Friday, July 22, 2011

Creepy Crawlers - The Night of the Creepy Crawlers

Now that I've talked about a show that everyone should remember, now let's cover something that no one should be aware of. A show that doesn't define the 90's the way Darkwing Duck did, but instead slithers so far under the radar that not many people are even aware of its existence and even less people actually watched it. And it not just slithers, it oozes, crawls, slimes, and goops, because we're dealing with one of those shows born from the period of the 90's where gross and ugly toys was considered cool.

But first, let me talk about the toy that inspired this show; Creepy Crawlers.

Basically what Easy Bake Ovens were for girls, Creepy Crawlers were to boys. Instead of baking cute little brownies or wee little cupcakes, boys baked plastic or edible centipedes and cockroaches and beetles depending on what type of Plastigoop they used. Basically, they were unleaded awesome and one of the great toys of the 90's. They don't exist anymore because the children of today just plain don't deserve them.

Considering I'm a girl (watch as everyone disregards everything I say once I reveal this small factoid), I never owned a Creepy Crawler oven. I had an Easy Bake Oven, one that nearly burned one of my fingers off because that light bulb can turn nuclear if you allow it to. It is now one of my biggest regrets that I never owned one of these things and made my own bugs, because now they don't exist anymore and the day I buy a Creepy Crawlers toy set off of eBay is the day I lose my dignity.

This will set you back 50 dollars, not including shipping.
Now that I've talked about the toy, let's talk about the animated adaptation. In the 90's, toys and cartoons would go hand-in-hand. Cartoons popular enough spawned toys, and toys popular enough spawned cartoons. It was a great commercial circle of life, back when people wouldn't whine on the Internet about how cartoons are now soulless products of merchandise. Seriously, cartoon merchandising today had nothing on the 90's. Cartoon merchandise in the 90's was almost an art form.

In Creepy Crawler's case, the toy spawned a cartoon and the cartoon later spawned toys, basically forming an advertiser's wet dream.

And then the toys spawned another cartoon and THAT
cartoon spawned toys...

With that, I bring you, Creepy Crawlers: The Animated Series!

Unfortunately, this show ran into some problems. Despite a toy line and a brand name, it lasted only two seasons and 23 episodes in total. Judging by how the last episode was not a series finale by any means and the toy line promised future toys, it was probably cancelled due to lack of interest.

And now, it is one of the most obscure shows I've ever run into. Now, quite a few animated TV shows don't have the luxury of DVD releases and require someone who had previously recorded the show to post the episodes online for all to see. Usually, a combined number of people with videotapes will add up to all the episodes, but sometimes, you'll end up with shows that have "missing episodes", episodes that no one has recorded yet and are now considered hotly in demand.

Creepy Crawlers suffers especially badly from this. Out of 23 possible episodes, EIGHT are available online, and only FOUR are in English. That's right, 50% of the show that's available online and it's in Russian. This probably won't change either, because I doubt some network will show episodes of a cartoon that's basically a 30 minute advertisement of something that doesn't even exist anymore (the toyline supposedly died in 2001) and I doubt the creators will make a DVD set on account like 20 people worldwide remember this show.

Did Creepy Crawlers deserve such a distinction? Does Creepy Crawlers deserve to live forever forgotten on the shelves of the 90's? Let's find out.

The Night Of The Creepy Crawlers

Airdate: October 4th, 1994.

Availability: Barely Available.

Before I touch upon the origin episode, I want to quickly mention the intro. The intro's theme song is kind of interesting and provides a nice enough backstory for the show, done in a white man freestyle rap by the main character while some male voices shout "Creepy Crawlers!" over and over during his rap. Like most theme songs during the 90's, it's so lame and stupid that it swings right back into the endearing and catchy territory.

He mentions Creepy Crawler Goopmandos, Crime Grimes, and basically sets up the premise of the entire show and its gross theme naming. Some guy named Googengrime has the main character's magic making machine and he's using it to create monsters...and that's basically it. The theme song does give us, the viewers, a sneak preview of a lot of the heroes and villains.

