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Recap #163: Goosebumps Series 2000 #15: Scream School by R.L. Stine

Title: Goosebumps Series 2000 #15 – Scream School, a.k.a. “BEST DAD EVER.”

Author: R.L. Stine

Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus (US Version), ???? (French Version)

Tagline: Student body stalker…

Summary:

The two figures floated up from the pile of dusty costumes.

One was a man, the other a woman. Their faces were ghoulish. Skin pulled so tight Jake could see the bones underneath. Eyes yellow, sunken back in their sockets. Their lips cracked and purple.

“Now we can make our movie,” the woman said, floating closer to Jake, arms outstretched, side by side with the man. “The most horrifying movie ever made.”

Initial Thoughts

If there’s one thing “Goosebumps” is known for, it’s questionable parenting. You’ve got stupid parents, oblivious parents, cruel parents, abusive parents, and even evil parents. It’s pretty much a given the mom or dad in any of the books will have no idea what their child is going through and prove to be pretty unhelpful. For example, there’s:

  • Michael Webster’s parents, gleefully unaware of what a horrible little bitch Michael’s sister, Tara, is and constantly punishing Michael for whatever Tara does.
  • Mrs. Ross, Evan Ross’s mother who is constantly unloading Evan onto relatives who are clearly unfit to take care of him and hate his guts, and is even making HIM pay for summer camp.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Sanders, who legitimately cannot tell that their children Crystal and Cole are transforming into chickens when it is painfully obvious Crystal’s lips have hardened and turned into a break.
  • Julie Martin’s mom, who assumes Julie is writing a short story as Julie tells her about the evil camera which has mutilated and injured several of her friends, even after Julie’s brother “Mysteriously” grows yellow fuzz and two fucking antennae like a goddamn bee.

But one of the worst parents, at least I think he’s one of the worst, is one of the main characters in “Scream School,” which is why I decided to review it for Father’s Day as an extra Goosebumps recap. So join me in wishing Emory Banyon would die in a fire.

Recap

Rita and Ron are trying to explore the old, dark house to prove they’re not scared. They’re not sure which of them dared the other to go into this particular house, though. Rita thinks Ron insisted, explaining how he said he was tired of everybody in town saying they go to “Scream School,” a school where horrible, disgusting things happen. Ron was tired of people laughing at them and thinking all their friends are constantly screaming their heads off because of the monsters and ghosts who haunt their school, like the ghoulish Johnny Scream. But so far, they haven’t found any sign of Johnny Scream in this old house, so they decide to leave.

Unfortunately for them, the door is locked. The two were sure they came in through this door when they realize Johnny Scream really IS home, and as the horrible fiend raises an axe above his head, a scream emanates from the other side of the door!

Which was not in the script.

Emory Banyon orders “CUT!” and filming on “Scream School V” is forced to pause as he figures out where that scream came from. Sucks to be Jake Banyon, Emory’s son, on account of he screamed because his chair fell out from beneath him. Now everyone thinks Jake screamed because he got scared by the scene. Well, Emory certainly thinks so, and so do the members of the crew who’re laughing at Jake’s misfortune.

No matter how much Jake tries to explain to his father what happened, Emory doesn’t believe him and tries to assure Jake that it’s okay to admit he’s scared because it certainly was a scary scene. Jake wishes his father would stop doing that. You see, Emory’s the award winning director and creator of the “Scream School” franchise, which has gotten him labeled “The King of Horror.” Emory’s always trying to live up to the title, which means he’s constantly trying to scare Jake and then get him to admit he’s scared. Emory always phrases it in a patronizing way, attempting to assure Jake it’s healthy to be honest about your fears.

The other thing that bothers Jake is how Emory insists Jake refer to him by his first name instead of “Dad.” Because according to Emory, they’re more than father and son. They’re pals. Buddies! And buddies refer to each other by their first name. Jake doesn’t want a buddy, he wants a father, but why should Emory care about that?

