Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 62. Monster Blood IV

Book 62: Monster Blood IV

It amazes me that I loved the first Monster Blood book so much but lost so much interest in the future installments.

Technically this isn’t exactly Monster Blood but it follows the same characters from the series and focuses on a different slime in a can that goes wrong. 

The simple version is that Evan, Andy and Kermit are all back again (along with bully Conan). They find a can of blue slime which turns into creatures that suck water from everything causing them go to expand and multiple. The more water the drink the angrier they get until eventually the eat each other.

In the end Bully Conan eats the slime and has multiplied into 4 meaner Conans.

And that’s how the Goosebumps franchise ends. Sort of disappointing based on how much I loved the last two books.

THE BAD: It’s just not the most interesting or memorable book so kind of a weak final book.

THE GOOD: I like that they changed up the Monster Blood story and I actually enjoyed the ending.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

31 Day of Goosebumps - Book 61. I Live In Your Basement

Book 61: I Live In Your Basement

Much like yesterday’s Werewolf Skin this book was on a ton of “Best Goosebumps Books” lists. Holy shit they did not lie.

Now is this a good book? Not exactly. It tends to have similar twists and turns as many other books and it’s full of fake outs (which usually I hate) but the fake outs have an overly surreal aspect to it.

So Marco gets hit in the head by a baseball bat and wakes up in his living room with no memories of what happened between getting hit and waking up (although he apparently was in the Hospital). He keeps getting weird phone calls from Keith a boy who claims to live in the basement. 

Marco starts seeing Keith, but whenever he goes to show him to someone Keith disappears. A Doctor wants to remove his brain to examine it and a girl throws up until she flips herself inside out.Then Marco walks up still in the hospital, and the doctor rips his tongue out. And he walks up again.

He gets sent home where Keith attacks him and wakes up... only for us to discover that these were all Keith’s dreams. Keith is a Monster (who has a human form) that lives in Marco’s basement. He was the person hit with the baseball bat and has been having bizarre dreams ever since. 

THE BAD: The twist has definitely been done ALOT this round (specifically in The Blob Who Ate Everyone) but I enjoyed it.

THE GOOD: Unlike previous books, Stine takes full advantage of the dream world and puts surreal shit in this. I was hooked the entire time. I knew I had to be reading someone who was dreaming, that was obvious but it’s what made it so entertaining. Everything was so bizarre it could only exist in a dream.


31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 60. Werewolf Skin

Book 60: Werewolf Skin

So this book appeared on a lot of “Best Goosebumps Book” lists and I have to agree. Beyond the fact that it’s a fun little werewolf story (which there aren’t nearly enough of in the Goosebumps Series) it also has possibly my favorite book cover of the 62 books.

The story follows Alex Hunter who is visit his Aunt and Uncle in Wolf Creek while his parents are in France. He’s warned to avoid the neighbor’s house (The Marlings) at all costs. 

Everyone is school tells him that his neighbors are in fact werewolves at first he doesn’t believe it but soon he decides to spy on them at night and get a picture of them as evidence. Despite his desperate attempt to get his friend Hannah to join him he spies from a distance alone.

That night he sees two people climb out of the window and put on wolf skin and immediately transform. He follows the two wolves all night and when daylight comes the wolves shed their skin revealing themselves to be Alex’s aunt and uncle.

Alex and Hannah decide that if they steal the werewolf skins then his aunt and uncle won’t be able to transform and thus will be cured. The plan works and they all celebrate. However when Alex returns to the old house to return the wolf skins he finds one already there. At this point Hannah reveals that she became a werewolf the night prior and bites Alex.

THE BAD: This ending bothers me for two reasons. One is that I can’t figure out when Hannah got bitten the previous night since (a) she refuses to go out and night and (b) Alex followed his aunt and uncle that night and never saw them attack anyone. The other issue is that if one of the werewolf skins was still in the house why didn’t either one of his relatives wear it? It seems to imply that you MUST put on the werewolf skin driven by unknown force. If they could just CHOOSE to not wear it than they should have been cured pretty quickly.

THE GOOD: Despite that long “Bad” paragraph... that’s all inspired by the last 6 paragraphs. The rest of this story is amazing. Then again I’m bias as I love werewolf stories.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  This didn’t need to be an hour but it was a decent adaptation. They definitely seemed to have agreed with too many plot holes in the book ending. While Hannah is still a werewolf in the end the discovery is done differently, I prefer it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 59. The Haunted School

Book 59: The Haunted School

This book just went on and on. It was pretty dull and utterly forgettable. Example, I finished it last night and as of this moment all I remember is the following.

