Monday, April 7, 2014

6 Reasons Why We're Overreacting to Undertaker's WrestleMania Loss

I, like most all of you, was absolutely shocked when The Undertaker lost at WrestleMania XXX. The Undertaker is my all-time favorite wrestler, and in my opinion, is the greatest to ever step in the ring. We all expected the Deadman to walk into New Orleans, have a bad match with Brock Lesnar (none of you thought it was going to be good, be honest), and walk out 22-0. When the ref's hand hit that mat a third time--at least I think it did, it looked like a botched finish--I experienced an entire range of emotions. I jumped out of my seat, with my hands clasped behind my head, in complete shock. My logic was always this: The Undertaker is not going to lose to someone at WrestleMania unless it's an up-and-comer who would benefit from the win, like a Bray Wyatt or Roman Reigns. What benefit would Brock Lesnar get from winning? He's already established. The last time I thought Undertaker was in danger of losing was WrestleMania XXI versus Randy Orton. When I was over the shock, I started to feel anger. I felt like the WWE betrayed me. But when I woke up this morning, and let it all digest, I had gotten over it, and I think I may have overreacted. Here's some reasons why.

It's Undertaker's Decision

I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty sure when the decision was made for Undertaker to put over Lesnar, the conversations didn't go like this:

WWE Creative: "Hey Taker, you're losing at WrestleMania."

Undertaker: "K."

That didn't happen. If you've read anything about the streak, you know that it's ultimately the decision of The Undertaker. Let's face it, guys, Taker is 49 years old, he's been doing this for 25 years. His first WrestleMania was WrestleMania VII, the main event of that show was Hulk Hogan vs. Sergeant Slaughter, that's how long ago that was. Taker wouldn't have done this without putting a lot of thought into it. If he was presented with the idea of losing, and he wasn't for it, he would have said 'no'. He's The Undertaker, he has that kind of say-so.

WWE Just Showed You That Nothing Is A Guarantee

Photo: WWE.com

This was the most shocking moment in professional wrestling since the Montreal Screwjob, the only difference is that the Undertaker was in on it. Remember when Sean Waltman beat Razor Ramon on Raw back in the day, no one saw that coming either. Granted, this was a much bigger stage and grander spectacle, but the idea is the same. For people complaining that the WWE product has gotten stale and predictable, they just showed you why you should never think you know what's going to happen. I didn't expect it to happen, you didn't expect it to happen.

The odds for Lesnar winning last night were 850-1, according to a random thing I read on the Internet that I didn't do any double-checking on, and the only person in the world that would have picked Lesnar is that guy in Vegas with a gambling problem that has never watched wrestling.

It Doesn't Take Away From The Fact That It Was An Amazing Show

A lot of people on Twitter were saying this was the worst WrestleMania of all-time. Listen, Undertaker losing does not nullify every awesome thing we saw last night. That show was spectacular. Yes, it did suck every last bit of life out of the room until the last ten minutes of the main event, but that shouldn't cloud how you look at the show as a whole. The ones I feel sorry for are the divas, they had to follow that match.

Daniel Bryan versus Triple H was an A+ match. The six-man tag was short but gave the people the outcome that they wanted. Kofi Kingston again showed his creativity and athleticism. Cesaro showed why he is possibly, pound-for-pound, the strongest man in WWE history when he easily hoisted Big Show up and over the ropes. Cena versus Wyatt was slow, methodical, and told an amazing story (go back and watch it, the commentators barely spoke, because the wrestlers were telling the story perfectly). Undertaker and Brock didn't have a very good match overall, but you'll never forget where you were when Brock won. The divas...had a match. The main event got more out of Batista than I expected, and left the fans with what they wanted to see. I would definitely rank WrestleMania XXX in the top ten WrestleManias of all-time, if not the top five.

You're Doing What They Want You To Do: You're Talking About It

Go on Twitter, go on Facebook, go on almost any social media site, and you'll undoubtedly find post upon post upon post of people talking (i.e. complaining) about Taker versus Brock. Even if you're one of those people who hates wrestling, you must admit that this is a big deal. People cared about the streak. It had become bigger than WrestleMania itself. For the past twelve or so years, it was always big news when you found out who Undertaker was going to wrestle. Then at the event itself, you'd see tons of signs for the match, most of them nothing more than a number next to a 0 or 1. The creative team at WWE did their job, they got people talking about the product.