Emory asks Jake’s best friend Chelsea (who Jake believes is cool but she’s an asshole too) to bring him over to the food table while they reshoot the scene. Jake envied how Chelsea got to call her dad, who was a movie executive, “Dad” instead of by his first name. Chelsea can’t help but laugh at what happened with Jake and asks if it’s so awful to have a famous dad. Jake responds there are some perks, like seeing movies for free and getting to meet all sorts of celebrities. But people are always asking if he’s scared of his dad’s movies or not. Chelsea asks if he’s scared of his dad’s movies and laughs again. Jake insists he’s just as scary as his dad, but Emory never believes him and always drags him along to his movie sets to teach him not to be afraid.

And then Jake turns around and screams when he sees Johnny Scream himself!

Seven feet tall, straight and skinny as a skeleton, Johnny Scream stared back at Jake and Chelsea with his cold, silver eyes. As if blown by the wind, his thick black hair flew back around his rotting, decaying face.

His grin revealed pointed yellow teeth. A chunk of his skin was missing from his left cheek. Gray bone poked out from underneath.

Johnny removed his bony hand from Jake’s shoulder. His long yellowed fingernails were curled like a canary’s claws.

The actor apologizes for scaring Jake, but Jake insists to Chelsea he was only doing the “Official Johnny Scream scream.” Jake points out he’s known Johnny since he was a baby so why would he be scared of him? Chelsea TOTALLY believes that.

Chelsea’s invited to have dinner at the Banyon household with Jake, Emory, and Jake’s mom Vicki. Vicki was a TV actress and model before Jake was born. Vicki reveals they’re having take-out chicken for dinner, which Emory thinks would be appropriate for a chicken like Jake. Vicki asks how things went on the set, to which Emory explains things went fine before Jake “Lost it,” having fallen out of his seat from being “So scared.” Chelsea laughs as Jake insists that wasn’t what happened. Vicki tells Jake to calm down as Emory reminds Jake a lot of people LIKE to be scared. Emory hands Jake the chicken bucket, and Jake looks inside and sees a blood red eyeball looking up at him. Jake’s pretty sick of that joke, and Vicki asks why the fuck her husband keeps trying to scare their son. Emory responds he’s only doing it so Jake knows when it’s okay to admit when you get scared. He says it’s not healthy to lie about your feelings, still not believing Jake. Chelsea adds she never gets scared by anything. Vicki attempts to change the subject, but all Jake can wonder about is how he can prove to his father he’s not scared of him.

Because we all know that’s totally a normal, healthy thing for a 12 year old to worry about.

Jake decides he has to prove he’s as scary as his dad. But how?

The next day Jake was shooting hoops with his friend Carlos Manza. Thankfully they both sucked at basketball so they could joke about their suckiness. They were playing on the tennis court Emory had converted into a basketball court. Emory had grown up playing b-ball on the mean streets of NYC, and he liked playing with Jake. But Emory never played for fun, he played to win, and Jake was often left exhausted during their matches. Playing with Carlos was much more fun.

Jake planned to have dinner at Carlos’s house that night, and the two were gonna have one of their classic horror flick marathons in the special screening room Carlos’s parents had. They loved to scream and laugh at the old horror movies like “The Wolf Man” and “Frankenstein.” But then Chelsea had to show up and tell Carlos all about what happened yesterday on the “Scream School” set, even as Jake told her to stop. Luckily and yet unluckily for Jake, one of the neighbor dogs showed up nearby. Jake shouted at Dukie to get away from him, but Jake couldn’t get out of the way as the big dog lunged at Jake AND HE-

Started to slobber all over Jake’s face. This isn’t a new experience for Jake, but he begs Carlos and Chelsea to get Dukie off him because he weighs a ton. They do nothing, of course, and Dukie gets off Jake when he gets bored of licking him.

