Occasionally in my travels to the local shopping mall I come across some discounted crap that nobody's ever heard of and that I just have to take home for some inexplicable reason. That's not the case here, though. The reason's totally explicable, not to mention obvious -- it's called Creepy Freaks: The Gross-Out 3D Trading Game for chrissakes. I didn't much care for the kid, and the guy with his own head in a slingshot was okay, but there was no way in hell I could've resisted those figurines of a toilet monster and a rotting feral cat half-buried in the filth of its own litterbox. Still, I was in doubt at the time -- $1.50 for a bunch of gamepieces I'd never use is a bit much, given that I don't have a whole lot of money to begin with and despite the coolness of Swirly and Spitty-Cat they'd probably just sit around collecting dust.
In any case, even if I'd still gone for the Creepy Freaks, you probably wouldn't be reading this article right now. Sure, the game itself -- which sounds like a cross between Chess, Checkers, and Pokemon -- might be kind of fun, and I'd like to give it a shot someday, but there's probably not a whole lot I could've written about it. A closer look at the Creepy Freaks box, however, yielded the following text: "CARTOON DVD INCLUDED!" So now we've got four figurines, a die, and a cartoon dvd for $1.50 -- a bargain by all accounts, plus the subject of today's review. And I think that'll do nicely for an introduction, don't you? The game came with a die; now let's roll.
The first thing you see when you load up the dvd is the menu below. That's right, it's got a menu. With multiple options! There's even a language selection option, so, if you like, you can listen to monsters talk about farting in French and apply all of the stereotypical generalizations you want. Unfortunately there's no subtitle option, but still -- I'm impressed.
Now, when I sit down with a dvd, I generally like to watch the trailer -- in a best case scenario, it helps me to get a feel for the movie before I get into the movie itself. In a worst case scenario, the trailer has nothing at all to do with the film, or is better than the film, but I try to be an optimist about it and hope for the best. Anyway, there's no trailer option here, but in lieu of that, let's try the "Dannon Yogurt Commercial", shall we?
Okay, before we even get into the commercial, what happened when I clicked the option is enough to confirm the undeniable greatness of this dvd. Know that I generally watch dvds sitting at my computer, and I generally listen to them via headphones. And imagine my surprise when I clicked that option and was met by a subtle belch in my ear. Nothing really loud or revolting -- because that would be over the top, and therefore funny, and that's not what we're about here. No, the title of this dvd is "Creepy Freaks". And hopefully you'll never know, but take my word for it: a light little belch in your ear when you click the option to watch a Dannon Yogurt Commercial is definitely creepy stuff.
But it doesn't stop there -- the commercial is also seriously creepy. Here, have a look see.
DANNON YOGURT COMMERCIAL!!!
Welcome to the Dannon's Sprinkl'ins commercial. That's seriously how it begins -- it shouts, "WHADJYAGET???" at you a bunch of times while bombarding you with images of frenzied hyperactive children whipping their heads around and violently shaking containers of Sprinkl'ins alongside their ears for no apparent reason. Also, the name "Sprinkl'ins" is technically incorrect -- if it's supposed to be a hip version of "sprinklings", then the apostrophe is in the wrong place -- but I don't know why I'm harping on apostrophe rules for a product that apparently turns perfectly normal children into tenth level turbo-speed lunatics with yogurt on their minds.
Okay, so perhaps they weren't "perfectly normal" even before they came into contact with Dannon's Sprinkl'ins. It's entirely possible that the kid on the left was, in fact, transformed by the yogurt, given that one of the "surprise" flavors appears to be retromutagen ooze, but I'm going to assume that he was born with that face and has always been a member of the sewer-dwelling Morlock clan. And again, what's up with the shaking of the contaniner next to one's ear? Does mutagen have a soul? Does it cry out in dizziness? Splinter-san never spoke on these matters. And the yogurt didn't do that to the girl on the right either -- she's clearly enjoying it, but the expression on her face is that of a deranged killer who butchered some hapless victim to claim her cultured prize. Blood always makes the yogurt sweeter.