It Had To Happen Eventually

Like I said earlier, The Undertaker is almost 50 years old. I know he only wrestles once a year, but the guy wrestled a full schedule for over twenty years. I wrestled for ten years and only had a fraction of the amount of matches, bumps, and bruises that he's had. I can't even imagine what kind of agony his body goes through on a daily basis. Then, take into consideration how he's looked the last few years, physically. He's not as in shape as he used to be. Why? Because he's 50! Age catches up to all of us eventually, and that's no different for the Deadman.

One of the unwritten rules of professional wrestling is: "You come into the business on your back, you leave the business on your back." Ric Flair did it (before un-retiring), Shawn Michaels did it, I did it, and now the Undertaker has done it. I'm not sure if that was definitely Undertaker's last match, but if it was, it's good to see that he has enough respect and love for the business to hold up a time-honored wrestling tradition. It doesn't matter how big or small you are on the pro wrestling totem pole, you honor the business.

This Doesn't Tarnish His Legacy

If you did a survey of every wrestling fan in the world, and asked them to list who they thought were the top 5 greatest wrestlers ever, 99% of them would have Undertaker on that list, and the other 1% stopped watching wrestling in 1989.

The Undertaker did have other matches that didn't take place at WrestleMania, it seems like some people are forgetting this. Yes, a lot of his best matches took place at past WrestleMania events, but you know what? A lot of his best matches took place at other events. One loss does not take away the 20+ years the man has dedicated to entertaining us. Think about all the great matches he had with Mankind, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, and so on. Four of the six men I just listed he never faced at WrestleMania.

The Undertaker is timeless. He is a legend. In my opinion, there will never be anyone better. It's the best character in WWE history. The streak does not define the man. Are we wrong for being upset over the outcome of a pre-determined match? Or does the fact that the WWE had control over the outcome justify us getting upset? In my opinion, rather than getting upset, let's celebrate the career of the Deadman and appreciate what he's done.

It was the ultimate swerve, and even though I'm not happy about it and would rather have seen someone else end the streak, I'm sure WWE has taken the time to plan out, step-by-step, where they go from here. They're not going to take the streak lightly, it's a very big deal in the WWE.

Thanks for reading,

-Dustin

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Character/Franchises That Need Their Own 3DS

Nintendo has always loved doling out themed versions of their handheld consoles, and with the recent announcement of the Kirby-themed 2DS (pictured above), it got me thinking about all the cool designs that they could come up with. Yeah, it's a bunch of crap that the new Kirby game isn't included, but what can you do? I just recently upgraded to a 3DS XL with the Yoshi version, and while not having Yoshi's New Island included was a bit of a bummer, it wasn't a deal breaker.

Nintendo has been going crazy with the themed-3DS' in the past year, to the point that it's pretty much a given that any time Nintendo releases a new title in one of their first-party franchises, it'll be getting it's own 3DS. Mario & Luigi, Zelda, Pokemon, Yoshi, Animal Crossing, Kirby, and the list will certainly continue.

So here's some characters and franchises--not necessarily limited to Nintendo franchises--that I would love to see get their own 3DS.

Donkey Kong

When I picture this one, I actually think it would be cooler not to have the lovable giant ape on the console at all. In this case, I think a minimalist approach would be the way to go. I like the idea of a yellow 3DS with just the titular character's trademark tie being featured.

Castlevania

The original Nintendo DS had three different 2D Castlevania games, and all three of them are some of my favorites on the system. It's been too long since we've had a 2D Castlevania. No, I'm not forgetting about Mirror of Fate, I just want a new Castlevania that's more akin to the Metroid-style and not Lords of Shadow (even though I do like the LoS series). Since the protagonists usually change from game to game, the only acceptable character to feature on the system is the one constant from the beginning: Dracula.

Metroid

Out of all of the games and franchises I'm listing in this blog, this is the one that seems the most likely to someday see the light of day. I sat here for a long time trying to think of a good analogy of the Metroid series as it pertains to Nintendo. I feel like Nintendo looks at Metroid as the least popular cheerleader. She's still popular, but not enough to get asked out to prom. Surely, there will eventually be a Metroid game released on the 3DS, right? Give us a sequel to Metroid Fusion, or hey, give a Zero Mission-style upgrade to Super Metroid. Wait, nevermind, you got Super Metroid right the first time, please disregard what I just said.

