From the episode’s IMDB.com page citation:
“Three teens meet their favorite pop star and realize she’s not at all what they imagined.”
Audiences – of a certain age – have always had a fascination with their respective teen pop stars. Though I’ll risk offending a certain portion of my readership by suggesting that the King of Rock’n’Roll himself Elvis Presley might be considered a teenage pop star, I do believe he kinda/sorta ‘fits the bill;’ granted, his pelvic gyrations probably meant more to the young ladies, but it stands without question that he was at the forefront of inspiring a generation of American teenagers to embrace his music.
And the list goes on and on from there. Ricky Nelson. The Beatles. Michael Jackson. Madonna. Spice Girls. Britney Spears. Miley Cyrus. Whatever flames these respective performers fanned, it warned the hearts of millions around the world, and the resulting phenomena paved the way for a veritable cavalry of second and third-tier soloists and bands. The only difference, truly, between the days of old and modern times is that the widespread use of social media has practically put fans and their stars face-to-face in real time.
That’s the foundation behind “Queen Bee,” the second half of Creepshow’s third season premiere.
Debra (played by Hannah Kepple), Trenice (Olivia Hawthorne), and Carlos (Nico Gomez) are obsessed with pop sensation Regina (Kaelynn Harris), so much so that they’re constantly battling amongst themselves – in conventional, non-bloody ways – for the title of ‘Number One Fan.’ But their dueling gets set aside when they learn that not only has the starlet disappeared from public life in order to deliver her baby in private but also she’s checked in and reserved the entire floor of the local hospital for supreme privacy! As Debra’s mom just happens to be a nurse – with a key card that can grant them access to the secured floor – the trio decide this is their date with destiny: they’ll sneak into the clinic in hopes of finally catching a glimpse of mother and child.
Beyond the obvious cleverness of the writing (the script stems from screenwriters Erik Sandoval and Michael Rousselet), Bee is largely forgettable, I’m afraid. It’s the kind of thing audiences have all seen before, in this form of mild variations. While some spirited banter between the teenagers is a good starting point, nothing develops that pushes any boundaries. The episode does boast some solid creature effects – most of them appear traditional and not CGI – and I suppose that alone might be cause enough for those of us who celebrate Horror to tune in; it’s only 30 minutes, after all, so it isn’t as if we’re making a lifetime commitment. Director Greg Nicotero keeps things moving as a steady pace … but, in the end, the lack of freshness just had this one feeling like it needed a bit ‘sting.’
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.
“Queen Bee” boasts a concept that’s been done before – maybe even to death, it’s sad to say – in Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction. Missing even a modest freshness, a compelling central performance, or creative twist, the resulting misadventure winds up feeling a bit of a slog in places. Because our leads are teens, the hijinks are fairly tame if not downright lame in a few spots. Some impressive creature work elevates this fare more than does the performances; alas, it’s still a bit leaden with predictable circumstances and an all-too-obvious ending that never tries for anything other than the routine.
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.