I Gots Goosebumps Episode 8 - Night of the Living Dummy II

What in the hell is the deal with doing the sequel episode before the original?! Again I don’t remember the books so I can’t say whether the second Dummy book was significantly better than the first, but couldn’t they have dropped the two in the title no matter what? I get that’s the book it’s based on but in this format it’s just confusing and looks silly.

Ventriloquist dummies are the worst though so this episode admittedly has some potential.

Also I didn’t know that if you watch several episodes in a row of something on Netflix, it will skip the opening credits for you. The computer brain knows I hate sitting through that shit!

A family is having I guess their weekly show and tell night which is both nice and kinda strange at the same time. The obviously pretentious daughter shows us a painting she made, which I have to admit is pretty impressive looking. The son shows a home movie which is basically a series of shots that get the other members of his family in shit which is a dick move but he also has sunglasses on the top of his head despite being indoors so clearly fuck this guy. The younger daughter Amy puts on a comedy routine with a ventriloquist dummy, or at least she tells one awful joke and then the thing’s head falls off. She complains that she was promised a new one, making her perhaps the first pre-teen girl in history to whine about her lack of a quality ventriloquist dummy.

Her dad tells her to look behind the couch and there is a giant ass trunk with a creepy ass dummy inside named Slappy. She finds a card inside his pocket with some strange words on it so naturally she reads them all aloud. She hugs the dummy and it shifts its eyes over to give her a mean look, which based on the layout of the living room I think her siblings should have gotten a perfect view of. They probably shouldn’t have played their hand so early since I assume most of this episode will feature Amy trying to convince everyone the dummy is causing shit, not her. Now we know immediately she’s telling the truth. At least build up to the reveal guys.

Later that night, Amy is practicing her routine with Slappy who a couple of times, talks completely on his own. This doesn’t phase Amy in the slightest, only prompting a bored “That’s weird.” Wouldn’t you be freaking the fuck out if this happened to you? Does she think maybe she did make him say that and that’s why she’s not setting the thing on fire and screaming? I don’t get it. Also Slappy shoves her old dummy Dennis off of a bench cuz that motherfucker is hardcore.

Later that night we are in Slappy’s perspective as he runs down the hall and into Sarah’s room. Turns out he drew five stick figures representing the family members on Sarah’s painting. That’s….an odd thing to do. Couldn’t he have just drawn a bunch of lines over it? Why take the time to do that? Anyway Amy is of course blamed so we are indeed going the Child’s Play route with this. Just once I want to see this trope done where the family is immediately on board. “It wasn’t me it was the dummy!” “For real?! Ooooo fuck we need to decapitate that fucker immediately!!”

Oh and Amy finds red paint on Slappy’s hand and again is hardly phased by this at all. She doesn’t even put 2 and 2 together. The dummy is making it so obvious for you! It’s like he doesn’t give a shit about getting caught!

Back to family show and tell. Holy shit do they do this daily? I can’t accept a week or more has passed since the last one. Those poor poor kids. The dad is singing “If you’re happy and you know it” which would perhaps amuse a four year old but these kids have to be 12-14 at least. There is no way they would put up with this shit but they legitimately into it, I don’t think they are faking. Maybe it was a different time back then. Amy is once again going to do a dummy comedy routine and you know exactly how this will go. Slappy will insult them, the family won’t realize that the daughter is in no way talented enough to pull this off and get mad, you know the drill. Also who the fuck is playing the rim shot after each one of her jokes? Stop it soundtrack, you’re overstepping your boundaries! The dummy’s insults are actually pretty good, and appropriately insulting, especially for a family whose values belong firmly in a 50’s sitcom. Amy should really try talking at the same time as the dummy to prove it’s not her speaking as him, not sure why she just sits there and lets him finish each insult without protest.