The lunacy continues with a number of children bouncing here and there like Gummi Bears amidst a bunch of multicolored sheets -- the yogurt's not even a factor in this scene, so I'm not sure what to make of it. Not that I'd know what to make of it anyway. On the right, we have a boy peering furtively at the contents of a container of Sprinkl'ins. I don't know if you can tell from the screencap, but there's something else disturbing here -- the boy's eyes are bloodshot red. Now, this could mean a number of things, but given that he's stretched out in the grass staring stealthily at yogurt, I'm guessing he's stoned off his ass. This begs the question: Just how did he get so high? Was he high before he got ahold of the yogurt, or did he get so wasted from eating it that now he's staring into the empty container to see if there's any more yogurt hiding inside? Oh, you crafty yogurt, he's got your number -- you won't escape his munchies this time.
WELL. Edible surprises can be nice, but I'm not sure I trust clandestine TGRI yogurt advertised on a $1.50 dvd that belches in your ear. And note the exact wording of the slogan: "You never know, 'till you flip your lid." For my part, I'm inclined to believe it -- every kid in the commercial was batshit insane, so apparently this is one mystery you've gotta lose your fucking mind to solve. Thanks for the offer, Dannon, but I think I'll pass.
So now I guess we can watch the animation episode. Click the option; another belch in the ear. Ick.
And the episode begins with a pool of snot erupting onto the screen. Wow. At length -- at length, i.e. after about a minute of the snotworks -- the logo appears overtop of it. That alone was worth the $1.50 I paid for the dvd and figurines.
Fade to a snapshot of a group of teens all dressed up for Halloween. There's also a creepy smiling kid standing near them and pressing his hands together with glee -- he's got no costume, but since his hat always covers one of his eyes I'm thinking he looks weird enough as it is. So let's meet the cast, shall we? The kid is named Lucas, and the doofy guy with huge orange eyebrows, a bandaged hand, tire marks across his shirt, and a chicken bone sticking out of his shoulder (clever reference to the ol' "Why did the chicken cross the road?" joke or just plain piss-poor costume? I dunno!) is his older brother Nate. Dressed as the Grim Reaper, and the character who will later fulfill the role of the hip sk8r boi with 'tude, is Zack. The kid with a glass bowl on his head and a table around his neck is Timmy -- who, as his costume oddly enough suggests, is all about using his noggin'. Symbolism in Creepy Freaks abounds.
Diana is dressed as the blue vampire, which is also appropriate because she bloodsucks the patience of everyone present every time she opens her mouth, whining about how she's broken a nail or that snot keeps getting in her hair and seeping into her panties. Prissy bitch. And finally, we have...the girl who isn't named once during the entire episode. Granted, you don't even find out Zack's name until the last five or so minutes of the cartoon, but the unfortunate lass in the Jimi Hendrix costume is left unnamed, and therefore unloved, for the duration of the show. Now, on a lesser site you'd probably get some unfunny comments about racism and the like, but not on SC -- here we're just going to take the high road and give her a name. She does more talking than anyone, and she often assumes the role of spokesgirl for the group, so that's going to be her name -- Spokesgirl. We love you, Spokesgirl. Keep on talkin'.
So the setup for the episode isn't animated, but we hear voices talking. Apparently Lucas (who sounds quite a bit like Chuckie from "Rugrats") wants to go trick-or-treating with the big kids, but Nate is having none of it. Then their mother's voice tells him to let the kid tag along, and Nate begrudgingly complies. "Sweet," murmurs Lucas.
Thankfully, the next scene is animated. The group (sans costumes, I dunno why, since it's supposed to be happening immediately following the snapshot and they keep making references to trick-or-treating) is standing outside of an abandoned school. "So...you think you're cool enough to hang with us big kids? Huhahahah! Then prove it! You gotta go in, dude!" says Nate. Our heroine Spokesgirl sticks up for the kid, but like a
"What was I thinking?!" he cries aloud to himself, once inside -- and to be honest, I've gotta agree with him. That was all great and courageous, going in by himself, but to venture deeper into the school even after seeing SKULLS and BONES and POOLS OF BLOOD on the floor? There's a fine line between courage and reckless stupidity, and this kid just crossed it WITH AUTHORITY and found himself in Hell. Right about now Cryptkeeper would be chiming in with the punny moral of the story. So Lucas is walking down this creepy corridor, past a number of closed doors, when suddenly one of them opens and sucks him inside. Yep, just like that. Aaaand what's behind DOOR NUMBA THREE?
