Thursday, September 7, 2017

Focusing On Fear Street - The Best Friend

Hello blog followers! I know it has been awhile and I am so sorry! My life is now completely work free as I have joined the ranks of the unemployed but by choice to have some rest and relaxation. My last blog post came at a very bad emotional time in my life and I guess besides work it may have been why I stopped blogging for so long. Now that I am in a far better if still not so-so attitude and mental state I am returning to my blog and at least for awhile mainly doing my Fear Street arc. Now since I've been gone, it has been made known that at least 3 Fear Street films are going to be coming to the big screen! I am hoping they will be good ones and that maybe the series will finally get some love on the smaller screen (hello you got enough Fear Street books for a freaking show!) Also, seeing as my favorite month and holiday are around the corner, it would be appropriate to talk about the books and I am energized to start! So as I promised... 
 
WELCOME TO FOCUSING ON FEAR STREET WITH THERESTHEGIRL

Book #17 in the Fear Street series
Published December of 1992
Cover Art by Bill Schmidt
 
 
 
So since this came out in December we have a Christmas theme going with the tree in the back, lots of red and green and I guess even though it's yellow it's supposed to be gold? We have a merrily wrapped gift with a huge knife sticking out of it and a note saying "To my best friend". Now the girl on the cover is supposed to be Becka Norwood, our main character, and she does not look like she is in high school! I'm not saying the following to be mean but this...this is my Mom! Not literally but the hair, the makeup...this is what my mother looked like circa 1992! And no offense to Bill Schmidt because his artwork far surpasses anything I could draw but my mother could give a more terrified look than this! Becka looks like she's more upset that her gift is ruined and NOT THE BIG HONKING KNIFE STICKING OUT OF IT! Sorry so...moving on huh?
 
Okay I don't have major hate for the cover but there are just so many other covers that could be better like I don't know maybe the re-issue of the 2000s had a much better design:
 
 
What is with all this bold color they want to keep using? I know it's supposed to draw your attention but this overload of green makes me want to go blind or cross-eyed I can't decide which would be better at this point. I guess the negative exposure of the two girls in the picture frame is a nice indicator of its horror/thriller theme but I'd much rather know what they kind of look like. I can't tell if the brightness is supposed to be the glass broken or if it was part of the original picture like at a school dance maybe? Also that tagline...yes I know we use to do that in high school but...oh god such painful cheesy nostalgia!
 
As always I try to look for some good pictures of the various cover art and the German editions never let me down with their bleak yet beautiful illustrations:
 
 
 
 

I can't remember if a scene like this does in fact happen but going by the short blond hair this is Becka and her life is really turning into the same broken, disheveled and messed up state as her room. By far this is my favorite but I did find another cover that is still from the same 1992 era but through a different publisher than Archway that I think is pretty cool:
 
 
 
 
So simplistic yet it speaks volumes! A girl's eye colored a vivid green (you know like she's green with envy?) The light reflected in her eye is in the shape of a knife and just something about her face...you only see her eye and eyebrow. I don't think I have ever seen an eyebrow/eye ratio spaced that far apart which gives her that creepy factor, the shadow under her eye, the almost unhuman hue of her skin color...and the fact you can't tell if she is creeped out or maybe as calm as could be?


 
Taglines:  On the front we have "Sometimes friendship can be murder...": Ha it's so very original isn't it? I'm guessing tagline writer person (again hopefully not R.L.) thought they were being so very clever. On the back we get "Best friends...to the end!": My goodness I never thought the back tagline could be as boring as the front one! Is it so hard to come up with something witty or actually original that you won't find on some made-for-TV movie box? I know this is 1992 but come on get those brain juices brewing up a brainstorm! (although points for being earlier and WAY BETTER than the 2005 reprint!)
 
This was an awesome made for TV movie BTW!
 
 
The First Line:   "Ow-stop.You're hurting me!"
 
