The third season of Shudder’s Creepshow is well underway, delivering more monsters and mayhem than ever—but the best may be yet to come. The season finale, dropping right in time for Halloween on October 28th, will feature a segment called “Drug Traffic” that comes from the mind of acclaimed Laotian filmmaker Mattie Do (The Long Walk, Dearest Sister). Directed by showrunner and special effects legend Greg Nicotero, “Drug Traffic” follows a woman trying to cross the border back into the U.S. after picking up some special medication in Mexico. She’s stopped and the medication is taken away from her—a decision that border control quickly comes to regret.
At the recent NIGHTSTREAM virtual film festival, now in its second year, Nicotero and Do opened up about the making of the segment and teased what’s in store—including a monster unlike any we’ve seen before.
For Do, writing for the Creepshow series was the culmination of a decades-long relationship with the franchise. Despite being only a year old when the original film came out in 1982, she remembers elements of it vividly from her childhood, something she credits to her father’s habit of not checking ratings very closely. One segment in particular really stuck with her: “Something to Tide You Over,” which sees Leslie Nielsen’s ruthless Richard Vickers burying his wife (Gaylen Ross) and her lover (Ted Danson) up to their necks in sand as the tide comes in and watching them drown on his TV screen.
“It was like, wow, they had that before Saw!” Do recalls thinking.
When Do first sent a paragraph outlining her idea for “Drug Traffic” to Nicotero, the showrunner instantly fell in love with it. Revolving around two Southeast Asian women at the mercy of a border patrol agent and a slimy politician, the segment felt timely and relevant when they were developing it before the pandemic, and even more so now.
“In true Creepshow fashion, we have an opportunity to make a little bit of a statement about the state of the world,” Nicotero says, “and we get to do it in a way that is entertaining, scary, and thought-provoking. It was kind of love at first sight for us!”
Nicotero was especially pleased that the segment would finally give him the opportunity to cast Michael Rooker, with whom he had worked on The Walking Dead. From the show’s inception, Nicotero had been looking for the right Creepshow role for Rooker, and the border patrol agent was right up his alley.
As for the monster he’ll be encountering? Do notes that she leaned into her Laotian heritage for “Drug Traffic,” writing about a creature that’s rooted in Southeast Asian lore. In fact, she says many people in Laos still believe in it.
“It’s probably the most unique, visually stunning creature that we’ve done on the show,” Nictotero says.
“It’s pretty fucked up,” Mattie agrees.
Words: Samantha McLaren (@themeatispeople)