Hello, Spongey here.
Well, it’s HorrorLand time again and once again I need to rush the intro because I have nothing to say. We are somewhat close to done with Arc 2 since it’s shorter so hopefully Stine pulls out all the stops.
Not much to say since it’s just a normal book. Well, except that I LOVE the cover. I am just look at the awesome looking monster. Sure he looks like the villain from Ferngully but it’s still an awesome cover.
Will the book live up to it? Let’s find out. Shortest intro ever.
This, is The Wizard of Ooze
Ugh, that title.
We once again open with our protagonist in HorrorLand, in this case it’s Marco and Gabriela. They bicker and play some HorrorLand games but find them rather lame. Then a creepy dude pops up.
“Want to play the good stuff?”
…If a stranger says that you, you RUN. Especially if his name is Winner Taikal. The dumb kis follow him to his ‘special game room”.
“Are we making a big mistake?”
They play tug of war first and it turns out they are playing against no one but the rope is still tugging anyway. Then it turns into a snake. Yeah, that’s what you get for being this stupid.
Winner allows them to leave once they’ve lost and the kids just kind of move on like they just didn’t face a snake. That was a more interesting opening set piece I suppose, but it was quite contrived.
They end up at Chiller House and find something they like. In this case it’s a Graphic Novel, as Marco is into Comic Books, especially a villain. …I can’t help but feel we’ve been through this in Goosebumps before.
Oh and the book is called The Wizard of Ooze. Roll credits!
“Sometimes I make up my own stories about him”
Oh god, he’s a fanfic writer. Anyway, they get the book and go home. The book has a section at the end about becoming a Superhero and Marco starts to think about it. By the way, The Oooze pretty much is like the villain from Ferngully in terms of powers and such.
Marco gives in and tries out the books instructions on channeling your inner superpower. It asks him to get two feathers from a living bird to get the power to fly. And that’s when Marco should have known the book was crazy.
Marco conveniently gets feathers as a neighbor has some pigeons for the sake of the plot. The book then tells him to get some Yeast, and to pour it on your head then just concrete a lot, in order to fly.
Somehow, this actually works…for a few seconds and Marco hits the floor. Guess How I Learned to Fly 2 isn’t getting off the ground.
Since it did work, Marco tries out Super Strength next. He just needs the strongest substance in the world…plastic Kitchen Wrap. Sounds legit. He wraps himself in the wrap and the book says you’ll just get your powers right then.
Like before, it works but only for a few seconds. It works long enough for Marco to rip out of his clothes and became naked though. Ew.
“Marco is doing weird things up here!”
His power hunt has to be put on hold, as he and Gabriela have to go to a Comic Book Convention. After references to Comic Books that never existed for a reason, they hit up the Oooze Booth and Marco ends up mentioning that he has The Wizard of Oooze, which is so rare they don’t have it here.
The guy running the booth wants Marco to sell it to him and of course he does this in a way that makes me want to call out Stranger Danger again. Marco says no and he backs down for now.
Then Marco bumps into a guy dressed as The Ooze, to give us a false scare.
“Are you for real?”
“Sure kid. And SpongeBob SquarePants is running for President”
Wait, two GBH Books in a row mentioning SpongeBob? Weird..
Ooze Guy is interested in the Graphic Novel to. A bit…too interested.
“You won’t always be in a big crowd. And I have lots of ways to persuade you”
- NEED AN ADULT.
The creepiness doesn’t stop there as a bit later, they spot him on their bus, just looking at them. I’m making a lot of “Stranger Danger” jokes in this but with stuff like this, can you blame me?
Thankfully, when they get off the bus, he doesn’t follow them or anything. Later, Marco’s little brother snatches the book and the resulting fights gets Marco grounded because we’re following Cuckoo Clock of Doom Rules to siblings.
Later still, Marco goes back to trying out powers, as Water Powers are next. I can’t see this ending well. The book tells him to fill the bathtub up with Ice Cubes and already I was right. It works again, turning him into Water.
Oh, thought this was AquaMan but it’s somehow even lamer.
“I felt FROZEN again!”
No, I’m not saying it.
Of course, it only works a few seconds again. Marco really needs to figure out what is going on so he heads back to to the Convention to ask Sammy. Because he seemed so trustworthy.
They get there and can’t find Sam but the creepy Ooze guy is there. So he went home then came back here? Or he really was just stalking Sammy, in which case then why did he just stop while on the bus? Whatever.
By the way, all the talk of this guy wanting to Oooze a kid is…yeah.
This part pretty much confirms he’s the real Oooze as he actually has the Ooozing powers and actually threatens to Ooze him if he doesn’t get the book. Marco manages to escape but then a man who is in fire starts chasing them.
I’m not sure what to say to that.
He takes the book and runs, and Marco doesn’t do much because would you chase a man on fire?
That night, The Ooze visits Marco and asks for the book. He doesn’t believe that it was stolen because a man on fire is very easy to miss. Marco does the smart thing and calls for help but of course Ooze leaves before the parents come in.
