BoneChillers is property of ABC.
Hello, Spongey here.
Back in 2012, I reviewed an episode of the TV series Bonechillers. If you recall, that was a horror show created in 1996, based on the book series by Besty Hanes. The books were one of the many Goosebumps ripoffs that spawned in the late 90′s, only this series was a lot of….weirder.
And the show reflected that. It only lasted a few months, and 13 episodes. It has a small following despite it’s obscurity, and only people like me see how dumb it is. I reviewed Frankenturkey, aka the best thanksgiving special ever made.
It was as dumb as it sounds. It over the top, it made no sense, and it was insane….and AMAZING. It was so funny that I said it was a spoof, and based on that episode, I think it is. It’s supposed to be kind of goofy. And in that regard, it’s a lot of fun.
But, I only saw one episode. After that review, I wanted to know what the rest of the show is like. I wanted to do a retrospective like I did with Haunting Hour (Nightmare Room is coming soon) but only a few episodes were online.
So instead, I will review those episodes. In order of which they aired. But I am no hurry in to do them all so i’ll do them when I feel like. Now, if you don’t remember the plot, it was about some kids that face creepy things in their life, while at Edgar Allen Poe High School, which is under the rule of evil Principal Pussman.
He is amazing.
Today we look at episode 2. Now, I have no idea if there was a proper pilot, so if this isn’t it, I may not know things that are explained elsewhere. Got it? So let’s do it.
Wait wait, stop for a sec. While I started the the bit down below, I saw the “Created by” credit. I knew the name, and I was shocked. So to confirm it’s the same guy I went to IMDB and…it is. It’s Adam Rifkin….Aka Croaker from Going Overboard, and the writer of Underdog WHICH I AM REVIEWING NEXT.
….That is …wow. For one, the fact that he made THIS show is odd enough, but he wrote the film I am gonna review soon? I didn’t plan this AT ALL! Why isn’t this show on his Wikipedia page? I hope it’s on his resume. It’s far better than Going Overboard, which by the way, he was an uncredited writer on as well.
(He directed this episode, under a pseudonym. Why do that if you put your real name BEFORE IT?!)
….Okay, start the review/. WAIT, I looked at the written by credit, and the writer of this episode is Alex Zamm. What has done?
HE DIRECTED INSEPCTOR GADGET 2 AND HAUNTING HOUR DON’T: THINK ABOUT IT. What the hell?! When will the coincidences end?!
Well, it is his to be better than IG 2. Also, he wrote an ep of a Goosebumps rip off, than directed an RL Stine movie. Irony.
This, is Teacher Creature
(This was before the Goosebumps Series 2000 book “Creature Teacher” so this isn’t a ripoff of that)
The episode starts with the SPOOOKY title card, telling us it was film in “Amphhibi-o-vision”. First Scare-O-Morphic, now this? This one makes a bit more sense given what I know from the Wikipedia summary.
We actually open at school with our heroes as they meet their new Substitute Science teacher, Mr. Batrachian. He says they should be in their seats on time, and he takes rules seriously. Being teens, two kids mock him by saying he looks like a frog.
With his amazing hearing skills, he overhears the kids which is so Wacky! Tone of them tries to cover it by saying “i want to take a walk down by the bog”. That cliché Iis so bad, the teacher punishes the kids by making them go to the swamp and catch frogs.
I was gonna ask how a teacher can make his students go off grounds just to punish them, but the Principal is so over the top and evil ,I think he would approve. One gets a frog, but the other falls down in the weirdest manner possible. From the way he falls, and yells, you can tell he’s acting. It’s the most badly acted fall ever put on the small screen.
Seriously ,follow the link to see it!
As bad as his fall was, it helps them find weird glowing green eggs. They take them, which is an amazing idea in a series like this. We cut back to school, as we join Sarah and the black chick, is their science period.
Their teacher, Mrs Dewberry is talking about the meaning behind the frog prince.
“It’s the symbolism!”
She goes on about the frog needed a kiss from the princess to become a prince again.
“Unfortunately, not all frogs would allow themselves to be turned into princes”
“She’s got it bad for Arnie”
Gee, I wonder if this is foreshadowing!
Also, who is Arnie? I don’t know, but refer to my statement about the “pilot” from earlier. Wikpedia lists him and his actor is….well, you’ll see if he ever pops up.
“We should play matchmaker, and find her a prince!”
Really, that cliché? Am I watch a sitcom?
Anyway, those dumb kids try to show the green eggs to Mr Batrachian but he tells them to sit down because reasons. Then he accidentally puts the eggs in his sandwich, because he has the worse eyesight and hearing ever.