To the villains, "subtle" is just a word.
With the theme song over, we find ourselves at a normal city street that pans until we get to pretty unique building that screams "novelty magic shop". I have to wonder the amount of building zone papers and licenses the owner had to get in order to get an entire skyscraper-sized magic building and make it shaped into that unorthodox shape. With that kind of shape, that place must be just filled with customers!

But no, when the camera takes us to the interior of the magic shop, it turns out that only three people are in there and one of them is an employee. A kid named Chris, who has a voice that screams "male teen protagonist", entertains two other kids by...pulling out a rope and making it wiggle? Lamest magic trick ever. They're pretty amused by it, at least.

I guess children and cats do have something in common...
But right when the kid is about to pull a rabbit out of his hat (what, was the rope trick not cliche enough for his repertoire?), his boss stomps down and orders him to sweep the floors in a voice that can be best described as "gravelly cartoony villain voice". He's not doing anything evil, but just from the way this shot is set up, you know you were just introduced to our main villain. His outfit involves things like skulls and spider-webs, making him even more suspicious. Course, even without the voice and the evil clothing giving away his role in the series, there was the small fact that the intro had just shown this supposedly mild-mannered magic shop owner creating goop-filled monstrosities in a bid for world domination. Way to give away the ending, intro.

"Ooo, those goody-goody Smurfs make me sick!"
Anyways, the two rope-loving children exit the building without paying for anything, leaving the Professor and his assistant to engage in some exposition. The dialogue isn't exactly understated either. "I took this job cause I love magic! You were a great magician once." says Chris, which immediately causes the Professor to smile and put down some big name magicians while bragging that he's the greatest. Such an ego for someone who owns a magic shop with barely any customers.

Like anyone with an Art major, he claims that his genius is merely "undiscovered".
Professor Googengrime (who has either one of the lamest or the coolest last names ever. My brain's still trying to decide) even does a flashback back to 1953 where...he looks exactly the same as he does now. I guess he IS the greatest magician if he can cheat death and remain forever young.

I heard the service at that place is really lousy.
In his flashback, Professor Googengrime is competing for magician of the year, truly a title worthy of a villainous back story and not at all a title that will just be awarded to someone else within only 365 days. He's going to make a full-grown elephant disappear.

Googengrime slaved away for hours making sure that elephant's
wardrobe was just perfect for his act.
Through some good old-fashioned cheating that fails miserably, some physical harm that honestly should've killed him (an elephant landing on someone should cause more than just a "Get off me!" response), and some animals spilling out of the floorboards, Googengrime is laughed at by the entire magic community. The flashback ends and Googengrime says that they laughed at him because they were just jealous of his talent. Yeah, I guess it does take talent to teleport an elephant to a string hanging from the ceiling in an attempt to fool the audience into thinking it just disappeared. I actually found that impressive.

"Someday I'll show the world my might! Knees will tremble in my-"
"Yeah, yeah, when do I get my paycheck?"
Anyways, the teen protagonist walks off while Googengrime starts ranting about how he'll show them all very soon, presumably because he's heard all this crap a dozen times. Man, I wish I had a job where my boss was some sort of supervillain. Just think of the entertainment. Anyways, Chris walks down into the cellar and says that he'll show how magical he can really be with his magic maker!

Aka, his product placement device!
He later roots around in the boxes to put into his magic maker (which is what they actually called the ToyMax Creepy Crawler ovens, making this scene skirt the lines between cartoon and advertisement) and pulls out some specific magic items that could come into play later on. Finally, he goes with flash powder and at one point even shoves in the actual Creepy Crawler mold into the magic maker. I have to wonder how he made a complicated plastic device that normally needs a toy company's assembly line to build.

"Oh no! I forgot to get adult supervision!"
Googengrime stomps downstairs, probably mad that Chris walked off in the middle of his villain rant. Chris, probably sensing that he's pretty close to losing his job, tries to appease his boss with his magic maker. Instead of doing something magical though, his magic maker blows up in Googengrime's face. So the first thing the magic maker, something sold in stores, does onscreen is violently explode in someone's face. I'm sure that won't give kids any wrong ideas, right?