There are 4 characters that matter. Tommy, Ben, Thailia and Greta. Greta is a goth chick who dresses in all black, Thalia is a new student who wears lots of make-up, Tommy and Ben are Thalia’s new friends. The three are working on the school dance. Apparently 50 years ago a bunch of kids went missing at the school. Just disappeared into thin air.

All this info is presented in the first two chapters. Then it’s about 10 chapters of nothing too important.

Anyway Tommy and Ben need to get tape and get lost in the school. Using a weird elevator they’ve discovered they get taken to a weird black & white world where all the missing kids are (still kids 50 years after the fact).

Finally after a whole lot of nothing happens we find out the following info:
  1. They disappeared because of the creepy evil photographer Mr. Chameleon who transported them immediately after taking their picture
  2. Thalia is from the Black & White World 
  3. Tommy and Ben can escape using Thalia’s Lipstick (confusing I know)

Anyway as soon as Ben and Tommy escape the black and white world the principal brings them to get their picture taken by Mr. Chameleon

THE BAD: It’s a pretty forgettable book, but it’s certainly not a terrible book. I can’t decide if the Thalia reveal is an obvious one or if I just think that because I’m reading it for the first time at 28

THE GOOD: The black and white world is kinda creepy.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 58. Deep Trouble II

Book 58: Deep Trouble II

Yeah I’m just not a fan of this series (Deep Trouble I mean). I wasn’t a huge fan of the first one and this second also dragged.

Billy and Sheena are back with Dr. D only this time no mermaids. Instead the keep finding giant sea creatures. They discover the evil Dr. Ritter has created plankton that makes fish grow.

There’s one downside, if a human eats it they immediately turn into a fish. Billy, Sheena and Dr. D capture Dr. Ritter... seeing he has no other options he drinks the plankton and swims away.

THE BAD: Pretty much the whole book. It’s frustrating. I hope these last 4 are better.

THE GOOD: Again not much. Two pretty weak books in a row. Never fun.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  This episode was way too long and drawn out. I almost didn’t watch it all.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 57. My Best Friend is Invisible

Book 57: My Best Friend is Invisible

Everyone thinks Sammy is crazy ever since he’s been seen talking to Bren an invisible kid living in his bedroom who wants to be his friend.

Finally he steals his parents light molecular device (they’re scientists) and shines it on Bren revealing that Bren is a monster. Bren is the almost extinct human being. 

Yes. The whole 114 page book can (and just was) summed up in 4 sentences. That’s how much happens in this book. 

THE BAD: Yet again we have a pretty terrible ending. Besides the fact that it’s not a very original twist nor something that can be predicted it doesn’t make sense. In one scene Bren grabs Sammy’s hand and helps guide it for him so he can solve an equation... then it’s revealed Sammy only has tentacles for arms. How would he even hold a piece of chalk? Furthermore... I’m pretty sure this twist has happened like 5 times in the series (a variation of it was two days ago in The Blob That Ate Everyone).

THE GOOD: Not a whole lot really. This book was a chore.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  For whatever reason they turned his female friend into a bitch of a bitch and made Sammy a bit of a pussy. The ending is a little weird in this since it’s Aliens that look like humans. So that’s kinda weird (also they draw it out into a weird political thing)

Friday, October 25, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 56. The Curse of the Camp Cold Lake

Book 56: The Curse of Camp Cold Lake

Sarah hates camp. But her brother Aaron loves it. Sarah manages to make a poor first impression on everyone. Everyday the camps mock and tease her.

Sarah decides to fake a drowning to win sympathy but it works too well. She almost drowns for real. She then begins to be haunted by Della (a ghost who died at camp) who wants Sarah to be her buddy.

No one believes Sarah’s story so she decides to run away. That’s when Della informs her that the woods she’s in are full of poisonous snakes. However Sarah is saved by Brianna (on of the girls in her cabin). Apparently Della haunted Brianna last year and she returned to protect the next girl Della haunted.

After Della disappears Brianna reveals she’s also a ghost looking for a buddy and hands a snake to Sarah. 

THE BAD: The ending twist is terrible. Brianna is talking to EVERYONE at camp. If she was a quiet character or something it’d make more sense but she has a best friend at camp! It doesn’t make a ton of sense.