Unfortunately, Emory just happened to see the whole thing and tells Jake he had no idea he was terrified of dogs. Jake insists he simply hates it whenever Dukie jumps on him. Jake tries to explain he’s not scared of Dukie; he’s known the dog since he was a puppy. Emory tsk-tsks at how Jake keeps “Lying” to him when he saw how terrified Jake was. Chelsea is naturally no help, and Emory decides he’ll help Jake confront his fears by getting him a dog for his birthday. When Emory leaves to answer the phone, Carlos and Chelsea are unrelenting in their teasing.

Jake was heading home from Carlos’s house that night, but a pleasant evening stroll turns sinister when it starts to get dark. Too dark, actually. The stars in the sky have been blotted out and the night’s turned pitch black. Jake can’t see anything until a sickly green fog rolls in. Jake feels trapped in the fog when he hears a rustling sound behind a nearby hedge, and watches as Johnny Scream emerges in front of him. Johnny exclaims Jake can’t go home, but Jake’s not scared of Johnny. Instead, he gets angry wanting to know why Johnny’s doing this. Johnny exclaims he’s not the actor Jake knows, he’s REAL. Jake shouts he knows “Johnny Scream” is just a mask and make-up, so he reaches up to pull off the mask…

Which of course is not a mask.

Jake’s hands become stuck to Johnny Scream’s horrific face, the skin stretching like glue no matter how much Jake attempts to free himself. Stuck to the terrifying monster’s face, Jake has no choice but to scream…

And then wakes up to find his father standing over him.

“Wake up, Jake. You’re having a nightmare.” Emory’s normally booming voice was clogged from sleep. He wore baggy, striped pajama bottoms. His bare chest, with its nest of thick black hair, loomed over Jake.

*Shudder* I didn’t need that mental image.

Jake explains he was having a nightmare, but the moment he mentions Johnny Scream was involved Emory doesn’t wanna hear anything else. Emory’s fucking gleeful, ecstatic, through the roof, that he’s now received confirmation his movies HAVE scared Jake.

“It’s great you can finally admit it, Jake,” Emory declared happily. “Don’t you feel a million times better admitting that you were scared?”

Jake groaned. “Emory, it was just a stupid nightmare. Everyone has nightmares.”

“I know it’s hard being the son of the King of Horror, Jake,” Emory said, scratching his bare chest. “But if you can just face your fear… that’s the first step.”

“But, Emory-”

A smile spread over Emory’s face. He squeezed Jake’s shoulder again. “I’m proud of you. Very proud.”

But I’m not scared of your movies!” Jake shrieked. “Listen to me! I’m not scared!”

Emory motioned with both hands for Jake to calm down. “Shhhh. Let’s get some sleep. You’ve had a hard night.” He turned and made his way to the bedroom door.

“But, Emory – I like scary movies,” Jake called after him. “I watch scary movies all the time.”

His dad didn’t seem to hear. He padded out to the hallway without turning around and vanished into his room.

He only hears what he wants to hear, Jake thought bitterly.

Yeesh. And to think the rest of the asshole parents are when Stine ACCIDENTALLY writes them that way.

The next day, Jake got a chance to prove to his father he’s not afraid. Emory asked Jake and Chelsea if they wanted to appear as extras in the art class scene for “Scream School V.”

SCENE: A boy is locked in the art room closet and is trying to get out, but no one can hear him. Everyone’s talking and working on their projects when one boy asks everyone to take a look at his. Only the boy’s table is covered in snakes! Dozens of poisonous, horrible snakes. Soon the snakes are slithering all around the classroom and the kids are screaming their heads off. When the boy in the closet finally gets out, he discovers he’s the only one left in the class. Well, besides the snakes.

