Sunday, August 04, 2013

Least accurate email yet


Blingee'd to protect the innorrisent

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Goosebumps HorrorLand #01 Revenge of the Living Dummy



So, as you may have heard, there's another Goosebumps series out there. Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in. Haha, just like the Godfather Part III, it's a reference! But we mustn't dwell. No, not today. We can't. Not on Blogger Beware Update Day! All HorrorLand books are bisected, with a main storyline running around ninety pages and a second shorter storyline featuring the same characters in a concurrent and continuing storyline involving the world's least-likely theme park this side of Emily's Reasons Why NotLand, HorrorLand. For someone who tries to forget these books as quickly as possible, often during reading, the idea of having to keep up with continuity is the first scary impulse borne of the series.


REVENGE OF THE LIVING DUMMY

Let's start with the obvious problem: If the female victims of Slappy's tape loop-esque torments change from book to book, who specifically is he getting revenge on?

RL Stine starts things out in medias grave with gal pals Britney and Molly fending off wild raccoons whilst digging up a plot in a cemetery. Oh Stine, you've been away for a decade, but your perceptive insight into the normal activities of preteens has remained intact. After introducing this ringtailed excitement, Britney drops a To Be Coontinued on us and takes the reader back two weeks to explain how the pair ended up in their graveyard predicament. The book then starts proper with the only thing more exciting than swarming raccoons in a graveyard: Anything.

Alleged dramatic conflict occurs with the revelation that Britney's been bumped up to the sewing room in order to make room for her visiting cousin, Ethan. In the process of exaggerating how lame Ethan is, Britney reveals her and Molly's love of lists. RL Stine: Closet Dave Eggers fan? Or, Dave Eggers: Closet RL Stine Fan?


It's clear we're in Next Generation territory when Britney starts talking on her cell phone and doesn't describe it as being a Zack Morris style device the size of a five pound block of cheese. However, what teen uses their phone as a phone? Swing and a miss, Stine. Britney is whining about the Ethanding living situation to Molly and like a good friend she pretends to care. Britney and Molly are totes LYLAS to the point that everyone thinks they're literally S's, so it's a familial duty.

Unfortunately, despite how much family matters, their phone call is cut short by Britney's clumsy mom dropping something in the background and loudly opining, "Did I do that?" Britney tries to help her mom clean up but she just pinches her cheeks and reminders her daughter to be nice to Ethan, since his parents are pretty much abandoning him. Britney's mom is described as wearing "tight designer jeans," which goes a long way towards distancing this from the faux-Kitchen Sink realism direction all the dour bad family details were heading (Molly's parents have split as well). Britney has had too many run-ins with Ethan to be optimistic, especially since the last time he visited he erased her term paper. In Ethan's defense, how could he delete something that's never ever existed (a twelve-year-old's term paper)?

Right on cue, Ethan shows up with everyone's* favorite dummy, Slappy, or as Ethan calls him, Mr. Badboy. Mr. Badboy.

Mr. Badboy.

Ethan tries to get the doll to perform, but all it can utter are guttural grunts, affirmations, and its name followed by the year. J/K, of course Slappy just smacks Britney in the head. Britney tries to escape Ethan's rough grasp of ventriloquy by fleeing to Molly's house, but her Mollytime is popped by her mother's insistence that Ethan come with.

In a rather convenient turn, Molly's dad "Wild Man" Molloy is revealed to be a globetrotting explorer who has a private doll museum in his attic. What, there was no room in his unmarked, windowless van? Wild Man stops Ethan and slowly fondles Slappy under his doll garments while uttering the word "interesting" no less than four times. In a scene right out of the Peter Finch storyline of Sunday Bloody Sunday, Slappy looks all too familiar to Wild Man, who quickly changes the subject and invites all of the kids up to the attic for more highly questionable adult behavior.

