Wednesday, February 15, 2006

#35 A Shocker on Shock Street

#35 A Shocker on Shock Street

Front Tagline: It's a real dead end.
Back Tagline: Talk About Shock Treatment!

Official Book Description:
Erin Wright and her best friend, Marty, love horror movies. Especially Shocker on Shock Street Movies. All kinds of scary creatures live on Shock Street. The Toadinator. Ape Face. The Mad Mangler.
But when Erin and Marty visit the new Shocker Studio Theme Park, they get the scare of their lives.
First their tram gets stuck in The Cave of the Living Creeps. Then they're attacked by a group of enormous praying mantises!
Real life is a whole lot scarier than the movies. But Shock Street isn't really real. Is it?

Brief Synopsis:
Erin Wright and her best friend Marty are big fans of a series of horror movies made under the Shock Street banner. Luckily for Erin, her father happens to be the designer of the new studio theme park for Shock Street! Erin's father has designed an intricate system of robotics for the new theme park attraction and he wants Erin and Marty to be the first kids ever to tour the park! And if I told you that Erin and her best friend Marty look like twins even though they're not related, can you too figure out the ending of the book before it even begins?

Erin and Marty are dropped off at the theme park and are introduced to their tour guide Linda, who isn't much of a tour guide as this is the first and last time in the whole novel that she makes an appearance. She hands the kids red toy guns and informs them that they are special monster-freezing guns. She then drops one of the guns and it fires off on her and she pretends to be frozen, but a ha she was just kidding... well, maybe it's okay that she doesn't show up again in the novel.

Erin and Marty are told that they will be the only ones on the tour, which like in Jurassic Park is led thru the entire park on a tracked tram. The tram first leads the kids through a haunted house, which then turns into an indoor roller coaster. Luckily the trams are not fitted with safety belts and the two kids almost fall out of the carts to their deaths, which makes the ride still comparatively safer than riding the log flume at Magic Mountain.

After the kids exit the haunted house, their tram is approached by various "stars" of the Shock Street movies, including ApeFace and a man who looks like a toad. In the single scariest moment of the book, the stars sign autographs for the kids.

Next up the tram enters "the Cave of the Living Creeps!" Apparently the Shock Street Theme Park is looking to be both cost-inefficient and criminally negligent, as upon entering the cave, large snake-sized white worms drop on the kids, followed by a trip through a giant spider web filled with hundreds of crawling, real spiders. When the tram stalls in the middle of the cave, the two kids get out and decide to walk to find an exit, only to find themselves surrounded by a half-dozen giant praying mantises. What.

In another rip-off homage to Jurassic Park, the praying mantises spit hot sticky tar at the kids, until Erin has the brilliant idea that to stop the mantises, they need to step on them, like with real insects. What.

After kicking away what proves to be the pussiest group of giant mantises ever, the kids finally exit the cave and find themselves on a to-scale representation of the Shock Street, which is a locale featured repeatedly in the series of films these two enjoy. Marty, in accordance with the plot's requirement that he make the worst decisions possible, decides to visit the graveyard. Marty falls in an open grave and as Erin attempts to fish him out, hundreds of green hands thrust out of the ground in all directions. The hands pin Marty to the ground and Erin kicks away at them, with the two kids both losing their shoes and socks in the process of freeing Marty. As they run to escape the cemetery, they decide that they need to find the main service road so they can find their way back to the main studio building. Erin spots an elevated stone wall to assist in being able to spot the road from a higher vantage point. As the kids hop barefoot towards the wall, they get trapped in quicksand. What.

The two kids sink down to their noses and death is certain until they are rescued by two werewolves, who pull them out of the mud. What.

The two werewolves are Wolf Girl and Wolf Boy, two more stars of the Shock Street series. The kids try to reason with the stars of the attraction, but after the wolves try to eat the kids, they realize that they're not actors or robots at all, but actual monsters. Erin and Marty make it to the top of the wall and the wolves try jumping up to snatch the kids repeatedly. Erin finds one of the red toy guns they were given and aims it at the monsters, yet just like any souvenir you get at a theme park, it turns out to be useless junk. The two kids fall backwards on the other side of the wall at the same convenient time that the wolves make their way to the top of the wall. The two kids spot their tram moving quickly in the distance and they try to run to catch it. As Erin and Marty are running towards the tram, the wolves are in hot, yet apparently lackadaisical pursuit of the kids. The two manage to jump into the last seatcar of the tram and they speed away past the wolves in triumph.

But the tram is full of skeletons. What.

Then the tram of skeletons heads right towards a giant stone castle! The two kids jump out just in time as the tram crashes through the stone castle! Wow, I don't care!

