A couple years back I had a German exchange student living with me, we were fast friends and did all sorts of cool stuff together, one thing America had that Germany didn't was thrift stores, and my friend Konstantin or Tino was always wanting to go to them. Savers is one of the bigger thrift stores around and this was our destination one night. When on rare occasions that I visit a thrift store I never really look at outdated clothing or old Stephen King books, instead I try to find something cool or unique, like an old SNES game I never knew existed or a crazy looking stuffed toy that doesn't have dried puke on it. On this particular visit while my bud Tino checked out the current selection of old restaurant uniforms I stumbled upon a few children's videos, among them was an old Casper the Ghost cartoon and a golden find (or so I thought) a My Pet Monster cartoon, I quickly grabbed the two titles and walked on holding the more sacred of the two close to my side. As a side note I also found a talking Larry the Cucumber doll for my nephew, aren't thrift stores great. As a kid I used to go to Albertsons to rent videos almost every weekend that my parents went out, I'm not sure how many of you remember this but the old My Pet Monster show had real life shots of the monster on the cover and I really wanted to see this show thinking there would be a legit monster in the show (turns out it was a real life show, damn I wish I could have seen it). My mom was/is a die hard Christian and never wnated me to watch cartoons with magic, witches, monsters and all that stuff, so no matter how much I begged or tried to sneak it into my selections she would never rent it for me, I had to settle with those crappy disney classic Pluto cartoons and the Potatohead Kids, so imagine my joy thirteen years later when I find one of the videos at a thrift store. Without even bothering to look over the video (it was My Pet Monster how could I go wrong) rushed home to pop it into teh VCR. All that excitement and Joy however was lost as soon as I got home and took a real good luck at what I had just purchased, compare the two pictures (my video is the yellow one) and you'll see why I was disappointed after realizing what I had gotten.
Now just from looking at the cover most of you can probably tell what kind of video this is and some may have horrible memories of these kinds of videos. For those of you who don't know what they let me tell you, they take a story book and usually have somebody read or narrate it as the story progresses, they use a technique they called picturemation in which they make a few GIF like animations and transitions from one page to the next, the mouths don't move and the backgounds never shift except into different scenes. I owned and watched one at the age of four or five, and it was a Sesame Street one in which Bert spills milk and tries to get Ernie to find a mop and everybody misunderstanding Ernies chain message brings such things as mats, hats, kittens, and mittens; as a small child I liked it and most likely would have enjoyed this pet monster one even more, but now at the age of nineteen they both seem stupid to me. So without further ado here's my review of one of the three stories on this video, I hope this video works better then it smells, I was so disappointed when I found out what it was that I never even took the time to watch it until now.
The story starts out with a view of a new house that a little boy named Matt is moving into, this is thier first day there and Matt is bringing his two buddies to check it out. As they are unpacking his monster collection his dad walks in and tells him that he and his mother are leaving for a while and are leaving Matt in charge while they are gone. Matt assuring his friends that his porno stash is in the basment convinces them to venture down with him. One very uneasy friend comments that this would be a perfect place for a monster to live, They begin to search the basment and discover a rather large well-like hole (which I swear to you has no relevency what-so-ever), they cover it up with a board, fearing that somebody may fall in unawares.
Matt sees an open room and curiously walks in not knowing that the door is going to shut behind him locking him in. Matt becomes frightened and sends his friends to get help from some of the other kids, he wishes them luck and they rush off. Inside the pitch black room a second pair of eyes appear, and a deep gruff yet soothing voice begins to talk to Matt much to his dismay, Matt explains that he does not want to be molested or harmed in any way and only wishes to get through the locked door which he is now pounding on again. The voice says oh that's easy and begins to make growling noises as the eyes move closer and closer to the door. "Crash" the door is obliterated and Matt now stands face to face with his rescuer.
Turns out that the second pair of eyes belonged to a blue fuzzy monster, Matt is a little edgy at first, but then the monster reassures him that he is a friendly monster. from the look of the monster's crossed legs on the bottom left picture I half expected him to ask where the bathroom was.
Matt's friends plus two return and are introduced to Monster, they take to him immediately and they all decide that they should have a fun filled day playing with their new friend, before he melts away (oops wrong story). The kids play baseball and teach the monster who seems rather fluent in English new words and current trends. Time passes and the kids are returning home, Matt and Monster (as he is now named) return home also.
Upon entering the house Matt sees a stranger who is carrying boxes out of the house, he seems to be a moving man but then says to himself "I love when people just move in, everything's boxed up and ready to steal" Matt demands that the man cease and desist, the man asks if Matt intends to stop him and the monster does just that. Growling and snorting the monster rushes towards the theif and chases him out of the house.
Matt's parents return home and Matt introduces them to the monster, asking if he can keep him. The parents seem unsurprised by the presence of a monster and treat the matter as if their kid had brought home a stray dog (can you imagine the typical life of a family who owns a monster for a pet?)
Mom: Honey, I think the monster ate the couch.
Dad: ah damn it, that thing really tied the room together... where the heck is Matt? That thing is his responsibility.
Mom: Matt? Last I saw he was sleeping on the couch...
So sitting down for dinner the family discusses the responsibilities of owning a monster, the main concern is that the neighbors and the Government may view the monster as a national threat. Matt comes up with a great idea, what if we keep Monster in chains, dad thinks that's a brilliant idea and they attach some hand links they just happen to have lying around... man his mom and dad are sick. Monster rips the chain apart and they all agree that now he no longer looks threatening (despite they fact he broke his chains in half) and they won't have to barricade themselves in their rooms at night. The episode ends here with Monster becoming a part of the family, it's a good day for Monster. The end.
I'm not going to bother reviewing the other two episodes on the video partly because I'm too lazy, and partly because they are excrutiatingly boring. But since I'm a nice guy and I like you people so much here's a short summary with pretty pictures.
Episode 2: Matt and his friends take Monster to school pretending he's a puppet to take place in the talent show, hilarity ensues.
Episode 3: Matt take Monster to the fair with his friend pretending to be normal while wearing very suspicous disguises, hilarity ensues.
This next shot I made to show how incredibally retarded Matt's family looks, check out their dorky faces (I think Gene Simmons was the inspiration for Matt's sister)
Overall I'm no longer extremely disappointed that I bought the video, but I still wish it would have been the real life show or at least a legit cartoon, but hey, you can't have your couch and eat it too right? I don't think I'll keep this video however with it's being haunted and all... oh yeah I didn't tell you the story did I? Well when I bought the video the creepy under-paid lady at the register told me this.
Lady: Ah, so your brave enough to buy this cursed video eh?
Me: What? what do you mean cursed
Lady: Ah, so you didn't see the markdown sticker eh?
(looking down I saw to my surprise a sticker that said "slightly cursed"
Me: I see, well I'll take it anyways
Lady: Ah, the last owner was killed you know, somebody choked him and his wife to death with one of those airline headset cords.
Me: Wow, bummer... well thanks again.
Lady: Ah, be ye careful with that video eh.
I took no notice of her rambling asnd forebodings, but now that I've watched it I've seen something that has changed me forever... are you ready for this? Be careful cause it's a shocker and will shake the foundation you stand on!
I took this picture and saw nothing at tyhe time, but look what's turned out! It's the past owners ghosts!! I must either dispose of the video or avenge their deaths, hmmm it's a tough call.
Hope you guys enjoyed the article and I have some good news, Vertex has pointed me in the direction of a video capture card, so hopefully this will be the last article with such bad quality pictures. Thank you everybody for reading and I hope you liked it too much. Please feel free to drop me a line.