Mega Man

Capcom may have given up on the Mega Man franchise, but the fans haven't. How great would a light blue 3DS featuring the Blue Bomber be? Even though Mega Man Legends 3 has been cancelled, Nintendo could save it by including some, if not all, of the NES Mega Man games available on the eShop on the SD card. Other than Pokemon, I think a Mega Man 3DS would be the highest selling bundle Nintendo could release.

Lego

I'm actually kind of baffled that Nintendo hasn't already done this one. They published Lego City Undercover, and the Lego games are quite profitable, so Nintendo must have seen something in Undercover to warrant them publishing. Considering how huge Lego and its game counterparts have become, I wouldn't be surprised if this one happens eventually.

Blargg

I'll take any and every excuse to write about Blargg. If they announced a Blargg 3DS, I would kick that Yoshi 3DS to the curb--meaning I would sell it on eBay--and pre-order it immediately. An orange-red system, showing only Blargg's eyes creeping up from the bottom of the system in its closed state, only to see that ridiculous cross-eyed...thing when you open it. Nintendo would have to stop trying at that point, because they wouldn't be able to make anything better. I'm not just talking about systems, I mean everything. Games, consoles, the whole kitten-kaboodle. Shut down everything, because they would reach the zenith of the industry at that point.

So how about you guys? Any particular character or series you would like to see get their own 3DS?

Thanks for reading, -Dustin

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The 5 Best Christmas Presents From My Childhood (That I Can Remember)

Christmas is almost here, everyone. It's my absolute favorite time of the year. It's also been a long time since I've written anything for my personal blog, and my buddy/enemy Luke suggested I write something about Christmas. I got to thinking about my childhood, about how I've always gotten excited for this time of year, and I started remembering a lot of my favorite gifts over the years, so I wanted to share some of them with you.

The Eliminator TS-7

Before I say anything, just watch this commercial.

Did you see how jacked that dude is? How could a child of 7 possibly resist this thing? There's seven different weapons in one! Don't you understand what kind of value that is? In one box you get: knife, bigger knife,...round knife?, a machine gun, a machine gun knife, a machine gun with a bigger knife, and a machine gun with a...round knife? AWESOME!

Not only was there 7 weapons, but they all had super rad sound effects. The knife had two buttons on it, one button made a "slice" sound, and the other (I believe) made a "thrust" sound. But, when you plug that bad boy into the machine gun attachment, you feel like you're back in Vietnam!

The Real Ghostbusters Figures

When I was a child, the two cartoon series that I absolutely loved were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (duh), and The Real Ghostbusters. Don't be fooled, as there were actually two Ghostbsters cartoons back then. There was one just called Ghostbusters, which, inexplicably, had a gorilla as part of the crew. But then there was The Real Ghostbusters, which was the true cartoon based on the films. Naturally, there were tons of action figures based on the show, and I specifically remember Christmas 1991 where I received all kinds of them. I missed out on the original run of figures, I got in the game with the "Super Fright Features" line of toys.

I also got a lot of the monsters. From the "Haunted Humans" line, I got this dude.

Then, from the "Monsters" line, I got all these mofos.

On top of all these, I also got the Ecto-1:

But the one that tops them all is the Ghostbusters HQ. In one of our family photo albums there is still a picture of me opening this. Just look at this thing.

Christmas '91 was a good year.

These Two Posters

I've always had a thing for posters. I still have a lot of videogame posters, as well as some of the bigger flyers from my wrestling career that I keep up. I just like displaying my interests, I guess. When I was a kid, my number one love was sports, so I wanted posters of my favorite players. Being a Cincinnati Reds fan in the early 90s, naturally my favorite player was Barry Larkin (still probably my all-time favorite player behind Pete Rose), and my walls were naked without this bad boy:

I didn't even know this was a movie reference at the time.

The other poster I really wanted was one that I saw of my favorite NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal. I always loved Shaq because I was the big kid on all my basketball teams growing up. I felt like I could relate to him, seeing as we're both tall, black, and think we can rap.

