A while ago, I mentioned on the blog that Jordan Farrell was in the process of making a Scooby-Doo fan film entitled "Scooby-Doo! The Backstage Rage." That film has now been released, and can be watched here! The film is sort of like a Scooby fanfiction story, which is based on the original "The Backstage Rage" episode from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (with many scenes paralleling the original episode), except in stop-motion animation form. The stop-motion animation element of this film reminds me a lot of those old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials, for those that remember them. The rest of this post is an essentially spoiler-free review of this fan film.
Firstly, it should be said that the film does a great job with the horror aspect! The film is rated PG-13, and definitely earns that rating by having almost a sinister vibe at times. The Puppet Master is truly an evil villain who has the intent of turning his victims into puppets. The music that's played whenever he comes out of the shadows is super creepy, and I'll admit surprised me a couple of times when it was played after a dead silence! The Puppet Master has a very larger than life presence throughout the entire film, which really made it feel like a horror film.
The comedy was also really good! The film's humor was definitely more quirky in places, and I really liked that! The random sound effects at points particularly made me laugh, such as the "KO!" sound effect played when Shaggy knocks Fred out with the trash can, and my favorite, the part where Velma gets hit by the sandbag and a voice saying "That was intense bruh!" is played lol. And speaking of "bruh," I quite enjoyed Officer John saying "man" and "bruh" all the time, just as it's so uncharacteristic of a police officer.
I think my favorite piece of comedy though was with Shaggy's dad at getting caught by the cops at his weed booth at the Peace and Love Convention, and saying "Zoinks, it's the fuzz!" and getting thrown in jail. I would have liked to see more of that storyline, that was really funny! Though Flim Flam giving Shaggy a Customer Suspension Card ("for being a complete douche") was a close second haha. Also, one question the film posed was is Lotsa Luck Joy Juice supposed to be some kind of drug? There's one scene where the cops stare Flim Flam down at his booth, and he just stares nervously which made me wonder.
Oh, and I have to mention my one other favorite joke, the culprit (I won't ruin it by saying the name) exclaiming "I'm free!" and then the cop saying "And now you're under arrest!" Perfect irony there lol.
Character-wise, I thought all the characters were really good! In particular, Shaggy's voice actor really did an amazing job in the role. One criticism I had with the characters though is the dialogue. At times, the dialogue seemed a bit stilted. One example that happens a couple times is that a character will speak, and then there will be a delay before the next character says something, which makes it seem off. Also, I felt a few of the lines were delivered a bit awkwardly sometimes, which makes them a bit comedic where I don't think they were supposed to be. Three of my favorite examples (with all respect to Jordan and the creators, I just found the awkwardness a bit amusing): "You've gotta be crappin' me, man!", "So...how's our date going for you tonight? We've been together two years now after all." and "Oh, by the way, do you want to marry me?
I liked the addition of the Hex Girls quite a bit, and it was fun to have Thorn be a main part of the storyline (in multiple ways). I really liked her voice actor! Thorn and Shaggy being a couple was cute, I definitely ship it! Thorn hitting on Shaggy sort of reminded me of Sally and Linus from Peanuts. Speaking of which, I thought the characters' faces being colored red with embarrassment looked pretty similar to how it is in the Peanuts specials, which is cool! The characters' faces when angry also reminded me of Peanuts a bit. The cougar sound effect whenever someone got angry was very quirky, but cool! I really dug it haha.
I also thought the animation was really good considering it was all hand-drawn (I'm presuming). I know a common argument against the series Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! is that the designs are bad, and I unfortunately could see people saying that about this film too. However, if you let yourself get past the fact that it doesn't look anything like normal animation, I think you'll find it's a pretty fun watch. And also, kudos to whoever did the drawing for this film, as nearly 3 hours is a lot of animating to do!
Lastly, what I thought the film did a really good job of is references to old Scooby material. There are references galore in this film, so many in fact that a couple of the characters mentioned in the credits were ones I didn't even notice. You can definitely tell the effort put in to make some cool references. And speaking of references, I thought the writing of the film plot-wise was really brilliant in how it used aspects of the original "The Backstage Rage" episode to shape this plot. The doorman being a puppet being turned into the Puppet Master turning people into puppets was a really cool reimagining of this.
Overall, I think this was a really fun watch and would definitely recommend giving it a try. Don't be turned off by the stop motion animation being different than what you're used to, because there is a lot of cool content here and a really good plot. Kudos to Jordan Farrell and everyone involved in making this film! And thanks so much to him for putting the site's name in the credits, twice! That was super sweet and I really appreciate it.
A lot of people remember shows like Josie and the Pussycats, Goober and the Ghost Chasers and the Funky Phantom as "Scooby Clones" because they followed the same man-in-a-mask, mystery-solving format that the classic cartoon canine did.
However, few people remember those years in the late 70s and early 80s where the Flintstones copied this same formula.
The very first time The Flintstones experimented with a spookier format was around Halloween in 1964, before Scooby began. There was a three episode stretch from the weeks of October 29 - November 12, 1964, in which Fred and Barney got involved in "spooky" encounters; the first of which being the episode "A Haunted House is Not a Home," in which Fred inherits a haunted house from his deceased uncle, and Barney and him spend the night. The second episode, "Dr. Sinister," is a parody of James Bond (Jay Bondrock, as he's called in the episode) where Fred and Barney are kidnapped by Dr. Sinister and his monster guards who are looking to destroy the world. This is sort of a monster mashup with James Bond, and the guards are never called monsters, but all of them (along with Dr. Sinister) are green.
The third episode would later become very influential into the main topic of this article. Simply titled "The Gruesomes," the third and final episode of that 1964 run was a parody of the Addams Family, which had just begun a few months ago. The episode involves The Gruesome Family moving next to the Flintstones, who are a very odd family with a house full of monsters. One of the best lines from that episode is the neighbor introducing himself "Hi, I'm Weirdly!", to which Fred replies "I was just about to say that!" Still makes me chuckle to this day.
After this three episode run, the Flintstones ditched this spooky element and went back to its traditional formula. The Gruesome Family does appear in one other episode of the original series, entitled "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes," but they are merely used briefly in the episode for exposition purposes and the episode does not have the same spooky vibe. They also would appear in the 1972 spinoff show "The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show" for one episode, though the wife, Creepella, was completely redesigned and was voiced by someone who made her sound like more of a socialite than a monster, which was unfortunate. They may have been going for a Morticia-like voice here from the Addams Family.
You could also include "Monster Fred" in this "spooky" themed run of episodes, which aired five weeks before three episodes began to, though it had more to do with mad science so it's always been in its own separate category to me.
In 1979, The Flintstones spin-off show The New Fred & Barney Show rebranded the series a bit, which can be summed up by the line in the intro "full of lots and fun and mystery!" Yep, that's right, The Flintstones solve mysteries in this series...well, sort of! Out of the 17 episodes in the series, five had to do with monsters or mysteries. The first episode of the series, "Sand Witch" involves Fred and Barney's car breaking down in a haunted forest while about to go bowling, and they run into a witch who eats humans. There wasn't really much mystery to speak of, and it's more of a comedy romp in the vein of some of the Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show shorts. The second episode "Haunted Inheritance" was sort of a crappy remake of "A Haunted House is Not a Home" (the episode mentioned above from 1964), in which Fred and Barney inherit a haunted house but are in competition this time with some other people. There are no ghosts to speak of until the last few minutes of the episode. The only ghost that appears in the last few minutes of episode is very obviously fake, I think it's just some cheesy guy with a sheet over his head or something.
During the next few episodes, the formula changed a bit and they switched back to more classic adventures. In episode 6, "Blood Brothers," a new neighbor named Rockula (a parody of Dracula) moves to town and wants to become "blood brothers" with Fred, who suspects his new neighbor is a vampire. The episode was much more whimsical, illustrated by the fact that Rockula's wife is named "Poopsie." Another break was taken from this formula for the next 4 episodes of The New Fred and Barney Show.
Episode 11, "Stoneage Werewolf," returns to this spooky formula and is one of my favorite episodes of The Flintstones. The mystery and plotline itself is very detailed and cool, but you can tell some liberties are taken with the dialogue in some places. Some lines are a bit forced and goofy, like characters talking to themselves in order to build exposition. Content-wise, this episode features Fred and Barney going on a fishing trip, but end up having to retreat on a nearby island after a thunderstorm begins. Fred and Barney stay in the island's only house, owned by a kindly man who happens to be a werewolf. They don't realize this however, which makes for some spooky fun. There's also the amusing scene in this episode where the Hanna-Barbera background painters messed up and accidentally painted a whole scene as nighttime, but then, after the commercial break, this scene which was supposed to take place at the same time turned into day for no apparent reason. Oh, how I love those sorts of animation errors haha.
