Hey everyone! Last year, I have made a blog about what R. L. Stine should have done with some of his sequels and just recently I have done some more brainstorming with more of these sequels and what R. L. Stine should have done with them. And now I have created this blog to share my thoughts and ideas to you. Before I go any further, there are some things that I should let you know about. First, there is a chance of spoilers, so if you don't want any spoilers, you may want to leave the page. Second, I'm not saying any of this to be mean or critical to R. L. Stine - I'm just saying what is on my mind. And third, everything I say here is my personal opinion. So now, here is more of what I think R. L. Stine should have done with some of his sequels.
Say Cheese and Die - Again!
Ah, the Evil Camera - it made its debut in such a brilliant and unique story. But it seems that every time it had a sequel, it always had something working against it. I have already gone through Say Cheese - And Die Screaming, so now I'm going to bring up the one that started this, Say Cheese and Die - Again! Where do I even start with this? Well first of all, in Say Cheese and Die if I recall correctly, Greg Banks told a policeman about the Evil Camera in the aftermath of Shari's birthday party, but the policeman didn't believe him and later on at the end of the story, Greg didn't tell the police about how the camera killed Spidey because he figured they wouldn't believe him about that. Well this sequel ignored all of that and allowed Greg to tell the whole story of the Evil Camera to his class, only to have them laugh at him. And then there's Greg's teacher, Mr. Saur, a.k.a. Sourball. I really loathe this guy because Mr. Saur is one of the worst characters introduced in Goosebumps. He has been a real jerk to Greg, being very cruel to him and embarrassing him every chance he had. At the end of the story, Sourball was a teacher that should have been fired. I guess I shouldn't leave out that Greg wasn't as perfect as he was in the prequel. He was actually ruined in this story. Greg should have known better than to dig out the camera after what had happened to him and his friends, but he became foolish and selfish in this story. I mean, he was thinking more about getting a good grade that would earn him a visit to his cousins than the possible danger that he would put everyone else in. Heck, he took a picture of a boy named Jon and caused him to step on a carpenter's nail (by mistake of course). But even that wasn't enough to make Greg put the camera back. Then Greg became obese because of Shari taking a photo of him to pay him back for a photo that he accidentally took of her. And there were some of these fat jokes that some people including Mr. Saur made about Greg - I don't know what to say about that. And then there was that cliffhanger when Mr. Saur decided to take a photo of the class when Greg brought it to have his revenge on the teacher for how he treated him. Yes, these aspects are what make this book one of my least favourites. Originally, I was among others that thought it was a sequel that should never have happened - but then I thought of this.
If R. L. Stine was to make a sequel to Say Cheese and Die, here's what I think he should have done. Instead of Greg, he could have made Jon, the boy who moved in the Coffman House the main character. Jon was new to this storyline at the time, so he wouldn't have known what had happened during the summer with the Evil Camera. He and his parents, who were planning on moving like in the actual story would have been having a look around at the Coffman House and as he was exploring, Jon would have discovered the Evil Camera in its hiding place, become fascinated by it like in the actual story and take it home like Greg did. And like with Greg, it would lead to some trouble with Jon as he would inadvertently cause accidents with the camera. Also during these events, Jon would notice a mysterious figure watching him and it would later be revealed to be the real creator of the camera. The creator would tell the story of how he made the Evil Camera to Jon and that he has come to get it back. But Jon wouldn't trust the creator and he would try to keep the Evil Camera away from him. This would then result to a chase which would end with Jon getting trapped at a tip. The creator would then try to wrestle the Evil Camera away from Jon, who would accidentally take a picture of the creator and in the picture, he would have the carpenter's nail in his foot. After the creator is taken away and arrested, Jon and his family would return to the Coffman House to have another look at it. There, Jon would return the Evil Camera to its hiding place like Greg did so it can do no more harm (he wouldn't tell anyone else about the camera because he won't think they would believe him about it). And then he would leave with his family, who would decide to not buy the Coffman House after all. And then maybe it would give Jonathan Chiller a chance to find it like how I mentioned in my previous blog. And maybe in that same story, the creator would escape from prison and go after Julie, who would later have the camera in her possession.
Monster Blood for Breakfast!
I don't think I can argue with the fact that Matt Daniels did pretty well as a protagonist. But there are some problems with this book that I have that I would like to bring up. First of all, GoosebumpsArt mentioned in his review that Kermit Majors was annoying and unredeemable, but he was nothing compared to Bradley Wormser. Well GoosebumpsArt, you are absolutely right there. Bradley really was more annoying than Kermit. He's said to worship Matt and yet he steals from him and gets him in trouble with his teachers. Bradley has made it clearly obvious that he is also envious (or should I say jealous?) of Matt, but really it's no excuse to behave like that. What makes it even more frustrating is that Matt's mother doesn't seem to take any notice of this and still thinks they're friends. And although Matt was one of the Very Special Guests in HorrorLand, the Monster Blood hardly did anything much in the Panic Park arc. It did attack Matt, Billy and Sheena but that was all it did. I mean, despite being more capable of moving on its own than the Evil Camera, the Monster Blood ended up not joining the other villains in Panic Park, which is pretty odd. I don't know if it's just me or not, but unlike Slappy and the Haunted Mask, the Monster Blood seems to have gone to a point where it just keeps getting shoehorned in a story that it feels pointless in because of how much of a fan-favourite it is, much like Duck in the eighteenth season of Thomas and Friends and The Joker in the Suicide Squad movie. And to me right now, that definitely feels like the case in this arc.
I think what R. L. Stine should have done is like with the Evil Camera, remove the Monster Blood from the Panic Park arc and replace it with a character that really needed attention at this stage. And like with Say Cheese - And Die Screaming, he could have made this book one of the Chiller House books, possibly replacing a story that didn't quite work out and Jonathan Chiller could have kept a can of Monster Blood in his shop. And instead of Monster Blood for Breakfast, the title could have been Poject: Monster Blood! In the story, Matt and Bradley could have been genuine best friends who have come to HorrorLand for a holiday like everyone else. And before that, they were planning a science project for a science convention in school coming up. They would find the Monster Blood in Chiller House and Matt would think that it would be perfect for something unusual for a science project and being the scientist that he is, he would buy the Monster Blood for their project. As part of the project, Matt and Bradley would study the Monster Blood, learning of its concept and tactics. At some point, they would also pour some of the Monster Blood in Matt's plants like in the actual story to see how fast the Monster Blood can make them grow and how big, with Matt taking photos of them every morning. And of course, it would end up being disasterous at the science convention with the Monster Blood growing bigger and causing havoc there. Matt and Bradley would eventually defeat it, but in a twist ending, they would find the plants that they poured the Monster Blood in causing havoc in their neighbourhood. And of course in the epilogue, Matt would tell us that the plants have been taken care of too. And Monster Blood being at HorrorLand could probably also indicate that the Horrors had an affiliation with Sarabeth, the witch that created the Monster Blood as there is actually more than a can of it there.
And that's what I think R. L. Stine could have done with these books. Do you guys agree with any of this? If you do or you don't, please let me know in the comments below.