Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days of Goosebumps Part 1 - 3. Monster Blood

I honestly don’t think I ever read this book. I don’t remember a single damn thing that happened in this book. For that reason alone I feel like it was one of the books that kept my attention best so far. Even if all in all the twist is terrible in general I found this to be one of Stine’s better written books

Evan’s parents are moving to Atlanta and while they’re busy getting the house prepared for the move he has to stay with his crazy and deaf Aunt Kathryn. Since there’s little to nothing to do at her house but sit around and play with her black cat he decides to explore the neighborhood

While searching the neighborhood he meets Andy, a tom-boyish local girl his age. She takes him to the local toy store and he buys a can of a gak-like product called Monster Blood. The two begin to play with the monster blood but get bored of it relatively quickly

The Monster blood begins to grow and grow eventually growing so large that it takes over much of the town. Evan and Andy accuse his crazy aunt of witchcraft, however it’s revealed that the spell was cast by her black cat, who happens to actually be a witch in disguise. Also she’s made Aunt Kathryn deaf all these years. 

By throwing the black cat (now in human form) into the Monster Blood it forces it to disappear. A few seconds later Evan’s mom returns and goes to have a conversation with Kathryn.

THE GOOD: This book gets into the weirdness relatively quickly. I could see why this book was popular enough to spawn three sequels. In fact the last book of the 62 part book series was Monster Blood Part IV. As a kid I never cared for the books (like I said... I don’t even think I read them), not being able to read this one through nostalgic glasses I actually mourned all the good times I could have had re-reading it.

THE BAD: The ending is bat-shit crazy stupid. I like books to have an expected reveal, something you could possibly guess. I’m sure a few people guessed this ending (jokingly) and were equally confused by that being the twist. Furthermore R.L. Stine cut out the best part of the book... the conversation between Aunt Kathryn and Evan’s Mom how she explains everything (including how she got her hearing back) and the trip to the Sane Asylum that was sure to follow

THE TV SHOW EPISODE: Okay right off the bat I’m confused by the decision to change Aunt Kathryn. Instead of a deaf, weird but generally good hearted woman. She’s an eccentric, creepy woman with perfectly fine hearing.

This is far from a faithful adaptation although I enjoyed it enough. When you only have 20 minutes to tell a story some things are obviously going to get cut. While none of the actors became famous the boy who plays Evan later appeared in Freddy Vs Jason as Freeberg (aka Jason Mewes).
While I did complain about the change in Aunt Kathryn it did lead to some of the more humorous jokes/lines. Specifically “I’m Andy, Evan’s Friend” “Are you hungry Ms. Evansfriend”.

The effect of the monster blood in the show is actually pretty well done event hough it’s mostly just gak. Sadly the transformation sequence, the monster blood origin story and the giant dog all leave something to be desired. 

<-------- 2. Stay Out of the Basement

Book 4 ------->

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