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Friday, October 16, 2015

Goosebumps At 33: Say Cheese and Die

Goosebumps TV shows

SAY CHEESE AND DIE!

Goosebumps say cheese or die ..

When a group of friends break into a warehouse owned by a creepy neighborhood outcast named Spidey, they come across a camera that, as you would guess based on the title Say Cheese and Die, does more than capture your memories. I suppose the fact that the camera doesn’t quite work as advertised is due to the fact that it looks more like a 1950’s alien sci-fi toaster from the future where the past is… err, in the past.

In any event, when Greg (Ryan Gosling) uses the camera to take a pic…

Ryan Gosling Goosebumps

Oh, I’m sorry… I seem to have gotten a little distracted. Let me try that again:

In any event, when Greg (Ryan Gosling) uses....

Ryan Gosling Goosebumps ...

SHIT! It happened again! Not sure what’s come over me. Okay, one last time!

In any event, when Greg (Ryan Gosling…

Ryan Gosling Goosebumps ....

Ryan Gosling.

Ryan Gosling Goosebumps ......

RYAN GOSLING.

Ryan Gosling Goosebumps .....

Ryan.

Ryan Gosling Goosebumps .......

Gosling.

Ryan Gosling Goosebumps .

OH! I see the problem now! Ryan Gosling dream-boated his way into my review! Jeez, I’d be upset if I wasn’t so completely enamored at the moment. I mean, this is Ryan “Good LAAAWD” Gosling we’re talking about here. That boy sure do be distracting, and distracted I sure do be.

IN ANY EVENT, when Greg (Ryan Gosling) uses the camera to take a picture of his friend, the photograph shows something entirely different from what he took a picture of. In fact, the camera seems to be capable of predicting the future, or at least altering it so something bad happens to anyone who has their photo taken.

Goosebumps say cheese or die

While you’d think it’d be simple enough for Greg to just NOT take people’s pictures, it’s actually a lot more difficult than one would expect. For some reason, this episode takes place in a world where people are not afraid to be rudely imposing, especially to anyone with a camera, and this is shown by the inordinate amount of people who insist that their photo be taken, no matter how much push back comes from Greg. Of course, Greg could simply take the camera back to where he got it from, but that would require him to have to return to Spidey’s creepy factory. As dangerous as this option sounds, Greg really has no other choice, so return it he does. What happens when he does so, however, may lead to his untimely demise, as Spidey isn’t too pleased about Greg and his mark-ass friends knowing about the camera and its powers, and he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure the word doesn’t get out.

Airing on February 9, 1996, Say Cheese and Die is an interesting episode for a few reasons. Outside of staring international hunk, Ryan Gosling, it’s easily the edgiest episode of Goosebumps that I’ve come across, at least on a technical level. The episode features some pretty showy camera angles and movements, which are not typically found in Goosebumps. It should be noted that the episode’s director, Ron Oliver, has done a ton of television, with the big stand outs being that he directed a number of episodes of both Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? He also helmed Prom Night III: The Last Kiss, which is only more proof of his Canadianness.  

Goosebumps say cheese or die .

I think it’s fair to say that Say Cheese and Die is a satisfying episode of Goosebumps. It has some good scares, a nice fall setting and a few funny moments. One of my favorites being when Greg’s mom refers to a Ford Taurus as “a car with a lot of muscle.” While not quite having a traditional twist, the episode features a thoroughly enjoyable ending, which is always a huge element to a successful episode of Goosebumps.  

Oh yeah, and it should be said that Scott Speedman plays a cop. But who cares about him. 

Until next time, kiddies, keep your nightlight on and your head under the covers…

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