The kids start to speak up but they figure this could make for some decent revenge. Watch that scene and tell me it’s 100 percent plausible for the teacher to do what he just did without figuring out he is gonna eat bad shit.
Eating the eggs makes …his head go crazy as we hear cartoon sound effects. …Okay. He burps out green gas which is really gross. When he finishes, they plan the DUN DUN DUN music like it’s a big twist.
The kids don’t react and the teacher doesn’t get that checked or anything. As I ponder that logic issue, we cut to the cafeteria as Carl (the lunch dude, as you remember him in FrankenTurkey) is serving gross Sushi.
“You got a problem with that?”
“No, except for the fact that it looks like dog food!”
Call me when it sings.
“I wouldn’t feed this from dog. I like my dog!”
Okay, that was funny.
The trouble making kids meet up with Sarah and the black chick, as they bring up their match making plan. Speaking of that teacher, we see her talking to Arnie, who sounds like Ernest and looks like a Zombie from Thriller.
And to top it all off, he’s played by Roger Rabbit himself, Charles Fleisher. Yes, they somehow got a real actor for this show. He’s awesome as he talks weirdly and says weird crap, though. For example, Dewberry offers him yam, but he rejects it cuz Yam backwards is May, the month when bees come out, and a bee stung him so badly he had to cut off his nose, and now he has a fake one.
How am I supposed to react to that?
“He doesn’t even know she exists”
No, he’s just a fucking nut.
By the way, another thing odd about this show, besides the writing, stories, and acting, is the way it’s shot. Very often, especially when characters not in the forefront walk by, the camera starts titling for no reason.
Seriously, the damn camera never stays still. It’s no shaky, nor is it Battlefield Earth bad, but it makes the whole thing even weirder.
His highness Principal Pussman walks in with Mr Batrachian, who told him about his burping episode. They brush it off, as Pussman introduces himself to Dewberry, and they get along.
“I think they would make the perfect couple”
The chick who used frogs to express her love, and a guy who talked about frogs earlier? That came out of nowhere!
So, a teacher may be effected by weird mutant eggs, while the girls try to hook him up with a lovestruck teacher. The B plot has no place in this show. It’s like a typical Goosrbumps plot and a Disney Channel sitcom plot had a baby!
Anyway, the boys spy on Batrachian.and Pussman later on. Pussman leads, and Batrachian.catches a fly with his CGI tongue. …Yeah, we knew he would turn into a frog.
The next day, Batrachian says hi to Pussman, but he says he can’t shake his hand, as it has warts on it. …I won’t make a joke about a certain myth.
Also, Batrachian has a freaky, warty face now, which no questions but our heroes. Infact, the girls now want to cancel their big plan. But sadly they already sent Batrachian and Dewberry love notes, as if the other had written it.
Okay, this is a sitcom. No question about it.
“I thought they make a good couple until he turned out to be a frog”
ISABELLA: Coolest Sentence ever!
Also, after two things, they know he’s a frog. Eh, it’s better than dragging it out. Becuase of the letters, Batrachian and Dewberry have lunch together and they actually like each other fine. This scene also makes me want to send the editor backs to editing school. Because, as they talk, there is a fade effect….TO THE VERY SAME LINE. Every time they finish a sentence, it fades to the very next sense.
You fade to show the passage of time. You don’t fade to the same thing!
Anyway, Dewberry likes his skin, and Batrachian likes the warts she now has. If FF.net existed back then, there would be at least 5 M rated fics about this scene before it even ends.
Back with the kids, they visit the swamp where the eggs were and find toxic-ish waste, They figured the eggs got toxic from that waste, and thus, frogman. You can explain why this makes no sense but in a show like this, I don’t care.
The girls tell Dewberry that Batrachian is a frog …OH MY GOD I LOOKED IT UP AND HIS NAME IS A FROG PUN.
…Er, so anyway, she doesn’t buy it., Instead of pushing her more, they go away and we move on. The boys read the newspaper and find out pets are vanishing…including Carl’s dog.
These jokes are becoming like ones from an actual comedy, like a sitcom or cartoon. And they are….funny!
They see Batrachian with Dewberry as his face is even more warty, and he has another burping episode. She reacts well to this, which makes me question why there is a conflict if she is okay with how he is.
He burps up a dog tag reading “Lil Carl”. …NOOO/!
By the way, one of the boys actually cries upon seeing that. My reaction was TAME. So the kids tell Arnie about what is going, and he has no questions about it all. Then afain, when we first see him, he is whipping an unseen creature in another room, and when he comes it, he says coackoaches are getting bigger.