Yeah, remember when Shaq played for the Orlando Magic? Of course you don't. No one remembers that.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

I've always had a huge love for the Resident Evil series, even though these days it pretty much belongs in the toilet. I've written about it once...or twice...okay, three times. But back in 1999, it was my favorite series, because it always scared the crap out of me and kept me on the edge of my seat. Watch the commercial spot for it:

So awesome! It's not the best Resident Evil game, and in truth, was rushed to give fans something to play while the next real Resident Evil game was in development. The one thing that everybody agrees on, though, is that the titular character, Nemesis, is awesome. He chases you throughout the game, and it was always terrifying even when you knew he was coming.

Nintendo 64 with WCW/nWo Revenge

The Nintendo 64 isn't the best videogame console ever. As a matter of fact, I consider it a letdown. I wasn't very savvy when it came to videogames back then, so I didn't know what games were good and which ones weren't. But I played one at a friend's house on his birthday the previous month, and we spent the entire evening playing one game: WCW/nWo Revenge. That was enough for me to ask for an N64 and a copy of my own for Christmas. It's still, in my opinion, the best wrestling game ever made. I was always more of a WWE/WWF fan than WCW, but I had actually already gotten rid of the console by the time the allegedly superior WrestleMania 2000 and WWF No Mercy were released.

Watch this intro and try not to think it's the best thing ever. Seriously, everybody should see this at least once in their lives.

I love that the first minute makes it look like you're playing a horror game, and that first-person view of receiving the spear from Goldberg is still pretty awesome. This game will never be topped.

CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Thanks for reading.

-Dustin

Monday, October 28, 2013

5 Awesome Moments From the Best Monster Movie Ever Made

I wasn't planning on writing anything else for Halloween, but the call beckons me to march on. People always make a big deal about monster movies, so I wanted to talk about my all-time favorite, The Monster Squad. For those poor, uninitiated few, it was a movie about a group of pre-teens in the late 80s who form a club to take out the forces of evil. Why do monsters just suddenly show up in this small town? Because, reasons. The film has become a cult classic over the years, and for me, is one of those movies that I loved as a kid and will still watch frequently today. In my opinion, it has the most terrifying Wolfman ever put on film, and Duncan Regehr gives one of the best portrayals of Dracula that you'll ever see, and that's not just me, he's received legitimate praise for the role from reputable critics. It also has Jason Hervey and the guy who played Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, so that's also something.

Of course, being a late 80s action/horror/comedy, it has its fair share of ridiculous (i.e. awesome) moments, but I've limited myself to just 5 (or 6) for the sake of the readers, too much 80s stimuli is enough to kill a man.

Honorable Mention: The Answer to the Question of Wolfman's Manhood

If you've ever seen the movie, you know this amazing line, and I'll just leave it at that.

5. Greatest Montage Ever

This has got to be the most 80s thing ever. That song, kids making bullets in class and not a single teacher finding it suspicious, that kid bobbing his head to show you how much he rocks, it's just perfect. Rocky had its fair share of corny montages (let us not forget when Rocky and Apollo run on the beach in booty shorts), but if you want one that will make you laugh and shake your head at the same time, look no further.

4. Mummy Came in my House

This scene is actually kind of endearing. It shows a child's innocence and his father's love for him. In hindsight, it's a terribly telegraphed gag, but when I was a child, I thought it was really scary. I mean, the mummy is right there! Look! Just look, you idiot! He's going to get you! RUN!

3. Transformation

I know An American Werewolf in London has the most well-known transformation in horror, but I think this one deserves some credit. The fanatical man trying to help the police, only to be denied and subsequently transform while still on the phone. How would that not freak you out if you were on the other end of that line? The foaming at the mouth is always cool, the movement of the cheekbones and hair growth, and then the way he demolishes the phone booth, it's all so metal. Then he lets out that roar and you know things are about to go down.

2. Dracula is Terrifying

I think the reason Regehr is so good as Dracula is because he remains so calm and reserved throughout the film, the quiet evil. It's so effective that once he finally snaps and flares his fangs, it's legitimately scary. Fun fact: Ashley Bank, who plays the little girl in the scene, wasn't told that Regehr was going to have his fangs and contacts in, and her screams of fear are completely real. Today, that would be called 'child abuse.'

1. Wolfman's Death and Resurrection

Just watch this, and watch the entire thing. This is easily the best 3 minutes in the movie.