THE GOOD: The rest of the story is paced like a decent Tales from the Crypt story. I guess that’s why I’m so hard on the ending. This was one of the better books until then.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 55. The Blob That Ate Everyone

Book 55: The Blob That Ate Everyone

Zackie wants to be a famous horror writer. While his friend Alex loves his stories his friend Adam is a complete asshole who shits on everything he does and goes out of his way to embarrass him. I’d question why he’s friends with Adam... but Adam accurately represents my friends until College.

Anyway one day Zackie finds a typewriter in a burnt down store and takes it home. One day when writing his book “The Blob Who Ate Everyone” he accidentally creates a blob... that begins to eat 2 police officers and Adam (just shy of everyone).

Suddenly Zackie realizes that the typewriter has no powers. He has the power. He thinks the blob away and it disappears.

We then cut to two monsters discussing a story one monster has written called “Attack of the Human”. They decide that the ending is too sad and change it where the Blob successfully eats everybody.

THE BAD: It was kinda slow and drawn out. Also Adam (like all Stine bullys) is un-fucking-bareable.

THE GOOD: That ending! That ending is so next level bananas that it’s hard to not adore it!

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  This was a pretty decent adaptation what I was most impressed by was the look of the Blob Monster in the opening sequence. Then they showed the whole blob and it was much less impressive. Much better than the book except that they cut out the crazy ending which was my favorite part of the story.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 54. Don't Go to Sleep

Book 54: Don’t Go To Sleep

Matt is a geek (no I’m not talking about myself) and lives in the smallest room in his house. It’s obvious that everyone hates him (including his mom).

What frustrates him the most is that no one uses the Guest Room yet he can’t sleep in there. Despite his best attempts to convince his mom to let him move in she will not backdown. Finally he decides to sneak into the guest room.

Every single time he goes to sleep he wakes up into a new reality. Each one worse than the previous one. What he discovers is that sleeping the guest room unlocks a new reality which he can’t escape unless he goes to sleep in his original room.

Finally he manages to return to his original life and could not be more excited. Until he finds out that his mom has moved him into the Guest Room like he requested.

THE BAD: The twist is kinda mediocre and this was another case of R.L. Stine making the most unlikable siblings and parent ever. They’re insanely mean to their brother/son

THE GOOD: The multiple realities are all interesting and fun and it’s one of the few Goosebumps books that constantly move forward and doesn’t waste time on fake outs.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  This is without a doubt one of the most bizarre episodes ever. It’s a super unfaithful adaptation as well. This isn’t a bad thing though. It’s so crazy that it’s kinda funny.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 53. Chicken Chicken

Book 53: Chicken, Chicken

This book was pretty bizarre but I think I liked it.

Crystal and Cody Sanders (based on the books title that had to have been intentional) live on a farm and hate it. Specifically the hate feeding the chickens. A Few houses down lives a women named Vanessa who they believe has magical powers.

They bump into her one day when at the market and she drops her groceries. They’re so scared that they run away but as they do they hear her whisper “Chicken Chicken”. The next day Cole and Crystal slowly start changing into chickens. 

They break into Vanessa’s house but are unsuccessful at finding the reversal spell. When Vanessa arrives and finds the two chicks in her house she immediately knows who they really are and tells them she was teaching them a lesson for poor manners and not apologizing. Crystal hops on the typewriter and apologizes but Vanessa says it’s too little too late.

Crystal then types out a thank you note for disciplining them which touches Vanessa’s heart enough that she turns them back. She brings them soda and the two begin burping and laughing. That’s when Vanessa says Pig Pig

THE BAD: There’s only a few downsides to this particular book. Mostly based on drawn out scenarios and parents not paying attention to their kids. Also I’m not sure how I feel about the “Pig Pig” ending.

THE GOOD: Going into this not knowing what it was about (although the cover is a nice little hint) allowed for me to quite enjoy this story. Still not Stine’s best but I enjoyed it.


Monday, October 21, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 52. How I learned to Fly

Book 52: How I Learned to Fly

I had no clue this book existed, like at all. This isn’t the usual Goosebumps book. It’s less horror and more a weird comedic story with a supernatural twist to it.

As per usual Stine proves an incredible ability to make the most obnoxious characters ever. We may have outdid himself with Wilson who I wanted to strangle from is introduction to the last page. He’s Jack’s arch-nemesis. No matter what Jack is good at Wilson is always better, that is until Jack discovers a book that teaches you a recipe that allows you to fly.