And all they see is a kid in his bed covered in a subst-okay now I’m stretching it. Later, The Flaming Man shows up asking for it, and it can’t be the book since he stole it earlier. By the way, how does no one hear any of this?!
After a short struggle, he just leaves. That was eventful. He bumps into The next day, he tells his friend what happened but of course she doesn’t believe it. Then he bumps into The Oooze in the back of an Alley.
…You really aren’t helping, Stine. Also, now they are outside and still no one hears anything!
The Ooze isn’t having any of it anymore and is about to destroy Marco, when he tries out a plan. Marco claims he got some powers from the book and I don’t know what his goal was here. Did he expect a guy like the Ooze to be threatened by a baseless claim like this?
Marco is lucky that the powers he claims he has suddenly come to him now once he focuses a bit. But once again, they only last 10 seconds. So they do work forever, just for 10 seconds? Yikes, and I thought Hour Man was lame.
By the way, didn’t Attack of the Mutant also have the “claim to have powers you don’t quite have” thing? This plays out differently, to be fair.
The Ooze says he must give him a 2nd chance since he has powers, even if they only 10 seconds. Now he randomly believes Marco about the flaming guy who is actually a villain named…The Fabulous Flame.
…Seriously? That sounds like a parody name for a really bad gay joke.
The Flame happens to be Sammy, which I should have predicted. He actually works for The Ooze but recently he got jealous so he took his book. I’d still like to know why they want it so bad, given that the powers didn’t seem to work from their pov until now, and only for 10 seconds.
The Ooze says they gotta put out his flame and get the book. Should make for an intense Anti Climax. They had to his house, which is a normal looking place since he has a secret identity.
Marco quickly tries his plan but it fails as he misses his flame, wah wah. But he’s able to get him…with a hose. Okay, what kind of Flame villain keeps a hose so close to him like that?
Anyway, he’s defeated and Ooze has the book. To the shock of no one, The Ooze back on his word and is about to get Marco since he knows too much. Seriously, why do people keep trusting bad guys?
“Big Surprise, Huh? I’m a Villain, remember?”
Even he gets it!
Then Gabriela comes in, and says she read the book way earlier and tried out the powers. Yet she still didn’t believe Marco because reasons. Also, Attack of the Mutant also had the female friend inexplicably come to save the day but like before, it plays out differently because there’s no twist where she’s the villain this time.
Although her plan to tornado around him is quite similar to what The Gazelle tried to do. This even fails like that one did, although here it’s due to the 10 second thing. This is the lamest Super Power giving book ever.
Then The Flame comes back to life. How? Never Explained, he’s just here again and is ready to kill the kids over a book and another thing that isn’t a book. To follow the trend of things just happening, Zeke pops up.
He has this bookmark that was in the book which I failed to mention. The Bookmark was important, as you had to say some words for the powers to stick. Not sure the guide didn’t say that, as it sounds pretty important.
Flame says they don’t want that stuff in the “wrong hands” as they will “make their powers stronger” which is the biggest explanation we get for why they want them. Eh, fair enough but it’s a bit weak after all the build up.
Zeke tried out the powers and he uses them to get rid of the villain Anti Climatically. Yay.
“I read the words because I’m not stupid like you”
Come oh, how were they supposed to know, especially since the book itself didn’t mention this part?
That’s not quite the end, as Marco wants Powers too and the next day he tried to get the bookmark so he can keep his powers. But of course, Zeke catches him and they fight. Mom and Dad come in when Marco is floating on the celing.
Good luck explaining that to them, Zeke. The story ends here but the Epilogue does explore things slightly further. Zeke let him down as long as Marco promised not to try to steal the bookmark again.
So…how did the parents react to what they saw? Also, the whiny sibling won and our innocent lead lost, yay. The rest is the usual: That night, Horror glows and he’s back with Chiller to pay for his product.
The End. Weird how this was a Downer before the Chiller bit happened.
I know you’re sick of me saying this, but this HorrorLand book was…fine. Yeah, another fine one. With this one, the main issue is that we’ve done Super Villain Themed books before and this doesn’t quite bring as much to the table.
It’s less insane than Dr Manic but it does make it less fun. To be fair, this does some new things with how things play out and it works on it’s own. The best parts are in the 2nd half with the villains going after Marco’s Book/
There’s some decent tension and Ooze is pretty threatening. Once you ignore the rehash stuff, this one is enjoyable enough. But once again, I wouldn’t say it does anything extremely well, although it does at least explore it’s concept well enough.
The ending with the sibling I can take or leave. It’s cruel but kind of amusing I guess. Overall, this is another I can say is just fine. Doesn’t do anything too bad, nor too great. It’s enjoyable but not one of my favorites.
I’m sick of saying that but it keeps being true. Hopefully our final 2 for the arc can fix that.
Next time on HorrorLand, we’ll be celebrating a Slappy New Year…in December. Yeah, like last time I planned it, it’s just weird how they both lined up like that. Hopefully it’s better than the other HorrorLand Slappy book.