"Bah, forget this piece of junk. Lite Brites are the big money maker now!"
Googengrime is so angered by his near death experience that he fires Chris, throws him out on the streets, and threatens him with a magic trick that he needed to cheat to perform. I guess you say Chris blew it! Ahahahaa-hey, don't give me that look, I've been watching 90's shows all week. Chris is angry because he left his magic maker back in the magic shop (assuming in this universe you can't just go to the local Toys R Us and buy a new one), and he's so angry that his voice cracks. After pounding on the door, Chris just...kind of gives up and leaves for home. Persistent, isn't he?

His magic maker's first trick was to make his job disappear.
When night falls, that innocent little magic shop is now glowing green and now Googengrime (I love typing that name, by the way) has a giant grimoire open, ready to cast some horrible spell upon the populace. I always sort of suspected that most store managers did stuff like this once the employees are all gone and now here's my proof.

Or he's reading Harry Potter. Either way...
The time of Googengrime's revenge is at hand because it turns out tonight is the night of the "Magic Millennium Moment", where supposedly all the planets align and it only happens every thousand years. And he's going to capture the mystic forces to show that he is the greatest magician ever! It's like an avalanche of plot points! Also Googengrime, I hate to say it, but that incident with the magic community happened 40 years ago. You sure are taking your time with your revenge plots.

But wait, Chris is sneaking back into the magic shop's basement. Wait, huh? Why didn't he do that earlier if he was just going to break and enter? I guess he wanted to wait until after Googengrime left for home, but still, better ways to do this. It even turns out he didn't even need to sneak in, because Googengrime threw his magic maker right in the trash, emulating what a lot of parents did after they found melted plastic on their carpets.

So far it's exploded and been thrown away. Strange way to
advertise a product...
Back on the roof, Googengrime is holding his monocle into the air and is ready to capture the magic right into his monocle. That's right, instead of storing the power into something conventional like a wand or a Scepter of Imprisoned Souls [item level 245], Googengrime's going to be unique and have a magic monocle. This is the 90's and you have to innovate to make a name for yourself. 

"By the Power of Greyskull!"
We get a nice zoom out from Googengrime to the entire world, and then, chaos! Suddenly, everything happens at once. A magic moonbeam laser (I love that I have a blog where I can use that combination of words unironically) hits Googengrime between the eyes, bounces through his magic shop, bounces down the stairs to the basement, hits the magic maker, sends the magic maker crashing into a shelf which sends goo and a bunch of magic trick-related items to fall into the magic maker. You got all that? Good.

The 90's were all about lasers, man.
The magic maker, now infused with...well, magic, starts spewing more slime than a Nickelodeon game show. The slime manifests itself into three strange talking half-man, half-bug hybrids. I think this show is doing its job because now I realize that there was an empty void in my heart that needs to be filled with Creepy Crawlers.

My Easy Bake couldn't do this. I feel a bit ripped off.
Chris reacts the way any kid would react if giant 6 foot tall bugs suddenly formed out of moonbeam-infused green ooze and started talking to you; scream and run. Smart kid. The bug mutants however take turns holding him back with their different abilities, and kindly introduce themselves first to Chris and the kids back home, and then to Googengrime when he stomps down towards his basement and starts yelling like the thinly veiled supervillain that he is. Googengrime even coins the phrase "Goopmandos" completely out of the blue. That Googengrime; he has a goop-related name for anything.

I wonder if he's a natural blue.
I'm just going to take the time to introduce the three new bug mutants that have been released by the Ghostbusters-esque slime since by now you're wondering what the hell is going on. And, because I love my readers (all three of them), I'm also going to show off their action figures. By the way, don't even try to find the action figures. It's practically impossible and it's a road to madness no mortal should have to take.

First we have Hocus Locust, a half locust, half rope, half man thing. A manropelocust, if you will. He's obviously set up to be the bug the kids love the most. He's the comic relief and the bug with the most personality and the bug with the actual character flaws and the bug that has the most screen time AND the bug that makes a bunch of cartoony impersonations. Geez, Hocus Locust, save some for the rest of the Goopmandos. He's also the only Goopmando with four arms, which is a plus if you're one of those insect geeks who was irate that the ants in A Bug's Life only had four limbs.