However when he finally gets to show his secret crush Mia his powers he discovers that Wilson can also fly. He saw Jack make the recipe, stole the book and made it for himself (nothing like a little theft that no one seems to care about).

The next day Wilson tells the class that him and Jack are going to have a special race. Despite Mia asking him not to fly and Jack knowing it’s a bad idea he chooses to anyway. The media and government go CRAZY for him. Jack is harassed daily by interviews and press events. Finally Wilson challenges him to a televised race. But as the race begins Jack realizes he lost his ability to fly. 

However Jack reveals to us that he never lost his ability. He threw the race in order to go back to having a normal life.

THE BAD: As I said Wilson makes me want to tear the book in half

THE GOOD: The bad is actually a positive. Wilson is supposed to do that to you. I also really enjoyed the twist away from horror more into a cautionary tale of the dangers of celebrity. In general I liked this book more than I expected to.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 51. Beware, The Snowman

Book 51: Beware, The Snowman

This one was kinda boring but then made the leap into batshit crazy in the last few chapters. 

So Jaclyn lives with her Aunt. They move to this weird snow filled village. There’s creepy snowman all over the town. She’s told to never go to the top of the mountain because their is a giant evil snowman up there. 

Jaclyn goes up and looks and meets the snowman. The Snowman tells her that he’s her father and his aunt is trying to trap him in his body (as he and her mother were sorcerers) She frees him and turns out he’s a giant monster.

As the monster is about to kill her an army of snowman attack him created by her actual father (the old hermit who lives on the mountain)

THE BAD: Yeah that ending was completely bat shit crazy right?

THE GOOD: The end is bat-shit crazy! As terrible is that ending is, it’s kinda like Troll 2 or Birdemic. It’s so insane that I couldn’t help but like it. But if I were to reread these books again in the future I’m not sure how excited I’d be about rereading this one.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 50. Calling All Creeps

Book 50: Calling All Creeps

This was the last Goosebumps book I bought when I was a kid. I never read it but I loved the cover. If I were to do a list of my top 10 favorite Goosebumps covers this would definitely be top 5.

The story follows Ricky. He is mocked on a daily basis by his entire school. When the mean editor of the school paper fires him he leaves a message at the bottom of the paper telling all creeps to call her with her number. However she sees this message and changes it to his name and number.

Ricky begins getting weird phone calls. Eventually he discovers that the four biggest bullies in school are actually creeps (Lizard creatures) who believe Ricky is their leader. They have seeds which will turn the rest of the school into creeps.

They bake the seeds into cookies and Ricky tries desperately to save the school but when a creepy mentions that once the students transform he’ll be their leader he hands off the cookies.

THE BAD: I get so really frustrated which the bullying in this book. Actually not the bully, but the authority figures not giving a shit about the bullying. That bugged me to no end.

THE GOOD: The end is wonderfully dark. And that book cover.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  As I said, this is one of my favorite Goosebump covers. Specifically for the look of the creeps on the cover so I was a little disappointed by the look of them in the book. The biggest issue in this particular adaptation is due to it’s short length. Reading the book EVERYONE is an asshole to Ricky so when he decides to let them become Creeps it made sense. Only a handful of people are seen as being douche towards him in the episode so Ricky’s choice to let them all become Creeps makes him a little bit of a dick. Still justifiable though.

Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 49. Vampire Breath

Book 49: Vampire Breath

Freddy and his friend Cara go searching in his basement and discover a empty coffin with a bottle of Vampire Breath. When they open the bottle the room fills with smoke and an old vampire is found inside the coffin.

He’s confused as to where he’s at but can’t find his teeth. He claims that the vampire breath will help him remember and send him back to his own time. He accident taks Cara and Freddy back 100 years to his castle.

He still can’t find his teeth and needs another bottle of vampire breath. The two kids run around trying to find the bottle, they discover it and using it travel back to their original time (with the vampire). Freddy’s Mom arrives in the basement and greets her father (the vampire). Freddy’s whole family are vampires (Freddy included). HIs parents and grandfather leave to suck blood.

Freddy and Cara search his house for clues that he was a vampire and find a bottle of Werewolf Sweat. They accidently open it... the end.

THE BAD: This is a pretty boring book, nothing happens in it and both twists are kinda weak. But the Werewolf sweat is a much worse twist.

