|Frights, Camera, Action!|
|Release Date:||March 25, 2014|
|Next:||Welcome to Hauntlywood|
|This TV special is not available for viewing online|
"Frights, Camera, Action!" is the ninth big Monster High TV special and tenth overall. It premiered from March 11, 2014 to April 18, 2014 in the order iTunes release, theater premiere, home video release, and finally television debut. It is part of Volume 3 and is thematically tied to its successor "Welcome to Hauntlywood", the both of them being the final Volume 3 TV specials. The tie-in lines of "Frights, Camera, Action!" are Frights, Camera, Action!, Frights, Camera, Action! - Hauntlywood, and Frights, Camera, Action! - Black Carpet.
A large part of the Monster High student body chooses to catch the new Vampire Majesty movie before classes one day. Draculaura is among them, even though she openly disapproves of the inaccuracy of the Vampire Majesty series and considers its leading actress, Veronica Von Vamp, a hack. Her friends show her some patience and allow her to tell them the true story of the Vampire Court in Transylvania, which she grew up amidst. Draculaura enthusiastically explains that the vampires find their leader by listening to the Vampire's Heart, a magic artifact that can locate the rightful ruler and lights up in their presence. She adds that the Vampire's Heart has failed to lead the vampires to their new queen for four centuries and counting, though. Her friends agree that story is better than the one of the Vampire Majesty movies.
Meanwhile, in Transylvania, the Prime Minister and interim leader of the vampires, Lord Stoker, has a problem. For four hundred years the true queen and the Vampire's Heart have been missing, but only he knows. His own niece Elissabat was supposed to rule, a fact only few know, but she fled when he tried to control her and no one knows her current whereabouts. Stoker has been pretending to be on the search for the true queen for centuries as a cover to continue his own reign. However, the Royal Court of Vampire Dignitaries has grown tired of waiting and threatens to replace him if he can't present the rightful queen soon. Trying to win time, he claims he can do so within a week, which satisfies the dignitaries. Aware he has to fake a queen, Lord Stoker remembers Draculaura from centuries ago. That is, he remembers that she is weak and decides to make everyone believe her to be the queen so he can control her and continue his rule.
Shortly after, Lord Stoker arrives at Monster High and convinces Draculaura with a fake Vampire's Heart that she is the queen. Overjoyed but mostly dutiful, Draculaura agrees to return to Transylvania for her coronation in seven days, but asks if her friends can come along. Neither Stoker nor Bloodgood object, and so Robecca, Clawdeen, and Cleo join her on the journey. Clawd can't go with them, and the prospect of separation doesn't sit well with him and Draculaura both, but there's nothing to be done about it. After a long journey, the final portion is by train, during which Draculaura tells more about her past and reveals that the relations between her family and Stoker's are complicated and have been mostly dormant since everyone disappeared four centuries ago. Robecca notes that her father, Hexiciah Steam, was in Transylvania around that time. She herself seems to have more knowledge of the events at the time than is likely for her to know, but the group doesn't pay too much attention to it.
At Castle Dracul, the girls are overjoyed at first. Draculaura shows them all kinds of secret passages she remembers from her childhood and the group enjoys the luxuries of a royal life style. The situation changes in an instant, though, when Draculaura is called to Stoker's office and learns that she had been deceived. Stoker openly shares his plans to use her as his puppet with her, arguing that Draculaura would benefit too and knowing that she is too weak to make a stand against him. Draculaura runs off crying to her friends, whom Stoker would have better not allowed to come. With their support, Draculaura decides to fight back and find the real queen for her people. Robecca and Draculaura deduce that there must be a clue to the who and where of the queen in Stoker's office, and so Draculaura volunteers to distract Stoker while the other three search the place for leads. Draculaura has no trouble with her part, but the office doors are guarded. Unexpected aid comes in the form of Hoodude who was not invited to Transylvania, but being a big fan of romance and drama, stowed along among the luggage. While the girls were exploring Castle Dracul, so was he, and he knows a passage that leads into Stoker's office. Inside, the group finds a letter by Elissabat taped to the back of a portrait of Dracula, who was her father's closest friend. She reveals that she is the next Vampire Queen and begs Dracula to help her escape Stoker's control. She has to take the Vampire's Heart with her so she cannot be found when she flees, but she wishes for Dracula to take it from her and keep it safe. Evidently, Dracula never found the letter, but the group can use its clue — In the fog of doom, where the globe meets the tower, there is a follow-up letter waiting in the crown. — to find Elissabat on their own. Robecca understands that "the fog of doom" refers to Londoom, England, and so the group rushes out, gets Draculaura away from Stoker, and uses a boat docked in an underground cavern to travel to Londoom.
