I use to watch "Are You Afraid of The Dark?" every Saturday Night when it came on during "SNICK" (Anybody remember SNICK? HOLLA!) and watching this back tonight reminded me of something. The opening credits scared the shit out of me!
Now, thanks to Netflix I saw they had what they called "Freaky Favorites". I dunno what's up with Netflix only having a "Best of" compilation DVD's, but whatever. Then I watched it tonight and...you're not fuckin' gonna believe this. This ISN'T the version from the early 90's. Apparently, they (whoever "they" may be) tried to spawn off a "Next Generation" type thing by bringing it back. So I did some homework and found out these were made in 1999, and there was one whole season's worth. And here's the kicker.
Elisha Cuthbert is one of the girls in the NEW Midnight Society.
(I could be totally movie geeky here and mention the chick that played Natasha in "Waiting..." was also a NEW Midnight Society member but I'm probably alone on that.)
Ok so now that you know I'm watching some retred version and not the classic original, let's get on with it.
The Tale of The Forever Game-This was the first episode of the "new series" and we see the formation of the NEW Midnight Society. One of the kids, who could be David Schwimmer's son or younger brother, is related to one of the original members and decided to form his own. The other members are like a typical "teen comedy" cast. There's a black guy, a fat guy, a weird girl, a somewhat spoiled girl, and the Jewish one. And because Young Schwimmer started (or restarted), this, the first story is his.
His story is about an Asshole Brother, His Abused Younger Sister, and His Friend biking in the forest. Asshole acts like an asshole to his sister and His Friend tells Sister he treats everyone that way until they prove themselves to him. Jeez, see why I call him an asshole? Who acts like that? And he was really, really being mean to his sister. If this wasn't a 20 minute kid's horror show, and a Lifetime Movie, I'm sure she'd have bruises all over her body.
Ok, now that we're slightly depressed.
Asshole decides to go against the wishes of Robert Frost and take the path less beaten. There, we find a pitchfork tree. Asshole tries to get everyone out of this area but they can't. Asshole then finally tries to pick a fight with the tree when he falls into it.
Inside, he finds a young Irish Lad in 1920's clothing. Young Irish tells Asshole that in order to get out, he has to play "The Forever Game", and no it's not Monopoly. It's some weird game where two people play and whatever space they land on, represents different things that Sister and Friend go through in the forest. There's lighting, and quick sand, and some demon monster thingy. And the catch is, whoever wins, gets to leave the tree, while the loser stays in the tree FOREVER!!!! (Hence the title.)
So Asshole plays for his life and freedom, while slowly respecting his sister. Eventually, Sister figures out the tree is the key and tries to knock it down. Asshole brings some lighting, which causes the tree to explode and both Asshole and Irish Lad are freed. Irish Lad turns into Irish Old Dude, who thanks Sister and goes off somewhere to die. The end.
The Tale of The Zombie Dice-After setting up how much of a princess Elisha Cuthbert is, we get Natashia's story about ANOTHER game. Something I noticed. There's a weird theme to this "Freaky Favorites" DVD, they all revolve around games. I can't help but wonder if that was intentional.
Anyway, this story is pretty fucked up. We focus on three kids, one who looks like Jay Baruchel, the skinny kid from "Knocked Up", and their addiction to gambling and video games. They go to this place that looks like a bar for kids that's full of video games. There Jay and his Gambling Buddy meet the creepy ass owner Mr. Click who wants to play Gambling Buddy in a game. I'm sure you do...
Anyway, Gambling Buddy eventually does and it's a game where you toss these dice with skulls on them. If just one of the skulls pop up just once, you lose. Well, Gambling Buddy loses and here's the weird fucked up part, in which I'm not making up.
Mr. Click SHRINKS Gambling Buddy AND THEN is about to send him to some guy in another country has "a pet"!! WTF??? This is like "Bloodsucking Freaks" for kids! So Jay finds out and bets Mr. Click that he can drink three mugs of soda before he can drink one glass. Well, the whole thing is a trick cause Jay puts the empty mug over Mr. Click's glass which he isn't allowed to touch, so Jay wins and out of fuckin' nowhere, Gambling Buddy is alive and of normal size some 3000 miles away.
Eventually, Mr. Click's zombie pal (I forgot to mention him. This is a weird ass story) shrinks Mr. Click and the story ends. Um...wait. What about the other kids that Mr. Click shrank? Are they off in some other country being inserted-
Ok, I'm stopping there.
The Tale of Jake The Snake-Oddly enough, this isn't about the semi-famous wrestler. This is about a hockey player. And this is a pretty freaky story. This kid wants to be good at hockey and some hooded figure tells him there's a magic hockey stick in the basement (of the alamo?) and if he uses it, he'll be king hockey.
So the kid does it and he instantly becomes an asshole. And he's slowly turning into a snake. Going so far as to even try to eat a lab mouse. The kid's friend realizes that having your friends skin fall off and eating lab mice isn't normal so he investigates and learns the hooded figure is a giant walking snake! And he's waiting for the hockey kid to turn into a snake! Which he's doing!
So the friend steals the hockey stick to stop him from turning into a snake, but the hooded snake captures him and ties him up. Hockey kid comes by to save his friend but hooded snake tells him that if he uses the stick one more time, he'll fully be a snake. Well, hockey kid realizes the only way to save his friend is to use it, so he does, which kills the hooded snake somehow.
The friend realizes if he destroys the stick, hockey kid will stop turning into a snake and he does. And did you notice that in some weird way, this story was kinda like the first story? A kid is trapped into something, some other person gets abused and is getting tormented as a result, the kid learns his lesson and you have to destroy some magical item to break it's curse and have a happy ending? Well, that's cause this story was also being told by Ross, Jr. Man, kid, get a different plot, will ya?
Anyway, that's all that's on this DVD, which is just one big packaging lie. It doesn't mention this is the "new" version that Canada tried to thrust on us (which explains the hockey segment). They make like it's the original one. And why "Freaky Favorites"? I doubt these stories are anybodies favorites. All three stories were acted horribly, written horribly (well if you think about it, they are suppose to be stories told by kids), and have horrible CGI effects. The snakes in the 3rd story look like cheap 1995 Clip Art. Whatever.
Submitted for the approval of the Invasion of the B Movies Society, I present to you:
The Tale of The Crappy Revamped Series That Nobody Watches So The DVD Makers Trick People Into Watching Them!
Get the original series on DVD. You'll be glad you did.