THE GOOD: The reveal of the vampire being Freddy’s grandfather was okay

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  I enjoyed this episode enough. I liked making the characters brother and sister instead of friends (because it wasn’t really an important detail). I feel like the role of the vampire should have been someone older (this ‘Grandfather vampire’ is like.... 37). Also after the “twist ending” there’s an extra 30 seconds where the two characters get bunkbed coffins. That was a weird extra addition.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 48. Attack of the Jack-O-Laterns

Book 48: Attack of the Jack-O’-Lanterns

We’ve definitely entered the era of Goosebumps where I still bought the books but didn’t read them. This lasted until about 4-5 books later when I stopped purchasing them. I remember really loving this cover though.

The story is a Halloween Revenge story (classic R.L. Stine). Drew, Walker, Shane and Shana are sick of Lee and Tabby’s yearly halloween pranks. They are determined to get revenge after two failed attempts in the past they plan to go all out.

Drew and Walker invite Lee and Tabby to join them for trick-or-treating. Suddenly two people wearing Jack-O’-Lanterns for heads come over. When they speak flames explode from their mouths. Lee and Tabby know it’s Shane and Shana but still follow them to another neighborhood and begin trick-or-treating. 

After a while they realize these two people aren’t Shane or Shana, they accident remove their heads and discover these are living breathing people with pumpkin heads. Soon dozens of Pumpkinhead creatures come out with pumpkins in their hands.

After putting the pumpkins on Lee and Tabby’s heads Drew and Walker explode into laughter as Shane and Shana (two aliens) shapeshift back into their human forms. Drew and Walker then discover that their alien friends may eat people (but only if they’re fat).

THE BAD: I actually enjoyed the book until the end. The whole time I’m reading it I was thinking “There’s no sign of Shane or Shana still. They must be the Jack-O’-Lanterns but how did they do it?” And then... Aliens? Really? it’s a pretty random and shitty ending with an extra lame twist about eating humans.

THE GOOD: As far as storytelling and pacing goes this is one of Stine’s best. Starting the first 8 chapters in the past building on previous Halloween disasters gave us a deeper understanding of these characters. It’s a shame the ending is so bad.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  This was a pretty solid book adaptation. They probably could have done this as a two-parter but it worked perfectly fine as a single episode. The actor playing the “Old Man Who kidnaps Children” should get an Emmy for his awesomely over the top performance. Meanwhile Drew’s father is incredibly terrible. The effects of the Jack O Lantern heads is pretty decent looking. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 47. Legend of the Lost Legend

Book 47: Legend of the Lost Legend

Justin and his sister Marissa are in Brovania with their father searching for the Lost Legend (an ancient manuscript lost for 500 years). Justin and Marissa go on a search to find the story for their father but only end up lost in the woods.

They discover a small house belonging to Ivanna. She tells them that they will be tested and if they succeed they will receive what they seek. They will go into the fantasy forest with Luka (a half man/half dog). 

They’re attacked by mechanical mice, attacked by a giant cat and discovered that Ivanna was actually a robot. That’s when Luka reveals himself to be a man in costume. He gives them a silver chest that when they open it they discover a giant egg inside it. They return to Luka and he tells them where to find the Lost Legend. 

When they meet the owners of it they are super excited to hand off the manuscript. THey read the front page which states that the owner of the lost legend themselves will be lost until it’s found again. They look up and realize they are in an entirely different location of the woods and have no clue how to get home.

THE BAD: I actually liked this book a lot so I don’t have too many negatives. I do think it’s basically a combination of other stories and not super unique or special. The general plot is similar to Beast of the East and Stine loves revealing characters are actually robots.

THE GOOD: I really enjoyed the twists and turns out of this book. Specifically since I went in expecting to hate it.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 46. How to Kill a Monster

Book 46: How to Kill a Monster

Gretchen and Clark are visiting their grandparents out in the swamp. One day they wake up and both grandparents are missing. They two kill time playing hide and seek and accidentally open a door to discover a giant monster behind it.

While trying to hide they find a letter from their grandparents. They caught the monster and are looking for help to kill it, if the kids let them out then they must kill the monster by themselves. They manage to by getting eaten and finding out the monster is allergic and dies.

Once they leave they open another letter from their grandparents that warns them to never leave the house because the monster’s family is looking for him.

THE BAD: Can we talk about the worst Grandparents in history? They catch a monster, don’t tell the kids and then just leave them alone in the house with it? Also the monster dying because he’s allergic to humans is pretty insane.

THE GOOD: Eh, not too much praise on this one. I was mostly bored by it.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  I didn’t like the addition Clark being a total dick. That was an unneeded addition. I will say that the look of the monster (and the general effects) are the most impressive in the show’s history (so far). 

