Weekend at Poison Lake Cover by Craig White
Title: Give Yourself Goosebumps Special Edition #8 – Weekend at Poison Lake, a.k.a. “Aliens and Jewel Thieves and Moss-Men OH MY!”
Author: R.L. Stine
Cover Artist: Craig White
Summary: Come On In – The Water’s Slime!
It’s the weekend and your family’s vacationing at an awesome lake. The water’s cool, clear and downright deadly!
Rumor has it this lake is filled with poison! Or are those aliens? And what’s that nasty smell? Better pick a lucky number to help you out, or this nature trip could really go wild! If you pick the right number you’ll be chillin’ on the beach without a care. But if your number’s unlucky, you’ll come face-to-face with evil jewel hunters, ice-cream-craving aliens, and all sorts of freaky wildlife!
The choice is yours in this scary GOOSEBUMPS adventure that’s packed with over 20 super-spooky endings!
Since “Chicken Chicken” hasn’t been finished yet that means two Goosebumps recaps as well as two Graveyard School recaps this month. This is going with June’s water theme.
“Poison Lake” was the last of the GYG Special Edition books and from what I’ve read it’s one of the most loathed. I can sort of understand why yet I do love this one.
THE BAD: The whole “Lucky Number” shtick this book employs is extremely frustrating in figuring out a proper path to take. See, the numbers aren’t really “Lucky” because you’re just as likely to die from using the number to determine a choice than if you’d voted not to use it at all. And yet when you get the bad endings from not using the number, the book mocks you for it. Hell, it’ll mock you even if it doesn’t immediately lead to death by asking why you don’t want to utilize it.
THE GOOD: The four stories Stine’s crafted are incredibly endearing, and are totally independent of one another. Once you pick a path, you’re stuck on it. Which actually made recapping this much easier. My favorites are “The Missing Jewels” story and “The Moss-Man” story, the former because of the presence of competent adults and the latter because Stine’s able to create real tension and a dreamy atmosphere similar to “The Ghost Next Door.”
Also I love the monster on the cover despite its lack of appearance in the actual stories.
Poison Lake Monster by Jesus Marquez
THE OTHER BAD: We get a return performance of, UGH, Jude as the main character. God he sucks.
Continue reading »
Title: Goosebumps Series 2000 #22 – Full Moon Fever, a.k.a. “The Worst Goosebumps Ever 2000” [Wing: Spoilers: LIES AND DAMN LIES IT’S GREAT.]
Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus
Tagline: Hairy Halloween!
Summary: The blankets. The sheets. They were shredded.
Claws to bits.
Grunting, my chest heaving up and down. Raspy breaths escaping from my open mouth, I staggered across the bedroom to my mirror.
And stared at even more horror.
Tufts of short black fur grew from the back of my neck. Monstrous and ugly…
So I was having a lot of trouble deciding what book to pick for this fairy tale theme I decided on. “Legend of the Lost Legend” involved folk tales, “Beware, the Snowman” a nursery rhyme (sort of), and “A Night In Terror Tower” was about a prince and princess. What made me decide to recap “Full Moon Fever” is because it involves what might be considered a folk tale or a ghost story, it’s another entry most people don’t talk about, I had a commission from a friend I wanted to show off, AND I knew Wing would enjoy more werewolves.
Well, they’re sort of werewolves.
I should mention this book’s reputation of being the worst of the Goosebumps 2000 books, which already doesn’t have a stellar rep. In fact, this is essentially considered a rehash of “Chicken Chicken” which is considered by many to be THE worst Goosebumps book. But hey, I went with it because of my seasonal nostalgia for some of the 2000 books, the same reason I recapped “The Werewolf in the Living Room” last year.
[Wing: That is the weirdest werewolf illustration I’ve ever seen, so I hope they are only sort of werewolves. That looks more like were … I don’t even know what. Some sort of weremarsupial?
Also, huge thanks to Dove who handled our recent site hack. She’s a rock star.]
“‘Join the Horror Club’ she said. ‘It’ll be fun’ she said.'”