Awesome.

Thanks for reading.

-Dustin

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top 5 Best and Worst Halloween Candies

Halloween is amazing. You get to dress up as Hulk Hogan (like I did when I was 6), walk around knocking on people's doors, and they have to give you candy because you're so awesome. They comment about how great your costume is (because remember, you're Hulk Hogan), and then you get to go to the next house and do it again. It's an evening filled with junk food and compliments, and that's all Hulk Hogan wants. Of course, being 28 and childless, I can't exactly go trick-or-treating anymore unless I want to be that guy, but I still get to enjoy the leftover Halloween candy. Funny enough, the same candies that were being doled out to me 20 years ago are still in circulation. I see them every year, and sometimes I wonder how that candy company is still around. We all have fond Halloween memories, and I wanted to rank my top 5 favorite and least favorite Halloween candies.

Top 5 Worst

5. Gum

If you give gum as a Halloween treat, then every kid that you saw hates your guts. For starters, it's never anything good, like Mango Tango Stride. Secondly, the flavor lasts no more than 8 seconds. I can get gum any day of the year, why would I want gum for Halloween? In the time it takes me to be disappointed by another piece of Bazooka I could have eaten three fun size Kit Kats.

4. Good and Plenty

Everything about Good and Plenty is aesthetically unpleasing to the eye. That weird off-purple and white combo is just gross. It classifies itself as licorice candy, but it should instead be classified as butt candy, because it tastes like a giant butt. You want to give me licorice candy? Give me Twizzlers, because Twizzlers don't suck. Not to mention that these candies look an awful lot like drugs.

3. Now and Later

Do you want your gums to bleed? Do you want your teeth to break? Do you enjoy chewing on bricks? Then Now and Later is your game, son! They deceive you with what they call "flavors" and then shape and wrap it in such a way as to make you think you're about to eat something awesome like Starburst. Very cunning, indeed.

2. Tootsie Rolls

I like Tootsie Rolls, but not for Halloween. Much like gum, I can get them any time that I want. As a matter of fact, I can get a Tootsie Roll every time I go to Planet Fitness, because they have a tub full at the front entrance, and eating candy is always the best thing to do after walking very slowly on a treadmill for 12 minutes. To add insult to injury, during Halloween time they add different flavors. Are you kidding me? I don't want an orange Tootsie Roll, I prefer my Tootsie Rolls to look like poop.

1. Smarties

Smarties are the worst candy of all-time. I've never liked them, not even as a child, and children like everything that's technically considered a candy. I don't think Smarties actually exist between November and September, and then, come October 1st, they just sort of congeal into a solid mass of pill-shaped, vaguely Sweet Tart-flavored disgustingness. If someone offers me Smarties, I open the package and throw every piece back into their face and then backhand them like they just insulted my wife's honor.

That's enough anger, let's talk about 5 reasons why Halloween is awesome.

Top 5 Best

5. Starburst

I know that Skittles have the "Taste the Rainbow" tagline, but Starburst is the real king of fruit candy. I've never been a huge fan of fruit-flavored candy because I legitimately love almost every fruit, but Starburst gets it right. Not too hard, not too soft, even though pink has been designated the Starburst alpha flavor, you really can't go wrong with any Starburst, even the orange ones.

4. Milky Way

This seems to be a pretty controversial choice for some reason. I didn't realize there was so much Milky Way hate in the world. Now, Milky Ways aren't one of those candy bars that I would buy when I'm checking out at the grocery store or a gas station, but whenever I see a fun-size Milky Way, I'm all over that thing. I will say that you should stay away from the dark chocolate Milky Way, or the all caramel Milky Way, but the original formula is still great. Sometimes you get it right the first time.

3. Snickers

I once read that Snickers were the most popular candy bar in the world. It's not that surprising, I don't know anyone that doesn't love the combination of chocolate, caramel, peanuts, and nougat. I'm not even sure what nougat is, but I know that I love any candy bar that comes with it (Fast Break, represent). I've tried 4 different types of Snickers bars in my life: original, 3x Chocolate, Almond, and Peanut Butter Squared. All of them are incredible, especially the peanut butter, speaking of peanut butter...