Then we have Volt Jolt, a half lightning bug, half magic light bulb, half Spaniard. I'm not sure how a moonbeam enhanced children's toy decides to give just one of the mutants an accent. He's the cool one, because he wears shades and has a ridiculous haircut. He also has a Spanish accent and the ability to use electricity...and that's about it. He likes to say Spanish words that everybody knows to show how Spanish he is, like amigo. He's about as authentic as the Taco Bell dog. The toy SAYS he's the leader but come on, Hocus Locust hogs the screen time so Volt Jolt really had no choice but to surrender his title.

Also, his toy is really freaking creepy with the glasses removed.

And finally, we have Tick Treat Tick, aka T-3, who's part shell game and part tick. He's the least bug-like of the bunch, looking more like a bodybuilder with a skin condition than anything insectoid. He's also the big guy and the one that will actually access the situation instead of charging forward, unlike that other giant blue tick character in a 90's cartoon show. He can shoot projectiles out of his arm and he has a little mini tick hiding in his shell shoulders that can be used for various things. He's the most subdued just because he doesn't pretend he's Beavis and Butthead or have an accent. I also notice that his toy looks a lot meaner than him.

Also, I noticed that all three of their action figures come with Creepy Crawler molds to make even more weapons for your Goopmandos. I like to imagine that if I owned one of them and a magic maker (shut up, I can dream), I'd just keep cranking out those weapons until T-3 or Hocus Locust (not Volt Jolt; I've seen what he looks like without his glasses) had enough firepower to nuke Googengrime from orbit or bury him under an avalanche of ropes. No kill like overkill!

Anyways, back to our show. First Googengrime reacts in fear (wouldn't you if a tick bigger than you was standing right next to you?), and then with delight. The Magic Millennium Moment worked on both the magic maker and his monocle, so you know what that means? World domination!

Also, his monocle does this at random now.
Googengrime's opinion of the Magic Maker instantly flip flops the moment he sees it can create life, and scares off Chris with a well-aimed shot from his monocle laser. Yes, my friends, Googengrime's monocle can shoot lasers now. I love cartoons. Unfortunately, the Goopmandos decide that Googengrime is totally out of his gourd and also leave, none of them bothering to pick up the Magic Maker in their haste to leave. Way to go, guys. It's not like Googengrime can use that to make monsters and it's not like the Magic Maker being in Googengrime's hands is the entire point of the show or anything!

But first he pleads for the Goopmandos to please come back.
Uh, Googengrime, they burst through a wall to get away from you...
We cut to Chris and finding him roaming deserted city streets. I love how cartoons can never have a big enough budget to have actual people in their cities. The bugs finally catch up to him (it's never explained how they find him), and Chris states in pretty obvious terms that he doesn't want to be around giant talking bugs made out of random magic tricks.

"I need an adult! I NEED AN ADULT!"
At first, Chris is steadfast in his decision not to take the bugs, but once they say that they have nowhere else to go, point out that Googengrime just flat out sucks, and get on their hands and knees and repeat "Please" about 50 times, he cracks and lets them stay with him. Okay, so he doesn't have his Magic Maker, but at least he has three annoying superhero-type characters with articulate action figure-esque limbs staying with him.

I forgot to mention that Chris has an action figure too.
Back at Googengrime's, Googengrime realizes he still has the Magic Maker and decides to do some good old-fashioned villain gloating. He starts talking about how he will make new monsters called "Crime Grimes" (Googengrime likes to coin marketable titles in his spare time), his monocle keeps turning into the radiation symbol, he laughs, and...his scene just sort of ends. Geez, Googengrime, at least MAKE a Crime Grime after coming up with the name.

If this was Easy Bake Oven: The Animated Series, they'd be called
"The Brownie Baddies" instead.
Suddenly, suburbia in the morning! How Chris managed to sneak in the three Goopmandos without looking like he's leading accomplices for a burglary is never explained. The first glimpse of Chris's room and we find out that he's already rehearsing for when he moves out and get a dorm at a four-year college. All he's missing is the pizza boxes and the half-finished homework and it'll be perfect.

We've all been here.
Also, I hate to summarize a scene with just one sentence, but what comes up next is basically E.T. times three. The bugs now live in Chris's house and they like to play around with human stuff. Shenanigans ensue. T-3 eats a lot, Hocus Locust makes some really spicy soup named Goop Soup (Did Googengrime name it?), and Volt Jolt is complaining about how a microwave is boring and has no plot. Geez, Creepy Crawlers, lay off the Easy Bakes.