At four days until the coronation, Draculaura contacts Ghoulia and the rest of her friends at school. She explains the situation and sends them a picture of Elissabat from four hundred years ago, so that maybe they can help in the search through internet. At the same time in Transylvania, Lord Stoker has realized that Draculaura has no intention of acting as fake queen and has escaped with her friends. Due to the fact that Robecca carelessly left a book open on a page about Londoom when they were in his office, Stoker knows where they are and orders his servant Ygor to bring back Draculaura to ensure his plan succeeds.
The group is welcomed in Londoom by Clawdia Wolf, Clawdeen's older sister, who studies there to become a writer. She takes them to see the Crown Jewels in the Tower of Londoom, as that's what the group thinks the riddle refers to, where Hoodude manages to grab the crown for a closer look. There is, however, no note inside. All they end up doing is attracting the attention of the zombie Beefeaters that guard the Crown Jewels until they return the crown to them so the guards can return to their posts. Clawdia asks what the clue was and upon hearing it realizes that the "crown" refers to the skull rather than jewelry and points the group at a statue of William Spooksfear near the Globe Theater. Robecca gets the skull and unlocks it, finding the next note. Elissabat writes that Londoom is no longer safe and that she'll travel further to New Goreleans, where she hopes Dracula will finally meet her. She has included a map for his convenience. The group, along with Clawdia, immediately returns to their boat and sets sail for the USA, unaware Ygor is following them.
In New Goreleans, the map and Robecca lead the group to a ghost ship named the Bijou on the Bayou. On board, they meet Honey Swamp, who is getting footage for her student film. She reveals the Bayou Bijou to be a ship famous for its numerous big name guests and performers. The actress Veronica Von Vamp, for instance, gave her first performance on the ship. Draculaura has little time to be annoyed at the mention of the actress she loathes, because Ygor hijacks the Bayou Bijou. The group appears caught at first, but Honey calls upon the alligators living in the bayou to form a bridge to the shore. They escape, but Ygor accidentally sinks the Bijou on the Bayou, meaning the ghost ship isn't accessible anymore until the next full moon. The fear that they have to wait a full month to go back to look for clues is erased by Honey, who has a close-up of an encased letter by Elissabat left for Dracula among her footage on her camera. The letter reveals that Elissabat gave the Vampire's Heart to someone both she and Dracula trust, which Robecca believes to be Veronica. Not only was she in New Goreleans at the time, the movie poster for the next Vampire Majesty movie depicts her holding the Vampire's Heart. The group sets out for Hauntlywood, which Clawdia is very pleased with and which has Honey choosing to come along. Ygor continues to follow them and informs Lord Stoker of their new destination. Tired of it all, and fed up with Ygor's repeated failures to bring Draculaura back to Transylvania, Stoker transforms and heads off to Hauntlywood himself to capture Draculaura.
In Hauntlywood, Cleo convinces the guard at the gates to allow them entrance to the studios. Soon, the group is witness to a minor accident involving the director Scareantino and a makeup artist by the name of Viperine Gorgon. Scareantino is alright, but Viperine has to rush to collect her material that has spilled on the ground. The group helps her out, which she thanks them for before hurrying along. The group continues on as well and is by sheer coincidence able to get Clawdia a job as co-writer of Scary Stone, Honey a job as camerawoman for Sofeara Gorepola, and Hoodude a job as a janitor. Robecca locates Veronica's trailer, which the group gains access to with the help of Viperine, who has to do Veronica's makeup. All seems to be going well, but when asked about Elissabat, Veronica refuses to help, explaining that she promised Elissabat to keep her secret. Even a moving speech by Draculaura about duty and the well-being of the vampires doesn't convince Veronica to say anything. To make matters worse, the heart is not the actual thing, but a prop. The group is crestfallen, but Robecca urges them to continue looking here in Hauntlywood because she feels that Elissabat can't be far off.
Elsewhere in the USA, the Vampire Majesty movies have caused a conflict among the female students at Monster High about which of the male love interests is hotter: Alucard or Edweird, with Toralei and Howleen leading the opposing sides of the argument. Frankie, Abbey, Lagoona, and even Clawd, Gil, and Deuce stay out of it, but become worried as the argument escalates as more students side with Toralei or Howleen. The situation is getting vicious, so Operetta organizes a Cute Court for the students to decide on who is the bigger hunk. Twyla, who is explicitly not interested in either, is chosen as judge, Manny gets to be the bailiff, and Ghoulia is the court clerk. After a long debate, Twyla asks Ghoulia for a scientific advice. It is then that Ghoulia makes a huge discovery: Alucard and Edweird are played by the very same actor! Twyla dismisses the case and the students end the fight. However, Ghoulia is not done yet comparing people, now that she has solved one thing this way. Taking the photo of Elissabat that Draculaura sent her and a poster depicting Veronica Von Vamp, Ghoulia realizes that the two girls are the same person.