Monday, October 14, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps - Book 45: Ghost Camp

Book 45: Ghost Camp

Harry and Alex are off to Camp Spirit Moon. They’re arriving late because they had trouble finding a camp to attend in the middle of the summer. When they arrive they find the camp completely empty.

Turns out that it’s a giant prank from the campers. They like to scare new campers. Harry befriends Lucy and Alex befriends Elvis. 

Eventually the title of the book is revealed to be accurate. Everyone is a ghost at camp except Harry and Alex. The only way for the ghosts to leave is possession. Harry and Alex flee from camp. While they hitchhike Harry asks Alex to sing (as Alex has a beautiful voice) and instead Elvis’ awful singing voice comes out.

THE BAD: The books is pretty forgettable. It’s not a bad book persay, just kinda dull. We know it’s going to be a Ghost Camp from the title so the suspense is almost completely non-existent.

THE GOOD: The twist at the end with Elvis’ voice coming from Alex’s mouth made me laugh. I think it was one of the best reveals in any Goosebumps story.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 44. Say Cheese and Die - Again

Book 44: Say Cheese and Die ... Again

After he fails a school report due to the assignment being “Tell a true story” and Greg tells the class about his evil camera that summer. His only way to not fail is to “prove the story is real”.

Greg goes to the old house (which has been torn down) and finds the camera in the trash can. After taking a random kid’s picture the image develops with the nail stuck in the kid’s foot. A second later he steps on a nail.

While walking to school Shari tries to stop him from taking the camera to school and accidently takes her picture (which just prints a negative). She takes his picture and it prints out a picture of him over 400 pounds.

Quickly Shari starts losing weight and Greg starts gaining it. No one can explain this. Suddenly Greg decides if they have the pictures reversed (get the negative printed and print the negative) they’ll return to normal.

It’s a success! Greg takes the camera to the teacher who then takes a picture of the entire class with it.

THE BAD: Greg is an idiot. I understand he’s twelve, but even a twelve year old should know that what happened to him was so extraordinary that NO ONE would believe it.

THE GOOD: The camera is more evil than before. I was bored in the original Say Cheese and Die, however this camera gets nails in your foot, makes you lose weight til the point you could die and gain weight until you’re almost 500 pounds. I actually was concerned for people’s well being this time!

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  The special effects were pretty decent for a children’s show in the 90’s and I like the ending a little more. While it doesn’t have that horrorifying ending where we don’t know what happened to the rest of the class, I like the idea that the Teacher gets justice for being a dick.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 43. The Beast From the East

Book 43: The Beast From The East

I was shocked by how much I actually enjoyed this book. I went into it with super low-expectations. 

Not exactly a masterpiece story but it’s a fun little one. Ginger, Nat and Pat get lost in the woods and discover talking bear creatures (yeah I’ll get into that shortly). 

The game is basically tag. If you’re still “IT” at sun down you get eaten. The rules are ridiculous (as is most of this story). In the end they escape on a weird technicality only to be trapped in a different game..

THE BAD: The talking bears. It’s explained by a universal language adaptor. Also the unfair rules of the game are infuriating but that’s also one of the pluses...

THE GOOD: I actually cared about the characters enough that the unfair rules that it infuriated me.


Friday, October 11, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 42. Egg Monsters from Mars

Book 42: Egg Monsters from Mars

For how outrageous the title to this book is you’d think this would be more entertaining, but you’d be wrong. Nothing really makes any sense in this book. It’s like R.L. Stine was on painkillers when he wrote this book.

The story begins with Brandy’s birthday. Her older brother Dana and his friend (and next door neighbor) Anne join her sister’s “egg hunt birthday party” (remember how popular those were in the 90s). During the egg hunt Dana finds a strange egg that he keeps a secret.

Eventually the egg hatches and reveals itself to be a scrabbled egg monster that can’t talk. Dana takes it to a local scientist who already knows about the egg monsters from mars and has collected them all. He kidnaps Dana and shoves him in a freezer with the egg monsters. THey form a blanket to keep Dana from freezing to death and then attacks the Doctor.

At the end Dana randomly lays an egg in his front lawn

THE BAD: What the fuck is going on here? Sorry to curse, I try to tone it down in these books but Stine just went above and beyond the insanity I’m willing to accept in his books with this one. Let me give you an example of the “suspense in this book”

The Last Sentence of Chapter 9 - What’s going to happen to me?