Wild Man shows off his assorted weirdities to the kids, strange remnants of cultures long since gone: shrunken heads, animal skulls, XFL pennants, Zumba pants, Dunk-a-roos, &c. The aforementioned shrunken head is attached to a foot-long wooden body and Wild Man introduces the glass-encased doll as "The Mind Stealer," a forbidden object that promises doom to anyone who touches it. Abstinence-only sex ed has finally found its mascot! Britney is terrified of the mind-stealing doll, but Wild Man assures her that it's safe behind "triple-thick glass." Britney then accidentally hits her head on the case, hears a buzzing in her ears and screams out:
"Oh no! My mind!"
But hold the phone Frank Black, you're holding a phone and the buzz is a text message indicator. It's a rare non-sext warning her that dinner will be ready soon. At least, I think that's not sextual...

Back at home, Ethan puts on a "comedy" act involving Mr. Badboy that could very possibly be lifted verbatim from an earlier Slappy incarnation with only a few updated quips like "You don't look like Mischa Barton, you look like Mischa Fartin'," which sadly still proves the act to be a couple years behind the curve.

Britney attempts to finish taking her belongings out of her room but Ethan stops her when she tries to remove the poster for her favorite band, Skullboy. See, Skullboy is Mr. Badboy's favorite band and he'll be upset if it goes. If Britney having the hots for Skullboy member Buzzy doesn't sound like a keen insight into the current preteen mindset, then maybe this revelation of Molly's hobbies will assuage all fears:
She dreams up scenes on imaginary planets and paints them. Then she downloads photos of movie and music stars off the Internet. And she prints them out and adds them to her paintings.
I think Stine has once again mistaken a twelve-year-old girl with Robert Pollard. Add the subsequent revelation that the girls love to post on the online site FacePlace and you've got a book with its finger on the schmulse of youth. To the surprise of no one, Britney's Skullboy poster is subsequently torn up, presumably by Mr. Badboy. Ethan should have named the doll Mr. Manners and it'd have only made sure the poster was hanging level. Britney tries to get her parents to believe that it was the evil doll's doing, but they don't believe her. In a new twist, however, Mr. Badboy pushes Britney down the stairs and tells her, I kid you not,
"Don't ever snitch on me again!"
Great, Stine's overcompensated in the opposite direction and started writing urban fiction. Kinda gives a new dimension to the antagonist being called a dummy, though.

A few days later, Molly calls Britney in the middle of the night and insists that she come over to help her bury the Mind Stealer doll because a strange doll expert phoned her and told her it was unsafe to keep it anywhere but a graveyard. I've missed being able to write sentences like that, I hope you've missed reading them.

The girls successfully bury the doll and face the raccoons and blah blah blah, time passes and Britney gives a painting lesson to a group of shut-ins at an old folks home. They heckle her. It's great. Then Ethan presents his Mr. Badboy show for the elderly and no points awarded for figuring out what happens next: Mr. Badboy tells a series of mean-spirited jokes aimed at upsetting the geriatrics (Sample bit: "Q: What's the biggest difference between Cocoon and Cocoon 2: the Return? A: YOU'RE GOING TO DIE SOON") before the doll starts chucking paint at the hobbled elders. Haha, take that, age!

After the show, Britney calls Molly and begs for her Dad's number, but she's seen Crazy. Stupid. Love. and besides, Wild Man's away on business near Australia. Desperate to have Molly believe her, Britney sneaks over and the two take a look in Wild Man's private ventriloquism files. He has ventriloquy files. Of course he does. Inside the large file is a picture of Slappy, revealing his true name and origins and the six secret words to both wake him up and put him to sleep. Britney corners the inanimate object and says the secret words, only to find a remote controlling Mr. Badboy's speech and movements. Realizing that Ethan was pranking her the whole time, Britney gets furious and promises revenge. But the good news is that her uttering of the secret words did bring Slappy to life, so at least she followed-through on the promise of the premise. Almost a happy ending when you think about it.

Slappy overheard Britney talking about the Mind Stealer doll and decides an object that would vacate the minds of any chosen subject would be ideal in creating better  and more pliant slaves. So, the Slappy series takes one step further into just being misogynist fantasy pornography, neat. When Britney refuses to help, Slappy decides he'll just do it himself and walks to the cemetery. Somehow the dummy knows where to dig-- hey, with dolls I expect ELM not ESP, amirite? And how about long it takes women drivers to get ready in the bathroom, amirite fellas? Just as Slappy's about to uncover the doll from its triple-glassed container, Britney lunges at the dummy and hurls it into the glass case. Slappy breaks through all three layers and knocks noggins with the Mind Stealer doll, which, true to form, steals Slappy's mind. It's a reliable evil object, I'll give it that.