The twelfth and final episode of the series to feature a "spooky" vibe is called "Fred & Barney Meet the Frankenstones." The episode involves an overworked Fred and Barney touring a condorstonium (condominium) run by Frank and Hidea Frankenstone. There are odd things like a body-building machine that builds real monsters, and Atrocia, the Frankenstones' daughter whose only dialogue is cackling for a few seconds, then speaking unintelligible gibberish and cackling again. Not sure why the writers found this so funny, but this "joke" is repeated at least 10 times throughout the episode. This episode is all over the place, but there is some really creepy stuff in this episode, like Hidea's gigantic eyes!!! (pictured above)
This opened up the doors to "The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone," an hour-long television film in 1979 which featured the Flintstones winning an all-expense paid trip to Rockula's castle for the night. There is no continuity in this film to the previous Rockula episode, and Count Rockula is played up as a sinister Dracula-esque figure of legend, rather than a random vampire. The movie, which is my favorite Flintstones film of all time, has Fred, Wilma, Betty and Barney going to Rockula's castle unsuspecting that Rockula has awoken from his 500 year sleep along with Frankenstone. Rockula believes that Wilma is his long-lost bride, and tries to reclaim her while killing off Fred. Even if a lot of it is just a monster chase, it's still really enjoyable and I always try to watch it every Halloween. Frankenstone also has a different, deeper voice than he did in the previous episode, but the design is kept (as well as for Rockula). Frankenstone would later get back his original voice actor.
The 1980s would continue with this formula, and really latched onto the Frankenstones. The 1980 special, The Flintstones' New Neighbors once again lacks some continuity and has the Frankenstones move to town again. It's the same basic plot as "Fred & Barney Meet the Frankenstones" but this time, they move next door to The Flintstones in a spooky house which parallels that of "The Gruesomes" from 1964. Frank Frankenstone gets his original voice actor back, and has two kids with different names than the first time (they were named Atrocia and Creepy in the original episode). This time, they are named Frankenstub/Stubby and Hidea, the latter of which is originally the wife's name. Frank's wife was renamed Oblivia, and has a different voice. Oblivia has a different voice actor than the original wife, Hidea, did. I'm honestly not sure which voice I like better. Oblivia's comes off as more down-to-Earth, whereas Hidea's is a bit of an indescribably creepy voice. The new daughter, Hidea, does not have the same odd quirk of giggling and mumbling gibberish, and speaks in full sentences. Frankenstub has the same voice actor as Creepy in the original episode. But to get to the heart of the episode, Fred initially dislikes the Frankenstones and even pulls cruel pranks on them (i.e. putting up a sign that says "This way to the Freak Show!" pointing to their house), but they end up having to work together when Pebbles falls into a pterodactyl's nest.
Clearly, they liked this idea, as The Frankenstones would continue to appear in a segment of The Flintstones Comedy Show. The continuity from the New Neighbors special sticks, except for Fred and Frank being friends. In this series, Fred hates Frank Frankenstone once again, and Frank Frankenstone oddly hates him as well. Frank has a new voice actor, who IMO is pretty bad and just sounds like an angry guy rather than a creepy monster as he was intended to be. Frankenstub was written out in favor of a new "normal" son (similar to Marilyn in The Munsters), who Pebbles becomes friends with much to Fred's annoyance. Pebbles is also an adult now, despite the fact that she was a child when they moved here in the New Neighbors special.
In another segment not involving the Frankenstones in this same series, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm actually solve mysteries with the man-in-a-mask format! Admittedly, I've only seen two of these episodes, one called "Ghost Sitters" where they solve the mystery of a ghost cowboy, and another called "Monster Madness" which I vaguely remember had something to do with a baseball going into a haunted house with various monsters. Someday I may have to treat myself and pay for a month of the Boomerang streaming service, as all the episodes are on there.
Anyways, that was it for this article. I always thought it was interesting how such an acclaimed show like The Flintstones found the need to copy Scooby, but nonetheless it made those episodes interesting for me to watch as a devoted Scooby fan.
For the 50th anniversary of the franchise, I've recently been rewatching The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo. Now that I've watched these episodes numerous times, it caused me to view the show from a more critical perspective. Taking it even a step further, I'd argue The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo could have been the perfect mature Scooby show some of us have been hoping for.
I'm sure this idea sounds crazy, so I want to give my reasoning behind this. Honestly, I don't think 13 Ghosts knew what it wanted to be. We get some creepy horror scenes and frightening villains (the Shadow Demon pictured above is one of my favorite Scooby villains ever!), but we also get cheesy sing-a-longs and jokes like Shaggy microwaving his popcorn at 8 million degrees.
Scooby had always previously been a very comedy-driven show, especially in the recent days (at the time) when we had just come out of those 7-minute comedy romp shorts. I don't think the writers quite knew what to do when a horror show was pitched to them. Given this, we get these zany comedy scenes mixed in with some legitimate supernatural premises.
I think this (and Scrappy and Flim Flam) caused people to be turned off by the show. They discounted the show's capabilities when they saw it was the same comedy (even a bit zanier than some of 7 minute shorts) as in the preceding Scrappy. I think most of these episodes have the foundation to be legitimately frightening and more mature, without all the quirky comedy mixed in.
Don't get me wrong here. I'm not trying to rant about 13 Ghosts, or saying it's crap, or anything to that degree. I'm just trying to analyze how the show could have been better and more horror-focused.
People definitely think of the show was more horror-focused, but in many places, it's really not. People are misremembering the more frightening scenes as being the only thing there, when we have very zany main character interactions and jokes tossed in.
How do we unpack all of this, and hypothetically, how could The 13 Ghosts be that creepy, supernatural show focusing on a serious occult threat of 13 of the most terrifying ghosts being released?
I already talked about removing the comedy, and I think this means removing Flim Flam and Scrappy. For those that love those characters, I apologize, and Scrappy definitely had his charm in this series. But these are the two characters who are consistently there for the purposes of comedy, and 90%+ percent of their lines are around making some sort of joke, or making the situation lighter. I think, for a horror-focused show, these two characters don't really fit unfortunately. Or, they would need to have a drastic change of personality.
Next, I'd like to analyze each episode from a critical horror perspective, and talk about what worked and what didn't.
To All The Ghouls I've Loved Before really worked as a premiere for a horror show, I think. It had some genuinely spooky stuff going on, between the curse the demons placed on the town where they turn into werewolves, to the creepy temple and Bogel and Weerd trying to trick the gang into opening the chest. Of course, there were a few minor comedy gags here that could be cut, but I think maybe just slightly amping up the intensity of this episode could make it into the perfect premiere!
Fright factor: 9/10
Scoobra Kadoobra had a good foundation, but didn't quite cut it when it came to making it creepy. Maldor was an awesomely designed ghost especially with the horns coming straight through his head (as you can see in the picture above) and the fact that he has no face is super spooky!
In execution, the episode really did pretty terribly. The comedy routines undermined the episode in every way. The cut away gag cause the episode to instantly become less spooky, the whole dragon thing doesn't work, and neither do the rat guards. Maldor also comes off as less spooky than he should, which by his appearance should be a larger-than-life, maniacally evil personality. Instead, we get him saying things like "Good doggy!" and making kissing noises when he wants the wand, and "Welcome to my slumber party!" which just seem like lame lines for such a supposedly malevolent character. The fact that he seems to forget who the gang is also wrecks the spook factor. At the beginning of the episode, his face appears in the van and taunts the gang to come and get him, which is pretty dang frightening. Then, a scene later, Scooby and Shaggy are eating lunch in the forest, and Maldor exclaims "There are mortals in my forest!" or something like that with surprise, which completely wrecks the spookiness of that scene.
I think this episode would have been better if we focused more on how Maldor took over the forest, then immediately putting Daphne under the "Sleep of the Centuries" spell, Scooby finding the Wonder Wand, and him chasing Scooby with some more horror-focused extensions on these scenes. In my opinion, we don't need any of the dragon bits, Scrappy and Flim Flam acting as lawyers, or Flim Flam tricking the rat guards. The only villains I think we really need are Maldor, who should be more of a smouldering, huge presence, and maybe some of the monster trees.
Fright factor: Maldor is a genuinely cool villain, and this episode is one of my favorites so I hate to do this. But, I'm going to rate it a 5/10. It has potential, but it was completely ruined by the overuse of comedy and of course the stupid singalong.
The villain in Me and My Shadow Demon has immense potential, and the way that the villain is used is amazing...until a point. The villain that I'm talking about is not, in fact, Queen Morbidia, but the Shadow Demon. The Shadow Demon (pictured above) is one of the coolest, creepiest looking villains in Scooby-Doo, and could have been THE best of the 13 ghosts. However, he was entirely wasted when it's said to just be "some guy's shadow," so they could use Morbidia instead. Morbidia is a pretty cool looking ghost, but she pales in comparison to the Shadow Demon. I wish they would have used Morbidia in a different episode as the stand-alone villain, and left the Shadow Demon to be the star of this one.