2. Reese's Cups

Chocolate and peanut butter is, quite simply, the single greatest combination ever conceived for consumption. The only reason it's not number one on my list is because I can get it all year round, and my number one is seasonal, which somehow makes it taste better. Why does that make sense? Because your psychological being lies to your biological being, that's why. Your mind is all like "HEY, WE CAN ONLY GET THESE IN A VERY LIMITED WINDOW OF TIME, THAT MAKES IT BETTER!" and your taste buds are all like "I AGREE!" Your mind is sometimes your greatest foe.

1. Pumpkins

If you hipsters are allowed to get pumped up for pumpkin spice lattes, then I'm allowed to get pumped up for Halloween pumpkins. I'm not exactly sure what the name of them are, I've always just referred to them as 'candy corn pumpkins' because, well, because that's what they freaking are (I also like candy corn, so suck it, haters). Candy corn pumpkins are to Halloween what the 3-flavored popcorn tins are to Christmas. They only show up at a certain time of the year, but they make it all worth the wait the first time you sink your teeth into the creme goodness.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The 10 Most Awesome Goosebumps Covers

Last week I counted down the top 10 most ridiculous covers from the classic children horror novel series, Goosebumps. The thing about Goosebumps is that, for every dumb cover they had, they also had an awesome one that made you want to read the story inside. So for this entry, I've picked my 10 favorite covers. So let's get started...

10. Monster Blood II

I never really cared much for the Monster Blood series of stories, but they must have made R.L. Stine a good amount of money, because he made 4 of them. I can't speak to the quality of the tales, because it's been almost 20 years since I last read a Goosebumps book, but just going by the covers, this has to be the best Monster Blood of them all. Look at it, it's a giant hampster, and he just looks so happy. Monster blood makes dreams come true.

9. Egg Monsters From Mars

That deformed chicken placenta looks mighty angry, with angry egg-brows and everything. This gets bonus points for the fact that R.L. Stine managed to write a horror story about freaking eggs!

8. A Night in Terror Tower

This cover is great because of the simplicity. Looking at it now reminds me of games like Resident Evil 3: Nemesis or Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I don't remember if this guy is the only villain in the story, but the idea of being pursued by someone is quite terrifying, especially if that dude looks like Quasimodo wearing an executioner's mask and wielding a giant axe.

7. Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes

I love that these lawn gnomes are drawn to look like a couple of toughs straight out of a 1960s musical. They look like they should be leaning on a hot rod and smoking Camels.

6. Night of the Living Dummy III

The Night of the Living Dummy stories were my absolute favorite Goosebumps stories. I don't know why, I just loved them, the idea of a living ventriloquist dummy was very intriguing to me as a child. And what's better than a living dummy (because I know you're asking)? Ten living dummies. That's ten times the HORROR!!! However, I remember in the TV series that the dummy actually looked more like Gabbo from The Simpsons than he did Slappy from these books.

5. The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight

When I was at the height of my Goosebumps fandom, I was also really big into the Scary Stories series, and this cover, along with the story "Harold" from Scary Stories taught me to be terrified of scarecrows. It also elicits memories of Children of the Corn, even though the two stories are completely different.

4. Attack of the Mutant

I've never been into reading comic books, but I love comic book characters. I remember reading this story and thinking that it reminded me of the Sega Genesis game, Comix Zone, even though this story is the opposite of the game, where the comic book character comes into the real world instead of the other way around. The character pictured here just looks awesome, that's why I included it. Shut up, I don't need another reason.

3. You Can't Scare Me

On the TV series, the mud monsters from this episode look completely ridiculous. Here, however, they look terrifying. They look like they want to eat your soul, they also look like Swamp Thing, which gives them an increase in awesomeness.

2. The Curse of Camp Cold Lake

This is probably the only Goosebumps cover that could actually scare a little child. It looks like it could be the poster of a legitimate horror film. This was one of the last Goosebumps books in the original series run, and even though the story was done to death in the series (this is the 4th one about a kid at camp), it's one of the more memorable covers there is. Also, this cover reminds me of Skeletor at the post-credits scene in the live-action Masters of the Universe film, and that's never a bad thing.