But the Twist Is
Britney hears the buried doll crying out with Slappy's words as she exits the graveyard, the grievous call a little reminder to us all whose sadness wasn't so small.

the Platonic Boy-Girl Relationship
Seems like someone still hasn't learned to just LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE as she is constantly harangued by her cousin Ethan, whose parents disappear halfway through the book's set-up.

Questionable Parenting
Molly's full name is Molly Molloy-- no wonder her parents got divorced, at least one of them was responsible for that decision.

RL Stine Shows He Is Down With the Kids
Ethan tops-off a brill bit of ventriloquy by aggressively tap dancing at Britney in a moment of realism that makes West Side Story look like the Wire.

Memorable Cliffhanger Chapter Ending
Ch. 2 / 3:
What is that horrifying sound!? It's… a plate.

Blogger Beware Alert
Mrs. Berman glared at him. "Your jokes are not acceptable!"

Don Martin Alert
The dummy's wooden hand swung up fast-- then came down hard. And-- CLONNNNK-- slammed me in the forehead.

Great Prose Alert
I pressed my hands against my throbbing temples, trying to push the pain away.

Conclusions
Why.


ENTER HORRORLAND

This section is prefaced by a "typed" invitation to HorrorLand, and no expense was incurred to recreate the experience for the reader, as the invite is laid out in one of those free "Lyke Totally Old Typewriter" fonts that comes preloaded to every word processor. The "Guest Relations" worker who sent the invite to Britney and Molly is named "Di Kwickley." It's pretty subtle, but if you say the name out loud it sounds like "My Dixie Wrecked."

Britney and Molly are excited about going to visit HorrorLand: Wait, who are Britney and Molly again? Dammit, I knew having to keep track of all this continuity would be difficult. They should take a page from Fringe and just have the same actors playing different characters every week with absolutely no continuous storyline. To be fair, Molly does briefly question how HorrorLand knew to invite her along with Britney's family, but Britney's dad insists it's normal for theme parks to know a lot about people. And he's right, of course. Like that time Epcot sent me flowers after my root canal, or when Busch Gardens called to wish me a happy half-birthday, or how Five Flags changed their name after consulting my favorite numbers. Dad also praises the buzzards flying over the packed parking lot:
Dad laughed. "They're probably animated robots or something. Very clever."
Well, comparatively. Upon entering the park, the Horror working the ticket booth pretends to eat the girls' invitation. See? The Horror can't admit the family until he makes every member scream so they can log it for identification purposes, which he achieves by burning their luggage with a flamethrower. Still less invasive than any TSA policy. Another Horror pulls up in themed cab and drives the family at quick speed through HorrorLand. They pass many, many badly punned attractions (Vampire State Building, Dancing With the Squids, Gossip Ghoul, &c). The hack mows through a group of Boy Scouts, once more revealing Stine's deep-set social liberalism. The cab driver crashes the taxi and everyone gets out to wander the grounds while looking for their on-site hotel. Britney and Molly check out a mask shop that ominously features masks of their faces! Although creepy, I think the bigger shock for the girls is the realization that so much expense went into producing masks with so little potential for mass popularity. The girls have some graphs and charts representing their mask marketplace studies to present to the Horrors, but to their terror there's no spooky-themed board room.

The family eventually finds the hotel, which of course is called the Stagger Inn. Oh my sides ache! From resting the book on my hips and punching it repeatedly. While waiting for their rooms, a renegade Horror whispers to the family, "Molly Britney Dad Mom, you in danger girl girl boy girl." The helpful Horror begs them to escape while they still can and find the "other park." Ominous Foreshadowing Alert!