Emory adds the snakes will be real, but they’ve been defanged so they’re harmless. All Jake and Chelsea need to do is pretend to work on art projects like the other actors, no big deal. On the set, the other kid actors ask Jake what it’s like being the son of the King of Horror while Emory needed to order two dozen more snakes. When Jake went to grab a bagel from the food table, he got to meet Devon Klar, the star of the film. Devon was famous for starring on some show about teen vampires, and this was his first flick. Devon’s shocked when he meets Jake because there are more than a few similarities in their appearances. Which is good because when Devon gets food poisoning just before filming begins, Emory decides to use Jake as a body double. They plan to film the scene with the camera facing the back of Jake’s head. Of course, Emory hopes Jake won’t be TOO scared.

Unfortunately, the moment Jake is set up in the closet, he overhears Emory’s assistant Shelia reveal they have a problem. The snake wrangler reports one of the snakes got loose. Emory’s not too worried since the snakes are defanged, but Shelia adds this snake’s pretty big. Emory continues with the scene, and Jake is left wondering about the bizarre direction this day went into when OH SHIT THE SNAKE’S WRAPPED AROUND HIS LEG. Jake feels the snake tighten around his leg until he finally screams for help and bursts out of the classroom…

And sees the look of pure disgust on his father’s face when Jake realizes his leg was tangled in one of the power cables. Oh but hey, Devon’s feeling much better so Jake’s not needed anymore. Emory tells Jake to just hang out by the food table and stay out of everyone’s way. Jake feels pretty disgusted with himself that he got so upset over a lousy cable, especially since the REAL snake is by the food table.

In the next few weeks after the snake incident, Emory didn’t invite Jake back to the set. Jake spent his summer hanging out with Chelsea and Carlos, or exploring Hollywood Boulevard, Westwood, and the UCLA campus. Jake tried to hone his scariness by purchasing a book on Edgar Allen Poe and a bunch of horror magazines, but Emory was so wrapped up in completing the film he was barely home. Eventually, Jake’s birthday rolled around and instead of the usual breakfast of blueberry pancakes with whipped cream he found a note from Emory saying he’d send a car to meet him at the studio. Jake got dressed in his usual birthday ensemble and was greeted by a black limo outside the house. Jake was brought to the studio and greeted by a creepy little old guy dressed in a shabby suit. The old guy told Jake to follow him, but Jake found himself being directed to the far end of the movie lot, well beyond the “Scream School” set. Finally, Jake was brought to “Soundstage 13” when he asked where his dad was. The old man responds he doesn’t know anything about Jake’s dad before he locks him in the soundstage!

Jake bangs on the door and orders the old guy to let him out, but the guy is long gone. Jake looks around and sees this soundstage has been abandoned for years. They’ve been using the place as a storage room for old junk. Jake tries calling for his dad, believing this is another joke when he tries to explore and find a way out. At one end of the building is a room filled with old, dusty costumes. Jake checks out a gorilla costume when he notices something in a nearby pile of costumes is moving. Jake drops the gorilla mask and is horrified as two ugly, pale ghouls emerge out of the costume pile. The ghouls, a man and a woman, tell Jake they’re ready to finish their movie now that Jake is here. They lurch towards Jake, horrible, fat purple tongues licking dry, cracked red lips, and yellow eyes rolling around in their heads. They tell Jake they were abandoned and left to rot in this soundstage.

“We were abandoned, Jake,” the man replied, his voice a dry whisper like his partner’s.

“This is a forgotten set,” the woman croaked. “They forgot about us back here. Forgot all about us.”

“But we’re still here,” the man added, licking his cracked lips again, his sunken yellow eyes rolling wildly in their sockets. “We’re still here – and now we’ve got you.”

“But – but -” Jake sputtered.

“Now we can make our movie,” the woman said, floating closer, arms outstretched, side by side with the man. “Now we can make the most horrifying movie ever made!”

Jake was trapped. He couldn’t run. Couldn’t move.

The two ghouls grabbed him by the shoulders. Lifted him off the floor. Shoved him back against the costume rack.

“Show time,” they whispered.

