The one regret I have with The New Archies Reviewed segment that I started this past summer is the fact that I began it two weeks late. Had I started this two weeks earlier, this entry would have been posted the day before Halloween, which given the subject matter would have been so very much appropriate.
But you know...today is Friday the 13th. I suppose that if I can't have this written on Halloween, this day is the next best thing.
So, this is the "Teen Wolf" spoof episode of "The New Archies", and while I can't say that this one was as memorable as the 1985 film starring Michael J. Fox, it's still a very weird way to spend eleven and a half minutes of your time.
This is Episode 9A: I Was A 12-Year-Old Werewolf. And look! The title is in a colour other than white! How special!
Now, this is interesting. Riverdale Junior High seems to be the site of a special karate demonstration! That's quite cool! I wonder who they have performing the karate moves? Chuck Norris? Ralph Macchio?
Oh, wait. It's just Reggie. But to Reggie's credit, he is quite skilled in karate, having the ability to break a whole bunch of boards on the stage. I took karate off and on for four years, and I never learned how to do that. I can cut through a brick of styrofoam though! So, um...yay me!
Two people who aren't impressed are Archie and Jughead, and they heckle Reggie worse than most people would heckle a really terrible stand-up comedian. Two other people who aren't having any of it are Betty and Veronica, who actually take Reggie's side! How often does that happen?
Reggie, obviously irritated that Archie and Jughead are stealing all of the attention away from him gets angry, and tells both of them off, to which Archie sarcastically remarks that Veronica is probably going to ask Reggie to the Halloween costume ball later on that night, and proceeds to egg Reggie on further.
Yep, you can tell that they're in junior high.
Of course, Reggie constantly brags about how good he is, and how dangerous his karate moves are, and how awesome he is. In short, he's being typical Reggie. And Archie decides that if Reggie is so awesome, he'll have no problem going to some random cave on the outskirts of town where some mad scientist has a secret laboratory.
I swear, I am not making this up.
Naturally, the thought of exploring some mad scientist's lab on Halloween night makes Reggie want to die of fright...which of course makes Betty and Veronica freak out with excitement. Seriously, it's like Betty and Veronica see Archie and Reggie the same way that millions of "Grey's Anatomy" fans looked at Dr. McDreamy and Dr. McSteamy. It's really kind of pathetic.
Especially when Veronica announces that if Archie and Reggie both go to the mysterious lab and come back alive, she'd take both of them to the dance. Way to whore yourself out there, Ronnie.
So, we flash forward to the night. Archie and Reggie are there, and just for moral support, they bring Jughead, Moose, and Eugene with them. After all, any one of those three could be considered easy fodder for monsters, zombies, and vampires.
Or, owls apparently. One of them happens to fly right past them, scaring all five of them to the point where they end up crashing into each other.
Right off the bat, Reggie and Archie are having second thoughts about continuing this adventure...at least that is until Eugene remarks that if they turn back now, Betty and Veronica will laugh at them and humiliate them so badly that they will never want to leave the house ever again! That right there is the motivation they need to keep moving.
A bolt of lightning flashes through the sky and the group of five arrive at a cave, which they believe is the secret lair of our crazy scientist. I know they mention his name, but I can't remember what it is. I think it's something like Frightenstein, or some variation of Frankenstein, but they can't actually say Frankenstein because of copyright laws or something. Anyway, they all turn on their flashlights and explore the cavern.
It doesn't take long for Archie to get separated from the crowd as he finds a trick wall that sends him into a secret room where there's a lot of dusty bottles, a lot of dusty medical equipment, and the dusty corpse of what I presume is our mad scientist. But since Emily Deschanel was only eleven when this episode aired and "Bones" was still decades away from being created, I doubt we're going to find out who the skeleton belongs to.
Besides, Archie doesn't have time to worry about anthropology now. A hidden door opens up, and Archie is soon attacked by...a two and a half foot robot security guard carrying a butterfly net. I don't know what I find more sad...the fact that the robot guard is supposed to be the top-notch security system for a secret lab, or the fact that Archie is absolutely scared out of his mind of something that looks like it would be found in the 1988 Sears Wish Book.
The robot chases the wimpy Archie around the room for a bit before Archie trips over his shoes and crashes into a giant shelf sending hundreds of old bottles cascading over him. The liquid inside the bottles gets all over Archie, and Archie is wondering what is inside those bottles.
As Archie is trying to escape the room, get a look at his hands. I'm sure they didn't look like that before! Maybe the rumours of a mad scientist were true after all. Fortunately, Archie manages to escape the room before the harmless robot could throw a net over his head. Glad he escaped that "danger"!
But something's definitely not right, and as Moose, Eugene, Reggie, and Jughead realize that Archie has disappeared, they are at first relieved when Archie calls out after them.
And that relief lasts all of about four seconds before everyone screams in terror and runs away. I wonder why. Archie seems to be scared of toys, it's not like he...
...OH MY GOD, HE'S A WEREWOLF! Mind you, he looks about as scary as "My Pet Monster", but still...he's turned into a giant 12-year-old werewolf! But how the heck did he end up with brown hair? I hate to get technical, but shouldn't his hair still be red?