The hotel's guide (Even in the current economy there is apparently no shortage of jobs available for hideous monsters), Druella, is dressed like an emaciated waif with 5000+ Tumblr notes, her purple tights and a green skirt complementing her long blonde hair. And horns. She leads Britney's parents to their room on the second floor, then takes the girls up to their private suite on the thirteenth floor, which, in keeping with the spooky titles for everything at the park, has been renamed the 666th Floor. The girls are delighted to see a pretty normal and decked-out room, with a flat-screen TV, plenty of clothes in their size, and, in one of the book's rare puns, free "shock-a-lot bars." The girls are so excited to tell Britney's parents about their swag that it's a drag when the Horror working the counter informs the pair that the 'rents checked out. All that's left in Britney's parents' room is a digital camera with a picture of Slappy on it. At least, let's hope that's what that is.

Oh yeah, good work book, I definitely care enough about that thing that just happened to read more things like it.

The book closes with a "Fear File," a dopey collection of still more puns, this time in the guise of actual items like menus from HorrorLand cafes (which serve "Mice Crispies" and "Yucky Charms"-- is the fearsome part someone ordering cereal at a restaurant?) and a hand-drawn map of the Stagger Inn that looks like rejected Eric Chase Anderson art. These pages feature pictures of paper clips in the corner so you know they're like totally life-like. The book concludes with an invitation to spend time at EnterHorrorLand.com. I don't know, an online site devoted to Goosebumps-- how popular could that be?


*For the purposes of this entry, "Everyone" is played by the Scholastic Publishing Marketing Department

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Everyone knows MIA sucks

It's come to my attention that some of the recaps have missing or dead picture files and all I don't want to do is click click click on every entry. Every title should have a picture of the book and sometimes additional pix throughout the entry. If you spy an entry missing this junk, leave a comment below or email me so I can fix everything. And by fix everything, I mean of course that I will solve to the best of my abilities any additional personal problems or crises you may be experiencing

Sunday, November 13, 2011

While Blogger Beware is on hiatus, have you considered exploring Shuelogy?

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Grim Prophecies of RL Stine Are Coming True



(Courtesy of Blogger Beware reader Jane)

Monday, May 09, 2011

More Tales to Give You Goosebumps



More Tales to Give You Goosebumps: Goosebumps Special Edition #2

Back Tagline: Reader Beware-- You're In For Ten Summertime Scares!

Official Summary: Is Matt's summer camp being taken over by an evil patch of poison ivy? Will Eric escape from his tank, now that he's been turned into a fish? Can Tara help the terrified voice she hears inside a beautiful seashell?
Find out in these ten creepy Goosebumps short stories perfect for reading around the campfire or under the covers!


As I'm sure you all remember from the last time I talked about these books some thirteen years ago, the first Special Edition Goosebumps gift set came exclusively packed with a logo-branded Itty Bitty Book Light. I had assumed that the exorbitant price of the hastily-compiled short story collection did little to help coat the pill of one of the earliest (and nowhere near last) cash-grabs in the history of the series. So even in retrospect it's somewhat surprising that the set sold well enough to warrant a second entry. Following in the true Goosebumps-fashion of when in doubt, recreate an existing product, this set's special feature is unbelievably another Itty Bitty Book Light. Surely kids aren't that dumb, right? Well, they made four more gift sets after this one, so add that to your Gen Y denunciations, American Media.


the Werewolf's First Night

How to write your very own Goosebumps short story:

Step 01
Name your main character (Sex unimportant, must be twelve years old)


Brian is twelve years old.

Step 02
Quickly introduce, then separate the parents from the protagonist


Brian's parents have signed him up for a day camp that appears to employ no counselors and only a handful of other kids enrolled. So basically they've signed him up to join a gang.

Step 03
Have protagonist jump to conclusions that eventually turn out to be false


Everyone at this camp is a werewolf.

Step 04
In stunning twist, have false conclusion bring about the actual conclusion, which must either be as or less credible than the perceived conclusion


No one at this camp is a werewolf. Except for Brian, who is a werewolf.