Pictured: An accurate representation of my college roommates.
Chris realizes that having three superhero-attired half-bug mutants in his house could spell trouble and possibly a swat team, so he stuffs them all in the garage. And that's when one of the best characters on the show enters the scene; Todd, Chris's older brother. It's basically if someone stuffed dynamite into a factory full of 90's clothing fads and rock music and the resulting explosion created Todd. He has it all; only one glove, a ponytail, a bandanna, intentionally ripped clothing, an undone belt, a chain hanging from his pants, and a valley-style type of voice. Watching him is sort of surreal now because he looks like the physical embodiment of the 90's.

Todd enjoys pogs, koosh balls, slammer whammers, and sock'em boppers.
Chris manages to shoo Todd away, but not before Todd, in a voice that can be best described as "stereotypical 90's jerk teenager", gives him a warning not to go near his car. You know what that means? Comedic irony, where the very first thing that happens is that the Goopmandos are near his car. Also, Todd's car has a pretty distinct design, meaning that we will definitely see his car in future scenes.

Geez, even Todd's car screams the 90's.
Suddenly, we're at the Magician of the Year awards! I wonder if a certain monocle-wearing villain with blue hair is going to wreak his 40 year revenge on the magic populace. Sure enough, right when the magician announcer is going to announce the Magician of the Year, Googengrime explodes on stage toting his pilfered Magic Maker like it's his new best friend and takes the trophy away. Googengrime decides to do some freestyle rhyming on stage with his stolen trophy, and that's a pretty good signal that some serious crap is going to hit the fan. Googengrime pours in some goop, zaps the magic maker with his monocle laser (I love any show that has a monocle laser as a weapon, by the way), and we're introduced to our first Crime Grime; Spooky Goopy.

It's moments like this that make me miss the 90's.
What's the best way to describe Spooky Goopy? Well, he's a green skeleton monster with a key-shaped hole in his chest, for one. He also sounds like Peter Lorre, has a top hat that has its own personality and can talk, and has handcuffs for hands. Basically it's a character design is actually really cool and seems to represent all that is good about 90's children's gross-out cartoon shows. Plus those pink skull kneecap guards are just adorable.

The hat's name is Top Hat, by the way. Googengrime's
creativity can only go so far, guys.
Despite the fact that a skeleton monster with sharp weapons for hands just poofs onto the stage, the other magicians still laugh at Googengrime and deride him for using advanced puppetry. Tough crowd. Guy made a sentient undead monster appear out of thin air and still nothing?

Googengrime, seeing that he can't impress this crowd with anything, decides to say "To hell with it all!" in the most epic way possible. He feeds the trophy he always wanted to a cockroach monster that sort of appears out of nowhere, prompting it to instantly grow and start devouring everything in sight including entire buildings. If he can't earn their respect, he's going to earn their fear!

"Bah, still puppets."
While his Shockaroach (Googengrime's good with names) devours and smashes buildings, no doubt slaughtering a bunch of innocent people off-screen, Googengrime transforms a car using some purple goop and a monocle laser into something that obviously would've been a toy had the show not died prematurely.

Only $19.95 including sales tax!
Googengrime drives off, shouting a rather weak villainous exclamation. "Today the city, tomorrow the suburbs!". Oh that Googengrime, always keeping his goals high but still easily obtainable.

"Master, I can't steer with your arm wrapped around my shoulder like that."
We need a way for the heroes to know what's going on, so luckily they're watching TV at the time the special news report pops up and details the damage. Gotta love the "news show moves the plot along" trope that makes an appearance in every single cartoon show ever. The cartoon heroes would be setting a bad example if they didn't like TV, after all.

Fox News would try to put a political spin on this somehow.
Chris feels partly responsible since the monsters wouldn't have been created without his magic maker, so now, he feels that he should be the one to put a stop to it. It's kind of weird that the main thing being advertised in this show has basically been labelled as an artifact of pure evil that will continue to reek destruction on an unsuspecting city unless if the main hero puts an end to it all.

