Review: Goosebumps – Welcome to Camp Nightmare (Pt. 1)

Camp Nightmare
Camp Nightmare

RL Stine is back with a briefcase full of pages he doesn’t seem to care that get blown away. Probably something totally invaluable like…a Goosebumps TV episode script! It’s “Welcome to Camp Nightmare” and as the image suggests, it’s an episode, based on a Goosebumps book, that then had a book written based on the episode. WHAT?

As a mentally-retarded student bus pulls up to the camp, a blurry camera shot suggests “something” is in the woods. As the driver slams his brakes, he drops all the kids off in the woods and drives off as one child proclaims “You can’t just leave us here!”

A creature makes a loud growl and begins running around the kids. We see its…a werewolf! Commercial break and when we return, Uncle Al shoots a Men in Black explosive style gun that looks like it delivered a miniature nuclear warhead to the spot he shot. The werewolf don’t want none of that!

We get some meaningless dialogue.

"Hi, I'm a girl." "Hi, I'm a boy." Ok fellas, we've covered the romance area of this story.
“Hi, I’m a girl.” “Hi, I’m a boy.” Ok fellas, we’ve covered the romance area of this story.

Martha, who could pass for a Matthew, gets the girls while Teddy Roosevelt gets the boys. One kid says he forgot his deodorant and is glad he won’t be around the girls. This reminds me of several smelly kids I had class with in school who had a similar, loose personal hygiene policy. Get a hint – if you can smell it, everyone else can 10 times worse and I can 100 times worse because I can smell anything. I’m part bloodhound.

America's 26th President is back - in Goosebumps!
America’s 26th President is back – in Goosebumps!

The kids are all sharing a large room. Brings back memories of the time I went to summer camp. Which reminds me: Camp BLOWS. A kid gets bitten by a boa constrictor (which isn’t poisonous.) The kids hurriedly exclaim that they need to get the poison out. The gay camp counselor says this isn’t a camp for wimps. Calls him a baby and surprisingly, doesn’t offer to suck the poison out.

A horribly off-key camp song is performed while Mike goes numb on his left side. Teddy Roosevelt isn’t happy that one of the kids was speaking during the song, so he begins to be a dickhead, but discovered Mike’s snake-bitten arm. He grabs it his fully-wrapped arm and inspects the inch-think bandaging in a fairly rough manner. His medical expertise tells him its good that it hurts, since that means he still has feeling in it. Logically, he would be thrilled to hear of a broken leg. He says this bite is nothing to worry about – even though he hasn’t seen the bite due to the wrap.

A kid offers Michael a marshmallow he picked up on the trail, disguised as being in his pocket from earlier. Once Michael eats it, the kid makes fun of him for eating a marshmallow off of the ground. “Well, why did you pick it up in the first place, motherfucker? Oh yeah, because you were going to eat it.” is what I would have said, but this kid just sucks down a gulp of defeat.

The kids are awakened to the sound of a bugle or trumpet, the worst instrument. I remember trying out for band in the 6th grade and wanting the drums or at worst, a clarinet or flute since they seemed easy. What I didn’t want was to blow my lungs out for an hour a day playing trumpet in 7th period so that got QUIT. Moby decides to freak out the little kid as we transition to breakfast.

Terrifying prospect of a Moby appearance
Terrifying prospect of a Moby appearance

The counselors are eating good food while the kids eat shitty oatmeal. They look unhappy about it but none of them grew up in the holocaust either. The counselor says “Get your faces out of your balls” intending to say “bowls” – then invites the kids to play baseball. Unfortunately, he doesn’t say “base bowls.”

The baseball scene happens and Larry throws the ball so hard, it caved in the helmet of one of the kids and kills him instantly. But he’s back up somehow. “Tough it out” Roosevelt says.

Creepy camping-at-night scene. The kids write home. Billy writes, but reads so fast, he would have to be writing at super-speed to keep up. Since the paper isn’t on fire, I have to assume he isn’t really writing anything. Looks like a werewolf is back. Billy is alone, by choice, as he hears “Sabre.” He runs into some kids and one is near catatonic. The kids run into a building and prepare to be scared – and sure enough, are, as the door swings open and…

To Be Continued…yep. It’s a two part episode. Hopefully, the second half is interesting. On a positive note, the acting wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen from kids (it wasn’t good though. That’s not achievable. The best they can do is “Somewhat convincing.”).

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