The second half was a delicious segment that featured Amanda Huxtable as the viciously evil Carla, and to be honest, I should have figured that Carla was the werewolf. When we see her in the early scenes, the antipathy and bitterness towards Marcia is there. Carla could not stand Marcia due to what happened to her brother, and as I stated before, that anger served as a clear motivation for Carla's heel turn. Becoming a werewolf, though, is one hell of a boost, but Carla was very vicious in her murderous vendetta.
I do have one gripe, though, and it's the same one I have when I don't see this unfold: a transformation scene would have been nice. I get the whodunit aspect when it comes to werewolves, but regarding female ones, we still do not see a good TF scene, even though we are almost in 2024. We could have seen Carla's human form revealed, then she reveals her motive before the moon resurfaces and she transforms again. If not a TF from woman to werewolf, then a longer revert scene after Carla's killed. As for Carla's plans for Ruby, since I watched this episode, a theory popped up that actually turning Ruby could have been Carla's true motive, as she could have used Ruby to fulfill her evil agenda.
Carla was quite a vicious villainess, and Amanda Huxtable's performance was phenomenal! I would love to see Huxtable in a Lifetime movie; honestly, Carla actually fit the Lifetime villainess attributes to a T!
Check out Carla's profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!
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