First Sentence of Chapter 10 - Nothing Happened

THE GOOD: The only plus I have about this book that ranks it over some of the other Goosebumps books I disliked was that it’s so bad that it’s good. So far if I were to compare each book to a movie... this is Birdemic.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 41. Bad Hare Day

Book 41: Bad Hare Day

Bad Hare Day is the tail (pun intended) of Tim. Tim is a magic buff and dreams of being a huge success like his hero Amaz-O. However every time he does a magic show his little sister Ginny ruins everything.

Tim and Ginny sneak out to see Amaz-O live and Tim is disappointed to find out Amaz-O’s a bit of a jerk. He steals his Magic Kit. While the magic tricks overwhelm him things get particularly bad when Ginny bites into a carrot found in the magic kit and turns into a rabbit.

He returns to Amaz-O’s dressing room in hopes of getting her turned back. Instead he discovered Amaz-O is a giant puppet and the real Amaz-O is a talking rabbit. The rabbit assures Tim that his sister will be returned to normal in less than an hour.

Ginny leaves and Tim stays to talk to Amaz-O. Amaz-O offers him a role in the magic show. In the end we discover that Amaz-O has turned Tim into a Rabbit and returned to his normal body.

THE BAD: I hate Stine’s sibling rivalries in his books. I’ve complained about this before and I’m sure this won’t be the last time I do. They’re beyond reasonable and realistic obnoxious and fall into fist clenching fury levels of annoying. Also, while I like the ending... it doesn’t explain how Amaz-O switched their bodies/got out of his rabbit body/etc.

THE GOOD: I liked the ending (even though the dummy thing feels straight out of my favorite episode of Tales from the Crypt). It wasn’t great, It didn’t make much sense... but it had a demented angle that isn’t in a lot of these stories.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  This was  pretty faithful adaptation. They skipped over elements for time but it was decent. there’s a big of a twist at the end with the Rabbit actually being a rival magician who’s just insane enough to be campy and hilarious. All in all I dug it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 40. Night of the Living Dummy III

Book 40: Night of the Living Dummy Part III

This was probably the best of the Living Dummy series. Which isn’t exactly a rave review as I haven’t exactly been head over heels for the previous installments. My biggest complaint has been that the first 25 chapters revolve around our main character falling for pranks that don’t drive the story as much as they simply eat up pages for Stine.  Does this do the same? Well... 

The story follows Trina and Dan. Their dad is a former Ventriloquist. His attic is filled with various dummies over the years. He finds an old dummy in the trash (you guessed it Old Slappy) and Trina finds a card and reads it aloud. That same day their cousin Zane and his uncle are coming over to stay for a week. Zane is geeky and a bit of a coward. Whenever he visits Trina and Dan tend to scare him to death.

Dummies keep popping up left and right throughout the house. Finally they discover it’s Zane. After the 3 make a truce to no longer scare each other with dummies things continue to happen. Suspecting it’s Zane again Dan and Trina hide in the attic. While there they discover Slappy is alive. The other dummies come to life and beat the evil out of him.

In the end they give him to Zane and he winks as Zane leaves the house.

THE BAD: There is still an overwhelming amount of pranks in the beginning

THE GOOD: In general the story is better paced that Living Dummy stories in the past. The characters were more likable then before and I liked the twist at the end more than the previous installments.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  An Episode was made but not available on Netflix (like Haunted Mask II last week)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 39. How I Got My Shrunken Head

Book 39: How I Got My Shrunken Head

After how disappointing the last few books have been I went into this one expecting a similar let-down. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed this unique little story.

Mark’s favorite aunt Benna lives in the jungle island of Baladora doing work. One day one of her co-workers shows up with a shrunken head for him and a surprise. Benna has requested Mark comes to the jungle to visit her.

He excitedly joins only to find out that Aunt Benna is missing and they want him to find her. They believe he possesses “Jungle Magic” according to his aunt’s diaries. When he reads the diaries he discovers that the people he’s with are evil and runs away.

While in the jungle he discovers how to unlock the jungle magic and finds his aunt but just at that moment her coworkers find them both. Using the jungle magic he shrinks them and returns home.  

THE BAD: There’s a few weird elements reading this at 27 vs. reading it at 10 but in general there’s not much bad in this.

