Thursday, August 14, 2008
Bad Moonlight or “Child Bride of the Werewolf”
Another fab super chiller. This time about werewolves! As you can see from the cover, it’s also about a band, with girl singers … and that nighttime is the right time for terror!
Things start off with a bang when protag Danielle is walking around the grocery store, fighting with her little brother. She then apparently blacks out and starts eating raw meat without noticing. When she does realize she’s eating raw meat, the first thing she does is swallow it. Obviously. Then she gets grossed out by it. Pretty random prologue, I think it’s to show that things aren’t going to go well for Danny – although we already knew that, since she lives on Fear Street.
Then we go back to a few weeks earlier. Danielle has just been given the position of lead singer in a nameless band. The other members of the band are Dee (the other singer), Caroline, the pianist, and Mary Beth, the drums. I think Danielle also plays guitar (I hope). So, nobody ever mentions that this is a girl band, which is something I thought would be pointed out – it took me awhile to actually notice. I was actually happy that they didn’t mention it, like it’s no big deal that a bunch of girls are in a band, they’re just like any other band. Only R.L. couldn’t have been that feminist-y, because the band is managed and run by a bunch of men: Billy is the manager, Kit is the veeeeery good looking equipment manager (roadie), and Joey, the sound guy.
More background: Danielle’s parents had been killed in a horrific car accident three years ago, and she’s been raised by her aunt, who encouraged her to take time off school to sing in a band, because she can always go to school later. Very progressive, Aunt Margaret. Or is it? Since her parent’s death, Danielle has had violent hallucinations of people being clawed to death, and has been seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Moore.
The whole band thing isn’t going great for Danny. Creepy things keep happening, like her hair stands on end when she sees the moon. She has a hallucination and rips the chair she’s sitting in to shreds (and nobody seems to think this is strange. I would find that strange). She also feels the urge to howl when she hears other wolves. The other lead singer, Dee, pretty much hates her and keeps on giving her cryptic messages to leave, and that she’s not safe. Danielle assumes she’s jealous and gives her the cold shoulder.
Much more promising is Kit, who seems really into her, until they start making out one night and Danielle bites his lip so hard it starts bleeding. And she may have drank it a little bit. Embarrassing!
Along with just plain getting it on, Danielle starts to get her musical mojo on, and composes all these songs about the moon, leading to the band naming themselves Bad Moonlight. To share a verse with you:
‘Bad Moonlight, falling down on me,
Bad Moonlight, shining down on me,
Bad Moonlight –
I want to die for you!’
And so on and so forth. They are an overnight smash hit, and everybody’s happy. Danielle’s so happy after a kick ass concert she goes for a run in the woods in her red sequin dress and blacks out. Normally I’d be worried for the girl, but it turns out Joey should have been more careful – he turns up ripped to shreds.
Dee goes crazy that Joey was killed, much to everyone else’s confusion. Typically, they all completely get over the violent murder of their friend in approx. 5 minutes, and wish Dee would just chill. Danielle starts to come undone, once finding herself lapping dirty rainwater from a gutter when she’s thirsty, or finding Billy drunk in a hotel hallway, muttering about evil things. As she’s freaking out, she goes home to her aunt for a few days, and discovers a few things. First, her aunt and her psychiatrist have known each other for years, and discuss her ‘condition’. Second, her parents were not killed in a car accident, but ripped to shreds by animals. Mysterious … But not nearly as gross as when Danielle’s little brother cuts himself, and she starts lapping up his blood. Ugh. Then an awesome bitch fight happens between Danielle and Dee, and Dee quits the band.
Are Danielle’s problems all over, as she believes? Well, probably not, because she celebrates Dee quitting by running away from Kit and killing a rabbit with her teeth. At this point, I would be locking myself up, but Danny keeps on trucking, especially since the lyrics just keep flowing from this girl:
‘I’m howling, howling
Howling my love.
Gotta claw my way back,
Back to you.’
Awesome! Will their string of hits ever end? Actually, it all ends the next night when they play Shadyside, at Red Heat (a club also featured in ‘Haunted’ – I love it when they put in these small attempts at continuity). Danielle finds Dee’s mutilated body in a trunk, and I think reasonably freaks out. Billy, Caroline, and Mary Beth try to stop her from leaving, and end up chasing her into the woods (the Fear Street woods? Probably!) They all turn into wolves, surprising no one because we all knew they were werewolves to begin with, right? Kit runs in to rescue her, and Billy attacks him. Danielle sensibly leaves him to save her own ass, and escapes to her aunt’s.
Only it’s the worst place to go. Aunt Margaret greets her with a creepy smile, and talks about all their big plans for her. Turns out Aunt Margaret is not Aunt Margaret at all, Danielle’s real aunt having been ripped apart by animals around the time her parents were killed. Danielle was being groomed to marry the head of their pack (the alpha male?) who turns out to be Kit. No wonder he got over that embarrassing lip bit so quick! In attempting to escape this knew problem, Danielle discovers that Dr. Moore is in fact Kit’s father, and they’ve all been in on this for ages, including the disturbing violent fantasies. Yikes, I would never trust a single person ever again.
They all get ready for this marriage to take place. This is so creepy. Apparently Kit had seen her at a concert three years ago, and knew he had to have her. Danielle is MAYBE 18 in this book, so oldest she could have been when this all started was 15. Anyways, Kit wanted his child bride, so they went through three years of ‘grooming’, of turning her into a werewolf. And I thought one good bite will do it. Apparently a werewolf bride is like a slave, with no actual thought other than to please her husband. Nope, R. L. was definitely NOT going feminist-y in this one.
Danielle is forced to the altar, and made to sing Bad Moonlight one last time. Billy starts whispering to her that she can save herself, if only she can let the moonlight take her. So she turns into a werewolf, and rips out Kit’s throat. Bet he didn’t see that one coming. Dr. Moore and Aunt Margaret shake themselves to pieces. Like, literally, their body parts come flying off. The rest of them were fine, they were under mind control or something, and now everything would be alright again. Danielle hooks up with Billy, the little tramp, and it’s a happy ending!
Soooo, not bad (except for the lyrics). There were some creepy moments, especially the blacking out and doing violent things, or licking your brother’s blood, and the child bride thing was really disturbing. I give it 5 mutilated bodies out of 7.
L. K. Stine