Well it seems we're off to a great start...physical violence! So we have our main character parked out in the cold with her about to be former boyfriend, Eric Fraser. No he was just trying to paw at her and got a little forceful but this isn't the reason Becka is about to dump her guy...no she just wants to get back with her ex, Bill Planter. Okay so I'm supposed to like Becka, right? Well torn between immature, hot to cold Eric or nervous yet fickle Becka as my favorite character so far. When Becka does dump Eric he handles it rather chill and drops her back at her home on our titular Fear Street, where Becka decides she's going to go see Bill (why so late Becks?) and she gets into a car accident!
 
Of course it's not as bad as it seems...just one busted headlight and a peeved Mr. Norwood but Becka still doesn't get punished (why don't we get that in the real world, Stine?) I mean the next day Becka's two best friends, Lilah and Trish, are hanging out in her room talking about her break up with Eric...she didn't even get grounded for taking the car without permission let alone get the headlight wrecked! Anyway, as the girls talk all of a sudden another girl bursts into the room and makes a beeline for Becka, hugging her and gushing how good it is to see her...except Becka has no idea who the girl is? She soon introduces herself as Honey Perkins, that she and her dad have moved back to Shadyside and how glad she is to see her childhood friend!
 
There is something off about Honey as she ignores Lilah and Trish after her introduction and she fawns all over Becka about her hair, her room and even an enamel parrot pin she owns (given to her by Bill because she's a bird lover...kinda sweet that this is all we know about him so far.) Soon Honey says she has to head back home next door and Becka and her puzzled friends try to remember who this crazy chick is. Not only that they make fun of her clothes and when they finally find a fourth grade picture and locate Honey, they remember how weird she was and nobody liked her. If you couldn't tell I'm trying to see if I like any characters and so far despite her cray-cray scene, Honey is winning along with the unseen Bill.
 
Well Becka freaks out more when she realizes her parrot pin is gone (oh no not Bill's present!) and she just down right accuses her of stealing it. I'm absent-minded so maybe Honey forgot she was wearing it like I might do (having been accused of stealing something without proof is just awful) but when she goes to get it *gasp* the house next door stands empty! Okay so maybe Honey did steal it...
 
The weirdness level starts rising as Becka comes home to find Honey trying on her clothes and talking to herself. It seems she lives in a fantasy world where she and Becka were almost like sisters with wearing each other clothes and played awful tricks on each other as part of a "Gotcha" game (which Honey demonstrates by almost choking Becka with her "man-hands"). Becka tries slowly to keep her cool as Honey almost breaks down that her best friend doesn't seem to remember all the fun things they did and of course when Honey insists that Becka gave her the parrot pin!
 
Things then seem to go from bad to worse for Becka when Lilah gets in a bike accident because her rear break cable has been...*horrified gasp* messed with. Lilah survives but has a broken leg. Becka is more than ready to blame Honey and on a date with Bill, Becka thinks Honey is spying on them! Okay Honey may be Mondo bizarro but I think that Becks is going a little cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs from paranoia (I think Bill is along the same train of thought as I but he really cares about Becka so again...points for him.) 
 
Everything comes to a head when Honey shows up at school with the same hairdo as Becka then starts dating her ex Eric! Becka has had it with Honey but at a Christmas party Trish is throwing, Honey also shows up wearing the exact same outfit (and party crashing too!) When Trish falls down the stairs and breaks her neck (but still survives...how? I'm not a doctor but really?) Becka knows for sure Honey did it out of spite and faints as soon as the police arrive.
 
 Usually at this point I would be kind of vague about the ending but in this case what with there being a The Best Friend 2 and most people knowing the ending which resulted in there being a sequel in the first place so...
 
SPOILERS AT YOUR OWN RISK!
 
Becka has a full on breakdown from seeing Trish fall down the stairs and of course dealing with the stress Honey has caused her. She is given tranquilizers and ordered to bed rest by a doctor but a call from Honey while her mother is out drags Becka from almost a dead sleep with the promise of a surprise and what is that Bill in the background!? So in the freezing snow Becka heads over to Honey's house and yes it is Bill sitting at the kitchen table with the two of them smiling and everything after that goes into a red screen of hate for Becka! Entering the house she grabs a big, honking knife planning to stab Honey to death but faints from being so weak.
 
