Friday, July 4, 2008

"The First Horror" or The Garburator Book!

So the next series within a series I started was “99 Fear Street: The House of Evil: The First Horror”. The ones that take place on Fear Street are ALWAYS the best and this one is no different! There is blood dripping! Mysterious bodiless heads! Green puke from faucets! Twins! Cute boys! Dead puppy! ... Wait that last one wasn’t cool. Not cool R.L. So lets get down to business!

The Cover: Pretty good. Voracious and “hot” twin Cally looks like she’s totally lost it. I think the artist mixed up “scared face” with “indifferent” and mixed in some “indigestion”. Studious and “ugly” twin (you can tell she’s the ugly one because she has short hair, L.K. Stine…) Kody actually does look scared. To be fair, Kody looks a lot prettier than Cally. But her 90s comb-over bowl cut? Probably holding her back. Okay enough judging their hair. This cover scene obviously didn’t happen in the book. There appears to be a “guest comment” book near their front door that’s bleeding. ‘Nough said.

We find out the girls just moved to 99 Fear Street with their parents, referred to only as Mr. and Mrs. Fraiser. Do any other parents in Shadyside have names? I can’t remember. They also have a little brother, James, who does nothing but whine, so I’ll ignore him. Lots of creepy things happen in the first few days. A tree branch almost flattens Cally as she’s walking in, the kids are attacked by hissing rats (do rats hiss? Or do only evil, POSSESSED rats hiss?), Kody’s hands get slammed in a window (yeaouch!) and Cally hears mysterious taps on her door at night. Kody, the nerdy and bitter twin, think’s the place is haunted. She just might be on to something…

So the girls get jobs. Well Cally gets a job and meets a boy, while Kody can’t find a job so her dad has to hire her to help renovate their (haunted) house. They have nice family dinner and Mr. Fraiser goes to carve the turkey when all of a sudden... he stabs himself!! End Chapter.

Chapter 6. O wow, he really did just stab himself in the side. Ummm… awkward. Did he finally decide that his whiney, bratty children were too much? Looks like no, he accuses Cally of pushing him onto the blade (harsh, Dad) but no one saw Cally go near him.

Cally helps Kody do repairs the next day, and when she’s asked to hold Kody’s ladder, her resentment towards her twin finally bubbles over and she yanks the ladder out from underneath Kody’s feet, causing her to fall and almost die. JUST KIDDING! An “unseen force” fucks with Cally and the ladder and Kody falls. But Kody thinks my scenario is more likely! HA! Kody totally hates Cally.

In the meantime, unnamed whiner little brother has gotten a cute little black lab puppy, named it Cubby and lost it. He’s hysterical while looking for it because everyone can hear it, but no one can see it. Cute boy Anthony that Cally met tells the girls the story behind their house. Apparently when it was being built, the builders disturbed unmarked graves (bad sign #1) and they continued to build on the order of the owner (bad sign #2). Then when the new owners moved in, the mother and the two kids were found without their heads!! (Move out right then. That is fucked!)

Anyways that night, nasty green shit starts to flow from the bathroom sink and can’t get turned off. While Kody, Cally and Mr. Frasier are trying to fix it, Mama Frasier comes in covered in blood!! End Chapter.

Chapter 14. It is blood! But not hers, it was dripping from the ceiling onto her. Well… that’s still pretty messed up. Papa Frasier goes to the attic to check what was causing the blood (Um, why? Call the police ASAP? It CAN’T be something good). He goes up then stops answering their calls up the stairs! End Chapter!

Chapter 15. He comes down. Okay that was disappointing. But what he saw wasn’t! It was the three missing old family heads! Awesome! I finally get a book that’s filled with some pretty good gore.

The next day, Papa Frasier and Cally go to find their real estate agent so he can “fix their problems”. Oh, is he a real estate agent/exorcist? Does he double as a priest? Dabble in the black arts? What the FUCK do they think their real estate agent is going to do for them?! Well it doesn’t matter since the agent, “Jason Lurie” gave them the address of an abandoned lot. They go to the town historian (?) to find out who he is and where he works. How convenient… since the historian tells them that Jason Lurie was the original house owner whose wife and children were found headless! And he hung himself to death the next month! OMGEE!