P.S. Don't Write Back
David Stevenson is having a great time at Camp Timber Lake Hills. He's keen on his bunkmates but not so keen on their grumpy camp counselor, Sam. Sam likes to tease David about how few letters he receives. And by few, I mean zero. And by tease, I mean mock. And by David, I mean David. Finally though, one day David has reason to wag his tail and wail when Sam announces that the camp's secretary found a letter addressed to him at the bottom of a drawer. But the letter's contents put a damper in this camper, as his mom has only written to tell him that they won't be visiting him on Visiting Day. Uh, is it even legal for them to refer to it as that, then? The note ends with the titular postscript:
Love,
Mom and Dad
PS: More Tales To Give You Goosebumps
This news bothers David, as he's a kid and the world revolves around him. Take comfort in knowing that at least this story revolves around you, David. David gets another letter the next day announcing that after camp ends, he is going to be sent to live with his Great-Uncle John. David's now very confused, as his life is starting to resemble a terrible Hallmark special: Great-Uncle John is 87 years old and probably not the best guardian for a child. Or is he? Watch Welcome to Gramp's Nightmare next Sunday at 8/7c, only on ION.

David sneaks into the offices to phone his mother (remember, this is a Goosebumps camp story, so the phones are OFF LIMITS) but is interrupted by Sam. On his way out, David notices a mistake in the letter addressed to him: It's for David Stevenson from Camp Timber Lane Hills. He's at Camp Timber Lake Hills, Camp Timber Lane Hills is across the lake. So the Lake is across the lake from the Lane in the hills, which sounds like the start of a Danny Kaye routine.

David comes up with a brilliant plan: Since the letters were obviously meant for a camper with his same name and family across the lake, he'll sneak over in a rowboat and deliver them. But the flaw in his reasoning is made clear when he encounters the other camp's David Stevenson and discovers he's some dead kid or something. David Alive shows the zombies some what for before quickly retreating back to his camp.

Upon arriving back, he makes the terrifying discovery that the camp across the lake burned down thirty years ago. He then checks the postmark on his letter and notices it's from 1964. Okay, so I get the first letter being stuck in a drawer, but where did that second letter come from? USPS is inefficient, sure, but not to the extent that they go so far bad that they circle back and inadvertently become efficient from a plot perspective. So, what I'm saying is, enjoy getting dumped at your uncle's, dude.


Something Fishy



In case you're convinced this one deserves more than my glib YouTube response, feast on this:

"Please don't flush me! Please don't flush your only son, Mom!"


You Gotta Believe Me!
A parable of class consciousness, Red Labor Stine has finally produced a work fit for the fit to work. A young child, free of technological ties to mass media, uses his spare time to survey the night sky for potential threats to the homeland. One night, the intrepid child spies colored lights in the sky. Upon investigating crop-circles at a for-profit farm, the boy is met with disgust from the bourgeois landowner and instructed to leave "his" land. The boy tries to tell his parents of his experience over breakfast the next morning, but his father, distraught from the news of local plant shutting its doors on the unionized workers, speaks only to his son of "Another defeat for the workers." The child respects his father's compassion for his brothers, but presses the importance of the alien threat.

That night, in the spirit of communal ownership, the boy "borrows" his father's camera in order to snap photographic surveillance of the aerial invaders. The child snakes back to the farm and witnesses the alien crafts land in the fields of the bougie baddie, who luckily is spotted from his living room window, enraptured by the false comforts of television. The boy overhears the plans of the alien race to enslave the common man via mass televised signal the following night. The boy is caught by the creatures and feigns hypnosis to buy his freedom. After the aliens release him, he takes $140 worth of aluminum foil on credit from the local capitalist merchant and creates a giant foil screen to scramble the signal and foul the aliens' plot. His plan is successful, proving that there ain't no party like the communist party cuz the communist party stops aliens.


Suckers!
The only thing worth mentioning about story, other than it being one big "Oh cool, I've seen the Blob and Creepshow 2," is that it takes place on "Black Island."


Dr. Horror's House of Video
Ben Adams is a huge horror fan, so he's spent his entire summer vacation indoors watching scary movies. As the story opens, he's watching a flick about a plant that lifts its victims "Up Up Up". I dunno, a plant that gets people high... who'd ever believe that?

But all bud things must come to a spent and his mom eventually boots Ben out of the house. Like many have done in his situation before him, Ben goes to the video store. Only this is no ordinary video store... it's Dr. Horror's House of Video? It's no surprise that the owner is stuck running a video store, as I could have told him that a doctorate in horror has about as much real job market value as an undergraduate degree in broadcasting.