The bugs agree to throw the Magic Maker into the fiery pits of Mordor, but how are they going to get there? Well, like Googengrime, the heroes decide to magically mutate a vehicle to turn into what will be sold as a toy. Three guesses as to which vehicle they use.

Todd's response was "Booyah, my ride's slamming now!" and then
he resumed playing with his Tamagotchi.
They drive to the city in a vehicle that's honestly less streamlined and cool-looking than it was before it mutated, where they find Shockaroach stomping around with his face frozen in a permanent yelling position. The three Goopmandos all take turns saying heroic catchphrases and using their weapons of choice, but they fail on account it's their first time doing this whole "fight a giant building-eating monster" business. Even Chris is ashamed because he tells them that they "need more practice". Wow, this kid's a jerk.

T-3 looks like he's about ready to throw CHRIS at the giant monster.
And who can blame him?
But just when you thought the three Creepy Crawlers couldn't get humiliated any more, Professor Googengrime shows up to do some villainous gloating and the bugs are completely unable to stop him. Does Googengrime do anything special? No, he just sort of sits there in his car while the three Goopmandos' powers have absolutely no effect. That's just sad.

I like how he's sitting in a car that looks like that while somehow maintaining his dignity.
Volt Jolt can't shock, T-3 gets tired midway through lifting the car, and Hocus Locust accidentally ties himself up, all while Spooky, Top Hat, and Googengrime mock and laugh at them. To complete this trauma conga of humiliation, Googengrime's car has a fly swatter attachment that flips them into some trees. I bet Chris is feeling mighty embarrassed right about now.

Is it too late to start rooting for Googengrime instead?
However, just when it looks like our heroes have outlived their usefulness, it turns out their powers didn't run out after all. By hanging upside down, their goop power packs on their stomach recharge because all the goop oozes back to the top. See those kind of Care Bear chests on the three bugs? Apparently that goo has been steadily dripping downwards, draining them of their powers. ...yeah, I have no idea either. I didn't write this. It's obviously meant to tie-in to the toy line. Behold the power of advertising!

And Spooky Goopy and Shockaroach don't have this problem because...?
Now that they're all charged up (with Volt Jolt using "Creepy Crawlers!" as an exclamation of joy), they all hop back into their horrifyingly deformed bug car and are ready to a rematch with Googengrime. But not before Chris makes a point to say that they need to work on their teamwork and if they work together, they can beat Googengrime. Since this is the 90's, this random inclusion of a life lesson makes the Goopmandos high-five, fist pump, and shout "Let's Creepy Crawl!". You know, in case if you forgot the title of this show.

The 90's were an incredibly dorky era.
And what's their big plan? They're going to use a giant hose to fill a Super Bowl-like stadium full of Hocus Locust's goop soup of course!

...wait, huh? WHAT?

So, uh, Hocus, how did you make that much soup in that short amount of time and where did you get enough ingredients to make several thousand tons worth of soup? How did you convince the city to supply you with the high pressure hose and all those storage tanks? Come on, man, you can't just screen wipe into this situation and just assume the audience is going to not care what happened between scenes.

These half-time shows just get more and more elaborate every year.
They fill the stadium up with who knows how much soup, and the resulting smell attracts Shockaroach. The monster is fed up with eating buildings full of sharp, metallic stuff and people, so of course the moment he sees an inexplicable giant bowl of soup just appear out of nowhere with no explanation as to how it came to be, he eats it all up.

Thanks to the powers of spicy foods, the moment Shockaroach eats it, he runs out of control. Since it'd reflect bad on Chris and his Goopmandos if their soup made the monster kill any more people, conveniently the only building he smashes in his rampage is Googengrime's magic shop. Hell yeah, it's raining cinematic payoff.

Hey, it's only 40 years of work down the drain. You'll get over it.
After he reduces Googengrime's only source of income (and maybe his house, since I've never seen Googengrime anywhere else) to a pile of broken planks and rubble, Shockaroach shrinks because...the soup was very, very spicy and he has the hiccups. Okaaaay. Personally I can't think of a better way to get rid of a giant bug that eats buildings so right now I'll take it.