The two kids run around a little while until they find themselves back on the street they call Shock, cursing themselves because they got there too late. "Cut!" Yells the director, who then walks over to the two kids and tells them how successful filming has gone. Erin is confused, which is understandable because nothing that happens in this book seems to have any relation to the events that preceded it, and she wants to see her dad. The director tells the kids that all they have to do is run through "Shockro's House of Shocks" and take a left and they'll find Erin's dad. Erin knows from watching the movies that the entryway to Shockro's House of Shocks would normally cause anyone entering to be killed instantly by thousands of volts of powerful electricity. The director explains that the kids have nothing to fear because this is a movie set after all.

Marty runs towards the house with Erin right behind him. Erin looks behind her and sees that the director has a giant plug running through his back-- HE'S A ROBOT! She screams to stop Marty but she's too late and he enters the house and is hit with a powerful shock that drops him to the ground. Erin runs after him to save him. As she runs over to the body, she sees her dad inside the building. But then she realizes it's not really her dad at all. And that's when...

But the Twist is:
...her speech slurs and grounds to a halt. Both the Marty and Erin robots have stopped working correctly. Erin's "Dad," the robotics expert, tells his co-workers that they just need some new chips and then the robotic kids'll be fine to finish testing out the theme park.

the Platonic Boy-Girl Relationship:
Erin Wright and her identical friend Marty, whose socks and shoes disappear halfway through the novel.

Questionable Parenting:
Erin's dad programs his robot daughter to not recognize a mother. Focus on the Family stresses that the only successful parental relationships a child can forge are with both a mother and a father. There aren't like special rules for robots, you prick.

Foreshadowing Alert:
Erin's dad tells Marty not to "blow a fuse" by getting too excited about the theme park. He then facetiously suggests keeping Marty on a leash, to which Marty responds by acting like a dog. What.

Memorable Cliffhanger Chapter Ending:
Hall of Fame Cliffhanger! Ch 3/4:
Erin's dad has some bad news for Erin, some very bad news... Except not really, he was only joking!

Great Prose Alert:
"It was darker than the darkest night."

More like A Shocker on Shit Street.


Anonymous said...

Nothing is scarier than Evangelist bugs, like praying mantises. Shudder.

Anonymous said...

this was fucking awesome

Tom Foss said...

How you managed to get through that whole thing without making a "shocker" joke is beyond me. Fantastic stuff.

troy steele said...

More like "Schlock Street," amirite

Anonymous said...

If I remember, the TV episode of this was better than the book. The robots get their revenge at the end of that one.

Anonymous said...

You ruined the ending for me at the beginning of the synopsis... thanks a lot. Actually I'm kind of surprised I caught on to what you were trying to say.

Anyway these are some of funniest articles (if i can call them that) I have ever read.

Anonymous said...

number of what's: 6

that's gotta be a record so far.

i'm glad i only read 3 or 4 of these books when i was a kid.

Anonymous said...

Years later David Lynch wrote and directed a film adaption of the book, called Inland Empire

purplemoo said...

This was the last Goosebumps book on tape that I ever came across. I think Stein confuses "being scary" with "being shocking" it's like he wrote down any random thing that came into his head and made the leads affirm it, kind of like look it's Apeman! Oh yeah, from the Movies, I remember apeman!
I was surprised you didn't make reference to the HILARIOUS tombstone titles. "Jim Socks!"
As a child this story left me cold.

Anonymous said...

Troy, you said it best. This whole book could be summed up as:


Anonymous said...

This is the last Goosebumps book I ever read. It was just impossible to follow. So I don't know if reading the writeups after this will be more rewarding for me (New! Exciting!) or less rewarding (no nostalgia D=)

Gkay said...

Erin's dad programs his robot daughter to not recognize a mother. Focus on the Family stresses that the only successful parental relationships a child can forge are with both a mother and a father. There aren't like special rules for robots, you prick.

loled for days :)

Anonymous said...

The twist ending of the book was that Erin and Marty were not only robots, but robots who were malfunctioning more and more as the novel progressed, one of which happened to be the narrator.

As the book progressed, the events which occured on the tour were more and more surreal in corrolation with the fact that the rapidly deteriorating robot narrator's perception was becoming more and more distant from reality.

I think the point of the book was that Erin and Marty were increasingly unable to perceive the world accurately and replaced it with scenes from the many Shock Street movies they were familiar with, like the corpses in the cemetery who grabbed their shoes. This is why nothing that happened in the second half of the book had any bearing on what occured immediately beforehand.

Anonymous said...

benny here. this one was just whoaa! crazy 5/10 okay.

Mr T said...

I gave up trying to read this after 2 chapters of Marty having an orgasm("Yes!Yes!Yes!")

Anonymous said...

What the hell i just read?????? Really a dumb story!!!! Stien's getting old in this one i persume!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I love this book!

Jack S said...

I think it's a little ambitious for Stine to try and pull off an unreliable narrator gambit.