Jake orders them to let him go, not interested in being their “Star.” He threatens his father will destroy the two once he hears about this, but they don’t care about Jake’s dad. All they care about is him. And besides, they’re both dead, so what could Jake’s father possibly do to them now? Jake tries to escape, but then two more ghouls emerge from the costume racks. The first two declare now they can really shoot their film, and the new arrivals brought something to put Jake at ease. They’ve got Chelsea with them, or rather, they’ve brought Chelsea’s HEAD.

Jake watches as one of the ghouls lifts Chelsea’s severed head on a pike. Jake begins to run down a hallway in the soundstage as the ghouls chase after him, begging him to help finish their movie alongside his friend. Thinking about how horrible this situation is, thinking his best friend’s been murdered, Jake can’t help but start sobbing as he flees through a room of old equipment. The ghouls are nearly on Jake and he feels something grab his ankles, dragging him to the floor as the ghouls continue to demand he help them. When Jake feels them let go of his feet, he surrenders and sinks to the floor, crying and waiting for them to get it over with.

SURPRISE!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!

A curtain behind Jake is pulled open and he sees through tear-stained eyes his parents, his friends, and a bunch of other people under a banner with Jake’s name on it. It’s a birthday party, all for Jake, but the happy faces disappear when they see how upset Jake is. Chelsea, alive and well, asks Jake what happened as the actors in the ghoul costumes apologize for overdoing it. They explain Emory told them to scare Jake, but Emory apparently told them Jake was in on it too. Vicki fights her way through the other party-goers and screams at Emory that this was a stupid idea to begin with and he’s ruined Jake’s birthday. Emory stammers Jake was always saying he’s not scared of Emory, so NOW he decided to believe him. Vicki hugs Jake and asks when Emory will finally stop trying to prove he’s the King of Horror, completely oblivious to how she’s embarrassing Jake even more. Jake finally breaks free of his mom and runs away from everybody, thinking of how Emory’s totally humiliated him. Even worse, when Emory DOES try to apologize, he starts off with “I’m sorry if I-”

IF he.

Jake fears he’s never gonna be able to prove he’s just as scary as his dad, and Emory will never let him live this down.

We fast forward to July, weeks after Jake’s disastrous birthday party, when Emory is told the studio wants him to get to work on “Scream School VI” right away. Emory’s gonna film the movie in an old, abandoned, and supposedly haunted high school in the Nevada desert, and wants Jake to come with him since Vicki’s visiting her sister for a week. Jake can even help out on the set if he wants to. And Emory promises he won’t do anything to scare Jake. Jake agrees, thinking this is the perfect opportunity to prove he’s not scared of his father. Jake had no idea how right he was.

Jake and Emory arrived at the abandoned high school in the equally abandoned Silver City. The school was surrounded by a few abandoned homes as well, and Jake had to wonder what happened to Silver City. While Emory walked around ordering the staff to make the high school even more derelict on the outside, Jake hung out with Rad  Donner, the actor who played Johnny Scream. Rad even offered to let Jake play his copy of the new “Johnny Scream” CD-Rom game on his laptop if he was interested. Emory asked Jake to check out the cafeteria while he filmed exterior shots of the school. Of course Jake doesn’t have to if he’s too scared. Gee, who would’ve guessed this guy was ever single.

Jake explored around in the old high school, seeing a banner that read “Go Pirates!” over an empty trophy case. Lockers were pulled out from the wall and the glass on the classroom doors were cracked. Yet inside the dusty desks were all perfectly lined up, as if classes were still planned. Jake is amazed by how big this school is and wonders how many kids used to be here, when he notices a white curtain draped across a corridor? Wait, that’s not a curtain, it’s a spiderweb! Jake watches in disgust at the little black spiders scurrying around over all the dead flies, bugs, and beetles. Jake circles around the hallway when he hears a scrapping sound behind him. Jake realizes the sound’s coming from behind the broom closet, but doesn’t want to find out what’s making it.