Title: Give Yourself Goosebumps #3 – Trapped in Bat Wing Hall, a.k.a. “Tales from the Krupnik Crypt”
Cover Artist: Mark Nagata
Tagline: Going Batty!
Summary: Join The Horror Club…
Being the new kid in school is no picnic. At your old school you had tons of friends, but now you don’t even have one. Then you meet Nick. He asks you to join the Horror Club.
The Horror Club meets in an old mansion known as Bat Wing Hall. It’s dark. It’s spooky. And it’s where your adventure begins.
The members of the Horror Club are going on a scavenger hunt. If you join the red team, you find out the truth about your new friends – they’re actually monsters! One is a green-skinned reptile. Another is a hulking giant! If you join the blue team, you get turned into a furry-faced vampire bat!
The choice is yours in the scary GOOSEBUMPS adventure that’s packed with over 20 super spooky endings!
[Wing: UMMMM. Does this summary really spoil the paths? WTF, editors.]
Happy birthday to me. [Wing: Happy belated birthday!]
Following up from last year’s “Ghost Camp” review (and you guys probably expected me to cover the sequel) I decided to recap another of my lifelong favorite Goosebumps.
“Trapped In Bat Wing Hall” was one of the earliest GYG books I ever read. Back in elementary school it was one of the few Goosebumps books that consistently remained in my homeroom back in 4th or 5th grade. It took me years, if not decades, before I finally purchased a copy of my own. I loved it so much I even attempted to write a sequel that ultimately went nowhere.
I’m implementing the system I came up with when I reviewed “One Night In Payne House” this previous Halloween. Since the book diverges into two different storylines, the recap will consist of me covering both of them as far into a good ending as I can.
I feel Wing will very much enjoy some of the first storyline, but unfortunately there ARE spiders in this story. Not a giant, two-headed sentient ghost spider, but spiders nonetheless.
[Wing: I guess it could be worse… For other arachnophobes, right after the first path begins, there’s a drawing of the spiders. It’s not super detailed, but still.]
It’s Very David Lynch
Title: Goosebumps #61 – I Live In Your Basement! a.k.a. “Egg Yolkeo’s Revenge”
Tagline: Talk about a MONSTER nightmare!
Summary: He’s Got The Basement Blues!
“Don’t do this! Watch out for that!” Marco’s mom thinks the whole world is a danger zone. She won’t even let Marco play softball.
But Marco just wants to have fun. So he sneaks off to a game. And that’s when it happens. He gets hit in the head with a baseball bat.
Now things are getting really fuzzy. Really scary. Because when Marco gets home he gets the strangest call. From someone who says he lives in Marco’s basement…
I promised someone on tumblr I would do a recap of this book come November. I just hope they’re still on the site after tumblr deleted all those blogs. INCLUDING MINE.
(UPDATE: My blog has been restored, although who knows what’ll happen after December 17th.)
This is one of most diverse entries in the original series, and serves as the penultimate volume before #62 and the end of the run. Troy Steele on “Blogger Beware” claimed this, alongside the two that preceded it (Werewolf Skin, The Haunted School) felt like last minute strokes of genius for Stine. And I agree with him.
Of course, I kind of wish Stine had saved some of that genius for “Monster Blood IV” which is such a clusterfuck.
“I Live In Your Basement” is bizarre, confusing, and rather endearing. It depends upon a more primal fear yet at the same time a rather unexpected fear. This idea that there is a total stranger living inside your home but you have no way to prove it. Coupled with the fact the main character is having a hard time keeping track of what’s real and what’s not due to the aforementioned stranger and his head injury.
BUT DON’T WORRY this isn’t a split personality thing.
Title: Give Yourself Goosebumps Special Edition #4 – One Night In Payne House
Tagline: There’s Only One Way Out!
Summary: Talk About Being In The Doghouse!
It’s Halloween. And you’ve just taken the Ultimate Challenge. You’ve entered the town’s most horrifying haunted house – Payne House.
So ready or not, you’ve got exactly one chance to survive. All other paths point to THE END. Your end! Because roaming through Payne House is a giant dog-beast who wants to put a choke-chain leash – on you! Not to mention the drooling Tongue Thin that’s having a major snack attack!
The choice is yours in this scary GOOSEBUMPS adventure! It’s packed with over 20 super-spooky endings – but only one way out!
For this year’s Halloween Extravaganza, join me in my very first recap of the Give Yourself Goosebumps sub-series.
I’ve been on the fence about how to recap these entries for months because they aren’t straightforward tales like the usual Goosebumps books. But when thinking about recapping this particular book for Point Horror, I had an idea. I’ve come up with a system where, instead of recapping the books like a game with a system of lives if I get a bad ending I will review straight through into one of the good endings. If a book branches off into two storylines, I’ll review both in the same article.
As you guessed from the summary, this book claims to have only one good ending out of dozens of bad ones. However, even the supposed good ending is debatable. Like the other special edition stories, these rely on an inventory system as you pick things up along the way. When I first bought and read this, I ALMOST made it to the good ending and then died.
Mark Nagata was the original cover artist for the series (well Tim Jacobus did the first cover), but when the layout got redesigned Craig White was hired as the new artist. I think both are amazing, though.
Oh, and I’ll be referring to the player character as “Jude.”
[Wing: I love Choose Your Own Adventure style books, and am thrilled to have Jude taking on Give Yourself Goosebumps. I used to mark spots in CYOA style books where I wanted to come back and take another path, until pretty much every option was flagged, which was useless, baby!Wing. Happy Halloween, all!] Continue reading »
HELLO. HEL-LO. COME INTO MY HOME. I WILL NOT HURT YOU. YOU ARE SAFE HERE.
Title: Goosebumps #33 – The Horror at Camp Jellyjam, a.k.a. “R.L. <3’s H.P.”
Tagline: Tennis… canoeing… monsters, anyone?
Summary: Sometimes, Winning Is Everything!
Swimming, basketball, roller hockey, King Jellyjam’s Sports Camp has it all. Too bad Wendy isn’t a sports freak like her brother, Elliot. But how excited can you get about softball? It’s just a game, right?
Because Camp Jellyjam is no ordinary sports camp. And Wendy’s about to find out why. Why the counselors seem a little too happy. Why they’re a little too obsessed with winning. And why the ground is always rumbling late at night…
Since it’s now summertime I wanted to surprise everyone with one of the legendary summer camp Goosebumps books. But I couldn’t decide which to choose from. I’d already recapped “Ghost Camp” last year on my birthday, but I decided to go with one of the classic books since I reviewed a 2000 book earlier this summer.
This is one of the most bizarre books from the first 62, and looking back on it as an adult I’ve come to realize this is probably R.L. Stine’s attempt at doing an H.P. Lovecraft-style tale, but for reasons I’ll have to explain in the Final Thoughts. Unfortunately, the big twist in this story has been spoiled numerous times by the various international additions’ covers and the Classic Goosebumps reprint. Even the Goosebumps Graphix adaption (drawn by the legendary Kyle Baker), has the twist spoiled by the cover.
[Wing: Stine doing Lovecraft? I’M SOLD.]
You can tell this one’s about comics because the proportions on that cover are AWFUL
I wish I knew who the Hell did the British covers
Title: Goosebumps #25 – Attack of the Mutant, a.k.a. “Crisis of Infinite Mutants”
Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus (U.S.), ???? (U.K.)
Tagline: He’s no superhero. He’s a supervillain!
Summary: Read at your own risk…
Skipper Matthews has an awesome comic book collection. His favorite one is called The Masked Mutant. It’s about an evil supervillain who’s out to rule the universe.
Skipper can’t get enough of The Mutant. Until one day he gets lost in a strange part of town. And finds a building that looks exactly like The Mutant’s secret headquarters. A building that appears and disappears.
Has Skipper read one too many comic books? Or does The Masked Mutant really live in Riverview Falls?
Guys, again I have to apologize for screwing up the schedule. That virus I contracted at the beginning of July completely threw off my schedule for writing alongside all the hours I’ve put in at work. This was supposed to cap off July’s “Comic Con” theme with my recaps, and I hope the lateness doesn’t mess up my recaps for August.