We flash forward to Amy and her friend making a poster for a dance. The friend’s younger sister finds Slappy in a closet and he promptly starts insulting everyone around him, and hurting the younger sister’s hand. Not sure how they thought Amy was at fault for that last one since that’s not how ventriloquist dummies work. Slappy is laughing about it the whole time and again it seems to me the smart thing to do would be for Amy to drop the dummy and see if this shit still continues. Boom, rock solid alibi. I get in the last scene she couldn’t get her hand out of his back but here she is simply holding on to him so there’s no reason she couldn’t let him go. The mom comes in and Slappy stops, Amy is once again blamed for all of this.

The family sits her down to have a chat about her blaming things on the dummy. She insists the doll is haunted and we’ve all seen Child’s Play before so you know the story. They mention her going to see a doctor, she gets pissed, etc. The scene is capped with the younger brother asking “Can I watch TV now?” showing he doesn’t give a shit about his sister’s situation and that my earlier assessment that he can go fuck himself was indeed accurate.

That night while everybody is sleeping, Slappy sneaks out of Amy’s closet and stabs her parents to death with a steak knife. Nah nothing like that but he does make an attempt at murder when he raises the dad’s guitar above his head and is about to smash him with it. Can’t say whether or not that would have actually killed him as I’m not certain of a dummy’s arm strength, but it definitely could have taken this episode down a much darker path. Instead, Amy tackles him and breaks the guitar, once again causing her parents to yell at her. I’m not sure if this guitar is particularly meaningful to the family but the mom reacts as though Amy stabbed the family cat.

More stuff with the family giving Amy shit. Then she runs into her former friend and she gives her shit and man I am really feeling sorry for this girl. She just wanted to do lame comedy bits and her life is now fucking ruined. Anyway she abandons Slappy in the sewer so we just have to wait for the inevitable reveal that he is back in her house. That reveals comes about 20 seconds later so we don’t have to wait long.

This time Slappy doesn’t give a fuck and just starts full on conversing with Amy. He confirms that the words she read earlier brought him to life and as a result Amy is now his slave. No further explanation is given as to why that is a thing but he seems to believe it. What’s weird is that he seems to believe she’ll go along with it because her family thinks she’s crazy, then he immediately reveals to Sarah that he is in fact alive. Now they know she’s not crazy so you lost the mental battle and since you’re a god damn ventriloquist dummy I’m guessing you’ll lose the physical battle so this was an odd choice. My only guess is that Slappy knew there was only 5 minutes left in the episode and wanted to move things along.

I do like that Sarah apologies to Amy saying “I believe you now”. I sure fucking hope so! Evidence doesn’t get much more irrefutable than this!

The two sisters start searching their suddenly very dark and smokey house for Slappy. Seriously why did all the lights go out? Amy grabs a mop for protection which is an odd choice since the kitchen is right there and I have to believe they own knives. Amy is ambushed by Slappy who makes some threats (he is just standing there! Somebody fucking hit him!) and then holy shit. Did her old dummy Dennis just tackle him? It sure looked like it. Slappy hits the floor, his head smashes (proving he is no threat at all and is incredibly easy to defeat) and a green cloud floats out of it. Yep, no way we’re getting an explanation for what the hell that was. We also never get an explanation for why Dennis is somehow alive as well. Instead he says “It’s good to be back in the family again” to everyone (this family is damaged beyond repair at this point) and chuckles. I can’t tell if the chuckle is meant to be good-natured or threatening as there are hints of both. The end!

Eh. I’ve complained a few times that Goosebumps episodes have too much back story but here’s a case where they could have used a little more. Who the fuck was Slappy? Why was he so pissed? Are all ventriloquist dummies secretly alive? Are they all evil? Why in the fuck was the brother still wearing sunglasses on his head in the dead of night in a house with no lights on? So many unanswered questions.  Perhaps it’s all explained better in the book which I am not incredibly tempted to read. Actually this feature may have made more sense had I read the books as well and then done a compare and contrast kinda thing. Ah well, next time!