Jake finally locates the cafeteria, shocked at what a mess the place is even compared to the rest of the building, when the door slams shut behind him and he realizes he’s not alone. Thankfully, Jake finds himself face to face with a young girl about his age. The girl explains she got lost checking out the school, and introduces herself as Mindy. Mindy’s from Coronado, the neighboring town, and is gonna be an extra in the film alongside some of the other Coronado kids. Mindy got turned around because she thought they were gonna be filming IN the school today. Mindy admits she’s nervous because she gets killed by Johnny Scream in her first scene. Jake tells her not to worry since Johnny’s a nice guy. Mindy’s confused until Jake explains he meant the ACTOR, not the CHARACTER. As Jake showed Mindy the way out, she reveals she used to live in Silver City. Everyone she knew did, before… IT happened.

THE LEGEND OF SILVER CITY

Silver City got its name, naturally, for the silver mine most of the citizens worked in. The city had an Old West feel to it, and Mindy’s dad, who was a real estate executive, was part of a group who decided to build a western style mall to capitalize on the image. More jobs meant more people, which meant they needed to build a bigger high school. And they did.

Over a graveyard.

But don’t worry, they were smart enough to move the tombstones WITH the bodies. It didn’t matter though, because the dead don’t like to be disturbed, which is when strange things began to happen in the new school. The ghosts from the transported graveyard waited until the school was finished to seek their revenge. Students heard howling and moaning all day long. They found skulls in their lockers and dead animals in the cafeteria food. Lights crashed, windows exploded, kids got their hands crushed by locker doors.

Then came the day of the volleyball match, when the ghosts brought out their A material. The ghosts emerged in the gym and circled the students, wrapping them up nice and tight in the volleyball net. The rest of the school was evacuated, but the gym class was still trapped inside. The police couldn’t get inside the building because of the fires raging in the doors and windows. It was like the building got surrounded by a wall of heat.

The kids weren’t freed until three days later, traumatized so badly most of them never spoke again. No one ever found out what the ghosts did to them, but the school was officially shut down when it was clear the ghosts weren’t leaving.

Jake asks if she honestly believes that story, that ghosts still haunt this school. Mindy replies of course she does, because there’s a ghost RIGHT BEHIND HIM!

Jake turns around and sees a boy wearing a “Grateful Dead” t-shirt. Mindy greets the kid as Gregory, and he realizes she told Jake that old ghost story about the school. Gregory playfully advises Jake not to listen to Mindy because she’s a total liar. Gregory explains he signed up to be an extra too when he heard Mindy was gonna be one. As the three kids head outside the school, Jake asks if that story really did happen. Mindy cryptically tells Jake to decide for himself.

The next day filming began in the cafeteria, and Jake was amazed at how much work the staff had put into repairing the place. You’d never have thought it’d been abandoned for years. The actors were all set up to pretend they were having lunch at school, and the food being served look amazing. Emory explained he wanted everyone to act like it was a normal day at school; say what you want, do what you want, eat how you like. That is, before Johnny Scream and his ghoulfriends arrive. Emory’s so confident things won’t go wrong with such an average scene they’re gonna start shooting now. But as soon as the camera started filming, things went wrong. A girl screamed there was a finger in her macaroni. Other kids began screaming about body parts in their food. Eyes, toes, fingers. Mindy’s horrified she actually ATE a toe in her cheeseburger! While another girl panicked about the nose in her chili, Emory told Jake not to be scared as he handled the situation. Trouble is, he doesn’t know how this could’ve happened.

In their trailer later that day, Jake was angry with Emory since he believes this was another prank. Emory explains he had nothing to do with what happened to the food, and thinks someone in the crew’s got a sick sense of humor. Jake mentions the ghost story Mindy told him, but Emory heard it already and thinks it’s just a story. He gets a call from one of his assistants, who explains the caterers have no idea who tampered with the food. No one knows what happened. But Emory’s determined to finish something today, and decides to film the big cheerleader scene.

