Recap #67 – The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney

cheerleader

Title: The Cheerleader (Vampire’s Promise trilogy, Book 1)

Author: Caroline B. Cooney

Published: June 1991

Tagline: She would do anything to be popular.

Description: She wants it all. But he wants more.

The cheerleader. The beautiful, popular girl who sparkles with energy and excitement. The girl everyone looks at with envy. The girl Althea longs to be.

Althea is a nobody. Invisible. She gets no phone calls, shares no laughter, has no friends.

Until she meets him.

“Suppose,” he says with an evil smile, “that I could make you popular.” All Althea has to do is agree to a simple bargain. An evil bargain. And she becomes a cheerleader.

But Althea wants more.

And she’ll do whatever she has to do to get it.

Nostalgia Time!


Boy, you wouldn’t think a book called “The Cheerleader” would turn out to be about a vampire, would you? Or, a . . . wishpire? Djinnpire? Vamdjinn? Vajinn? . . . Vagina? . . . I’ll stop now. It’s a goddamn vampire who grants wishes, okay?

This book would have come out around the time I was turning 10, but I’m pretty sure I read the second one in the trilogy first. So I was probably 11 or 12 when I read this series. I used to love this trilogy, and wish for my own wishpire to grant me friends and popularity (and when we get to the second book, add “beauty, brains, and athleticism” to the list). Look, I was a sad kid, okay? Fifth grade was awful, the beginning of sixth was going okay until some girl who hated me started turning my new best friend against me, then we moved from California back to Kansas and I basically just stopped going to school; fell into the throes of debilitating social anxiety and depression . . . it was a dark time in my life, especially from ages 11-14ish. That’s one of the reasons these old books meant so much to me – they were my escape.

As a kid, I read this and wanted some magical being to come fix my life, too. I probably would have done some morally shady shit to be liked, just like the girl in this book. I’ve mostly moved on from that mindset, but that sad, angry tween is still floating around somewhere in the back of my head, popping up every now and then to be angry and sad at me. I remember the wish-fulfillment present in reading this as that kid, but I no longer feel it present in reading this as an adult.

Also, a note on Cooney – her writing style is one of the more challenging ones to get through among the Point Horror authors. Not because it’s an advanced writing style or anything, but because it’s so dreamy-feeling. Some people have described it as “whimsical,” but I describe it as “gauzy.” It’s like reading everything through a warm haze. Like gauzy curtains blowing around you on a hot summer day. This can be either comforting or cloying, depending on your mood, and the particular story. I don’t think this is a thing I noticed as a kid, but as an adult it slaps you in the face. Gauzy curtains whipping around in the hot wind, slapping the living shit out of your grown-ass face.

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Recap #41 – Wishmaster (1997)

wishmaster

Title: Wishmaster

Directed by: Robert Kurtzman

Released: 1997

Description: Magically delicious powerful. Supernaturally evil. The ancient entity know (sic) in human legend as the Djinn can grant a person’s wildest dreams. And in the process, it unleashes your darkest nightmares. The moral of this explosively terrifying, special-effects-powered, horror-fantasy spectacular: Be careful what you wish for!

Nostalgia Time!


It was 1997, I was sixteen and running wild through the streets, the local movie theaters weren’t bothering to card teenagers buying tickets to R-rated movies, and somehow my cousin and I had enough disposable income to go see pretty much every fucking movie that came out that year. I was extra motivated to go see this one because Robert Englund is in it, and like I think I mentioned in my Mangler recap, 1997 was right around my peak Freddy Krueger obsession. (A year later I would go see Urban Legend with a different cousin for the same reason.) Anyway, I don’t know why this detail sticks with me, but I remember that while we were sitting in the movie theater parking lot before the movie started, my cousin sat in my car and pierced her nose with one of those shitty plastic ear-piercing guns. Good times. I ended up loving this movie so much that I went to Hollywood Video on the day it was supposed to be released for rent, only to find out video release had been pushed back and I had to wait another couple weeks before I could watch it again. Yes, I was that obsessive weirdo. This movie introduced me to Andrew Divoff (who it turned out had already been in a shit ton of things I’d seen), and featured appearances by Ted Raimi, Tony Todd, and Kane Hodder. My horror-nerd self was in heaven, and I still love this movie to death. Whether it deserves it or not.

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Goosebumps – “Be Careful What You Wish For” Episode 2.1 (Recap #40)

Be_Careful_What_You_Wish_For_-_Titlecard

 

Series: Goosebumps

Title: Be Careful What You Wish For

Season 2, Episode 1

Airdate: August 10, 1996

Writer: Charles Lazer (Based on R.L. Stine’s book)

Director: Rene Bonniere

Description: When terminally unpopular Samantha meets a strange woman who offers to grant her three wishes, she soon finds herself in deep trouble.

 

First Impressions


I’m not sure if I ever watched this one on TV or not. After watching it, I think it seemed familiar, but I’m just not sure. I think I may have read the book back in the day. Anyway, I chose this episode as my first Goosebumps TV episode recap because I’m a sucker for stories about backfiring wishes and/or evil genies, as you’ll see in an upcoming recap, Wishmaster. (I’m having a hard time talking about this episode without also talking about Wishmaster, so fuck it – we’re gonna talk about Wishmaster.) This Goosebumps episode predates Wishmaster, and there are similarities between the two that really have me hoping the writers of Wishmaster didn’t take their ideas from Goosebumps. That would be weird. (But all these “careful what you wish for” stories pretty much follow the same formula, so maybe there’s no cause for concern. Maybe.) So let’s get into it!

 

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