Whatever. Archie starts howling like a werewolf, gets scared, and runs off. Geez, Archie must be a wimp if he scares himself.
And somewhere in the distance, a frightened Jughead Jones stops in his tracks and decides that he has to go back to save Archie. Eugene is initially impressed by his bravery until Jughead admits that Archie still owes him five bucks. Ah, the power of friendship.
Jughead returns to the cavern and calls out for Archie hoping that he's at least well enough to be able to give him back his money. Archie responds by jumping on top of Jughead and verbally cursing him out for abandoning him.
But before Jughead and Archie can do any more talking, there's a group of people approaching with candles and lanterns and pitchforks. Archie exclaims that it's just like the movies where a posse is out to kill him with silver bullets. My question is - this whole transformation literally took place ten minutes ago. How could word travel that fast? This was set in 1987. The Internet wasn't exactly available to everyone!
Alas, Archie and Jughead run away from the scene, and somehow end up in Archie's neighbourhood where the talk shifts towards the Halloween dance. Now, I would think that Archie should probably just go the way he is because who could resist a realistic looking werewolf costume? But Archie's mother already slaved away for three whole months trying to put together the perfect costume for Archie, and she has the calluses to prove it, and it would break her little heart if Archie didn't wear it, so Archie comes up with the idea to climb up the drain pipe on the side of the house to grab the costume even though he has a perfectly good one on.
You know how well that works. The drain pipe falls off the house, and Archie somehow crashes onto the roof of a police cruiser. And when the policeman is about ready to arrest who dented his car, he gets the shock of his life.
See the policeman scream and run away! See Archie look confused. See Jughead wish that he had done a cameo on "Jem and the Holograms" instead.
So, Archie and Jughead decide to go to the dance to kill some time while figuring out how to get Archie back to normal. But what's interesting is that while they are talking, the full moon in the sky gets covered by clouds. And once that happens, Archie's facial hair begins to shed. I guess Archie's werewolf self is only at full power when the moon hits his eye like a big pizza pie.
That may be amore for most people, but it totally destroys Archie's idea of going to the dance as a werewolf. But still, despite this setback, Archie's main focus is going to the dance so that he can steal Veronica away from Reggie.
Good lord, this episode is so much worse than I remember it.
But without a costume, what's a 12-year-old werewolf to do?
Well, at the school gymnasium, we see a whole bunch of people who are dancing up a storm, including Reggie (who wore his karate gi) and Veronica, who is apparently dressed up as Pocahontas. But Reggie and Veronica quit dancing when they see Jughead dressed up as a pirate and his date is apparently Big Bird from Sesame Street.
Oh, wait. That's actually a turkey costume. And inside the turkey costume is Archie, which leads to a lot of lame turkey jokes on Reggie's part.
Hilariously, Archie tries to attack Reggie, but the animation makes it out like Archie is going to peck Reggie into the ground. And while Reggie is boasting that he could snap Archie's drumsticks, Archie taunts back that he saw Reggie run away from the cave like a screaming sissy schoolgirl.
Reggie doesn't like that blow to his ego, so Reggie tells Archie that Veronica likes him more, which causes Archie to bark like a dog and growl.
Nobody understands why Archie has seemingly developed verbal tics and is losing his mind but when Jughead notices that the moon is in full view, he get scared.
And so does Archie, as he flaps across the gym in a panic, causing Reggie to scream "COME BACK HERE YOU, YOU, TURKEY!"
Is this episode over yet?
So there's a chase scene in which were-turkey Archie hides in a classroom while Reggie is chasing after him. And when Archie is in the classroom, he is concerned that when Veronica sees him as a werewolf, she'll never dance with him. Priorities, Archie. Priorities.
Reggie is now outside of the classroom door where he yells at Archie to come on out and take his lumps like a man. But Archie soon discovers that he has the power to scare people and he growls at the door.
Reggie kicks down the door (which would likely get him expelled from school, to be honest), runs towards werewolf Archie, and almost as quickly runs away.
But at that moment that Reggie darts out of the room, Archie's fur falls compeletely off and he is relieved to know that the solution that turned him into a werewolf in the first place finally wore off.
Veronica comes into the classroom and asks Archie was was going on, and believes that she saw him covered in fur. Archie tells Veronica that Jughead's turkey costume was full of mould, and that's what she saw. Yeah, that'll make her kiss you!
It's almost a happily ever after story until Jughead makes some lame comment about how Archie should teach Veronica the funky turkey dance, and an angry Archie chases after a laughing Jughead.
Oh. My. God. I thought no episode would be worse than Goodbye, Ms. Grundy, but this one is absolutely a turkey of an episode. No pun intended. This whole episode was horrible from start to finish. I absolutely hated this one, and I am so glad that I never have to watch it again.
...Archie meets a prince who looks just like him, and they trade places. Oh, goody. A doppelganger story. We know how much I LOVE those.
Episode 9 is looking like a bad episode all around...