The sing-a-longs absolutely sucked, and "Goodnight Ghoulies" almost felt like I was being talked down to. The way the mine scene works out, to me, is a bit iffy. I think it would have been better if they just started out at Befuddle Hall, gotten trapped down in the basement maze somehow after wandering the house for a while, and they saw the Shadow Demon everywhere. Or like the shadows the gang casted could morph into the demon, making the gang believe they couldn't escape the Shadow Demon. Or maybe the Shadow Demon could have the power to stretch like a shadow, or something creepy like that. That would be a genuinely frightening scenario. Instead, we get Morbidia and a bunch of random monsters, a giant bug, plus a crappy sing-a-long ending. It just doesn't really work with the horror angle. I think Morbidia would be a good villain for another episode, but she pales in comparison to the Shadow Demon in this episode.
Fright factor: 7/10. Morbidia was a good villain, but the sing-a-longs and bad jokes is what bring this down for me. The Shadow Demon was also clearly the superior choice here, and they just waste him with a lame explanation that doesn't really make much sense.
Reflections in a Ghoulish Eye is a pretty cool title, but the episode itself is very average except for the last 4 or 5 minutes. I think the Mirror Demon was played up as too weak. This demon which is one of the 13 most powerful on the face of the Earth is trapped within a bedroom mirror, and has to be carried around for the first 15 minutes of the episode by Bogel and Weerd. It makes him seem like a not very powerful demon...that is, until the last five minutes, where he actually traps the gang in the mirror world. Now that was super cool, and very frightening! I think if we honed in on those five minutes of the episode and developed that more, it would be a perfect episode!
There's too much filler in this episode otherwise, and we don't need any of the convention narrative or songs about "Giving 'Em The Old Flim Flam." As an alternate idea, the Mirror Demon have the power to occupy every mirror, but he can't enter reality without someone getting close enough to the mirror. I think that would be a cool premise, and wouldn't make him seem as weak as being trapped in someone's bedroom mirror.
Fright factor: I'm going to be rough on this one and give it a 2.5/10, to represent the 25% of the episode we were in that cool mirror world. The rest of the episode just isn't scary, at all.
That's Monstertainment! gets us on the right path. This is the closest of any episode other the premiere so far, in my opinion, to be genuinely frightening and have a ton of potential that was used. Being trapped in the TV is pretty scary, and I love that the gang is actually innocently watching a horror host not realizing she was one of the 13 ghosts. Zomba also has the creepiest design of any of the 13 ghosts, hands down. I was actually a bit freaked out by her as a kid, with her bug eyes and strange-looking figure. There are a few things which sort of make this episode a little bit less scary.
First, the silly scenes of the gang acting in the movie make it feel a little less scary. The scene where Zomba is trying to find the demon chest seems like it's played up for comedy, but I don't think it should have been. In the rest of the episode, she's pretty scary and that comedy bit is a little confusing. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel like the very first part during Van Ghoul's monologue should have had the scenery be darker. It's colored strangely, and it makes it just seem like it's dusk, whereas if it's 2am it should be pitch black and that would amp up the scariness. I realize that last one is a very nitpicky criticism, but I think the horror parts we do get in this episode are sooo amazing that I want it to be perfect haha.
But enough about what wasn't good, let's talk about the amazing parts of this episode! As I said, the beginning scene where they're sucked in is great, Zomba zapping into the movie with such ease was terrifying, the part in the dungeon where she's holding a torch and searching for Shaggy and Scooby, where they're in this remote isolated room, is super creepy! As is her trapping them at the end on the windmill. The horror movie really gets the fright factor going as well.
One comment on her design, which is already near-perfect, is one animation glitch when she's at the top of the stairs and she looks even creepier, ironically. She looks almost deformed and demonic in that scene, and it's sooo cool. I wish they would have stayed more consistent with her design, as she's a bit all over the place. Her body is pretty similar other than that one glitch, but sometimes her face is drawn to look less creepy. I also think Zomba was powerful enough on her own, and the Frankenscoob Monster wasn't really needed here. It made her feel a little less scary when the monster was clearly more powerful than her.
Fright factor: 9 / 10. I think this is the closest we get to true creepiness in the show, and the 1 point I took off is for the minor criticisms outlined above. Overall, I think the series would have been a lot better if it would have been more like this one!
Ship of Ghouls has a lot of controversy surrounding whether Captain Ferguson counted as one of the 13 ghosts. Watching the episode again, I'm sort of inclined to believe he's not, even though Curse of the 13th Ghost said he was. This was quite similar to the Mirror Demon episode in the sense that it had great potential from what was there, but it took too long to get there. The first 15 minutes could easily be cut out, in my opinion. It's just Weerd and Bogel chasing Scooby around and him being scared. 15 minutes in, we finally get some genuinely creepy things going on. The gang is trapped on a ship, where all the passengers turn out to be ghosts, and there's literally nowhere to run. Even worse, the chest of demons open and we get this amalgamation of all the demons, which is super cool!
Fright factor: 6/10. I'll give the episode the fact that it did slowly build up to something, and wasn't just pure filler like the Mirror Demon episode was. But it took way too long to get there, sort of wasting the opportunity they had to make a genuinely scary scenario occur until the last minute.
A Spooky Little Ghoul Like You is a pretty fun episode, that I think has some seriously spooky potential. My two complaints about this one, besides the comedy bits, is how Nicara's power is too oddly specific. Why would she be one of the 13 most powerful demons if her powers only work on Friday the 13th? It just seemed like they were trying to cram in a "spooky" reference and it made her seem less powerful. But her powers getting increasingly large throughout the episode, like being able to rise ghouls from the grave is pretty dang terrifying, and makes for a great horror episode. Just maybe intensifying the darkness of the episode and cutting out the comedy bits would do this episode a lot of good! I like how not all of the demons were like deformed or ugly, like this was just a sexy lady demon who was trying to make a warlock fall in love with her to drain their powers.
The ending is a bit lackluster, where it just ends on "oh...it's midnight! Goodnight everyone!" I think the ending of this could have been made stronger. The animation quality also just drops off a cliff for the last 30 seconds, causing us to get some pretty horrifying scenes like this.
Fright factor: I'll give this an 8/10, one point taken away for the comedy bits and another one because her power is too oddly specific and it makes her much less intimidating.
When You Witch Upon a Star features a pretty cool looking witch, who's mad with power, but got trapped in the Zone of Eternal Evil. Everything about this premise is great, except...wait...there's also a bumbling group of Three Stooge witches on the loose? The Brewski Sisters are irritating to watch, and they are purely there for the comedy. The round-the-world trek feels like it goes too fast, and in general, the witches simply aren't funny. The plot with Vincent Van Ghoul and Marcella is what should have been focused on more heavily (with the gang there), as she was super powerful and had a pretty creepy design. But, instead, we get probably like 17 or 18 minutes of the Brewski Sisters, chanting "Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah! Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah!"
Fright factor: 2/10. If this episode were just Marcella, it would get 9 or 10/10 easily. But the episode almost exclusively focuses on the Brewski Sisters, to the point where we barely even see Marcella and she doesn't know who the gang are. It's disappointing, and I think there was a spark of potential in the plot with Vincent Van Ghoul and her, but it's completely wasted with those other witches.
It's A Wonderful Scoob lives up to its name, and is pretty wonderful. But it's not the best, in some places. The beginning bit with them in the weird time city, and the middle with Scooby's parents and Weerd and Bogel could be cut because it's mainly used for comedy. It does have good potential, though, and I think Scooby being forced to confront his terrifying past is a cool plot. I also thought Marcella looked better in the flashback than she did in the actual episode, lol. It was genuinely a bit saddening and heartfelt to see how bad the world had become with Time Slime free.
I know I've been pretty anti-comedy in this article, but I think Bernie Gumpshure could definitely be worked into this episode still. The horror aspect of this episode is how bad the world has become without Scooby, and Bernie's ineptness could serve as a comedy facet while also showing Scooby how bad his replacement is for the world. The meta-references, however, where Ronald Reagan gives his presidential address for Scooby to come back on the show just don't work at all, and need to be removed for it to be more horror-focused.
Fear factor: 7/10, it's not the most horrifying thing in the world, but it's a cool episode to watch. Time Slime is...an interesting looking villain, but isn't as creepy-looking as some of the past ones. I'd say he's the least creepy of any of the demons we've talked about so far.
Quack, quack, quack, I'm Platypus Duck! If you couldn't tell, we're on Scooby in Kwackyland now and Demondo, and he really isn't scary. This episode features the gang in a comic, and for a horror series, it just doesn't work. It's not scary at all, and all episodes at this point have had at least some fear factor. Honestly, to make this a more horror-focused series, there's really no saving this episode which is literally about comics. I think this would be the place we could fill in Morbidia and give her an episode individually.
