Friday, July 24, 2009

Goosebumps: One Day at Horrorland Part 2

When we left off, the monsters were preventing the Morris family from leaving the park. They monsters surround the family. Papa Morris reaches out and tries to rip a Horror's face off, but gets nothing. Oh no, they really are monsters (anyone surprised? anyone? kids in the back?). The Morrises flee into a building where they find a large studio audience full of Horrors.

A TV host Horror welcomes them onto the set and explains everything. It's a reality TV show where clips of the Morris family running in fear from Horrors or freaking out at the insane rides. Essentially, it's like a monster version of Punk'D but the host is cuter than Ashton and less irritating than Borat. Can we call it Candid Gamera?

The TV screen shows all the filmed moments where the family ran around in terror as the audience laughs.

As the show ends, the family asks to leave. The host begs them to stay for the next show, a game show. He tells them the prize is a brand new sports utility vehicle. Clearly, this Horror read the Stuff White People Like site. They agree, so it's off to hair and make up, where R.L. Stine broke barriers by including the first homosexual monster character on children's television. "Oh, my heavens," simpers the hair and make up monster.

He offers them some disgusting snacks, delicately presses a gigantic pink poof ball to each human's face, and when Mrs. Morris asks, "You're not going to hurt us...are you?" responds, "Darling, we're monsters but we're not MONSTERS." Can we replace the Culture Maven from Queer Eye with this monster?

The Morrises are ushered onstage as the game show starts. It's called "Raw Deal." I guess that's...kind of a pun. (Who wants to take the bet that the answer to the first question is "Horrorland"? Anyone?) The host introduces the sexy assistant, Holly Tosis, the Vanna White of the Horror World.

Tonight it's the Morrises vs. the Morrises. (Starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep.) Actually, it's the kids versus the adults. The kids look nervous at the prospect of playing on a monster game show, but Dad is the Richard Hatch of monster reality shows and mom is the Omarosa, who want fame and SUVs at any price, and they both point out that they'll pretty much win the SUV since they're playing each other. The game is basically Wheel of Fortune without the wheel.

The Morris parents pick a card that either has money or something creepy written on it. If they guess right, they get the money. If they guess wrong, they lose a turn. I don't know what happens if they pull "lose a limb" or "go eat worms" because it never happens.

(Seriously, R.L., did Merv threaten to sue you if you used a wheel?) So the parents pick a few letters. They guess wrong and lose their turn. Then we hear a few words from our sponsors. It's Monster Love Songs.

Little known piece of trivia. That's the name of the poem that a sweaty R.L. penned to his first love -- a corpse he encountered at his college job at the morgue.

When we come back, the kids have almost solved the puzzle. It's the MORRIS FAMILY IS LU_ _ _. The kids guess Lucky, but they're wrong. They do get a prize--a bucket of worms is hurled at them. The Morris parents get another turn. Mama Morris solves it. Lunch! THE MORRIS FAMILY IS LUNCH! They're right, but they realize this is a creepy message and are worried. Game show host gives them a second chance to win the SUV (which they keep calling a Sports Utility Vehicle), after another word from their sponsors--human action figures (just don't call them dolls).

This makes me nostalgic for my own dumpy, plastic human action figures from Fisher Price who were responsible for letting my imagination expand and grow. And for my blonde haired, pneumatic human action figures from Mattell who were responsible for my food issues and body dysmorphic disorder. Also, for the Creepy Crawlers oven where most of said action figures met a grisly end.

The card says that they win the vehicle of their dreams. "Well, not quite yet. You won a chance to win a new car. But not before you take the Horrorland Challenge." Ugh. This game show is like watching someone sit through a Time Share meeting. They get a choice of opening two doors. Behind one door, a brand new SUV.

Behind another, Ripper, the love child of Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne. Played by the same beast who was Sabre in Camp Nightmare.

And behind a third--goats! A tasty consolation prize.

The family chooses door number one. The lady or the tiger? They go inside and of course, it's Ripper. The Horrors watch on-screen, waiting for the family of humans to get ripped to bits. Wow, Stine, quite a prescient send-up of the reality show genre. Except Stephen King already did it in The Running Man so no.

Ripper starts growling. "He's getting ready to pounce!" screams Lizzy. No, Lizzy, he's on his last legs, he's barely able to move, and the director is praying the batteries won't die before they have to stop shooting for the day because the prop boy didn't come back from his last trip to Duane Reade. Suddenly, Deus Ex Machina arrives in the form of that Horror who warned them off earlier in Part 1. He ushers them out of the building back into the woods, telling them he wants to help because he's pissed about losing the job of host of Raw Deal. (He's not the producer's brother-in-law. God, it's all politics, isn't it?)

But then Horrors appear. They chase the family off as they shriek. (And it's the same damned little girl shriek looped over and over. Is this a Wilhelmina scream?)

The Horrors chase them and they hide in the woods. They come across the remains of some other humans (baby stroller knocked over) and conclude they aren't the first family to appear on this show. The Horrors find them again and they run, this time escaping under a fence to the parking lot. More Wilhelmina screaming, and then the family gets into the car, driving off. But since the Horrors put a device on the car, all is not over.

Mr. Morris can't operate the car and we cut back to the game show host telling us that he's steering it. The Morris family is balancing on the edge of a cliff with the game show host laughing it up (what--does he host EVERY show on this channel? He's like the Rowan Atkinson of the Monster Channel).

We cut to a pair of Monsters watching the show. One of them says that they should stop watching scary human shows and switches off the TV. The wife says they should just talk, and he rolls his eyes and she says, "It is true what they say. Men are from Omicron Persei 7, women are from Omicron Persei 9." Er, I mean, he says that's a good idea and offers her a cockroach. Mmm. Gross out humor. Never fails.