Mindy was one of the extras chosen to be a cheerleader, and told Jake how excited she was while Emory went over the details with Shelia. They discussed when they’d try the lunchroom scene again, and thankfully it turned out none of the body parts were real. Problem is, they looked real enough to scare the kids. Moving on, Emory has the five cheerleaders practice their cheer.

“GO PIRATES

GO PIRATES

LISTEN TO US SCREAM!

GO PIRATES

GO PIRATES

WE’LL SCREAM A LITTLE LOUDER!”

After practicing the cheer a few more times, Shelia directs the girls to get in position over on the dirt area of the field. The girls march towards the area in question… and they immediately begin screaming.

Jake watches as the girls begin to slip, slide, and sink into the dirt area. It’s not dirt, it’s mud! A big pool of mud! Emory orders the camera to stop as the girls flounder around and try to get out of the mud. Emory doesn’t understand how this happened since there hasn’t been rain in this area for weeks. And that’s when Mindy pulled a skull out of the mud.

Things got worse the following day. Cables were cut, camera lenses went missing, and someone even set loose a bunch of tarantulas in the refurnished trophy case. Filming had to be stopped while repairs were made and the tarantulas were set loose in the desert. Emory didn’t know what was going on, but he refused to believe the school really is haunted. Jake asked if Emory really thinks it’s someone in the crew doing all this, and Emory responds it has to be that. Emory takes Jake along with him to inspect some stuff in the school when they heard footsteps behind them in one the supposedly empty sections of the school. But every time they looked behind them, no one was there. Emory tells Jake to keep walking, that’s it probably nothing, only now they’re hearing laughter as well. Emory assumes it’s coming from one of the extras, but every classroom they look into is empty. Thinking the laughter’s coming from outside, Emory tries to look for the wood shop classroom to film the next scene when they distinctly hear laughter in one classroom. Father and son hear more and more laughter coming from the room as they get closer, but when they open the door they find nothing. Jake’s pissed at his father thinking Emory really has broken his promise to stop scaring him. Emory screams he’s not doing any of this.

They began to set up the wood shop scene the following day. The extras were talking about how awesome it was they were doing a scene with THE Johnny Scream. Johnny was standing in the corner of the room while everyone else got ready. Jake explains to Mindy and Gregory his father’s really steamed and wants this scene done properly to make up for everything else that’s gone wrong. Emory pulled Jake aside and asked him not to tell anyone about what happened the other day so no one would get scared. Shelia explains the kids have to enter the room as Johnny Scream turns on his power saw, but they don’t notice him until it’s too late. Emory explains to Johnny what he’s supposed to do, but Johnny doesn’t respond. Johnny doesn’t do anything, actually. Jake fears something’s wrong with Rad as Emory reaches out to the actor and takes his hand. Literally. Emory is horrified as he pulls away Johnny Scream’s hand, and suddenly the man simply fell apart! The coat, the mask, everything, fell to the floor. But no Rad! The costume was standing there, completely intact but completely empty, the entire time! What was holding it up? Emory demands to know where Rad is, but apparently no one’s actually seen him. They just assumed he was in the costume. Rad’s gone!

Jake begs his dad they should leave the school, but Emory refuses to be scared away. They’re gonna film the last classroom scene even if it kills them, because NO ONE scares the King of Horror!

Jake discussed with Mindy how scared his father was. Mindy thinks Emory should’ve listened to Jake about leaving, while Jake hopes the classroom scenes go okay. The thought makes Mindy smile in a strange way.

When Emory and Jake entered the classroom for the final scene, they knew something was wrong. Shelia wasn’t there, in fact, none of the crew were in the room. But all the actors were in their seats like they were supposed to be, and the camera was running, so where was everyone else? It was then the kids in their seats all turned to face Jake and Emory, but they aren’t kids. They’re GHOULS!

