Saturday, October 07, 2006

Goosebumps Games: The Monster Maker

The Goosebumps Monster Maker online game allows you to create the scariest monster you can imagine. Here are just two examples of monsters you can make with this cool Goosebumps game.

"Build a monster online! Creep yourself out! Choose putrid parts and frightening features to conjure up a freaky fiend that only a mummy could love. Put him together, then watch him do the Monster Mambo! It’s a real scream!"

Goosebumps Games: Escape From Horrorland

Goosebumps: Escape From Horrorland is the interactive sequel to R.L. Stine's kids' horror novel, One Day at Horrorland. You and Lizzy, her brother Luke, and his friend Clay are once again trapped in Horrorland, a sinister, scary "theme park." When Luke and Clay are captured, you and Lizzy must find them and escape from the park with your lives. However, you must go up against a mummy, a werewolf, Dracula, and many more monsters in order to escape.

This is an excellent adventure game for that 8- to 13-year-old crowd that thrives on the likes of the R.L. Stine tomes and Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark. It is an unpretentious romp through a fictional amusement park that contains some genuinely spooky, but not scary, scenes. You play as Lucy, and your siblings, Luke and Clay, have been clutched by the evil tentacles of the Horrorland Theme Park. It now falls upon your shoulders to save your family from their unknown, but sure to be terrible, fate. Of course all of this transpires at night ... during a full moon ... as wolves howl in the background. I would expect nothing less.

Goosebumps Games: Attack Of The Mutant

Goosebumps: Attack of the Mutant is a game based on the R.L. Stine kids' horror novel of the same name. The game has you playing as a comic book addicted kid who steps off a bus into the world of his favorite comic book. A large mansion is on the horizon, but the owner, the Masked Mutant, isn't friendly at all. You must team up with a variety of superheroes to kill the Mutant and escape from the comic book world.

Tower Of Terror DVD

Disney's Tower Of Terror (1997) DVD

Buy it on DVD - Region 1
(USA & Canada)

Buy it on DVD - Region 2
(UK & Europe)

Kirsten Dunst stars as plucky teen niece to Steve Guttenberg in this 1997 Disney made-for-TV film based on the ride at Disney/MGM Studios, Florida. Steve Guttenberg stars as Buzzy, a down-on-his-luck former journalist relegated to concocting stories for a Weekly World News-inspired tabloid. He investigates an old woman's story behind the famous disappearance of five people including a beloved Shirley-Temple-like child actress that occurred at the Hollywood Hotel in the 1930s. The so-called "Tower of Terror". Everyone says the Hollywood Hotel is haunted now, and when Guttenberg explores it, he finds out why.

There are some scary segments, which will definitely be exciting for younger viewers. And for older kids and adult viewers, Dunst's presence and a fun story makes this an engaging film. In typical Disney fashion this film was fun to watch for folks young and old who enjoy the traditional Disney stuff. Special effects were great. Loved the actual shots of the MGM Tower of Terror that seemed to be interlaced into the film. Sure looked like it. Great film for the whole family to watch.

Under Wraps DVD

Under Wraps (1997) DVD

Buy it on DVD - Region 1 (USA & Canada)

Buy it on DVD - Region 2 (UK & Europe)

I first saw this movie on Disney Channel. I remember that they played it around Halloween, and that I really, really liked it. If you're looking for just a fun watch with kids, grab Disney's Under Wraps. Not only is it entertaining as hell, but it's got an entertaining plot, great characterization, astounding acting by kids and adults alike, some really good laughs and some kid-friendly but effective scares. Five stars all around!

The main kid in Under Wraps loves horror movies, his best friend is scared and nerdy, and the opinionated girl in the group has a crush on the lead. The kids come together to help out a mummy who pretty much lost his way. He gets woken up, and the slapstick ensues. During the movie, they all go through changes and face their fears to help out their new friend. Real life-lesson type of stuff. I'm really looking foreward to having my little sister view and enjoy this great flick for the first time, and as I said, my brother faintly remembers this movie. I loved it because it had so many cool, flushed out characters and it was actually funny and almost scary for a kids movie at the same time. I can't wait until my bro and sis sit down to watch this piece of cinematic gold because I know that when they laugh at some mummy standing still in a boy's bedroom while his mom is scoffing at him, I'm going to laugh that much harder.

Monster Squad DVD

The Monster Squad (1987) DVD

One hundred years ago in Transylvania, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing and a group of freedom fighters conspired to rid the world of vampires and monsters. They failed. Flash forward to current day. A group of misfit middle schoolers - Sean, the leader; Patrick, Sean's best friend; Horace, also known as "fat kid", Rudy, the bad boy from Junior High; and Phoebe, Sean's younger sister. They run a monster club called "The Monster Squad" out of Sean's tree house. They're obsessed with everything monster related. So much so that they spend time in school making up and drawing monsters to put on the tree house walls. After school they spend most of the time discussing monsters and "Scary German Guy" - a mysterious old man that lives in the neighborhood who they believe is a monster.

But The Monster Squad is about to face the ultimate threat. Dracula has risen from his grave, determined to destroy a mystical amulet that will allow all evil to rule the earth. To help aid him in his quest, Dracula resurrects Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and Gillman. Since Sean's father is a police detective and Sean learns of all the strange occurences happening in town. First a man claiming to be a werewolf is shot and seemingly killed, until the body disappears from the morgue later that night. Then a mummy disappears from the museum, even though there were no signs of a break-in. Sean puts two and two together and realizes there in an influx of monsters in town!

Now the group of misfits band together as the monster squad. They must use their expertise in monster folklore and the instructions in Van Helsing's journal to battle Dracula and his monster minions in hopes of sending them back to the netherworld before the amulet is destroyed.
Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man, Gillman, and The Mummy - what more can you ask for? They're all here, and they look great. Given there are five main monsters, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the makeup and costumes were. No doubt this is due to special effects guru Stan Winston being in charge of the monsters. He's worked on everything, from The Thing to Terminator 3.

Duncan Regehr does a wonderful and accurate portrayal of Dracula. He's evil, heartless, and determined to succeed in his quest at all costs. Besides the other monsters, there's little character interaction with Dracula because the children and police are just minor annoyances in his path. This works well, though. He treats them like flies buzzing around his head - a minor annoyance, but nothing a quick swish of the hand can't take care of. Tom Noonan also does a fine job as the cursed and misunderstood Frankenstein. It's only the children that can look past Frankenstein's exterior and see the good inside of him. It is only they that can befriend this gentle giant. The other monsters look good and act convincing. There are some great scenes with the Wolf Man including an exciting transformation scene.

The child actors each give fair performances; they are convincing in regards to their friendships and their love of monsters. They come across as normal, everyday friends thrown into this surreal situation, which is exactly how it should be.

What works about The Monster Squad? EVERYTHING! It's a fun story with lots of humor and jabs regarding monster mythology. There are several scenes like this, and you find the answer to many of them at later points in the movie. They're entertaining to watch and connect.

The Monster Squad has enormous appeal for children. It's Rated PG, there's no gore or killings to speak of, and all of the central characters are children. So yes, kids and adults can enjoy it together. I love this movie, but I'm biased since I watched it a lot as a child. There's no doubt anyone who has seen The Monster Squad as a child will love it even today. For those that haven't seen it, make it a must see! You'll definitely find The Monster Squad entertaining on many different levels.

Buy it on DVD - Region 1 (USA & Canada)

Buy it on DVD - Region 2 (UK & Europe)