So let's see here. We've got, from left to right, a mad scientist (Von Klink), a fucked-up slobbering Jack-in-the-box thing (rather unimaginitively named
So of course the kid does what anyone would do when faced with a pack of drooling monsters and screams his bloody head off. And naturally, since this is a children's cartoon, the monsters, instead of attacking and eating his flesh like they apparently did to those poor fools in the hallway, respond by screaming back. "Don't eat me!!!" cries Lucas. "Stay away!!!" And to his surprise, they do. "Whatever you say, we will do," the monsters chant. "Say what??" Lucas answers. And of course the monsters start saying "what" a bunch of times. Oh, ho ho, you crazy literal Creepy Freaks! Me love you lots. Especially Serpentina. "Wait here," Lucas says, and rushes back to tell the others about his new monster slaves.
Once inside, Lucas is leading the way, but Nate and the others stop in front of a pulsing door. Lucas tells them that's not the right one, but Nate insists on opening it. Naturally, they're sucked inside, and the gang ends up in a world of one-eyed bean-harvesting oranges armed with scythes. Naturally. And despite having the Grim Reaper's weapons at their disposal, they take off running the instant Spokesgirl says, "Hi."
But of course they come back with a bunch of useless stick pincher thingies and manage to take the humans hostage.
They're taken to the royal palace, where one of the guards informs the king about the situation as follows: "These are the ugly creatures we found spying on the royal bean fields, your putridness. So clean...so many eyes...I...I...Forgive me, sire -- I think I'm gonna be sick!!!" And then the guard runs off to vomit somewhere.
But forget about him; let's meet King SBD! Wanna know what the letters stand for? STAY TUNED! So yeah, there he is, the terrifying result of a Fatso and Stretch telepod accident, dipped the piss of someone who doesn't drink much water. I'm not sure I get the crack about "so many eyes" from the one-eyed orange guard, since the king apparently has two eyes too (two eyes too! ha ha), but he's definitely a lot less clean than the humans, with the munching of giant beans and curdled milk frosting his mouth and flying all over the place when he talks. Oh, and there's the clothesline covering his nose, too. I bet you're just dying to know why he's wearing that, eh? I mean, what are beans for...right?
What an expression. So yeah, he lets a big one rip, whereupon the guards at his sides literally drop dead, only to be immediately replaced by two others. Well, this society may be disgusting, but at least nobody can call it inefficient.
Then Spokesgirl speaks up with the usual "we come in peace" introductions, and King SBD promptly tells her to shut up. He then calls for Jar-Head. And here comes Jar-Head, a brain in a jar, like Mutagen Man minus the arms and legs. However, Jar-Head does have his own wiper, the capabilities of which he demonstrates for us when the king spits puss-curd all over the front of his jar. "Study these ugly monkeys," says the king, "and find out why they are sthoo repugnant." "Yes your malodorousness!" Jar-Head replies.
As they're taken away, Spokesgirl calls back, "Wait! There must be something we can do to earn our freedom!" SBD ponders it for a moment and finally responds, "Well...you could beat me at a Freak Out." And then he proceeds to laugh like crazy as if the possibility of him losing at a Freak Out is the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard. In the midst of his laugh, he lets another one go, thus killing two more of his henchmen -- but in the next frame, we see they've already been replaced. And now it strikes me that the short lives of the king's one-eyed oranges attendants are not unlike that of the Slayer: one falls; immediately another is summoned. On the other hand, Buffy was never killed by a fart.
As the gang is taken up the stairs, Timmy does a few calculations and determines that...they're in "serious trouble", prompting Zack to essentially say "fuck this" and tip the cage over. Thus freed, the gang runs to the top of the tower and out of a door, finding themselves at the ege of a precipice. Their only means of escape appears to be a green river at the bottom into which they must jump -- and with Jar-Head and the one-eyes are right behind them, the choice is obvious. Well, except for Diana, who wastes time bitching about ruining her clothes. Finally Spokesgirl gets fed up with it, snatching her up by the arm as the gang leaps from the cliff in unison. They jump a tad too late, however; while the others escape, Jar-Head is able to grab Timmy as the others plummet into the river below...