THE GOOD: While the story isn’t particularly scary or anything, it’s unique and fun enough.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  Not really sure why they felt this needed to be a two-part episode but I will say that the kid is a shockingly decent actor (specifically for Goosebumps) I’m not surprised to see he’s gone on to do many other things (including Degrassi and Juno). I loved the addition of Asian Elvis. I also liked the ending a little more.

Monday, October 7, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 38. The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena

Book 38: The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena

If there’s anything Jordan and Nicole can’t stand its never seeing snow. Finally they get their dream when their dad gets hired to travel to Alaska to photograph an abominable snowman.

After their tour guide leaves them to starve Jordan and Nicole find the snowman frozen in ice. He thaws out and chases them but they escape and tell their dad. Their dad goes into the cave and find the snowman frozen in ice again. He plans to take the snowman back to california along with his pictures.

Their friend Lauren comes over and they decide to show her the frozen snowman. While showing her they grab two “secret snowballs” they snuck in and throw them at her. Both snowballs miss and hit a tree and suddenly snow spreads EVERYWHERE.

Nicole gets frozen in ice and Jordan unleashes the snowman. The snowman grabs Nicole, she thaws out, he runs away never to be seen again and the snow melts. When their dad returns he’s upset that the snowman is missing but excited he has pictures... until he checks the photos and they’re all blank

THE BAD: The above 4 paragraphs is the entire plot line. THis is the longest goosebumps book. Yep A WHOLE LOT OF FAKE OUTS. Also all the twists in the last 6 chapters have no explanation. Like yesterday’s books... shit just happens.

THE GOOD: Another one where I don’t have much to say. I did enjoy the asshole tour guide though.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 37. The Headless Ghost

Book 37: The Headless Ghost

Duane and Stephanie love haunting their town. It’s pretty easy for them to do living near  a famous haunted house. They’ve gone on the tour (ran by Otto and Edna) so much they can memorize it. One night Stephanie decides they should try to find a real life ghost. They love the story of the Headless Ghost (named Andrew) and plan to find his head.

On the tour they meet Seth who claims to have sunk in and seen a ghost previously. THey agree to sneak in the following night together. 

Seth then tells them his real name is Andrew and he wants Duanes head. He pulls off his current head and chases them. They accidentally find a secret passage and stumble into a room with Andrew’s head in it. Then Andrew (as a ghost appears) just as Seth enters. Turns out Seth was just joking.

Otto arrives and yells at Seth (revealed to be his Nephew) for scaring Duane and Stephanie.

They stop haunting the town and get involved in school activities. Then they decide to visit Otto. They have a good tour and as they leave a police officer asked them why they’re trespassing as the house has been unvisited for 3 months and Otto/Edna no longer live there.

THE BAD: What the fuckity fuck! Nothing makes sense with this story. How did Seth pull off his head? What does that ending mean? Was Otto killed or was he a ghost all along? If he was a ghost all along HOW?! This is earth-scatteringly sloppy writing!

THE GOOD: I actually liked the characters and setting. I just wish things made SENSE in this book. It’s insanely unclear throughout.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  The Episode follows the book pretty closely until the end. They try to “up the ending” but they go a little too crazy. I don’t really understand/get/like the painting thing at the end. It’s a weird way to avoid trying to kill someone on a kid’s show.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

31 Days of Goosebumps: Book 36. The Haunted Mask II

Book 36: The Haunted Mask II

I loved The Haunted Mask. I really did. I was pretty excited to read the sequel because I’m pretty sure someone told me this was even better. They were wrong.

The Haunted Mask II takes place a year after the first book. Steve Boswell (one of the two kids who tormented Carly Beth in the first book) is the new person captured by the possessed mask. He purchases it to terrify a group of 6 year olds who drive him crazy.

He picks the mask of a creepy old man and the mask gets stuck to him. He spends his halloween old and feeble. The only person who can help him is Carly Beth. They’re unable to remove the mask until they find an old tuxedo to which the mask becomes a part of and runs out the door.

THE BAD: We have a real change of character. The original book we fell in love with Carly Beth. SHe was a good kid who was in a bad situation. She bought the mask to get back at relentless and mean spirited bully. Steve is kind of a Jerk and while the 6 years are cruel at times, they’re still 6 years old.

THE GOOD: I like that they changed the pace a little bit. Instead of it being a repeat of Haunted Mask where Steve is possessed by evil instead he slowly becomes the old man from the mask. That was a cool change up.

THE TV SHOW EPISODE:  Couldn’t find this episode for whatever reason Netflix doesn’t have the Haunted Mask episodes