Fear factor: 0/10
Does this demon not look pretty creepy? He does to me, but Coast to Ghost really does him no justice. The atmosphere of this episode is cool, but the gang traveling with Weerd and Bogel is too comedy-driven, and Rankor is a bumbling idiot in most of this episode. He literally willingly goes in the demon chest, saying "Thanks, you guys are real pals!" and it's just all-out lame. Worst scene I've seen in Scooby-Doo, probably. It's just so disappointing. Also, why is Rankor reporting to SAPS and why is he not in SAPS already? Why does he even want to be in SAPS? He's one of the most powerful demons in the world, it doesn't make sense that he'd be so submissive.
Fear factor: The atmosphere is strongly horror in this one, but it just lacks everything else. 1/10 for the one thing this episode had right.
The Ghouliest Show on Earth was an awesome horror episode. The ghost just looking like a normal person for most of the episode until he turned grotesque at the end (pictured above), the calliope music hypnotizing people into thinking everything was alright was all just perfect! One minor thing I'd say could be fixed, besides amping up the dark tone, is for it not to take place in Dooville. It seems like too much of coincidence that the ghost would go right to Scooby's hometown. Also, did any of us really need to see that guy who's married to a cow? Lol.
Fear factor: 9/10 for the great horror potential.
I'm not really sure what to say about Horror Scope Scoob. It's another TV station episode, and I don't think we particularly needed it with the Zomba episode. This episode sort of feels all over the place, with someone stealing the Demon Chest, Zimbulu going to the cemetery to enlist zombies to help him, it just was all over the place. The only really cool part about this episode was Telluluah turning into Zimbulu, that's a pretty creepy thought to have Zimbulu just possessing a human's body that whole time. But, other than this, the episode was just meh. I was pretty indifferent.
Fear factor: Let's just give it a 2/10 for effort. Nothing about it is really scary, but it wasn't a bad episode either.
So, that about wraps it for this article! I guess I was pretty hard on some of the episodes, but keep in mind that my opinion isn't that the episodes all sucked or were just 22 minutes of complain-worthy material. I was simply attempting to analyze each episode from a horror perspective, though I do enjoy the comedy bits sometimes. I think this series could have a lot of potential as an SDMI-level horror series, if it just took itself more seriously sometimes and wasn't so conflicted on the comedy bits.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and this 4-article series for the 50th anniversary!
I can't believe today is the day! Scooby has been on the airwaves a full 50 years, and has aired a plethora of series. To celebrate the day, I want to give my definitive ranking of the all the series we've gotten in the past 50 years, from worst to best.
The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show and The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour are both tied the worst series, in my opinion. 7 minutes just isn't long enough for this series, and doesn't do it justice. We get sort of rushed comedy romps, and the mystery element is completely taken out the series. Don't get me wrong, on occasion I'll watch these and sort of enjoy them, but they're certainly not my go-to Scooby-Doo series and I don't watch them more than once every few years.
I don't even know if it's really fair to rank this series on the same level as other Scooby series, because it really just is another comedy-focused romp. It's nothing like classic Scooby, and while enjoyable, again, I wouldn't go to these as a "can't wait to watch" series. It's certainly cute, but not the best series by any stretch of the imagination.
The one thing I always tell people who haven't seen Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue! is that it's a good, funny show, but if you're expecting the classic Scooby formula, it's going to be terrible. Fred, Velma and Daphne are gone, and the series exclusively focuses on Shaggy and Scooby trying to stop the evil Dr. Phibes from dominating the world. Dr. Phibes and his agents, especially Agent 2 are pretty funny. Two of the later episodes, "Super Scary Movie Night" and "Runaway Robi" were awesome, the former because of the horror elements and the latter because of the comedy. It's been easily seven years since I've seen this show though, so I'm not sure if it holds up anymore.
The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show is next on the list. I don't think this series is too dissimilar from The Scooby-Doo Show, except for the fact that Scrappy's here. In all honesty, Scrappy's voice is annoying here and his personality is beyond overbearing, which makes this not quite as enjoyable for me to watch as some of the later Scrappy series.
I liked The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show much more than the 7 minute ones, despite that they're only about 4 minutes longer. The addition of Daphne is what the show needed, in my opinion, and she provides a little grounding to an otherwise zany show. The mysteries coming back was also a great touch.
The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries is basically the exact same series and rationale as the above one, with the bonus of Fred and Velma appearing in a few episodes!
Though I know quite a few people don't enjoy A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, I really like it. It has a lot of quirky humor, and quite honestly I love shows that have their own distinct style to them. The monsters were pretty silly, as were the kid versions of the gang, but this was a really fun series regardless.
Some of you might be surprised by this, but I'm gonna place Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? here. It's also inadvertently a nice transition from the last, where I was talking about distinct style. From what we've seen so far, this show has no distinct style. It's purely basing itself on nostalgia, and while some episodes are entertaining, the show doesn't seem to have gathered itself much of an identity beyond just taking elements from old shows and playing on people's nostalgia.
The Scooby-Doo Show was a cool series which had some genuinely dark plots, particularly in season 2. The contrast here is nice between the guest stars in The New Scooby-Doo Movies. I also liked us getting to know the gang's families more here, and of course, Scooby-Dum and Scooby-Dee!
What's New, Scooby-Doo? gives us an update on the classic series we all fell in love with, but with its own unique identity unlike Guess Who. The monsters were also some of the coolest we've seen in a long time, compared to the preceding A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo was hands down the best Scrappy series, and I'm sure many of you are surprised how high I'm putting this one (I'll probably be surprised when re-reading this article in a year, haha). I think though this show had a bit of an identity crisis, the mix of comedy and horror certainly made for an interesting, unique and quirky series that was enjoyable. The premise is also awesome, particularly in contrast to the ghosts always being fake previously. Some of the 13 ghosts' designs were genuinely pretty creepy as well!
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! gets such a bad rep because of the animation, but the clever and absurdist humor in here is what brings this so high for me. The writing is just all-around amazing, and it's hard not to love this series once you give it a chance.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated's overarching plot, cleverly placed Easter eggs, and more dark/mature tone is what makes this series rise up to the top 3 for me. Plainly stated, it's an awesome series that does everything (besides the relationship drama) amazingly and is a must-watch for any Scooby fan.
Call me crazy, but I have some serious nostalgia around The New Scooby-Doo Movies. I grew up watching reruns of this series, and I liked all the guest stars and the very fluid tone to this show. I'm sure this is nostalgia talking, but this is my second favorite series of the franchise.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? is the series that started it all, and we're still getting new series based on this 50 years later...what more needs to be said haha?
I hope you enjoyed this article, and happy 50 years to Scooby! I'd be interested to know if people agree with this ranking, so let me know in the comments if you have an opinion.
If anyone's doing anything super awesome to celebrate, let us know in the comments below! :)
With the Guess Who series coming soon, and all the crossovers we've been getting in the direct-to-video films lately, a lot of fans have been growing tired of all the celebrity crossovers in the franchise. Given the (Almost) Complete Collection of The New Scooby-Doo Movies was just released, I thought it might be fun to write an opinion piece on the Scooby crossovers.
In my opinion, I don't see the issues of having a lot of crossovers. I think the issue isn't the crossovers themselves, but how they're executed. Personally, The New Scooby-Doo Movies is one of my favorite series. The crossovers were done very well, and they didn't feel forced or unnecessary at all.
I think the issue with the more recent DTV crossovers is that the guest stars often overshadow the gang. In other words, they become such a big focus that they almost become main characters in the film too. My personal preference is that the guest stars are more supporting characters in the film/episode. In some of the films, particularly the WWE and KISS ones, Fred, Velma and Daphne feel like they're pushed to the side completely. Even though this is technically a franchise aimed at kids, I think aspects like good character development and strong plot are still important. The guest stars shouldn't be used as a crutch or an excuse to be lazy, rather they should be used as a plot-enhancing device.
The guest stars, for the most part, in The New Scooby-Doo Movies weren't utilized in a way that was lazy, or to make up for a lack of plot. Gourmet Ghost also did a nice job with balancing the use of guest stars, without letting it overshadow Fred, Velma and Daphne. I really hope Guess Who is smart about using guest stars as a plot device, and not just using them to cover up them slacking on the writing. Fingers crossed this new series will be amazing!
What are all your thoughts on the crossovers? Do you enjoy them, or do you feel the quality of recent crossovers hasn't been as good? Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts!
*Disclaimer: This post includes spoilers for the Curse of the 13th Ghost film.*
From what was originally advertised as an implied closing to the The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo series, those of us who watched the film learned that WB decided to use this opportunity to leave the ending completely up to fan interpretation.