As the group keeps looking for Elissabat, they stumble into the Vampire Majesty studio, where they are ambushed by Lord Stoker. He demands that Draculaura returns to Transylvania with him, but Veronica comes to Draculaura's aid by calling her security guards on Stoker. Draculaura once again begs Veronica to tell where Elissabat is and Veronica chooses in her favor this time. Taking off her wig, she reveals that she is, in fact, Elissabat. She asks Robecca to take her hand, which causes Robecca to light up. Elissabat explains that the person she entrusted the Vampire's Heart to was Hexiciah Steam, who in turn entrusted it to his daughter by building it into her system. Willing now to take on the responsibility of a queen, Elissabat announces that she will make the premiere of her new movie tonight double as her coronation and everyone is invited. As an added incentive, Elissabat disowns her uncle and banishes him from ever holding an official office in the vampire community ever again, having her security guards drag him out of the lot as Ygor chases after him with concern.
At the premiere, Draculaura is happily reunited with Clawd. Elissabat holds a speech both to celebrate her acting successes and the honor of being the new Vampire Queen. She makes a point of thanking Draculaura for her efforts in setting things right in the vampire community. As such, right when Elissabat is crowned, Draculaura is finally granted her full vampire powers. With the movie about to start, everyone heads into the theater. Just before it starts, Elissabat shares with Draculaura her intent to shoot the next Vampire Majesty movie at Castle Dracul with her new crew: makeup artist Viperine, camerawoman Honey, and script writer Clawdia. Once it starts, Draculaura voices her newfound respect for the film, annoying the theater audience once more.
- The posters that introduce the characters during the intro are adjustments of posters of the following movies: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Draculaura), The Hunger Games (Clawdeen), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Ghoulia), and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Hoodude).
- The names "Alucard" and "Edweird" are based on well-known vampires. "Alucard" is the alter ego name of Dracula in Son of Dracula, the third of Universal's Dracula movies. The name has since appeared in numerous vampire fiction. "Edweird" is a play on "Edward", referring to Edward Cullen of the Twilight franchise.
- The zombie and crow guards that protect the Crown Jewels reference the real life Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters, who protect the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London with the Queen's Guard and feed the ravens that live at the Tower of London as well.
- Draculaura once again mentions the incident that forced her family to flee Transylvania 400 years ago, which is further revealed to have occured shortly after Elissabat's disappearance.
- The ongoing plot that Draculaura lacks vampire powers comes to an end in this TV special.
- Elissabat, Scary Stone, Sofeara Gorepola, Honey Swamp, Viperine Gorgon, Stoker, Hexiciah Steam, Ygor, and Scareantino make their cartoon debuts. Clawdia Wolf previously appeared in a picture in "13 Wishes", but this is her first appearance as character.
- The Premiere Party and Dressing Room make their cartoon debut.
- When Draculaura has her outburst in the movie theater, the third row's characters' clothes are changed to their default outfits. Clawdeen should be wearing her 'School's Out' clothes and Ghoulia her City of Frights fashion, but both wear their 'Basic' looks. Abbey and Operetta should be in their Picture Day clothes, but they are drawn to wear their 'School's Out' and 'Campus Stroll' fashion instead.
- When the moviegoers arrive at school, Lagoona suddenly wears her 'Basic' clothes while she previously wore her Picture Day outfit.
- During the Alucard vs. Edweird fight in the creepateria, Rochelle wears her Scaris: City of Frights clothes in one shot.
- During the scene in which Honey meets Sofera Gorepola, the actor in the monster suit that uses Gil's model is purple in his first shot, but blue like Gil in his second shot.
- When Veronica confronts Stoker, Viperine is drawn without her glasses in one shot.
- For the entire scene in which Elissabat reveals that Robecca carried the Vampire's Heart with her all along, Robecca is missing her jacket.
- "Frights, Camera, Action!" became available on iTunes on March 11, had an exclusive theater premiere on March 15, was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 25, and finally aired on television on April 18.
- Hoodude's 3D model is updated from its backgrounder-ish previous look to resemble his 2D model, profile art, and doll better.
- The DVD of "Frights, Camera, Action!" contains three webisodes that likely are exclusive to the DVD until later in 2014: "Crime Scream Investigation", "Games Ghouls Play", and "Monster-morphoseas".