Thursday, December 3, 2009

Goosebumps: Vampire Breath

Cara and Freddy are twins who are about to turn thirteen tomorrow. Their parents leave them home while warning them not to look for their presents. As soon as they're gone of course...present time!

Cara and her twin search the basement for gifts. (No, check the way, way back of the coat closet near the front door!) I wonder what present they'd really like this year. The knowledge that Mommy won't verbally berate Daddy on screen anymore, and that Daddy will stop hooking up with Hailey Glassman? Oops, I'm thinking of Cara and Maddy, not Cara and Freddy.

The basement turns out to have a secret passageway that they head down. (Maybe I've been watching too much House Hunters, but this just sky rocketed the value of your house and more than makes up for the matching kitten tiles and wallpaper.)

And there's a coffin on the other side of this hidden room. The kids find a tiny bottle of something called Vampire Breath and open it.

I tried finding out if Vampire Breath really exists and if I could buy it for the good of the blog. So I headed down to my local vampire coven (i.e., a Hot Topic at a mall in Jersey when I was there visiting friends), and asked. The girl in the New Moon hoodie wrinkled her cute beglittered little nose and said that Vampire Breath sounded icky but offered me a tube of DuWop Lip Venom V at half price.

Sadako will stop (briefly) hating on current-pires. Back to the episode. The coffin opens...with a vampire in it.

He moans about he's been sleeping for so long and how thirsty he is. Fatigue? Thirst? All those years of reading Babysitters Club books were not in vain. Stacey McGill has made me into an expert--dude, you have the diabetis.

The vampire speaks. "I'm Count Nightwing. What are your names, children?"

Cara and Freddy introduce themselves and he moans, "So young, so freeeeesh." I'm having flashbacks to the time I took the overweight flabby D&D leader tutoring me in physics to a freshman mixer my first year of university.

The children inquire as to whether he's a vampire. "A vampire? You make me sound like a common creature of the night. I am lord of the undead." But what you're leaving out is that one, you're only a count, and two, you didn't inherit your title--you purchased it. You get outranked by earls, dukes, and other counts. At the yearly Vampire Consortium, you're seated at a lowlier station than Bunnicula, Mrs. Jeepers, and Sesame Street's the Count.

Count Nightwing's hungry! But whom to eat first? (In the words of the late great Towelie, booooth!) "Boys have such a hearty robust flavor. Rich and satisfying." Just then, Count Nightwing pauses to remind himself to jot that down for his yearly NAMBLA keynote speech.

"On the other hand, girls offer such a sweet, delicate bouquet. So refreshing." R.L., please tell me you didn't go there.

He opens his mouth and the kids make fun of him for not having any teeth. "How dare you mock me? I must have taken them out before I went to sleep." He decides he needs the bottle of vampire breath.

The children offer to help him find the bottle in exchange for him letting them go. "How dare you haggle with me? I am invincible." Please, Nightwing, Sonic and Mario Mario were invincible at times.

You can be destroyed with a wooden stake, a tape recording of Here Comes the Sun, withdrawal of your insulin, or some oversoaked breadsticks from Olive Garden.

The kids find the bottle. Freddy threatens to break it, and there's a struggle. "Give it to me!" Then the kids fall into the coffin which turns into a long slide and sends them down a tunnel as they scream.

Freddy and Cara appear to be in the basement of some Gothic castle with tons of coffins strewn everywhere.

They try to find a way out. A cute blonde little girl named Gwendolyn pops up and begs them not to hurt her. She tells them that the vampires make her clean their coffins all night while they're out hunting or they'll turn her into one. Vampires with the OCD tendencies of Adrian Monk, the health sensibilities of Wilford Brimley, and the sexual taste of Gary Glitter? Meh, this is still better than the new Twilight trailer I had to bring my babysitting charges to see.

Gwendolyn wants to find the vampire breath for no apparent reason so they search for it. Apparently it contains a vampire's vitality while he sleeps. Freddy, Cara? Adorable golden tressed little girl who wants to find vampire breath? And you guys aren't remotely suspicious? She might as well be carrying a physics textbook. Have neither of you seen Interview with the Vampire? The Littlest Vampire? Let the Right One In?

(Claudia from Interview with the Vampire.) I leave you to your own conclusions.

Adrian Monk, Dead and Tolerating It, shows up and grabs Cara, telling Freddy to give up the Vampire Breath or the cute preteen girl gets it. Freddy, who some time in the last two minutes must have found the Vamp Breath, refuses and tosses it.

Kirsten Dunst knockoff and the kids play keep away with the vampire breath. Till Claudia-lite grabs the vampire breath and vamps out. The kids are shocked. (Sadako steadfastly refuses to be even a little bit surprised till it's revealed that not only is she a vampire but she's also a castrated boy.)

Count Brimley and Claudia-lite struggle over the bottle as Freddy and Cara flee.

Nightwing gets the bottle, renews his essence, and starts to look kind of good. Like Bela Lugosi before his morphine addicted, hanging out with Ed Wood phase.

Yeah, if you put this pic up on V-Harmony, Nightwing, you wouldn't be peeling your garlic clove alone for once.

The kids make it home, somehow, with the Count at their heels. Their parents are home. "My baby girl!" Nightwing enthuses when he sees Cara and Freddy's mom. There's a warm embrace. Turns out he's their grandpa who's been asleep for years and they never thought to go look for him. (Man, why didn't Brook Astor's son just use that excuse when they asked why his mother was wandering around the basement of their enormous estate smelling like urine and dog?)

Well, they'll have fun reminiscing over the time Grandpa referred to Cara's "sweet, delicate bouquet" and then tried to 86 the kids. Kind of like family reunions at Roman Grant's compound.

Oh, and the whole family is made up of vampires, and the kids will become vampires when they become teens. A few minutes later, their fangs grow in and the vampirism is complete.

Here's where I turn to R.L. "Since when can you inherit vampirism?" "I thought about doing monsters or werewolves but we already had plastic fangs from the Count Chocula cereal that we eat on set. Count Chocula was our vampire consultant." Of course he was.

Also, wouldn't they have noticed their parents never leaving the house after dark? Or sparkling, or something?

Dad tells the kids there's a surprise in their room.

Coffin bunk beds! Every preteen girl with a Living Dead Doll, an Emily the Strange collection, and an Edward Cullen action figure just came a little.

The kids go to sleep in their bunk beds. How incredibly creepy. They're thirteen year olds of different sex sharing a room? What happens when Freddy's nocturnal emissions seep through the coffin into Cara's?

Also, why are they going to sleep at night?

Just as pretty much everyone with an opinion and an African American Studies degree made some petty criticism of The Princess and the Frog for its portrayal of a black princess, and just as disabled activists everywhere put out a hit on Abigail Breslin for playing Helen Keller without being blind or deaf, I expect every card carrying member of the Vampire Defamation League to condemn this movie for its inaccurate and frankly downright offensive portrayal of vampires. And what's with putting pale make up and fangs on Normies to have them play vamps when there are plenty of out of work real vampires?

Conclusions: this was truly heinous. But it's still about a thousand times better than a Francesca Lia Block book about vampires I reviewed on my other blog last week.