To recap, the 13th ghost, Asmodeus, was revealed to be a man in a mask. The real Asmodeus, if there was one, was Vincent Van Ghoul's ancestor Asamod Van Ghoul. Velma reads out of the Tome of the Chest of Demons that Asmodeus did not want revenge, but rather redemption for his misdeeds. At the end of the film, we see what appears to be the shadowy, human-like form of the ghost of Asamod Van Ghoul, before he disappears into the abyss. Afterwards, Velma reveals that she just made up some of the story she read. However, we don't know which aspects she made up, leaving different several interpretations of what could have happened.
It seems WB wanted to end this film giving the audience the mentality of "Oh well, who could ever know?" In this post, I'm going to give my interpretation of what I believe happened. However, it's worth noting that there are numerous different interpretations that one could have from watching the film, which I will also lay out some of.
1. It was all fake.
This is the obvious interpretation, if the viewer were to side with Velma. None of the ghosts were real, and it was all just an illusion from the high altitude of the Himalayas. Of course, for this interpretation, it's worth noting that the gang was not actually in the Himalayas for any of the episodes except the first one.
2. Asmodeus is still out there, but the shadowy figure we saw wasn't him.
One potential interpretation is that that puff of smoke, or whatever it was, was not actually Asmodeus. Velma's explanation of the high altitudes causing hallucinations caused them to imagine they saw Asamod Van Ghoul.
3. Asmodeus is still out there, but Velma was wrong. He's still evil and disappeared before the gang could attempt to put him in the demon chest.
The uncertain variable here is how much of the story Velma made up. Maybe Velma was wrong about the 13 ghosts being fake, but she completely made up the story about "revenge" being also translatable as "redemption." He stopped his imposter, but fled the scene before the gang could capture him. This would mean the real Asmodeus is still out there somewhere.
4. Velma was correct; Asmodeus was redeemed and thus showed up one last time for a "thank you" before disappearing.
This is my interpretation of what happened. I think Velma read directly from the Tome of the Chest of Demons, but she believed it was false. Thus, she said she "made it up." Or, she read from the Tome, but didn't want to believe what she read could have been true, so she lied and said she made it up. It was a very unclear line, so there are numerous ways that Velma claiming she "made it up" could be interpreted. I think Asmodeus is redeemed, though I'm not sure how and I wish the film would have been clearer on this part. In general terms, I do believe that bad people can become good after a long time of self-reflection and thought of how their evil actions hurt others. The part I'm a bit conflicted on is that if Asmodeus is supposedly one of the 13 most evil ghosts on Earth, is it possible he could have redeemed himself? I guess we'll never really know all the details, but this is my interpretation of the ending of the film.
Now that I've shared my interpretation, I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on what your interpretations might be, whether they're the same as one of the options I listed or completely different. Let me know in the comments! :)
The recent announcement of Scooby-Doo! Curse of the 13th Ghost has caused a little spark in the Scooby fandom. I've noticed that now in several places, including in the comments here, fans have begun questioning how exactly one would properly categorize the Scooby franchise into timelines.
Personally, the following is how I view the Scooby-Doo timeline.
The following series fall under the "main" timeline. The main timeline encompasses all Scooby series, and are a part of the general fandom continuity. The following three series are pretty much compatible with every single timeline.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Arguably, the original series falls in the main timeline and chronology of the franchise. The gang is just a group of normal teenagers solving mysteries in this particular series.
The Scooby-Doo Show
While this show is a bit darker, it still falls under the general premise of the gang being normal teens capturing masked criminals. No real monsters appear in this series. Generally speaking, it's basically an extension of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?.
The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show
While this show introduces Scooby's nephew, Scrappy, the show still takes on the same premise as the previously listed two, and there is no supernatural beings in this particular show. I should also note that I'm referring to only the original 1979-1980 series here, which included the gang.
#1: Fame and Fortune!
From this point on, everything connects to the main timeline, but the continuity branches off in a different direction for each extended timeline. If it's less confusing, think of the main timeline as the starting point for all the extended timelines. From there, each extended timeline branches off on its own.
I think it was my friend Dallas, whom I worked on the Scooby-Doo Chronological Viewing Order with, that came up with the "Fame and Fortune" era idea. After talking with some people about this topic this afternoon, I'm minded to agree that it's a bit unlikely that Scooby and the gang would be suddenly best friends with famous celebrities in certain series.
So, just for fun, let's say this timeline is the "Fame and Fortune" era.
Reader's note: To avoid confusion, that project is completely separate from this post. That timeline is just for the purposes of if you wanted to watch the franchise in the least confusing order.
The New Scooby-Doo Movies
The gang meets several celebrities in this series, and regularly solves mysteries with them. This seems rather unlikely for the main timeline, so it's been grouped accordingly. Scooby also met the supernatural for the very first time in this particular timeline. In "Mystery in Persia," Scooby and the gang meets Jeannie, who is able to teleport them to Persia where they run into the evil djinn Jadall.
By networking with some of these above celebrities, Scooby got some media attention that allowed him to compete in various sporting events.
Mask of the Blue Falcon, WWE Films, KISS, Gourmet Ghost
The crossovers are included in with The New Scooby-Doo Movies for the same unlikelihood reason explained above. It's probable that Guess Who will be in this timeline when it's released, as well.
Behind the Scenes Interviews
The gang becomes famous enough to be interviewed about their adventures.
Night of the Living Doo
The gang meets several celebrities in this parody special while on their way to a spooky zombie-filled mansion.
#2: Scrappy's in the Picture!
The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show
Branching off directly from where the main timeline left off, Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy split off from the rest of the gang and begin traveling the world for a while (if you wanted to be imaginative, you could say to "find themselves" or some angsty teen concept like that). Fred decides to pursue his dream to be a mystery novelist and Velma applies for an internship at NASA during college (this is from "Happy Birthday, Scooby-Doo!" in The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries). Daphne goes off to pursue something else, maybe going to college to major in Communication/journalism, since she was a reporter in at least one episode of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries. In this series, Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy run into real monsters for the very first time.
The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour
This series is pretty much the exact same dynamic as the previous one, except that Scrappy occasionally goes to visit his uncle Yabba out in the desert.
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show
Daphne rejoins Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy while Fred and Velma remain busy with their careers. Daphne is still in college (possibly), and they continue encountering a mix of guys in masks and the supernatural. The career thing could be confirmed by the fact that in "The Crazy Carnival Caper," the gang comments that they've graduated high school.
The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries
Fred and Velma remain busy with career stuff, but occasionally come back to visit Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy. The gang continues to meet a mix of real and fake monsters.
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo
Fred and Velma become consumed in their careers again. Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy go on with their lives. Shaggy and Daphne may or may not be dating (purposely leaving that vague to avoid a ship war here, lol), but they travel together. They open a chest containing "13 of the most terrifying ghosts upon the face of the Earth" and have to recapture them all. I imagine Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost will conclude this explanation for us! :)
Boo Brothers / Ghoul School / Reluctant Werewolf
Daphne begins focusing on her career again, while Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy go off adventures meeting the supernatural by themselves. I suppose, begrudgingly, I could (sigh) put Arabian Nights in this timeline too, as Shaggy and Scooby being on their own is consistent with the rest of the gang's "splitting up" era.
#3: A New Hope?
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
The gang is shown as kids and they solve mysteries in their detective agency. There are no real monsters in this timeline, or at least not known to the gang. Arguably, the Mystery Map film from 2013 could be lumped into this grouping as well. The reason for including Pup here is because of the flashback to Velma's birthday party in "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown" (from What's New, Scooby-Doo?) where the gang is pictured together as kids, almost exactly how they look and act in Pup.
What's New, Scooby-Doo?
The gang is older now, and goes off solving mysteries meeting occasional celebrities. This is grouped separately from the "main" timeline only because of the unlikelihood of the gang meeting celebrities on a regular basis. However, this excludes "The Vampire Strikes Back," which is not in this timeline for reasons I'll explain later.
Loch Ness Monster - Samurai Sword
These movies go hand in hand with What's New, Scooby-Doo? There is indeed a real monster in Goblin King, though Velma, Fred and Daphne don't remember it due to the Goblin King's spell.
Abracadabra Doo - Big Top, Stage Fright, FrankenCreepy, Moon Monster Madness, Shaggy's Showdown and post-2012 specials
Though there's different animation, these assorted films still fit with this timeline and have the same general premise (even if it's a bit darker at times). The post 2012 direct-to-DVD specials also feature this same tone and plot type.
#4: Shags to Riches
Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get A Clue!
I really debated putting this in the "fame and fortune" timeline with The New Scooby-Doo Movies, but I didn't want everyone to hate me! ;) In this series, Shaggy and Scooby split off from the gang after they inherit their uncle's fortune and have to try to rescue him from Dr. Phibes.
#5: Mystery Incorporated
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
Pretty self-explanatory. The gang lives in Crystal Cove, and tries to solve the mystery of the Curse of Crystal Cove. It's sort of a combination of all the other timelines, besides #4 (Get A Clue). There are real monsters in this universe.
