Scooby-Doo, Where the Hell are you, and why won't Velma Return my phone calls?

Oh lord.  I'm not here to really talk about the cartoon.  I'm not here to talk about the live-action movie.  Believe it or not, I'm honestly here to tell you that you should see the SEQUEL to the god-awful live-action movie.  Of course by the word "honestly", I mean that I'm going to sit here and try to rationalize why I watched a movie aimed at the 10 & under crowd.  And liked it.  I'll do this by haphazardly rambling about tiny bits of the flick, but hey, it's what I do. But first, let's get something out of the way:

Trivia Time:

The more I learn about Scooby Doo, the more confused I get.  We'll start with the trivia:  Scooby Doo first went on the air in 1969 and lasted three seasons.  After that there was a short series of Scooby Doo animated "movies", featuring titles like "Scooby Doo meets Dick van Dyke" and "Scooby Doo meets the Harlem Globetrotters."  I should have realized that Scooby and the gang belonged to an ancient time before me, but I had no idea that the "Scooby revival" that happened in the 1980's was, well, a revival.  The main clue I overlooked as a toddler was the fact that the Mystery Machine would end up hanging out with Laurel & Hardy, the 3 Stooges, Adam West & Robin, and, well, freaking Dick van Dyke.  There's no way that crap was specifically made for kids in the 1980's...but I digress.  The point is that Scooby Doo has been around for almost forty years.  Christ.  I had no idea.  Of course there have been more modern revamps of the show, including episodes introducing the rest of the "Doo" family, including the pimp "Dooby Doo" and the retard "Scooby Dumb"....not to mention a whole army of MODERN Scooby Doo movies from Cartoon Network.

The Scooby Doo formula is pretty straight forward:  Take a bunch of kids and one talking dog, remove their sense of self-preservation, and throw in a guy in a monster suit.  Repeat for forty years.  Excluding the recent Cartoon Network productions, Scooby Doo always featured ghosts and monsters that were just old men and librarians trying to scare people.  The funny thing is that any of these villains would be thwarted if, you know, someone didn't run. 

The Green Acne Ghost:  Booohooohahahaha!

Daphne:  You know, now that I'm not wetting myself and fleeing in terror, I can't help but notice you're just a guy in a Green Acne Ghost costume.

The Green Acne Ghost:  Look, if I give you twenty bucks can you at least pretend?

Daphne (being sultry):  Mister, for another twenty I'd do a lot more that pretend for you.

The Green Acne Ghost:  Um.  Excuse me?

Daphne:  Yeah, I've got this van out back.  The rest of the gang should run around, fall in some trap of some sort, and then probably make a musical number about it.  We've got plenty of time. 

The Green Acne Ghost:  And who the heck is this guy?

Daphne:  Oh, that's my sugar daddy.

Freddy:  Bitch, get back in the freakin' van while I talk bidness with this John here.

:sigh:

Sorry.  There are too many stock-jokes about the Scooby Doo gang.  Freddy's always running off to have sex with the girls leaving Shaggy and Scooby Doo to smoke pot and get the munchies...and Velma is most likely a lesbian.  We've heard it all before.  I'll try my best to resist the well-ridden road, but I've never been very good at self-control.

Now the first film wasn't really about the monsters.  It had this weird plot about demons and possession, and focused on one gimmick, as far as I can tell:

Holy Crap, it's live-action Scooby-Doo!  ZOMG!

Bah.  The cast isn't bad and their look is pretty much dead-on (though I would have liked a more voluptuous Velma, but I'm sick like that...you can tell because I use terms like "voluptuous" instead of "chunky", "fat", or "tubs of fun.").  It does not make a movie worth talking about.  So what does? 

Check out the poster for the sequel:

Ignoring the fine print that reads "Look Doo's Back in Theaters", the poster conveys exactly why the heck I used to watch Scooby Doo, and why I liked this film.  In case you didn't notice (and this is the first article of mine you've read), we really like monsters over here.  A lot.  Scooby-Doo 2, made in 2004, is all about the monsters.  Instead of a weird "demons taking over an amusement park" plot (from the first movie) that really only features one monster (and another for about 30 seconds), you get an hour and a half of bizarro monsters based off the old cartoon episodes, Velma dressed in skintight latex and patented "sex boots" (images in private collection only), and a fair dose of the infamous Seth Green.  I'm not saying this is a great film, but I will say that I enjoyed it.

The plot is pretty much as follows:  Someone has used magic to turn the gang's old monster enemies, which were really just people in costumes, into REAL monsters.  There's not much to it, except that the bad guys are the most random assortment of evil I've ever seen.  We've got monsters made of tar fighting next to a pterodactyl laying waste to all that is good along side two cyclopsian skeletons having tea with the ghost of a coal miner.  Like I said, it's pretty random.  It's also directed by James Gunn, the guy who created Tromeo & Juliet as well as the more recent film, Slither.  Of course, he's also the guy who wrote the first Scooby Doo movie, but hey, no one's perfect.