They were all ghouls. With sagging, melting green skin. Sunken eyes in rotting sockets. Grinning, toothless mouths. Decaying purple tongues lapping at blackened lips.

Chunks of skin fell off their cheeks and chins. Eyeballs plopped wetly onto the desktops and rolled to the floor.

And as the ghouls turned, hissing, hissing as if all the life was leaking out of them – they reached out their arms, yellowed, gnarled, skinless fingers clawing the air as if trying to grab Emory and Jake.

(Johnny Scream/Scream School Ghoul by Juan Gedeon)

Father and son leaped back as the ghouls reached towards them, Emory screaming for his actors to come back when Johnny Scream, the REAL Johnny Scream, stood up. Emory cowered in fear realizing this isn’t Rad, begging for Rad, as Johnny declared he’s come back from the dead for his creator. Emory pathetically tried to pull away Johnny’s mask, realizing too late it’s his face. He cowered in the corner as Johnny and the ghouls advanced on him…

And now Emory knows how Jake’s felt for YEARS.

Emory watched as Jake jumped on top of a desk and crowed in victory. Johnny Scream pulled off his mask in the proper way it comes off as the rest of the ghouls took off their masks. They began to laugh at Emory and congratulate Jake on how he pulled everything off so perfectly. Jake pointed at his father and yelled this is his revenge for all the years Emory patronized and terrified him, for the horrible birthday prank and everything else Emory’s done. Emory staggered to his feet as he realizes Jake orchestrated everything that supposedly went wrong with the filming, with help from everybody in the crew! Emory tries to thank everyone for the good work before Jake forces him to admit he was terrified.

That night, Emory admits Jake really did scare him, but he’s happy he got some great footage in the classroom. Only, when they look at the film reel, no one is there. The camera was rolling all that time, but no one’s in the footage! Mindy and the others really were ghosts the whole time! That’s it for Emory, because now he wants to get the fuck outta there!

As Emory ran around getting all his shit together, Jake went outside the trailer and told Mindy and Gregory how his dad fell for EVERYTHING. He doesn’t even realize they just let the camera film an empty classroom. Jake invites the guys to visit him in L.A. sometime, because he can’t wait to see Emory shit himself when he sees the two again.

Jake hurried back to his dad in the trailer. As he ran, a final triumphant smile crossed his face.

“Who is the King of Horror?” he asked himself. “Who is the King of Horror?”

I am!”

Final Thoughts

FUCKING EAT A DICK, EMORY!

Now, you’re probably wondering why an entire film crew would work to derail their boss’s film, but I have to believe the film crew was there at Jake’s birthday party when Emory humiliated him. Jake most likely knows them all and I’m guessing they felt guilty over what Emory did to Jake and wanted to help him. Emory’s such a fucking egotist chances are they were sick of his attitude as well.

It’s too bad Jake didn’t get to humiliate Carlos and Chelsea too since they’re such dicks.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 17 June 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I don’t think I ever read this one, but Emory IS a dick, isn’t he? Maybe not THE worst parent in the series (I’d rate those in “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena” and “Legend of the Lost Legend” higher for deliberately taking their kids on dangerous missions just for the lulz) but he’s up there

    • Wing
      Posted 21 June 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Oooh, yeah, those two books are pretty terrible with the whole dangerous mission for the lulz. Parenting in these books is so weird. So, so weird.

      • Jude Deluca
        Posted 22 June 2018 at 4:18 am | Permalink

        I don’t much remember how bad the father in the former is, but I remember the one in the latter. I still think Emory’s the worst because while a lot of the parents in these books are neglectful assholes, Emory is clearly an emotionally manipulative sadist trying to get the pleasure of admitting his own son is terrified of him. That set him apart from the ones who drag their kids into dangerous situations or openly favor their older or younger children because they come across as too by the numbers.

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