#6: Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
This is pre-Where Are You, though it still fits with the main timeline. Shaggy has never seen snow before (until "Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!"), and Daphne is much more quirky. There are no real monsters in this universe.
Haunted Hollywood, Blowout Beach Bash and Knight Time Terror
LEGO films exist in their own timeline due to living beings and places being made entirely of bricks, and the fact that these beings have the ability to magically reconstruct these bricks with one's hands.
#8: Breaking the Fourth Wall
Scooby Goes Hollywood
Scooby Goes Hollywood exists in its own timeline because the characters are all just actors in a television show, which is comedically based on the franchise.
#9: A More Mature Era
Zombie Island - Cyber Chase
This timeline features more mature versions of the gang, where they decide to go their separate ways temporarily in Zombie Island before getting back together sometime between that film and Witch's Ghost. There are real ghosts and monsters in this timeline.
Legend of the Vampire and Monster of Mexico
This would have been part of the "main" timeline, but the gang already knows The Hex Girls in Legend of the Vampire, and there's no explanation as to why if its not in the same timeline as Witch's Ghost. It also seemed wrong to separate Monster of Mexico from Legend of the Vampire, so I moved this film into this timeline as well.
What's New, Scooby-Doo?: 3-D Struction and The Vampire Strikes Back
I had to separate these episodes out from the other WNSD episodes, since there's no explanation otherwise for how the gang would know The Hex Girls. 3-D Struction does not include The Hex Girls, but it includes J.J. Hakimoto who also appears in "The Vampire Strikes Back." Thus, these episodes needed to be taken out for the timeline to properly work.
#10: Live-Action Round 1
Scooby-Doo 1 & 2
I wanted to fit the live-action films into their own timeline as well, though they don't particularly fit neatly into any previously created one. Arguably, I'd say the first two films encompass the main timeline, as well as branch off from #1 (Fame and Fortune) and #3 (A New Hope?).
#11: Live Action Round 2
Scooby-Doo 3 & 4
The first two prequel films, Mystery Begins and Curse of the Lake Monster fit into their own timeline. This timeline has the gang meeting each other in detention at high school. In between the two films, there is an alternate reality version of "The Frickert Fracas" from the Fame and Fortune timeline, which doesn't include meeting Jonathan Winters.
#12: The Scooby-Doo Project
The Scooby-Doo Project
The gang gets lost in the woods and is killed. End of timeline. Haha
#13: Feminist Fun!
Daphne & Velma
Couldn't resist the title there lol. In this film, the girls meet for the first time online and go to Ridge Valley High together, where they solve their first mystery. After solving their first mystery, they receive a second mystery on their computer screen, when a mysterious voice tells them to stay away from the incriminating files they just found. Let's hope we someday find out how this timeline ends by means of a sequel! :D
Phew, I think I covered everything! Hope you all enjoyed reading my timeline. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you have a different way of grouping them that you think is more fitting! :)
I really debated whether to post about this or not, since it's not entirely Scooby related, but I figured given we're all Scooby fans here that some people might find it interesting.
Long story short, I inherited a cabin from my recently deceased grandparents. I had never been up there much while they were alive, but they would occasionally tell me stories of very peculiar things happening there. One such story involved my grandpa closing a window, as he did every night, with my grandma watching him. The next morning, both of them could feel a chill in the air because this same window was left wide open. My grandpa asked my grandma why she had opened the window after he closed it, to which she responded that she didn't and she said that she watched him close it. Neither of them went downstairs the entire night, and no one else was in the house, which of course begs the question of how the window could have possibly been opened when neither of them did it. There were a few other stories like that over the years, which I unfortunately don't remember in as vivid of detail as the aforementioned one.
For those that don't know, I'm currently writing a fanfiction story called "Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake," which is set after Zombie Island and highlights Daphne's adventures on her haunted attraction show of the same name. For a long time now, I've thought it would be really cool to actually write a chapter about a haunted cabin in my very own haunted cabin which I inherited. This past weekend, I finally went up and stayed in my haunted cabin for four nights. (As an aside, this was also my reasoning for visiting Banning Junction for the 209th fun fact).
While I wish I could say something paranormal happened while staying there, unfortunately it did not. I did, however, see quite possibly the biggest spider I've ever seen in my life lol (its body was literally as big as my thumb!) as well as hearing some wolves outside make an otherworldly howling noise. There was also a mouse that managed to get into the cabin, though luckily I slept upstairs and thus he didn't bother me.
I must say, however, it definitely fulfilled one of my dreams as a Scooby fan! Staying in the haunted cabin for four nights definitely had that Scooby episode-ish vibe and I'll admit I was incredibly jumpy at night, expecting something paranormal to happen at any moment.
Anyways, sorry I couldn't share anything more exciting with you guys...though I do have something exciting to share (and/or shamelessly promote) with you guys in a literary sense. I managed to write not one, but two chapters of my fanfic up there! In the first chapter, which is set in a haunted cabin, I embedded a lot of my own experiences in the cabin into the fanfic, which was quite fun to do admittedly. The second chapter was just an "extra" since I finished the first one quicker than I thought I would, though I will say that anyone who's a Shaphne fan will love this chapter! If you're interested, you can check out chapters 16 and 17 over at Fanfiction.net!
You may remember the first part of my Boo Brothers post which I wrote back in January. Boo Brothers is an incredibly complex film which could have so many different explanations for the very same scene! My original post discussed some arguments for and against some of the ghosts being real or fake apparitions.
Unfortunately, I believe I wrote that post fully off of memory and I didn't actually go back to watch the film before writing the post. Last night, I continued my normal Halloween tradition of watching Boo Brothers every year around October 31 (it's never too early to start watching Halloween specials, haha). Having watched the film again, I have some new, more detailed arguments to add on which of the ghosts were real and which were fake.
I've often joked with my Scooby fan friends that I'm so passionate about this film, I could write an entire essay on it. So that's exactly what I'm going to do...again!
As I said in part 1, the Headless Horseman is pretty much undeniably fake. The sheriff dressed up as the Headless Horseman when Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy arrived, and they discovered later the costume in the barn when the sheriff oddly yelled "push the button!", alerting the three that he knew how to operate it from previous experience. I'm sure you could, however, come up with a really creative theory about how the Headless Horseman could be a real spirit. For example, you could argue that the sheriff planned to dress up as the Headless Horseman, but he wasn't able to because a real Headless Horseman knocked him out in the barn, then went out to chase the gang.
The Headless Horseman does, however, provide further evidence that the ghost of Uncle Beauregard was indeed real at several points throughout the movie. Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy saw Beauregard's ghost almost simultaneous with when they saw the Headless Horseman. There would be no possible way for the sheriff to have been dressed up as two ghosts in a matter of seconds.
The Glowing-Eyed Wolf is another tough villain to argue in favor of being a supernatural creature. Most wolves don't have glowing yellow eyes like that one did, so just for fun, let's say it could be a ghost wolf. You could really argue either way though, it could just be a random wolf that ran out, or maybe it's a supernatural being that's taken on the form of a wolf to further scare the gang.
Now we get to the fun ghosts whose existences are more controversial! Most people are pretty certain that the Skull Ghost was a fake, perpetuated by the sheriff to scare Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy off so he could get the treasure. However, in part 1 of this post, I argued that the Skull Ghost was real some of the time.
Listening closely to the film last night, I realized I messed up in the last post. One of my arguments in the first part was that in some appearances, you could hear the Skull Ghost's bones clanking together. Unfortunately, in that final appearance before the unmasking by the fireplace, the Skull Ghost's bones clank together when he is about to pull the lever. So, the sheriff must have had something in the suit (maybe a tape recorder or something) to make the noise of bones clanking together. On a brief side note, one of my biggest questions about this film is how can the sheriff possibly exist inside that Skull Ghost costume? The sheriff is a pretty large man, while his Skull Ghost suit is practically supermodel-level skinny. The only possible explanation for this is that he was wearing an extra large corset the entire time! lol
Anyways, back on topic. Last time, I sort of just gave a vague "he could have been real any of the times" explanation. This time around, I'm going to examine every appearance of the Skull Ghost in the film and make individual arguments for if the ghost was real in that particular appearance. So, without further ado, it's explanation time!
The first appearance of the Skull Ghost is when he appears in the chimney, cackling maniacally as he is about to push Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy off the roof. For this appearance, I argue that the Skull Ghost was definitely real! Ever since I first watched this film, I've always thought the Skull Ghost looks a lot different in that appearance than in some of the later ones. In the later appearances, you can clearly see that it's a man in a bone suit with a black background, aka the sheriff, who may or may not be wearing a corset under his extra-small size skeleton suit. The skeleton's eyes also light up bright red, which is not something that ever happens after the first two appearances.
The second appearance of the Skull Ghost is in the piano room with the secret passage. I also argue that the ghost is real in this appearance. He has bright red eyes once again, right as he tells Scrappy to let go of him. This is the final appearance that he has the red eyes, which oddly never appear again for the rest of the film.
