There is a parade of puns in the latest entry, most of them car and ghost related. If you hate puns, skip this section: ‘cos Volks, wagen ‘til you hear these.
Mitchell is such a neutral when it comes to the automobiles
it’s the poor craftsman who blames his ghouls
still harbors his auto-erotic fixation
There’s little joy to be found in this ride
It’s haunted. Mitchell shows little apparition
Mitchell continues to go where the spirit moves him – specifically, the song Let the Spirit Move You, previously mentioned
This Ghostmusters – specifically, Ghostbusters, previously mentioned
I don’t know what he specter to do
when he returns from his phantasm voyage- specifically, Fantastic Voyage
He continues to take thing a shade too far
more of his father’s wraith
they simply can’t phantom what possessed their son
Praise be to ghost a bad thing – Psalm 147:1, “Praise you the Lord: for it is good to sing praises to our God”
“he once even mistakenly rented Separate Tables” – 1958 Terrance Rattigan film based on the play about two separate couples having problems at a seaside hotel. One of the stars of the movie version was Deborah Kerr.
“Mitchell and his brother get to ride in the flyest hoopty” - “hoopty,” a kind of jalopy.
“the damp weather may hamper Todd’s plan of suggesting their father ghostride the whip”- both a pun and a joke in its own right, if you want to try ghost-riding the whip for yourself, leave the car running in automatic on the street and then climb on top and start car surfing.
“Like most who experience a horrendous Crash”- 2004 Oscar-winning movie, probably previously mentioned, about racial, criminal, and drug tensions in Los Angeles and the characters in the various groups and how they relate to each other.
“the extra precautions are due to the bad neighborhood, but it’s not like the retiree doesn’t have the time to devote to Gran Torino-ing the ‘hood”– at the end of Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood’s character cleans up his gang-plagued neighbourhood by deliberately getting himself shot and killed by them in front of an entire crowd of witnesses.
“this time to buy some milk. But this brief trip does not do a body good.”- a mid-90’s campaign slogan for milk was “Milk does a body good.”
“Steve and Allan come to visit. I guess his friends Ed and Sullivan were unavailable”- Comedian, writer, talk-show host Steve Allen, and Ed Sullivan, ditto, both probably previously mentioned.
“Mitchell gets grounded for life and there’s no Uncle Eddie-style silver lining to the whole thing.”- one of the characters of the previously mentioned 2001 sitcom, Grounded for Life, was the stock sitcom character Uncle Eddie, played by Kevin Corrigan.
“Yes. Yes it does.”- Based on the URL of the picture, it’s probably a reference to the professional opinionist Matt Drudge, a conservative blogger and news reporter who’s gained some popularity/infamy in the last few years depending on how excited you can really get about political mud-slinging. Not knowing much about him outside of joke punchlines, it’s probably safe to assume the flashing lights and quote are his catchphrases?
“I thought it was already well-established that Mr. Douglas has a hard time letting go of things that happened in the past.” – link to the poster for the Kirk Douglas movie Detective Story. Unsure if this is a reference to his character in the film or his own opinion of his performance, but most likely the character, who broods on his childhood as a reason for becoming a cop and alienates his wife for her relationships prior to meeting him.
“they’re getting picked up to enchant sick Cousin Ella” – Ella Enchanted, previously mentioned.
“Ugly deady” – Ugly Betty, probably previously mentioned.
“With all the aggressive arm grabbing on display here, it felt a little bit like a child’s novelization of the Haunted Career.”- Martin Crandall, keyboardist for the Shins, has been dogged by various reports of domestic violence
I’ve read Christine too.” – One of Stephen King’s most well known stories, Christine, is the one about the possessed killer car.
“Know Your Audience Alert
Todd crosses his arms over his X-Files t-shirt and ominously proclaims that ‘The truth is out there.’” – Catchphrase from the mid-90’s tv show, The X-Files.
“Late 90s Cultural References
You Don’t Know Jack” – not having a copy of the Haunted Car and having never played the game or seen the TV show You Don’t Know Jack, I can’t be sure if the book actually does reference it or if this is an elaborately constructed joke that I’m less of a person for not understanding.
“Oh man, Laffy Taffy time” – flavoured taffy candy sold by Nestle that have a punderful variety of jokes written on the wrappers.