Because once isn’t enough with the Monster Cereals this year I got my first chance to try the Monster Mash variety. This has been out there for several years but, like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, chupacabras, Jersey devils, or the Fresno nightcrawler, you have to be in the right place at the right time to see it. I even thought it might be like the Mothman of West Virginia—around only once for a brief time before disappearing. Apparently the formulation changes slightly each year too. It’s not, as the box would lead you to believe, a mix of all six cereals, which some people think would be disgusting. I’m not sure why anyone would think that. There’s not that much difference between the cereals—blindfolded I couldn’t tell you the difference between Franken Berry and Boo Berry—and technically Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy are the same mix, although the Brute originally had lime-flavored marshmallows before being re-released as a cherry-flavored cereal.
The only flavor that would stand out in the group would be Count Chocula, and who doesn’t like fruit mixed with chocolate? Unless you’re allergic to chocolate. Or fruit.
This year’s Monster Mash “Remix” is a blend of about fifty-percent Carmella Creeper—as their new release and a DJ she takes center-stage—and pieces that are, for some reason, dark gray. They’re meant to represent…tombstones? The box doesn’t give any information but let’s say they’re tombstones because that makes the most sense. Not something you’d want to chew on, but that would be taking the Monster Cereals much too literally. The cereal mascots are the inspiration for the cereals, just as the classic Universal Monsters—well, some of them, anyway: Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and (possibly) the Invisible Man inspired the mascots. Carmella Creeper is the only one who isn’t drawn from a cinematic monster. They skipped the Creature From The Black Lagoon because, I guess, not that many kids have seen The Shape Of Water.
Carmella’s green cereal mixed in with the tombstones does seem like a callback to her own origin as a collection of reassembled body parts, but it also makes me think she could have been given a plant-based backstory, a manipulator of all green things. Mobile trees and vines are a popular horror film trope from Poltergeist to The Evil Dead—films some of us saw when we were kids even if we shouldn’t have—but anything plant-based in your cereal might have come across as “Eat your vegetables”.
There’s also a wide array of marshmallow types in the Monster Mash. Well, four, anyway: yellow, orange, brown and white striped, and plain brown. I guess these are supposed to represent the different monsters. Four of them, anyway. Frute Brute, my personal favorite, was probably left out again.