Let's talk about some of the highlights, shall we?

 

If you recognize the "Phantom Diver" pictured above, then you've obviously watched a fair amount of Scooby Doo.  If you got excited by it, then you're as big a pop culture dork as I am.  Like I said, most of the coolness of the film is just the sheer volume of monsters in this flick.  They all (with maybe one exception) are all stock monsters from the Scooby-Doo library, and most of them are presented in a fashion that's less than lame, thankfully.

Of course, not all the mind-blowing weirdness/coolness is limited to the monsters.  Be warned:  Once you see what I'm about to reveal there is no going back. 

 

 

Seriously.  Are you sure you want to see this?

 

 

Fine.  Here you go.

If you ever wanted to see Matthew Lillard as Shaggy with giant melon-breasts, there you go.  The fact that he's got that weird "scrotal" facial hair thing going on doesn't help matters much either.  :shudder:  On a related note, if there really was a magic potion that gave men the bodies of women, this world would be so much stranger than it already is.

Now, there are some levels of crude physical humor that're tolerable.  A puking zombie, for instance.  That, in my mind, is a forgivable offense:

  

The joke has something to do with a reporter wanting to interview one of the monsters (which are "real", not just guys in costumes in the flick) and the interview going split-pea sour very quickly.  Not something I'm proud of being pleased by, but it didn't make my brain implode into nothingness.  So what did?

Dear Lord, what am I looking at?

Dear Lord, I don't want to believe.  But it's true.

Shaggy is lighting Scooby-Doo's fart on fire to kill the evil ghost.

Holy Christ.

For documentation purposes, this is what you look like after you get a face full of flaming Scooby Fart.  And yes, his mouth was open.

To offset that bit of amazing cinema, let me share the only thing that I'd call legitimately cool in this film.  And by that statement, I just mean to say that I'm a big dork that likes monsters with very big teeth that likes to talk smack to his victims.

Say hello to the 10,000 Volt Ghost.  What's weird about this guy is that he's nothing new, relatively speaking.  The thing is, he's a CGI monster that's very shiny (electricity sparking out of him at all times like those guys from Ghost Busters 2, if you can remember that) that's built like a cartoon character.  His anatomy is, well, flexible.  He's got scary-ass teeth (that means scary teeth, not that he has teeth on his ass) and, well, he's my new hero.  If I was 12, I'd start planning on running away to hang out with him, or, even worse, figure out how to become a 10,000 Volt Ghost myself.  (The answer to that is painfully simple, but I won't type it in fear of someone being retarded and their family suing me for giving someone a terribly bad idea.)  He talks like Skeletor using a bad karaoke microphone, and that's alright with me.  Enjoy a few pictures, placed here only to indulge my 10,000 Volt Love.

 

 

Of course, all good things come to an end.  The 10,000 Volt Ghost is really only in the film for about 60 seconds, but damn, those were a good 60 seconds.

Remember kids:  High School Physics may indeed save your life one day.  Or at least teach you how to murder 10K Volt Ghosts using metal conductivity.  :sigh:

To share one last beastie from this flick, say hi to the Cotton Candy Glob.

I swear to God, if I was a monster made of something edible, I'd feel very, very screwed.  As if I had to tell you, Shaggy and Scooby get the munchies and eat him up, thankfully off-camera.  Off screen you can hear his screams of agony as the duo eat the poor guy alive.  Then again, I suppose if you were made of cotton candy, you'd already know that it'd end that way.  You just didn't expect it so soon.  You thought you had more time.

The whole movie closes with a happy ending and a big disco party.  If you look at the above picture closely enough, you can see Seth Green doing "the Robot" on the dance floor.  You can also see Daphne and Freddy rubbing their asses together, but that's neither here nor there. 

Scooby-Doo 2 is undeniably a movie for kids.  The problem is that Scooby-Doo is almost twenty years older than I am.  Does that mean I'm allowed to dig it?  I really don't know the answer to that.  I can't rationalize the guilt I feel when I tell people that we should start drinking and watch the short-lived adventures of the 10,000 Volt Ghost or the deadly (and flammable) flatulence that lives within the Doo of Scooby.  That doesn't stop me from doing so, of course. 

-jared

 

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copyright 2006 jared von hindman, except for those images, which are the property of their respective owners, mostly likely Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera, and used here solely for Fair Use review purposes...well, mostly.  The "Scooby Farting into the Face of a Ghost" image is used mostly to share the pain.