Thursday, October 3, 2013

Saturday Morning Mystery - The Scoobies Go Legit

I grew up on Scooby Doo. I think that any good horror fans starts off with the basics. Scooby Doo being a terrific primer for most ghost and monster movies that will follow shortly after you’re able to understand that all the good monsters are men and women wearing masks or makeup. Scooby Doo drives some of the most enduring group dynamic presentations in horror even to present day. There’s the clean cut, ascot wearing Fred. He’s a goodie two shoes. Daphne, the female counterpart to the good two shoes in Fred. Velma, the dork who’s smart enough to figure out all the chinks in any solid alibi and doesn’t fall for the bullshit lies of criminals. Then we have Shaggy and Scooby, model stoner boy and dog that get into trouble, drive the action and provide comic relief. Modern slasher and monster pictures pick up on this successful formula but with some variation. That’s where the new feature Saturday Morning Mystery kicks in. Let’s take the formula of Scooby Doo and drop into a serious piece of horror fiction complete with detective story and twists.

Synopsis (from XLrator):

4 professional ghost hunters, who travel in a vintage van accompanied by their canine companion (sound familiar?), get far more than they bargained for when they investigate a creepy mansion with a mysterious past.


The cover of this disc, featuring the new “Scoobies” (not the Buffy the Vampire Slayer varietal), intrigued me from the get go. The premise is perfect me; I’m a retro queen, a fan of the throwback. The trailer enticed me and had me ready for the modern day equivalent of “Jinkies” and Scooby snacks even though this Is very obviously not a Scooby Doo movie proper. The end result starts off as an entertaining, comedy mystery movie and turns into a generic action horror picture with a hint of intrigue and not much in the way of camp that is necessary to keep the retro feeling alive. While I truly wanted to enjoy the picture, 25 minutes in saw a turn for the generic.

Performances are solid and the movie actually looks great, especially for it’s budget. I don’t mean to say that it isn’t a quality picture that will be sure to entertain some, but if I’m going to sit down for a movie that plays off the Scooby formula and tropes there in, I’ll want to feel that vibe through the entire picture and not simply the opening. Get past that or at least adjust your expectations and you’re sure to find this enjoyable.

While it has the R rating don’t expect the extreme. There’s some sexy bits and violence. Not really a gore or extreme violence picture though there are some moments that will please the gut fan. Just a mystery. I suppose that Scooby Doo was never about the gore anyway except maybe my daydreams about what could be done to Scrappy Doo.

Saturday Morning Mystery is available now for rental and soon on DVD.


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