Shortly after, the Skull Ghost's bony finger presses the piano key to lock the gang in the secret passage room. Later on in the film, the skeleton's fingers were not bony at all, and appeared to be just a man's fingers in a cheap skeleton suit with a black background. This is the final appearance that I believe the Skull Ghost was a real apparition. Just for fun though, I'll go through all the other appearances to give my explanations as to why.
The next appearance was in the cemetery. The Skull Ghost pops out from under a headstone several times, scaring Scooby. Presumably, this is the town cemetery, since there were so many graves. If the Skull Ghost was just haunting the Beauregard Mansion, what need would he have to follow them if he were a real ghost? Certainly none that I can see. This appearance was most certainly the sheriff, following them in attempt to scare them out of the treasure.
Almost immediately after this, the ghost (whose voice notably sounds a bit different from the original appearance in the chimney) appears again, and pulls a lever causing Shaggy and Scooby to fall down a trap door. The "glowing" aspect of the ghost is certainly a cool touch, and I admit I was tempted to argue it was a real ghost in this instance, just because he never glowed at any other point in the film. However, what gave it away for me is the fact that he was scared of the Ghost Ape. If he were a real ghost, why would he be scared of another ghost (especially that adorable ape lol)? Because of that, he couldn't have been a real ghost in this case.
A brief appearance of the Skull Ghost happens when Billy Bob pops out from under a bush to shoot Shaggy, but ends up seeing the Skull Ghost instead. Just by the fact that it looks like a man in a bone suit with a black background, I'd say the ghost is not real in this case.
Another appearance, which I assume was the Skull Ghost, was his eyes peeking out from under a trap door in the mansion. At the exact same time, you can see the outline of Beauregard's ghost in the window, which logically is not possible. One of the ghosts would have to be real, as the sheriff cannot be in two places at once. By process of elimination, I believe the Skull Ghost is the sheriff in this case. Why? He was hiding in the house, where he could overhear Shaggy reading the clue. He wanted to find the treasure, and thus spied on Shaggy and Scooby. Beauregard's ghost, however, is outside the window and could not hear what Shaggy was saying. There would be no point in the sheriff hiding outside the closed window, as he couldn't have overheard anything. I'll get to Beauregard's motivations for being outside the window in his respective section, but I argue that the Skull Ghost was not real in this appearance.
I'm already kicking myself a bit here, as I should have just written this post last night when it was still completely fresh in my mind! I hope I'm not missing an appearance here, but I think the next appearance was when the Skull Ghost ran into the Ghost Ape outside. Again, the sheriff was scared of the Ghost Ape, so scared in fact that the sheriff lost his pants when he was in the patrol car at one point. Both the Skull Ghost and the Ghost Ape were frightened of each other, which again, if it were a real ghost, the Skull Ghost wouldn't have been afraid of another ghost.
The ghost appears at Bear Cave using a remote control device to operate Shaggy's truck. A ghost wouldn't need or want a remote control device, and the intent clearly wasn't to scare Shaggy in this case. The Skull Ghost clearly wanted to get Shaggy out of the cave so he wouldn't find the treasure, which if it were a real ghost, presumably it could just do it by jumping out or chasing the gang away.
The second-to-last appearance would be when he appears behind the curtain in the mansion, along with Beauregard's ghost simultaneously. Obviously, the same person cannot be in two places at once. The skeleton is wearing his same black background suit with bones painted on, and thus, I argue Beauregard is the real ghost whilst the Skull Ghost is the fake in this case.
The final appearance is at the boathouse, which obviously was the sheriff in disguise. There would be no reason for the real ghost to leave the house or trap the gang in a net so they wouldn't get the treasure.
And the final final appearance was near the fireplace, and you better believe the ghost was a fake in that scene. If not, you clearly haven't watched the movie close enough, as that's the unmasking scene lol. But a final note on this, if you compare this last appearance to the very first one in the chimney, you can seriously tell the difference in the ghost's voice. The Skull Ghost in the chimney has a booming, creepy voice whereas the last appearance just sounds like some dude with a Southern accent in a suit.
The Ghost in the Attic is the final remaining controversial ghost in the bunch. There's really no evidence either way as to whether the ghost is real or not, since we never see who did it. There is the argument that I made in the last post, that the ghost literally drops 20 feet and no human could survive that. However, clearly there's some cartoon physics occurring in this film, as the sheriff literally has a fully-grown tree fall on him at one point and somehow doesn't die haha. I do sort of stand by my previous argument that Farquard's nasally voice sounds nothing like the Southern gentleman-like voice that the Ghost in the Attic has. I suppose you could argue that some people have a knack for doing accents, for example how I can do a really good British accent :).
Farquard does have the same necklace the ghost stole, however, which doesn't make a lot of sense (the ghost isn't exactly going to give it to Farquard, after all) if it were a real ghost. So, in this case, I will actually change my original answer and say that this ghost was probably Farquard in a costume.
Before we get to the ghost everyone's probably waiting for, can we talk about how cute the Ghost Ape is? He doesn't even seem remotely scary and just seems like he wants some love! (there's where you all say "aww!")
To me, this one has always been obviously a real ghost. The ghost looks exactly like Beebo, the name of the ape that the colonel shot and stuffed in his house. It's doubtful that another ape would look exactly like that. I don't really need to go through the ghost ape's appearances, since I argue he's real every time for that same reason. But, what I'm going to do instead is go through every appearance and talk about how freaking adorable he is! (with maybe a few arguments about why he is a real ghost in between)
In the first appearance, Farquard tells the gang and the sheriff about Beebo and how the colonel had him stuffed. A second later, the ape peeks out from behind the statue and bats his eyelashes at Scooby!
The next appearance is when the Boo Brothers are trying to catch the Demonstrator Ghost (which, as an aside, I just realized last night that the Boo Brothers never actually catch him!) The Demonstrator Ghost turns on a record and begins dancing, and a few moments later, the ape appears, grabbing Scooby's hand and says "let's boogie!" Seriously, how cute is that? A ghost that just wants to dance and have a good time is a really fun concept lol.
The Ghost Ape also appears by the stairs where Scooby is currently hiding under a blanket. The Ape, not feeling any urge to scare anyone at all, comes up to Scooby and begins stroking his head. It's so adorable!
The Ape appears later when the gang is outside, a bit angry, probably because no one is loving him like he wants! :)
The next appearance, I believe, was when Shreako opens the door while they're trying to get away from Beauregard's ghost. He's pretty perturbed in this piece too, but most likely it's because they disturbed him. Even nice people need their time alone, so maybe he was taking a nap in the closet and instinctually roared in surprise. He probably felt bad about it later!
Later on in the film, Billy Bob and the ape run into each other, and the ape gets angry when Billy Bob accidentally shoots him right in his adorable little fluffy butt. I don't even need to defend the ape in this case, no one would like being shot in the ass lol.
In the next scene, Scrappy calls the ape a "big overgrown jungle jerk," which the ape reacts poorly to. I absolutely love this scene though, it's so cute about the ape answering Scrappy's questions so honestly.
Scrappy: He's probably frightened with all these spooky happenings around here!
In the second-to-last appearance, the ape is shot again by Billy Bob accidentally through the log. Every time I see that scene, I'm seriously rooting for Beebo...good for him for snapping the gun in half and facing up to his fears!
In the final scene, the ape throws a temper tantrum, to which Scrappy gives him the mechanical horse to ride. All I'll say about this scene is that the smug look the ape has on his face while riding the horse is awesome, he just looks so pleased with himself lol!
Thank you all for making it through my fawning over the ape haha. He's such an awesome character and I think it's super cute how timid the big guy is! :)
Let's get to the final ghost, my favorite of the bunch and the one you've all been waiting for.
At the end of the film, it's hinted that the ghost is definitely real, since he shows up again on the road after the sheriff has been arrested. But what about all the appearances in between? Was it the sheriff every time, or was it the real ghost some of the time? Let's find out!
The very first appearance is one I've already briefly discussed. Beauregard's ghost appears almost right after the Headless Horseman does, holding his hands up and telling them to "go back" and "leave this place!" With the given explanation of the sheriff dressing up as the Headless Horseman, there is no way that he could be in two places in a matter of seconds. That means that it would have been the real ghost in that first appearance. The one question that this poses is, why would he want them to leave the mansion that he personally willed to Shaggy? Well, I argue that he probably didn't know that the sheriff was planning to steal the treasure. Clearly, the sheriff was willing to do anything, even murder a human and two dogs for this treasure. Uncle Beauregard would naturally be concerned about his nephew going into a dangerous situation like that one, so he most likely wanted Shaggy to "leave this place" to get out of danger. Maybe Uncle Beauregard was going to personally scare the sheriff away, but wanted his nephew and dogs away while he took care of the situation.