Things go from sad to sadder when it is revealed that Dr. Horror is an amateur low budget horror filmmaker. Dr. Horror shows him a scene from his latest opus, Lizardman, but Ben gets dragged off before he can finish watching. But one cannot watch only part of a part-lizard, part-man movie, so Ben races back the following day to finish viewing the film. The store is closed but Ben goes in anyways, since breaking and entering in the Goosebumps world is about as frowned upon as MDMA use in Skins. Ben finishes the film but now finds the front door locked. Luckily there's a back door... leading right to Dr. Horror's makeshift garage studio. Rather than being upset that Ben's broken into his closed business, Dr. Horror Swanbergs him into starring in the new Lizardman sequel. But first he must call his parents to get permission for a strange doctor to tape him doing various acts in his garage.

Unfortunately, before Ben can Gerwig out for Dr. Horror, the entire cast of the General Mills Breakfast Brigade descends on the boy and is suddenly dawns on him that hey, wait a minute, slasher-style horror movies only serve to fuel misanthropic misogynistic angst on the part of the viewer by feeding into their basest fantasies borne out of social rejection.


the Cat's Tale
Marla is upset that her family packed up and moved from NYC to River Falls. She misses taxis. She misses her friends. She misses Friends. She misses the total lack of anything resembling legroom at the Film Forum. But at least River Falls has thunderstorms! Apparently it never rains in NYC, which will be news to NYC.

Marla's family takes advantage of the storm to start exchanging spooky tales, but like RL Stine, Marla has no interest in telling scary stories. She'd much rather prefer for a large black cat to jump through the open window and attack her. She's in luck! Marla begs her parents to let her keep the cat and they relent. Marla jumps at the opportunity to shower her new pet with attention but her attention is diverted when her new pet jumps into the shower with her. No, I'm not going to make that joke. Stop looking for it.

Turns out the cat is trying to steal Marla's life before it runs out of its nine lives or something. And there's cat whispering.


Shell Shocker
Tara and Tommy are arguing about who has rightful claim to a beautiful seashell found washed ashore at the beach. Tommy only wants it to listen to the ocean, even though Tara knows you can't really hear the ocean inside a shell. Tara desperately wants the shell as her own and envisions an elaborate reception awaits her subsequent arrival at school with the shell in tow. And yet somehow she finds time to make fun of her brother for being stupid?

Tara wins and when she humors her brother, she hears a dim voice from within the shell crying out to be saved. Tara believes the voice and follows its directions towards an out of the way cave where she is promised the biggest seashell in the world if she helps the being trapped in the smaller shell. And so it goes, as Tara is tricked into traveling deep within the cave and is greeted with her prize: the giant shell. And inside, of course, is the giant hermit crab, who snatches her in its claws as the little voice from within the smaller shell cries out to his mother that he's tricked yet another victim. So, okay, this one was actually pretty good.


Poison Ivy
Leave it be.


the Spirit of the Harvest Moon
Jenny and her family camp out at a friendly nearly-abandoned lodge deep in the woods. Their first night in the cabins, Jenny hears a ghostly voice call out her name. The next day she is warned that the lodge is haunted and should the ghost catch her on the night of the harvest moon, she will be forced to live a year as mist. This is some threat, because I didn't want to see the Mist for two hours, so I certainly wouldn't want to be it for a year. She tries to laugh off the warning, but the friendly cabin hand tells her if she thinks she can escape the wrath of the spiritual delinquents, she's got another thing comin'!

Harvest moon night arrives and Jenny becomes convinced that Tyler, the twelve year old son of the cabin owners, is actually the spirit he warned against. Her suspicions seemingly prove accurate when Tyler starts banging on her door, demanding she come a little bit closer and hear what he has to say. Luckily, her dog, Bravo, chases after the boy and scares away the spirit for good. Only, turns out he wasn't the spirit at all, as the dog then turns to Jenny and spookily intones, "Roll that ethereal being footage." I guess his bark was worse than his sprite?