1. The Werewolf of Fever Swamp

This is the definitive Goosebumps cover. Whenever I think of the series, I immediately have this image pop into my head. It's so awesome, even today. You got the full moon, that B.A. wolf, the pale purple of the sky, the bubbling swamp, and some poor child's clothes...which somehow were untouched before the wolf decided to devour him. Now, let us remember how awesome this cover is while listening to "Bark at the Moon."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The 10 Most Ridiculous Goosebumps Covers

I, much like everyone my age, grew up with the children's horror novel series, Goosebumps. For those of you who are younger (or older) and never experienced them, they're basic horror storytelling: There's a pre-teen kid (who is usually the narrator), there's a monster/ghost/pedophile that starts creeping on them, it happens at school/camp/grandpa's, their parents/guardians don't believe them, then they have do something or other to make it stop, and there's usually a twist at the end where someone is transformed into something/was an alien/it was all a joke/dream. Every story had the same basic outline, but I was obsessed with them. To this day, I still own every single one of the original run of the series.

So for Halloween, I'm going to write a few articles about them. The series turned into a franchise, with a television series that ran for four seasons, three videogames, and there was even talks of a film in 1998 being directed by Tim Burton (thank God that didn't happen). There were knock-offs, like the Strange Matter series, and we also had Fear Street, however, Fear Street and Goosebumps both have the same author, R.L. Stine, so that was more of a spin-off.

They were stupid, but they were fun. The best part was the cover art, I used to sit there and just stare at them. I went back and looked at some, and while some of them were awesome (that will be listed in the next part), some of them were just a little bit cheesy.

10. Say Cheese and Die - Again!

The original Say Cheese and Die features the same cover, but with the family at a cookout. This one is better simply because there's a skeleton dog being fed table scraps. Even the turkey that the family is about to indulge in is bare bones. That evil camera spares nobody!

Fun fact: In the Say Cheese and Die episode of the television series, Ryan Gosling plays the main character.

9. The Barking Ghost

This was the 32nd book in the Goosebumps series, and I'm absolutely amazed that it took R.L. Stine 31 other books before he finally thought "How about a ghost...dog?" This dog is not in any way, shape, or form intimidating. It looks like a young child is wearing a dog mask, and I submit that any dog with ears that floppy can't possibly hurt you.

8. My Hairiest Adventure

It's called puberty, kid, and there's a lot worse things that are going to happen than a little hair growth. Seriously though, this story is about a kid that puts on some expired tanning lotion and starts turning into a dog, or something. How is that scary to kids? When I was that age, turning into a dog sounded like the coolest thing that could ever happen to me.

7. Calling All Creeps!

I don't know why, but I like to imagine these guys speaking in Jersey accents.

"Hey yo, is yo refrigerator runnin'? It is? Well then you better go catch it you stupid gavone."

"Good one, dude!"

6. Beware, The Snowman

Yes, tremble in fear of this very basic snowman that can in no way harm you...because it's a snowman, and you can literally break his arms if he tries anything. Also, it's a SNOWMAN!

5. Piano Lessons Can Be Murder

For any Angry Video Game Nerd fans, perhaps you've seen his episode of a game called Plumbers Don't Wear Ties. This cover art reminds me of that game because it's so boring and dumb, like it was made using clip art. The story itself is actually a pretty creepy one, it's about a piano instructor who takes the hands of his stupids so that he can play forever. It turns out the instructor is a robot, because of course he is.

4. The Blob That Ate Everyone

I think of two things whenever I see this.

1) That's Krang.

2)...

3. Chicken Chicken

Seriously, look how ridiculous that is. I never read any of the later books because I entered junior high and I considered Goosebumps to be kid stuff, but the collector in me had to keep getting them. So I never got around to reading this one, but to be fair, if you had the chance to turn a ginger into a chicken and eat them, you would take it, too.

2. The Horror at Camp Jellyjam

First, I can't be scared of a place called "Jellyjam." Second, I can't be scared of someone that reminds me of Pat from Saturday Night Live. Third, give me the Decal of Doom.

1. Why I'm Afraid of Bees

This was a very early Goosebumps book, but I never read it. I also remember that it was the last one that I purchased because I knew, solely based on the flat-topped child, that it was going to be stupid. From the terrible pun of a tagline "He's no ordinary human bee-ing..." to the fact that the cover gives away the entirety of the story, this has to go down as the most ridiculous Goosebumps cover ever.

Join me next week when I rank my top 10 BEST Goosebumps covers.