I know what you're probably thinking. My explanation above makes it way too broad, and it could have been the real ghost or the sheriff any of the subsequent times. The answer to that hypothetical question would be no, there are possible explanations for every appearance Beauregard's ghost makes!
The next appearance is in the bedroom. The ghost goes through a solid wall on his bike, warning his nephew to leave. There is no way any human could do that, so the ghost is definitely real in this case. Additionally, on a brief side note, if I ever become a ghost, I want to have those super creepy glowing yellow eyes that Beauregard has! You literally can't even see any pupils in his eyes, which is really disturbing!
The ghost also shows up right outside of the door when Shaggy is running from Billy Bob ("hey boys, we got another Beauregard!"). When Shaggy runs a few feet away from the door, he immediately runs back to the door when he sees Billy Bob shooting at him. In that couple of seconds, the ghost disappears and Shaggy is able to go back in the door the ghost was just standing at. Surely, the ghost would not have been able to go in the house that quickly without Shaggy noticing, especially since he barely ran at all before making a beeline back to the front door. I argue that the ghost must have disappeared before Shaggy ran back to the door.
The ghost does not appear again in the film until the scene where he comes through the secret passage. That alone is pretty self-explanatory. The ghost rode his bike through a solid wall earlier on in the film, so why would he need to use a secret passage to get through the wall? That's another odd inconsistency which makes me believe that there were two different versions of Beauregard's ghost, one real and one fake.
Beauregard's next appearance is in the cemetery. This time, however, it was likely the fake ghost who frightened Shaggy and the dogs. The ghost immediately grabs the clue and begins reading it, which would make no sense for the real ghost to do, seeing as Beauregard was the one who wrote the clue.
As I explained earlier, the ghost of Beauregard and the Skull Ghost both stalk Shaggy while he is reading the clue, the Skull Ghost being the one inside hiding under a trap door. The shadow of Beauregard's ghost is also eavesdropping, however, as I argued above, the sheriff cannot be in two places at once, so one of them must have been the real ghost. I also identified that Beauregard was the real ghost, as he could not overhear what Shaggy was saying from outside the closed window. Thus, there would be no purpose for him to be there, if it was the sheriff trying to listen in on what the clue was. What was Beauregard's ghost doing out there then? Well, I argue that he was trying to watch over Shaggy, as he likely knew that the sheriff would be watching over his every move and wanted to protect his nephew.
In the next appearance (including a brief flash to the ghost of Beauregard riding his bike in the cemetery), Shaggy opens the trap door on the ghost's feet, to which he yells "ouch!" (which for the record is a very unghostly thing to say, lol). Obviously, the headstone should have gone through the ghost's feet if he were actually a ghost, given the fact he was able to float through walls in another scene.
The second-to-last scene is where the ghost chases after Shaggy's truck on his bike and tries to kill his nephew and dogs. That's a bit of a no brainer, seeing as that's classic uncle behavior right there. Haha I'm obviously kidding, given the fact that his uncle was just trying to warn his nephew away, it wouldn't make sense to literally throw him and his dogs off a bridge. Thus, the ghost is fake in this appearance.
The sort-of final appearance was when Beauregard's ghost was hiding behind the curtain. Arguably, the ghost is real at this point. The same "the sheriff can't be in two places at once" argument applies here. The Skull Ghost also appears behind a curtain, as I mentioned above, and thus Beauregard must be the real ghost, as the skeleton is wearing his same black-backgrounded suit.
There's also the very ominous scene before the last commercial break spot, where Shaggy comments "I bet there are no real ghosts here at all!" Immediately afterwards, a mysterious creepy voice replies "Oh no?" This is proof that at least one of the ghosts was real. I mean, it's not like some random guy off the street suddenly broke into the mansion and just happened to yell that at the exact time Shaggy made his comment. Obviously, a real ghost heard Shaggy's comment and decided to reply to frighten him.
The final final final appearance of Beauregard's ghost is at the end of the film, when he appears on the road after the sheriff has been taken into custody by his brother. The ghost does not try to harm him or tell him to leave. Rather, he sits there and intently watches them, almost if he's paying his last respects.
Well, that covers all the ghosts! I hope part 2 was even better than part 1 (I certainly think so!), and also that you were at least somewhat entertained by my theories and silliness. The only other "paranormal" happenings in that film that weren't explained was Beauregard throwing his sword off-screen, which I argue was something Farquard rigged up in advance to scare them. There was also the cannon scene, which was probably Beauregard. Given the bridge theory, Beauregard obviously isn't going to want to kill his own nephew, so it was probably the sheriff dressed up once again. There's also the mysterious hand which scratches Scooby out of the wall in the bedroom, which there's not really conclusive proof for either way given the appearance was so brief. Given Beauregard appears a second later, and I argued that he was real in that instance, I would say that the hand was maybe another ghost (possibly aiding the ghost of Beauregard) trying to scare Shaggy off so he wouldn't be put in danger by the sheriff's plan.
I do realize that these could all be animation or plot mistakes on behalf of lazy writers at Hanna-Barbera. However, it seems like a bit too many coincidences in my opinion. It may be far-fetched, but I really love the concept of Hanna-Barbera making this super detailed, intricate mystery for the hardcore adult fans to be entertained as well as kids. There are so many ways you could interpret the mystery in this film, and I hope you've enjoyed reading my interpretation of it.
Oh, and I know the question you've all been on the edge of your seats waiting for me to answer: were Shaggy's ghostly dancing pants real?
Why yes, yes they were.
Yesterday for Scooby's 49th anniversary, I decided to do my typical Scooby mini-marathon of "What a Night for a Knight" and Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins. This year, however, I decided to also throw in the most recent Scooby film (which was released on Tuesday), Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost.
Before I give my review, I'd like to warn that spoilers are ahead!
Overall, this was a great movie and probably my favorite so far of the crossovers. The film had a really solid, interesting plot, and didn't overly focus on the guest stars at the expense of Fred, Velma and Daphne. In the past crossover movies, it feels like they have been ignored and not focused on enough. However, this movie seemed to have the perfect balance between the guest stars and the main characters.
I personally have always been fascinated with the history of America's beginnings and the Revolution, so naturally I really enjoyed that aspect of the film. The time-lapse opening was so cool, probably one of my favorite openings to any Scooby film. The historical feel of Rocky Harbor Resort provided a very nice setting.
Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about Bobby Flay being Fred's uncle. It seems odd, given how good of friends the gang is, that Fred would never mention he had a famous uncle. If Bobby Flay was my uncle, I would be telling everyone haha! Also, as a in-universe observation that the writers probably didn't even consider, Fred has a lot of uncles! Did his parents grow up in the 1900s were the normal amount of kids was like 13? lol
Bobby's cat Nacho was so cute! He's such a helpful little guy. :) I'm a huge cat person, so I loved that they included both of the chef's cats in the film.
As for the other guest stars, for the most part, I liked Giada and Marcus. I have no idea how famous Marcus Samuelsson is in the chef world, but it seems like he really got the short end of the guest star stick. It felt like he was barely in the movie!
One large complaint I had about the film was the humor. The jokes all seemed very cringeworthy, and none of them were particularly that funny. I hated Skip Taylor, it was painful to watch some of his scenes. I normally like characters who are bit silly or dimwitted, but this was just over the top.
Speaking of which, did anyone else find Fred's comment about TV personalities to be really strange? The part where he says "It's not like a TV personality to flake out of their responsibilities." in a super sarcastic voice? I mean, what the crap? lol
Another scene that really annoyed me was when Daphne gave Fred an angry look for clapping for Giada, just like everyone else was. The "Daphne is jealous of Fred" joke had its ship sail a long time ago, it's to the point where's it's not even remotely funny any more. It's just plain painful.
I really liked the Red Ghost in this film. He was genuinely creepy looking, especially the "shushing" pieces. It felt like something out of a horror film!
The mystery was pretty good, though it was relatively easy to figure out. From the moment we met Henry Metcalf, I knew he was the Red Ghost. It was pretty easy to put the pieces together that he wanted to preserve the image of Edward DuFlay after Noseworthy revealed that there was speculation that he was a British spy. I did not, however, guess that the realtor and Henry were the same person. That was a cool twist!
For the most part, this was a really solid Scooby movie which definitely gave me hope for the future of the franchise. The plot was excellent, and it was cool how they worked the history of the American Revolution into the film. There were some genuinely spooky moments in the film, and a fantastic mystery! My one complaint was that the humor was pretty poor, as the writers mainly relied on bad puns and slapstick humor for the film, which wasn't particularly funny.
Quick side note, I apologize for not including pictures in this post like I normally have for reviews. I decided to buy it digitally on iTunes, and apparently, you aren't allowed to take screencaps off of iTunes? The second I try, the screen grays out and I get a message saying that screenshotting any film from iTunes is no longer allowed. So sorry about that guys!