Here's to a Blogger Beware season that's all summer, no bummer!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Look Back in Languor

So, everyone wants a retrospective on the Series 2000 books. It's probably my fault, as I'm sure I at some point promised such a thing to be forthcoming. But I meant that in the same way I say, "We should really hang out some time, and not in that way people say 'Let's hang out,' but really hang out" and then we don't ever hang out. So we should retrospective, right? Well, here's the rub: I can't remember, like, all of these books. Either I read them again, which is never going to happen ever in a million evers, or I do this: Write down everything I can remember about each book, from memory, without checking. Results may vary.

01 Cry of the Cat
Okay, I remember a couple things from this book. One, a cat gets decapitated with a bike. Two, there's a cat tornado made of cats. When those are your one and two, who needs a three?

02 Bride of the Living Dummy
I recall Slappy giving some girl a "love tap." I also recall that because Blogger sux, I can't edit that entry without messing up the "FUCK THIS BOOK" text rainbow.

03 Creature Teacher
Um, there's a teacher who's also a monster that eats children if they don't perform well at a talent show. Very realistic commentary on something. Certainly not education. Almost surely not talent shows or monsters or eating, either.

04 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Pt 1
I think this is the one about hugging.

05 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Pt 2
Or is it this one?

06 I Am Your Evil Twin
Probably not this one. I do vaguely recall there being a truck with a scientist in this one, though. This seemed like a much funnier idea when I thought I'd remember anything at all about these books.

07 Revenge R Us
Lite R ally R emember nothing about this one.

08 Fright Camp
Okay, this is the one where the kids go to a camp that's run by a Wes Craven-type character. And there's a raccoon-type animal on the cover. It's probably a raccoon.

09 Are You Terrified Yet?
No idea what this is. So, no.

10 Headless Halloween
I don't remember a single thing about this one, either. Like, I can't even picture the cover right now. Possibly this book doesn't exist. Get Trump on the horn.

11 Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls
This is the one where the kid gets tricked into switching bodies with a dead person in the graveyard and then the zombies run around in the streets with axes, chopping up car windows and setting fires. This one, oddly enough, was a relevant commentary on education, talent shows, monsters, and eating.

12 Brain Juice
Finally, one I actually remember. Some kids run afoul of aliens who want to make everyone dumb or smart or something. Okay, so "remember" is relative. I at least can recall the existence of this book.

13 Return to Horrorland
There's a news crew that wants the kids from the original to go undercover at the park, but then it turns out the crew is actually in cahoots with the park or the government or something. Let's build an entire series around that

14 Jekyll and Heidi
I think remembering this one is cheating since surely it's a Jekyll and Hyde story?

15 Scream School
Kid who pranks another kid is a dead kid. Book sets up unlikely hoax involving a movie set or something. Drop Dead Fred was on the cover. Next.

16 the Mummy Walks
How is it that I can recall the Celery Stalks at Midnight, which I haven't read in twenty-two years, but I can't remember anything about this book I read a couple years ago?

17 the Werewolf in the Living Room
Awful werewolf story, even by Stine's standards, that takes a weird turn two-thirds through with the main character being kidnapped by some sort of carny.

18 Horrors of the Black Ring
I remember this entry being really funny. Is that narcissistic of me? To be fair, I can't even remember what I wrote for most of these, much less what the source material was.

19 Return to Ghost Camp
Gay camp story, and no, that's not redundant.

20 Be Afraid-- Be Very Afraid!
Oh man, this is the most ridiculous Goosebumps book ever. So much so that I actually remember parts of it, with its time travel and card playing and Jumanjing. Glad I wisely resisted a My Sister Sam joke in this entry, that's what I recall most fondly.

21 the Haunted Car
Kid loves cars we've heard of slightly less than a car no one's ever heard of.

22 Full Moon Fever
Awful werewolf story, even by Stine's standards, that takes a weird turn two-thirds through with the main character being greeted by a werewolf in the living room.

23 Slappy's Nightmare
Slappy must do good deeds for some reason. Turns out another dummy is counteracting his good deeds with bad ones. Stretches believability with premise that more than one sentient doll could be gallivanting around someone's house without anyone noticing.

24 Earth Geeks Must Go!
Earth geeks went.

25 Ghost in the Mirror
Let's Get Indefensible!


Well, there's only one way left to salvage this retrospective: