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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Goosebumps at 33: Calling All Creeps

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Calling All Creeps!

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Taken from the 50th book in the series, Calling All Creeps aired on February 15th, 1997 in the show’s second season. This terrifying time around, the episode's focus is on Ricky Beamer, a stereotypically dorky kid that sees a chance to get revenge on his arch nemesis, Tasha (don't call me John) McClain. You see, Tasha had Ricky kicked off the school newspaper, claiming he's a creep, a nickname that would begin to stick with the rest of Ricky's classmates. This is more than enough to push creep…err, I mean Ricky over the edge and into a world where his mind is plagued by chaotic vengeance.
callingallcreeps3 There are plenty of great ways to ruin someone's life after they have done you wrong. Putting a flaming bag of poop on their front porch, cutting their brake line, drowning their dog, killing their family, but Ricky, oh that Ricky, he goes one-step further. He sneaks into the school after hours and adds a special message to the upcoming edition of the school's paper, a message 'calling all creeps' to give Miss Tasha McLain a phone call after midnight. However, this disturbing act backfires, and the phone number in the message is switched to Ricky's, leaving him with numerous late night phone calls from random creeps.
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It's really tough to follow-up the masterwork known as The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight, and while Calling All Creeps is kind of terrible in comparison, it is entertaining in the silliest of ways. The best way to describe this episode is this one is more along the lines of a cheap B-Movie. If you can appreciate a bad film, one that is so corny and filled with hysterical dialogue, amazingly whacky looking creatures and a goofy pod-people inspired premise using cookies, then Calling All Creeps is worth the twenty minutes of time it wastes. 
callingallcreeps (5)callingallcreeps (4) Where this episode shines the strongest in the "I cannot believe I'm watching this, but I'm so glad I am" department, are some of the characters and the dialogue that comes along with them. While pretty much everyone in the school picks on Ricky, there are three main bullies - apart from Tasha McLain - that give that poor creep the hardest of times. It just so turns out that these three bullies (one of them played by Matthew Lemche, brother of Kris, who stared in The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight!) actually moonlight as real creeps, but their day job is clearly one that consists of delivering incredible dialogue and fierce punishment to turds like Ricky, and all of it in under thirty minutes. Battle cries are sung, such as "Creeps rule! Creeps WILL rule!!" and "Humans are the past, creeps are the future!" Preach on, brother, preach on!
Still, the best part with the bullies comes early on when one of them instructs the onion chomping other one to - "breath on him, Wart!" which almost knocks poor Ricky unconscious. I mean, the guy's name is Wart, so that has got to be some serious  stank coming from his onion hole. To top things off, they really push the boundaries of decency and force Ricky to sing a song. Oh, but not just any song, mind you, this is a tune that is so terrible, that it can do no less than ruin lives. That song is, Mary Had A Little Lamb. Are you starting to see where this show is going yet?
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Tasha McLain isn't much better, but it isn't her dialogue that is impressive so much as it's the pure fact that she has the balls to make fun of anyone when she's looking like she just ate a handful of rickets and screws. She truly brings the pain with her looks, that's for sure. With all that said, there is an important lesson to be learned with this episode, but I unfortunately missed it, so I won't be playing the sage for anyone tonight. The only higher thought I have now is…
"What's in store for me in the next episode of Goosebumps?"
and
"How do I end this review now without anyone noticing?"
*Looks away and pretends to see another review over yonder…walks off awkwardly but with style*  

3 comments:

  1. Yo Matt, sorry you're not the "Calling All Creeps" fan that I am! It's goofy, yes, but the ending is fairly harsh for a kid's TV show. After you've seen as many Goosebumps as I have, it's the little things that make an episode stand out!

    I hope you keep going with these - if you're looking for suggestions, I recommend you give "The Girl Who Cried Monster" and "Attack of the Jack O' Lanterns" a shot!

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  2. Im another that wasn't initially a fan, but after a few random episodes I'm beginning to become quite partial to it

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  3. Jeff: I definitely liked the episode, but it did catch me off guard with how out there it was!

    It's a good time and I was actually surprised by the ending myself, especially considering he chose becoming a creep over that fine as honey that wanted to get wild with him!

    I am only going to do these for October, but I planned on making it a yearly thing for the Halloween season. It's a lot of fun doing them so far, plus the episodes fly by...it takes me three times longer to review one of these than it is to watch one!

    Dempsey: Yeah, as I'm watching them I am starting to see how the show is overall and enjoying them with the right mindset.

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