Are You Afraid of the Dark? Review: The Tale of the Guardian’s Curse

Welcome to the My Rotting Brain 2012 Halloween Spectacular!  I won’t be making any guarantees about how much I’ll write this year, but I’ll do my best.  I’ll also be debuting my new interactive chat show, but more on that later.  We’ll kick this year off in the traditional way, with an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Here’s your link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VebqRuhdE7o

We jump right into some Gary/Tucker family troubles.  I wish I knew their last name, I’ll have to hit them up on twitter about it.  It seems Tucker has stolen Gary’s ankh, and that doesn’t sit too well with Gary.  Let’s take a moment to enjoy pissed off Gary.

I bet that’s how he looks when he gets the 5 Day Forecast wrong these days.

We learn that Tucker stole it out of Gary’s private drawer, where he probably keeps his stash of magic elf porn or something.  Thanks to Sam playing mediator, the issue is settled and Tucker is able to tell his story, ankh in hand.  He throws some magical fairy dust that he stole from Gary’s private drawer onto the fire and begins.  Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, he calls this story…

Our story begins in a museum that appears to be under construction.  In the basement, they’ve run into a problem with a wall that doesn’t appear on any of their blueprints.  It’s decided the best way to take care of this would be to demolish the wall, using one man with a pickaxe.  It’s not the speediest demolition, but it builds suspense.

It really doesn’t. It’s like the antithesis of the Shining axe scene.

Behind the wall they find a large wooden box, which they deduce might be from Egypt.  Their suspicions are confirmed when they clumsily transport it and open it, revealing a sarcophagus.  The construction team decides that they’d better call in an expert.  Soon after, Camp Anawana’s own Bobby Budnick appears!

Give up now you little goons, or we’ll hit you hard with water balloons.

I wasn’t aware Budnick was an expert Egyptologist, but I’ll run with it.  Maybe late at night after Donkey Lips and Sponge had gone to sleep, he’d sneak off and read up on the ancient pharaohs under the moonlight and dream of one day visiting the pyramids and oh…his father is the expert.  Well, how droll.  Budnick’s also got his sister along with him, turns out their dad was supposed to take them skiing, but he’s been called into the museum as well.  Judging by the sighs, eye rolls and smarmy remarks the kids make, I’m guessing this isn’t the first time it’s happened.  It turns out they’ve discovered a sarcophagus containing Mina, the Goddess of Light.  She was stole from an Egyptian temple back in the 1920’s and has apparently been stashed in the museum ever since.  Budnick’s dad wastes no time in opening up the sarcophagus, because foresight doesn’t exist in this universe.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mina.

Ain’t she a beaut?

Their dad is soon boring them with details about Mina’s tomb.  Blood sacrifices, rings of eternal life and ancient curses.  Surely nothing that will come up at any other point.  The kids are sent back to the museum to pick up some things for their father, as their vacation has been terminated.  They accidentally discover a secret compartment on the sarcophagus containing a ring and a vial.  For no real reason, Budnick decides his sister isn’t physically capable of carrying both the ring and the vial, and tries to take one from her.  They fight about it and accidentally knock the vial over; causing its contents to fall on Mina’s gnarled hand.  I should say: Mina’s gnarled hand that begins moving right after the kids leave the room.

Budnick is thrilled at their discovery and convinced that he’ll get his name in all the papers.  Chicks love guys who discover ancient Egyptian trinkets; it’s why their dad is knee deep in tail.  In their excitement, the kids realize they forgot the pictures they were sent to receive, and return to the lab to get them.  They find the photos alright, but they notice something else is missing.

A good story? Suspense? Scares? Oh, it’s the mummy. The mummy is missing.

The kids race home to find their apartment trashed and a note from their father, saying he returned to the museum.  It appears whoever did the trashing is still in the apartment, so it’s time to flee back to the museum!  Alright, if you’re just going to pointlessly fill time in this episode, you could at least do it with a musical interlude of Walk like an Egyptian.

Back the museum, the kids argue about whether or not there’s actually a curse, and whether or not a mummy came to life and walked away.  Why are you having this debate when you already got scared of the idea of the mummy coming to life and ran away?  Now hurry up and do something interesting, that poor mummy has been stuck in a closet for hours.

Seriously, she’s been in there longer than Tom Cruise.  Hail Xenu.

The kids retreat to the basement, and soon find themselves locked in.  They also stumble upon their father laying around, unconscious.  When their father comes to, the family is confronted by the museum curator, and in a scene straight out of Scooby Doo, we learn that he was the one who ransacked their home and locked them in the basement, all to get the Ring of Eternity.

And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling actor from another Nickelodeon show making a poorly promoted guest appearance.

After a flashback sequence confirming all of that, because apparently this episode is 50% filler, we learn that the curator has soaked the basement in kerosene and will light the whole place on fire if they don’t give him the ring.  Don’t give it to him kids, there’s no way this episode has the budget for those kind of special effects!  Of course they surrender the ring, which the curator believes will make him immortal.  He decides he can’t risk leaving witnesses, as they’ll go to the authorites, and he “can’t have them chasing him for the rest of eternity.”  Pretty sure the statute of limitations on that would expire at some point.  The kids manage to convince the curator to put on the ring before he kills them, and soon he’s emitting a purple glow.

Fabulous!

Unfortunately, something goes wrong, the glow turns green and the curator is turned into a statue.  He’s frozen forever in stone, looking like he’s struggling to take a dump.

Of course there’s still the matter of Mira, the mummy.  She arrives on the scene shortly thereafter, seeking the ring.  Budnick obliges, and Mira is transformed from a withered husk into a woman wearing a poor Cleopatra costume.

She then starts exchanging lovey glances with their father, and it’s strongly implied that they’re all going to live happily ever after, together.  Well, until the family all dies of old age and Mira is left alone, doomed to live forever and repeat that cycle with anyone she ever loves.

The End

Well, that was a rough one.  I don’t think I’ve ever covered in episode that contains so much filler material, and so little attempts at scary moments.  The evil curator is a Scooby Doo style villain, tacked on at the end and disposed of immediately.  The big selling point of the episode is the mummy, who we rarely ever seen in full.  The only redeeming quality of this episode is that it features Danny Cooksey, essentially playing Bobby Budnick on winter break.  Think anawanna-wanna, speak anawanna-wanna.
Live anawanna-wanna! Ug!

As always, follow me on Twitter and Tumblr and be sure to like my page on Facebook.   And if you like Are You Afraid of the Dark, be sure to check out the Review Index, for all the episodes I’ve covered so far.

This article is part of the Countdown to Halloween blogathon, a month-long blogging marathon dedicated to honoring the Halloween season. For more information and a full list of participating sites, please visit www.countdowntohalloween.com

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4 thoughts on “Are You Afraid of the Dark? Review: The Tale of the Guardian’s Curse

  1. Ooh! Have you ever thought about doing reviews for Tales From the Darkside? Some of those episodes still scare the crap out of me!

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