So Cally spends the night writing in her journal. She emos that she’s worried about her family then talks about how cuuuuute Anthony is! Glad to see she has her priorities kinda straight. Although after what happened to them (vomit, blood, bodiless heads) you think they might consider leaving... But this is Shadyside, the land of people who get over trauma suspiciously quickly! Anyways, Cally forces Anthony to come over for dinner the next night even though he really, really, really doesn’t want to. Cally thinks it’s because he’s afraid of the house. Maybe he doesn’t like you Cally… Maybe you should stop forcing yourself on him.

Well he comes over, and of course something bad happens. This is a scene I’ve remembered ever since I was little so I was over the moon to read about it. It’s the hand down the garburator scene! Here I’ll take some direct quotes from Mr. Stine just so you know how awesome this scene was.

“His eyes bulging with horror, Anthony raised his arm in front of him.
‘My hand!’
The hand was a mangled pulp, a pink and red mass of skin, blood and bone.
‘My fingers!’ he shrieked, his shrill voice rising over the grinding roar. ‘Where are my fingers?’”

When we renovated our kitchen when I was about 15 years old, my parents asked me if I thought we should get a garburator… I believe my exact answer was: DEAR GOD NO. Fear Street apparently made quite an impression on me in my childhood!

This one scene is unimportant but funny. Cally goes to visit Anthony in the hospital but he’s cold to her. Probably because she forced him into her house and it ate his hand. Luckily for Anthony they reattached his fingers but as his mom tells us in between hysterical sobs “they don’t think they’ll work. He – he won’t be able to move them!” Frankly lady, if you go to the haunted house on Fear Street and ONLY come out with some paralyzed fingers? Pretty good day, I say! Also: how is this family STILL living in this house!? They seem to explain it by saying they can’t find the realtor, so they can’t sell it. Ever heard of a motel? JUST LEAVE! Ugh these Frasiers are getting what they deserve if you ask me.

That night, the house sucks her whiny little brother into another dark dimension. The good news? He found Cubby the puppy! They’re reunited! The bad news? …Yeah, they’re not coming back. In the same night, Mr. Frasier goes blind and Mrs. Frasier falls down the stairs and breaks her arm.

So the next chapter opens with them getting out of the hospital… and GOING BACK TO THE HOUSE. Holy crap, I think I just found the dumbest family that ever moved to Fear Street. Just stay in the waiting room for Christ’s sake! Yeah, it’s probably not as comfortable, but at least parts of you won’t get eaten!

So Cally gets woken up that night by the ghost of herself (?) wearing a twisted, evil grin. I’m not gonna lie, when I read that last night at like 2 am, in the dark… I kinda thought my own evil ghost twin would bust into my room. Am I embarrassed that a YA novel by R.L. Stine scared me last night? The answer is: yes, deeply.

Anyhoo, Cally’s ghost self sucks her into the floor of her room, through some hellish tar. Kody comes in and tries to save her, but she fails, because she sucks. As soon as Cally gets sucked under, she’s filled with all the rage and evil from the house. She vows to haunt it! Good call Cally! In the Epilogue (I know, fancy!) it tells us that she sees the new family move in with the help of Jason Lurie, and thinks evil thoughts. Ooo I see a set up for a sequel! I don’t think it was ever explained how the ghost Jason Lurie set up his own real estate agency, and is also corporeal. I guess a lot of things weren’t explained. Like why the cover art features a bleeding book. There were no books.

Alright. So this book was pretty awesome since it had creepy twins, the garburator scene, a puppy (squee!), AND it gave me the willies. Faults? Kody’s ugly hair cut, the unbelievable stupidity of the Frasier family, and the unreliable cover art. I give this book 8 of Anthony’s missing fingers out of nine!

A.M. Stine


L. K. Stine said...

"Voracious"? Really?

I am very happy to see that for once the ugly girl (with tell-tale short hair) is not the one sucked into an early house grave. Maybe R. L. is getting less prejudiced about these short hair fuglies ...

Deathycat said...

To this day I will not put my hands near a garbage disposal because of this story.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute... there's also a ghost real estate agent who is somehow able to operate a business in Welcome To Dead House, the first Goosebumps book! Stine...!

Unknown said...

I always thought that on the cover Cally looks like Goldie Hawn from death becomes her and Kody looked like tori spelling