The moment Shockaroach shrinks, Chris grabs the bug and stuffs him in a jar, no doubt wanting to subject the repulsive monster to a slow death by CO2 poisoning and oxygen deprivation. There's no holes in that lid. Either that, or he's trying to start the Pokemon craze a couple years too early.

You got a Shockaroach!
Your new friend will give you life energy the moment
you completely run out.
With Shockaroach defeated (and I'm going to miss typing out his name), we obviously need Googengrime to show up and say something along the lines of "You think you've won, but I'll be back!", and of course he does just that. That Googengrime, always wanting to take the predictable villain approach. He reminds Chris that he still has the magic maker and then drives off, where I'm sure no police or army will stop him despite the fact that Googengrime is directly responsible for the destruction of half a city.

And only now do I notice that Spooky Goopy was absolutely useless in this episode.
So, I guess he got away with it, then. Moving on...

Now all we need to do is tie up one loose end; how will Chris explain the fact that his older brother's car is now an abnormal eyesore? Simple, all they have to do is dump all the mutagen out of the tank, leaving the physically-altering chemicals just sitting there on the pavement where some stray animal can accidentally step in it and turn into a crime-fighting teenager. And then T-3, just to be an asshole, throws the car in the air and allows it to break all four of its tires right in front of Chris. That's not cool, man. Just because Chris was acting like a jerk earlier doesn't mean you have to pull a stunt like that.

"Next I'm going to key the side of his car!"
Todd of course shows up (with rock music following him like a bad odor) and is mad when he sees his car. Chris's excuse that a friend borrowed his car is so awful that for a split second, Todd's face transforms into something horrible.

Probably shouldn't have dumped that goop on the driveway...
Todd threatens Chris with revenge and grabs Chris in a headlock that he means business. I guess it's supposed to be a noogie, but the way its animated makes it look more like Todd is punishing Chris by shoving his face into his armpit and forcing him to smell his bad 90's stench.

When Todd leaves, the Goopmandos try to cheer Chris up by saying that he's stuck with them for a long, long time. Wrong way to go about it, guys. And then, to show that he is now an honorary Goopmando, the bugs all hand him a baseball cap filled with green ooze. You know, because he needs something else bad happening to him after his brother's car breaks and he's blamed for it. The episode ends with Chris just taking that goop-filled prank like a man, the sound of the Creepy Crawlers laughing at their creator the last thing you hear in this episode. Pray for this poor kid, viewers.
Chris likes Japan, apparently.
And that's Creepy Crawlers, a show that somehow escaped notice from even the most nostalgic of people.  

The Moral of this Cartoon
It's okay to borrow your older sibling's car if you physically alter it enough that it will be unrecognizable. Also, allowing three ugly-looking strangers to live in your parents' house is a-okay as long as they never find out.

Final Verdict

I hate to say it, but for a toy tie-in, this was actually pretty entertaining.

Yes, it's obviously meant to advertise a toy line, yes it's meant to make the Creepy Crawlers magic maker play set look amazing, and yes they don't even disguise the fact that they're advertising something sold in stores. But the characters end up being so endearing that after a while you get kind of absorbed into their weird world and you cease to care. It helps that Googengrime and Spooky both steal the show and are just fun, fun villains to watch, and it also helps that Chris is pretty believable for a teen kid. It also helps that Todd is just amazing.

That isn't to say the show wasn't without flaws. The animation is not at the highest production value (everyone stays on model and no one deforms except for Todd in that one scene, but the animation could be smoother) and yes, the merchandising aspect can get pretty distracting. It's not the best show by any means, but it's not the worst either. It's like the 1987 version of TMNT; it's so dumb sometimes but you can't help but have fun watching it.

Bottom line, it's not the most fantastic show around by any means, but it's got kind of a cheesy, fun quality to it that you don't want to hate it. It's also kind of fun to know a name of a show that not even the 90's nostalgia fanbase can't recite in their rush to name shows as hidden gems. Yeah guys, you think Mighty Max is obscure? Do I have a show for you.

Oh, and to end this review/walkthrough/whatever the hell I'm writing, here's a picture of Volt Jolt without his glasses.

His eyes can see into your soul.

Next blog post I'll either do a 90's animated movie or an 80's animated show. I'll just have to see what Mr. Coin has to say when I make my big flip.