From the episode’s IMDB.com page citation:
“Jacks’ mother is taken from him, but her garden leaves more to remember her by than he first thought.”
It’s been said that boys do love their mother.
Why, one can go all the way back to the days of the Greeks when there was a little tragedy called Oedipus Rex that – ahem – truly explored the idea of the mother/son bond; and – even since – productions on stage and screen have been trying to recreate that maternal magic, albeit not with the same sensuous angle. While any thinker or writer could go to some immeasurable lengths to fathom the possible twists and turns of said relationship, there’s no escaping that what matters most is that central ethereal connection between the two players. It’s been shown to inspire the male child to go to extreme measures to both honor her wishes while also cherishing her memory (be she gone or merely removed from the picture), and that’s the spark that makes Mums work on any narrative level.
IMDB.com reports that the installment was directed by Rusty Cundieff (Tales From The Hood 1, 2, and 3); and Greg Nicotero and David J. Schow adapted a short story from Joe Hill. For those who don’t know, Hill is the novelist/son of critical darling Stephen King … so ‘the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree’ as the saying goes. (No, no, no. I’m not offering that up in any disparaging way. I’m simply using the phrase.)
Mums’ biggest weakness – so far as this reviewer is concerned – is the fact that the hour’s obvious and lazy politicking nearly ruins the good idea. Both Hill and his father Steve (a rampant Progressive on Twitter) apparently subscribe to the mainstream news’ popular depiction of the middle American male – that being that the Bible Belt is filled with right-wing militia who abuse women, worship guns, and plot the demise of each and every government agency. In that respect, Mums feels all too often like an NPR-fueled left-wing fantasy, one that sadly bears little resemblance to the real world but ‘makes the grade’ so far as CNN and MSNBC is concerned.
What can I say? It is ‘fiction,’ after all.
To the script’s credit, Mums introduces a somewhat surrogate mother: Beth (a curiously luminous Malone Thomas) is suddenly all-too-happy to answer the ticking of her own biological clock by stepping up to replace the displaced Bloom. (Naturally, Hank insists to his son that mom’s only away in rehab, the lying stinker!) She practically dotes over the boy as if he were her own – which the audience eventually learns is perhaps owed to her and Hank’s secret romantic tryst – and Jack responds in kind very quickly. Of course, when he discovers the role Beth played in seducing his father as well as ratting out his mom in the process, Jack willingly sacrifices his new mom to the hungry maw of his newly growing mums … pun intended, as it’s damn literal!
Still, Mums works best when it sets the author’s politics aside and just delivers on its fantastical premise. After all, who among us couldn’t find a few uses for a bed of man-eating plants? In days of old, magic beans meant an entirely different Jack was on course to climb a beanstalk and face-off with a heavenly giant; but in the era of the Creepshow, these sprouts could only have been understandably intended for a much darker purpose … and, apparently, mommy approves.
Maybe they should’ve called it ‘Edible Rex?’
Creepshow: Season 3 (2021) was produced by Shudder, The Cartel, Monster Agency Productions, and a few other participants. (A complete list is available on IMDB.com.) DVD distribution (for this particular release) is being coordinated by the good people at Shudder and RLJE Films. As for the technical specifications? Though I’m no trained video expert, I found the sights and sounds for this season to be extremely high quality. Lastly, if you’re looking for special features, the Season 3 packaging boasts the show’s Comic-Con panel, some behind-the-scenes footage, some behind-the-scenes photographs, and an included comic art booklet. It’s a nice collection – could be better – but nice enough.
Look past the obvious Leftist vent of the storyteller, and Mums is about as efficient a half-hour of storytelling can get. It’s trim, relatable, and – in the final regard – even just bloody enough to savor. It posits just how far a son is willing to go to exact the proper vengeance on behalf of his dearly-departed mother, and dad likely never knew what hit him … though he probably went down in some easy swallows into the earth.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Shudder provided me a complimentary Blu-ray of Creepshow: Season 3 by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.