...which just happens to be formed entirely of snot. So while Diana complains about having fallen into the goop and I fight the urge to smack the television with a brick just to shut her up, the others, having noticed that Timmy was captured, cry back to him, telling him to be brave and to hang on. Good to know that their priorities are in the right place, at least. And speaking of priorities, with me being a "guy", as they say, let me direct your attention to Diana's chest. Wait, nevermind -- IT'S NONEXISTENT. I don't know how old these kids are supposed to be, but still, that's pretty sad right there. I mean, seriously. COULD YOU BE ANY FLATTER, DIANA??? *Ahem*. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
Luckily, they're rescued by a skeleton with a backwards cap who happens to be standing in a forest filled with blinking eyeballs. As this is going on, miss prissy is complaining about getting snot on her shoes. Stop bitching and look up, Diana; that eyeball is looking up your skirt and checking out your ass. Why, you ask? Beats looking at your chest.
So the guys start to argue amongst themselves about how they should go about saving Timmy. However, it turns out that none of them know what a "Freak Out" is, so they have no idea what to do. Spokesgirl asks the skeleton if he knows. And does he ever! Ladies and gentlemen, meet...
Yep. Someone out there had the brilliant idea of stripping Snoop Doggy Dogg of his flesh with a serrated knife and removing his tibiae and fibulae to connect his foot directly to the femur via the tarsals. UNH! Don't know what I just said? Then you ain't down with tha bones. Better grab yo'self an anatomy book and reco'nize, foo'!
So Skelehomie "starts the 4-1-1 from the beginning" and explains to the group that "a Freak Out is how the Creepy Freaks solve all the problems in all the hoods." Yep. Before you can battle, however, you've got to round up a team of four monsters. At this, the monsters in the background start waving and shouting enthusiastically to attract the attention of the gang. They've been sitting on their asses for far too long. Enough is enough; it's time for some action.
On that note, we cut to a stadium, and
The match gets off to a heated start, with Nate calling out, "MONSTER UNDER THE BED!!! MOAN OF DOOM!!!" Yep, it's just like Pokemon. ONLY CREEPIER. And with freaks. And Snoop Dogg sans flesh. Yep. So Monster Under the Bed slithers forward and moans really loudly. I don't understand what's supposed to be so gross about it, but it seems to do the trick until Zack yells, "WORM BREATH!!!! WORM TOSS!!!!!!!" whereupon Worm Breath reaches into his mouth, pulls out a handful of dripping, writhing worms, and proceeds to nail Monster Under the Bed square on the nose with 'em. Nobody looks grossed out by any of this stuff, but MUTB sure looks confused.
You know what? I hate to admit it, but this is pretty dull, and I apologize for that. Not that watching it is all that boring -- though it's not that great -- but I can't imagine what it's like for you at home to read a play-by-play about purple demon creatures with beds for hats moaning and subsequently being hit with a handful of worms by a mutant fish creature with flotation devices on its arms. It's almost impossible for me to communicate the appeal of watching this kind of thing.
As depicted above, Nate then commands a geriatric wheelchair-bound vampire with an oversized head to spit his stinky fanged dentures at the freak leader, i.e. Zack -- so basically he just ordered his monster to drink his best friend's blood via remote. Like I said, I apologize for the lack of interesting content here. Zack dives, thus dodging the attack, but Worm Breath takes one for the team in his stead. But no matter! Zack summons Venus -- a giant red-headed (literally, ha ha) flytrap; not one of the more inspired designs -- and her "GULP ATTACK!!!" to take care of the offending dentures. The dentures writhe around for a bit inside her stomach before she's forced to vomit them up. They then return to Vampappy, who promptly replaces them. And here it dawns on me that the sickest things in this match are the unintentional gross-outs. Yeah, there's something pretty sick about sticking dentures in your mouth that have both been in contact with a mutant fish-man who belches worms and have been vomited up by a giant flytrap, but it's even more vile when you consider that those dentures were spat out in the first place because your team leader commanded you to murder his bestest pal on his behalf. I guess it takes a corrupt person to win a Freak Out. :(
Well, things aren't looking good for Zack's team -- and can you blame them? I think I'd be grossed-out too if a decaying cat puked a hail of rancid hairballs in my direction. I'd probably be doing the same thing Worm Breath's doing below...
Yep, between the stinky dentures and the rancid hairballs, Worm Breath's had just about all he can take of this shit and does a loony dance of X-TREME disgust before running screaming from the stadium. Embarrassing, yes, but I don't think he gives a shit anymore. Farewell, Worm Breath! Best of luck in the magically insane land of Sprinkl'ins -- you will be missed as much as a creepy worm-infested fish-man with orange floaties can be missed. Say hi to the kids for me.
Will Zack be able to overcome the loss of Worm Breath???