Penguins! Gangsters! Villains! Whatever the fuck that thing with the horns is!
“Attack of the Mutant” is one of the most popular of the first 62 books. During the original run it got a two-episode adaptation (featuring the legendary Adam West) plus a computer game that delved more into the Masked Mutant’s fictional realm. Unfortunately, the character’s been totally neglected ever since the “Goosebumps Horrorland” reboot and has been replaced by two other “Comic villain come to life” characters, the annoying Dr. Maniac (whose first appearance wasn’t so bad but the way he got overused pissed me off) and the Ooze (who only had one appearance).
For a TV show with questionable acting and effects, their portrayal of comics in the 90s is perfect down to every detail
Skipper, the main character, pisses me off because he is SUCH a 90s comic snob, and it is people like him who ruined comics for everybody. However, I will say the TV show did such a good job at capturing his character it’s impossible not to imagine him wearing a baseball hat even if it’s not mentioned in the book. Watch as I pepper the recap with as many of comic references as I can.
Oh and apparently Stine hates “Archie” comics for some reason.
[Wing: Because Stine is terrible sometimes.]
Title: Goosebumps Series 2000 #15 – Scream School, a.k.a. “BEST DAD EVER.”
Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus (US Version), ???? (French Version)
Tagline: Student body stalker…
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.”
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:
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.
Title: Goosebumps #35 – A Shocker On Shock Street, a.k.a. “Erin and Marty’s Bogus Journey”
Goosebumps Graphix Illustrator: Jamie Tolagson
Tagline: It’s a real dead end.
Summary: Talk About Shock Treatment!
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 the 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?
“Shock Street” has been a personal favorite of mine for the same reason as “One Day At Horrorland,” and it’s the world building. Because the book is built around a fictional horror movie franchise, I’ve repeatedly gone back for re-reads to devour all the information available on the Shock Street films and creatures. You don’t know how delighted I was to learn it was getting a graphic novel adaption, illustrated by comic artist Jamie Tolagson, from Scholastic’s “Goosebumps Graphix” line, which made up for how disappointing the TV show version was. And hey, it meant reference for commissions! I added a couple of scanned pages from the Graphix adaption; sorry about the quality. Again, I was worried about wrecking the spine.
One of my earliest examples of fan fiction, way back in middle school, was my attempt at writing a story about one of the films mentioned in the book. Of course looking back my story was God awful. I still tried to come up with ideas for what the different Shock Street movies were about, which I’ll get into during the final thoughts alongside a small gallery of commissions of Shock Street monsters.
Title: Goosebumps – The Ghost Next Door
Tagline: There’s a strange new kid on the block…
Summary: “How Come I’ve Never Seen You Before?”
Hannah’s neighborhood has gotten a little-weird. Ever since that new boy moved in next door.
But when did he move in? Wasn’t the house empty when Hannah went to sleep the night before? Why does it still look so deserted?
Shes not getting any answers from her new neighbor. He just keeps disappearing in the oddest ways. And he’s so pale…
Is Hannah being haunted by…
…the ghost next door???
[Wing: Adorable summary.]
Now we’ve reached one of the true classics of the original series, the tenth of the first twenty books back when Stine was still establishing the trends and style of the franchise. For those who’ve read the early books, you know already a number of them had an atmosphere that hasn’t been properly revisited in any of the later works. They seemed to carry with them a sense of real despair and fear before Stine began to realize the books might’ve been too scary for kids. [Wing: Which is a shame. Kids are better at scary things than adults want to give them credit for handling.] I think he’s mentioned if he got the chance he’d rewrite “Welcome to Dead House” to make it funnier. Which I hope he never does.
This one’s got a twist in it most people might already be familiar with considering it was adapted for the trading card series, the TV show, as well as the movie. Well, I’m not spoiling it for new readers just yet, and since I don’t have any commissions related to this one I’m gonna be scanning the three trading cards depicting certain scenes. Luckily they were illustrated by Walter Velez, who provided some of the best artwork for the card series.
This is also going to be the last post in my series of discussions on my best friend’s death, and I feel like I dragged the discussion on for too long beyond “Magic Fire.” I’m sorry.
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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