Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

When Good Ghouls Go Bad


When Good Ghouls Go Bad
XXXVI A.S. Written by R.L. Stine. Directed by Patrick Read Johnson. Starring Christopher Lloyd, Tom Amandes, Roy Billing, Brittany Byrnes, Brendan McCarthy. Genre: Thriller

[Warning: review contains 'spoilers']

When Good Ghouls Go BadFrom Goosebumps' author R.L. Stine comes this delighful Halloween-themed tale, both charming and evocatively enjoyable:

Founded by the delightfully eccentric "Uncle" Fred Walker, Walker Falls has not seen a Halloween for years because of a so-called "curse" placed upon it by one "Curtis Danko" {obvious 'Donnie Darko' influenced nomenclature}, labeled the town "weirdo" for his preference to dress in black, and express his imagination with monsters, and scenes of a world gone mad. His creativity is clearly envied by others, and thus, they react in fearful passive-aggressive manners which are no less than despicable, displaying their inferior and odious ill-natures.

So once when the art class project was to sculpt a depiction of one's hero*, the school bully and cronies lock him in the incinerator as a prank. He actually resembles Edward Scissorhands while sculpting.

Urban Legend

He refused for anyone to see his project, guarding it from all during the day. He returns at night to work on it in private. Next one morning, when Mike Kankel walks into the classroom, he notices something is wrong, and discovers Danko's ashes in the incinerator with his statue, with a foreboding message written in the ashes, that if the town celebrates Halloween, he will return and face his wrath:

"If you ever have another Halloween again, I will return and destroy you all!"

Kankel pretends at blindness, claiming that the statue is so terrible that no one should look upon it as if made by someone counseled by The Devil, , lest they go blind, or head explode, or even turn to stone, a-la Medusa's glare. So the ashes and statue are sealed within a crypt with nicely arranged cob-webbed chains.


After a teasing session, Danko is incarcerated in the incinerator to be left until the following morning. Unfortunately, an absent-minded janitor accidentally taps the 'on' button, immolating Danko. Terrified of being blamed for his murder, he writes the warning in the ashes himself and claims that looking upon the statue blinded him for three days. It was later confessed that now Coach Kankel did it because funds were being directed into the fine arts at the school instead of sports activities.

'Uncle' Walker's grandson Danny arrives from Chicago to attend this new school, and is bullied by Kankel's son and his moronic hench boy. Despite this, he befriends Dayna who shows him marvelous secrets within Danko's haunted house, where, unbeknownst to the a-dolt towns people, the Magic of Halloween has been preserved - skeletons, skulls, demons, monsters, ghouls, bats, spiders, ghosts, zombies, witches, and more are all here in this abandoned mansion to be enjoyed in secret by the town's children**.

When Danny's business-minded father James suggests the town hold a "Spooktacular" Halloween celebration at a town meeting, the residents go bananas with fear, especially when time and time again, Halloween decorations begin mysteriously appearing about. James Walker seeks to re-open the Walker Chocolate factory {also founded by nucleus Uncle Walker, in a Willy Wonka vein}, with the help of soon-arriving German Businessmen, and the support of the towns people.

Uncle Walker is quite a character, who listens to his Hammond Organ recordings on his jukebox, building elaborate tracks for his hot wheels, surrounded by amusing nick knacks, while attired in various playful outfits. He serves as a true father for Danny, since his dad is virtually un-present in the goings-on of his life. Someone who could actually offer the wisdom of experience as well as be a playmate and friend. Also mentionable is the sage wisdom imparted to Danny about the Magic of Halloween...

So when he apparently dies from a bash on the head by a falling pumpkin from a veritable pumpkin mountain pile which strangely appears in the town square, his heart is broken until he later returns as a zombie to help him place Danko's statue in its rightful place. In the meantime, several amusing circumstances unfold including the appearance of 'Cheesy The Clown' {quite a Lokian depiction}, and Uncle Walker retrieving his runaway hand, a-la Thing {especially humorous considering Christopher Lloyd wonderfully portrayed Uncle Fester in treasured films 'The Addams Family' & 'Addams Family Values'}.

When Danko returns from the grave with green-glowing eyes in skeletal form, who along with various other zombies, at the secret Halloween dance, all is finally set to balance as Halloween is restored, after a shameful spectacle and confession by Coach Kankel, the statue is finally seen, which provides for quite a surprise, followed by a moving ending scene and narration. ∞


* Interesting to note that I actually sculpted a statue for art class of a Baphomet-headed Satan in a robe wearing a pentagram medallion, holding a sword in one hand and signifying The Cornu with the other. To My surprise, Sgt. Randy Emon was notified, who took photos of it for his occult portfolio.
** It can be observed that the mansion is also a metaphor for the subconscious accumulation of archetypal images of fear and memento moris, waiting to be released and celebrated. To deny them only causes an unbalanced psyche.

Tags: autumn, dracling, falloween, halloween, horror, infernal progeny, spechtreum, thriller

Posts from This Journal “halloween” Tag

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