Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Genre: Animation, Horror, Kids (???)

Cast: Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby (they’re real…there are no actors here)

Synopsis: In this ghoulish tale the gang travel to a rich white woman’s mansion in the bayous of Louisiana to discover why so many people go missing there…turns out they were all murdered. That’s pretty dark, right?

This is not really a movie for kids. That becomes apparent in the opening scene in which all members of the Scooby gang are almost decapitated by some kind of castle lizard monster. As far as gritty reboots go, this is a pretty good one. The film follows the gang after they have given up their mystery-solving ways and grown up. Daphne is a TV journalist, Fred is her producer, Velma owns a bookshop, and Shaggy and Scooby seem to drift from job to job. They reunite after Daphne decides to travel the country looking for ‘authentic’ ghosts i.e. not creepy pedophile janitors looking for treasure or oil. They come across a haunted mansion just outside New Orleans, deep in the bayous. Crazy shit goes down with zombies and ghosts and voodoo and all kinds of other crap.

I have a particular fondness for all things Scooby-Doo. It might be because I grew up on it. It might be because the gang lives my actual dream of driving around in a van solving mysteries (clearly while being baked off their tits). Who wouldn’t want that? Moreover, who wouldn’t want to show up at some rich southern woman’s gorgeous antebellum plantation mansion to eat gumbo and see if it was haunted? I’d be all like: “Wow, so I see you live in a house that once owned slaves. That’s pretty fucked up. Pass the beignets please.” As a result, I’m more likely to look on this film fondly but, the truth is, this movie has a lot of good things going for it. Complex plot, great twist, hot and mysterious gardener…sweating whilst working…muscles rippling as he bends down. Damn, I need to get me a hot Southern gardener when I’m rich. There’s just something so erotic about the south. Mercy, it’s giving me the vapors.

My only major gripe about the movie is that I wish it were longer. It’s a fairly short film and I didn’t feel like I’d fully received my mystery fix. I feel like there could have been more. Sure, I can watch Murder, She Wrote afterwards to satisfy my cravings but Jessica doesn’t drive around stoned all the time with her dog. I mean, Angela Lansbury might do that when the cameras aren’t rolling but I wouldn’t know about that.

High-lights:

  • Nostalgia with a mature twist. Case in point, Shaggy and Scooby practically fall into their own pre-dug graves. That’s kind of sick.
  • Shaggy and Scooby are such stoners. They pass those chilies to the left…am I right?
  • Velma tries to get herself some dick.

Downers

  • Soundtrack isn’t that great.
  • The undercover cop hunting for evidence illegally…law school ruined me.
  • Realizing that we don’t live in a world where people dress up as ghosts and monsters in order to scare away meddling kids.

Summary:

This movie is a fun choice for Scooby fans and also newcomers who never got into the magic of mystery solving. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not a completely adult film. It’s not like the gang is trying to solve the case of a serial killer who gets his rocks off by skinning people alive or anything like that but it’s definitely more PG-13. I think both indica or sativa strains would work well with this film and it would be enjoyable if you were watching it as part of a group or just by yourself. It depends on what you’re looking to get out of this movie: nostalgia or an enjoyable viewing experience. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island can easily provide both.

8/10

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4 Comments

Filed under Animation, Great, Horror, Kids

4 responses to “Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

  1. theipc

    @ “There’s just something so erotic about the south. Mercy, it’s giving me the vapors.”

    Don’t envy the burning, burning, burning dry heat – it sucks!!

  2. Twenty years early a new character came on the scene and said “hell, Uncle Scooby I’m your nephew Scrappy Doo” and the whole Scooby franchise wobbled to new lows for two decades until Zombie Island came out. I saw this on cable on Halloween night 1997 and Scooby was cool again. Since then most of the movies have been good. Mark Hamill and Adrienne Barbeau did voices for this movie too.

  3. You’re so right. Scrappy Doo damn near killed the franchise.

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