Creepshow follows up its animated Halloween special with a Christmas episode, Shapeshifters Anonymous, that brings the series back to life, or at least live-action. Adapted from a story by J. A. Konrath and directed by Creepshow showrunner Greg Nicotero it shows us a side of Santa we haven’t seen before.
Westin (Adam Pally, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Mindy Project) has some unusual pre-Christmas stress. He’s afraid he may be responsible for a string of murders. Killings committed while under the effects of a gypsy’s curse.
He seeks help at a meeting of S.A., Shapeshifters Anonymous led by Irena (Anna Camp, True Blood). He finds out about the true history of lycanthropes and why they were edited out of the bible. He also learns first hand about the real origins of Santa Claus, and the not so jolly old man’s hatred of shapeshifters.
Shapeshifters Anonymous is a fun episode with enough going on to fill the full forty-five-minute running time. It’s tongue in cheek without being silly or condescending, which really is the only way to approach the concept of biblical werewolves and mall Santas as part of a secret religious order.
As expected most of the heavy gore and big action set pieces are rendered in comic panels for budget reasons. There’s still plenty of blood and mayhem on display though as the story concludes with a massive battle and a showdown between two ancient enemies.
We also get to see the other members of Shapeshifters Anonymous in their animal forms. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a weretortoise before, let alone seen one kicking ass on a horde of killer Santas.
The IMDB page for Shapeshifters Anonymous lists it as the first episode of season two and lists several celebrities that aren’t in the finished version. I’m not sure if they were cameos that couldn’t be shot because of COVID or if it’s a glitch and they’re appearing in later episodes. Either way, it’s fun to wonder what they would have had Marilyn Manson (Let Me Make You a Martyr), Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser, Warlock III: The End of Innocence) or Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, Stay Out Stay Alive) turn into.
A Creepshow Holiday Special will air on Shudder in all its territories, as well as via the Shudder offering within the AMC+ bundle, beginning Friday, December 18 shortly after 12:01 am ET/9:01 pm PT.