Late last night I stumbled upon an odd little gem on YouTube called ‘Mystery Incorporated’, a live action 53 minute long pilot that was just released that’s based on Scooby Doo. We basically got a brand new mysterious teen drama featuring the iconic mystery solving gang, funded completely on Kickstarter that also most definitely feeds off of that “Riverdale” type of vibe. It sorta feels like a live action version of the incredible animated series Scooby Doo! ‘Mystery Incorporated’ from 2010. A Scooby Doo “prequel” just like this one!
Being a big fan of Scooby Doo, this was quite a nice little late nite surprise to stumble across. I had no idea that this was something that’d been in the works for a while. As of right now there’s only one episode, which apparently was completely crowd funded. But did it quench my Scooby Doo thirst?
Well, it’s definitely grounded more in reality in some ways and in other ways more fantastical than some of the incarnations of Scoob’ we’ve seen in the past. First and foremost don’t expect a talking dog, Scooby here however is the perfect looking live action incarnation of the iconic character.. The same thing can be said about the rest of the gang, they all look great, but have much more of a real world vibe than any previous versions we’ve been presented with.
It’s teen drama/mystery with a true supernatural aspect unlike the original series. It also harkens back to the OG series with lots of fun easter eggs and character traits. You might notice even some familiar classic adversaries of the ol’ gang. At first this reminded me of 2012 ‘Saturday Morning Mystery’ a horror movie that spun the same type of “Scooby Doo” narrative. If you’re a fan of Scoob’ you might want to check that out just for the hell of it. It”s quite interesting on how dark it is, maybe not the best version of a Scooby Doo themed horror movie that I would have loved to have seen, but still I dig the effort that went into the concept.
Over all I think this pilot was pretty well filmed, it looks slick and the special effects were also quite well done with a pretty cool practical fx creature/villain. Of course some of it’s dialogue does feel a little bit hokey (but it IS based on Scooby Doo) and “CW network” feeling at times. We get an overabundance of cheesy pop music, which I could’ve done with less of, but it’s clear there’s a lot of love that went into this. Clear love for the classic with a modern spin and twist. I’ve also been reading a book that’s similar in style to this called “Meddling Kids” although much darker and intense. That’s a definite recommendation for Scooby fans of the older age.
I’d also like to add that even though Scooby Doo doesn’t speak in the pilot episode I see several ways where that could clearly change that in the future by way of the supernatural elements involved. Anyway if you’re bored and find yourself going down weird YouTube rabbit holes definitely give this a try if you’re a fan of Scooby Doo! Or just watch it right here:
I checked out the much hyped indie flick “Saturday Morning Mystery” the other evening with high hopes. In case you have no idea what this new movie is all about it can be summed up pretty simply: live action Scooby Doo in an R-rated horror flick. Sounds pretty fantastic right? It’s clearly a pretty great idea but beware, these characters though clearly based on the cartoons aren’t really the comic relief you might be expecting. This is a more realistic take on the group, so don’t expect the dog, named Hamlet to be talking in this one. The rest of the characters are more true to life as well Floyd(Shaggy) smokes weed and does acid, Chadwick(Fred) & Gwen(Daphne) have wild sex and Nancy(Velma) has a crush of her own on one of the team members.
The movie starts out pretty strong, with the gang investigating a haunted house, but soon like the cartoon find that behind the curtains are just some normal yet truly sick people. They’re even reprimanded by the police for messing up their covert operation-those meddling kids!! It’s not long before the gang is running low on funding for their paranormal investigations so they decide to tackle one last case in hopes of maybe discovering something supernatural before throwing in the towel. Their last case leads them in their vintage van to an abandoned “haunted school” where there’s rumors of satanists and ghosts within it’s walls.
There’s not too much more I can or should tell you about the story. It’s got a few twists and turns and for the the most part is a pretty solid horror flick with a great premise. However I think the premise of this film is by far it’s strongest attribute. If you take away the whole “Scooby Doo” theme there honestly wouldn’t be a heck of a lot to really separate this from anything else out there. To me they could have benefited by adding a little more comedy, naivety and color to the characters and the story. There could have been more of “Scooby” or Hamlet I should say, in the story as it seemed maybe the film was played a little too real, at least for what I was hoping for.
I also hoped for the sets to be a bit more interesting, it’s have been cool to see them an truly unique and colorful haunted setting. An old haunted school should have looked and felt more like it would have in the cartoon, but perhaps it wasn’t in the budget? The settings (at the very least the inside of the school) were a bit bland for my expectations. The film takes a turn in it’s third act and gets gory and gritty and this really would have been more effective had out gang acted a little more like their cartoon counterparts. At times it brought to mind say “Night of the Demons” or “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” but clearly operating on a lower level. “Evil Dead meets Scooby Doo” is what Aint it Cool News called it-not quite. In the end though I think it was a decent, solid effort that doesn’t quite live up to the hype. On a more positive note, I gotta give it best movie concept of the year!