Arnie says he overhead the couple talking, and Batrachian is having dinner with Dewberry. He said he will make her a home cooked meal.
“Or …Make HER a a home cooked meal?”
He showed no signs of eating humans, and he had actual love for her but let’s assume this anyway!
They head to Batrachian’s classroom (has to be, or else they found out where he lives somehow) and see he has a table set….for only one!
They play the DUN DUN DUN music, which makes me laugh more any actual joke so far. I hope that was a joke cuz that bit was dumb.
Even better, they see that Batrachian has shed his scene. Lovely.
He enters with his new form which is….well, take a look.
He attacks the kids, but one boy tricks him into wrapping tongue around a frozen sink faucet, which was frozen because….Elsa attends this school?
This traps him and with one swift move, he is sent flying into the sky. Then he splatters onto the ground, cops find his body, and the kids are charged with murder, and go to jail. The end!
Okay, that doesn’t happen but it should have, cuz that was so mean to the poor guy! They don’t even look for him or anything!
The next day, Dewberry is sad that Batrachian stood her up, and is gone. She figures some men don’t deserve to be princes.
An evil guy saying Amen. Okay. Dewberry is into Arnie again BUT WHAT ABOUT LIL CARL?!
LIL’ CARL IWLL….ACTUALLY NO, HE’S DEAD
Oh. But Carl got a new dog!
“I call him Real Lil’ Carl!”
“Who is up for fried frogs legs?”
HAW HAW HAW-actually no, that’s a a tried joke. You know, the “they are told to eat something they faced in this story” joke.
The kids run away.
“It tastes like chicken!”
Carl eats some frog legs and….the end! …Yes, really! This upload doesn’t have the credits, but I swear, this is how it ends, there’s a fade to black and everything.
I can forgive the abrupt-ness and the return to status qou with Dewberry. But I can’t forgive that climax! I mean, they send him flying out the window and he’s never seen again! Did he turn back to normal? Where did he land? Is he dead? If he’s alive, where is he now? Did he resign? Did he have any life before turning a frog?
…Sorry, but this actually bugs me. I mean, they can’t just cast him aside without explaining it! He wasn’t even a real monster, he was a normal guy who got turned into an evil frog. So it’s actually kind of mean to just do this, without explaining where he is!
….But whatever, at least it’s over.
After this episode, I really see what this show is trying to do. It’s supposed to be actual comedy combined with an over the top B movie. Frankenturkey showed the B movie aspect, while this had the real combo. And I honestly kind of like that approach.
It’s crazy, over the top and weird but it’s supposed to be. As a result, I love some of the more over the top, “scary moment”. But one flaw with both episodes is the lack of motivation. The plot starts because characters do things that make no sense. The teacher makes the kid go to the bog…because. They bring back toxic eggs….because. The teacher eats them….because.
The writing can get genuinely weak at times with how contrived the plot is at times. However, things get slightly better when that stuff is out of the way. The stuff like Dewberry being okay with a frog guy is meant to be dumb, so it works.
The problem is, it doesn’t get nearly as goofy as Frankenturkey, so it’s not quite as hilarious. Though moments like the gag about Carl’s dog, and Arnie’s excuse to reject Yam’s, are great. I think Frankenturkey was just the only one to have a premise dumb enough to warrant the insanity.
But then there is the ending, which is kind of dislike. I am not over it! I mean, he was a dick but he just a normal guy who got turned into an evil frog because of YOUR stupidity! They didn’t figure a way to turn him back, they just got rid of him!
I would be okay with no explanation if this was a normal monsters, but he’s evil-ness is THEIR fault! So it kind of makes our heroes unlikable! The moral is, if you turn a teacher into an evil monster, get rid of him cuz you happen to dislike him!
A moral that will always matter in your life, clearly.
Yeah, it’s not THAT big of a deal for others, but it bugged me. You can’t just have the monster be a normal guy and then get rid of him without explanation. I think he landed in a bog, turned back to normal cuz the eggs wore off. Then he quit his job and retired in peace.
That’s the only explanation that makes me happy. So overall, this episode was more of the same but NOT quite as “good” due to a weak ending and not being as insane. It’s still worth watching if you don’t mind this style.
The insanity is funny,and the actual jokes made me laugh too! But if you don’t like this kind of humor, just skip it. Otherwise, check it out/!
It’s much funnier than Going Overboard, at any rate.
Yes, I will review more episodes. Maybe even….very soon? We’ll see!