Bill is not happy as he thought Becka knew he was over at Honey's (seeing as both of Becks parents hate him for past juvenile delinquency and thinking he broke Becka's heart when it was their fault in the first place pulling a Romeo & Juliet "you can't see him ever again!" rant.) When Bill tries to help Becka it is now Honey who has the big freak out telling him to stay away from her friend and they both go for the knife. In the struggle, Bill trips forward onto the knife and is stabbed deeply. In a panic, Honey places the bloody knife in Becka's hand and when she comes to Honey promises she'll protect her friend...saying she didn't mean to kill Bill. Still out of it, Becka looks to see her boyfriend in a puddle of blood and graciously thanks Honey because...what are friends for?
 
Body Count: There is The Best Friend 2 so *sigh* what do you think?
 

 
This Fear Street book is infamous as a villain getting away with their evil deeds and our heroine/hero taking the fall into a pretty fucked ending. When I first read it I thought it was a good book but now that I am older and have re-read it, the characters are all awful except for Bill! Until we get to the last chapter, I feel Honey is being treated unfairly with the thievery and copycatting an exception (that's just creepy) she is just a girl who comes on a little strong out of loneliness. She may live in a fantasy world where Becka's the queen but proof is never really given that she pushed Trish on purpose. I have no doubt about her rigging up Lilah's bike because there is literally no one around but to push a person down the stairs of their own home in front of so many people...Honey is obviously not that dumb given the ending.
 
Lilah and Trish aren't any better than Becka for making fun of Honey at first, mocking her obviously unhealthy admiration of Becka instead of all three of them maybe trying to get Honey some help...the girl probably has bipolar disorder and low self-esteem if she is trying to be as fashionable as Becka who is blond and sexy while even Stine describes Honey as "not pretty" with her auburn hair, dramatic looks, full body and large hands. Becka Norwood is the worst offender despite the clingy and unstable Honey Perkins for being so paranoid, high-strung and getting pissed when Honey starts dating Eric. Yes I know dating a bestie's ex is a big no-no but if Honey isn't even her friend why should she care? I think if Becka had just let Honey be with Eric and she had just gone on to be with Bill and not give the matter anymore thought...huge tragedies could have been avoided.
 
Cameo Time!: It seems Trish invited a whole slew of characters we have had the pleasure of meeting so far! Ricky Schorr from Halloween Party, Lisa Blume and David Metcalf from The New Girl and Deena Martinson from The Wrong Number are all in attendance.
 
THE SHADYSIDE HIGH TIME CAPSULE
 
 
The Best Friend is quite obviously a high school version of the film Single White Female, released in August of 1992. The matching hair cuts and obvious similarities between Hedy from the film and Honey from the book haven't been lost on anyone.
 
Kudos to Ginnis Tonik for this edit...spot on!
 
 
Of course there are references to the magazines of the time such as Seventeen and Sassy where only one is still around...guess which one?
 
 
 
At the Christmas party, someone brings a Guns 'n' Roses Christmas album. Sorry to burst your bubble but this doesn't exist so if anyone's been trying to find it you won't. You can however find the song "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" by Bruce Springsteen on CD as it is mentioned to be playing at the party. There is also talk of a Christmas rap song playing and the only one I think it could be from the time is "Christmas In Hollis" by Run DMC from the album "A Very Special Christmas" released in 1987. As it turns out "A Very Special Christmas 2" one of just many following compilations came out in 1992 so maybe we could have gotten some tunes from that if the party hadn't turned so morbid.
 
 
 
 
 
NEXT TIME, NEXT BLOG: Nobody ever prospers on Fear Street...especially The Cheater.

2 comments:

  1. Love love love all the different covers. I didn't know they had so many.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Most women don’t know this... but even if a man is attracted to you or even says he loves you...

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    Best,
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    ReplyDelete