Wednesday, November 11, 2015

SCOOBY DOO & KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY (2015)



Directed By: Spike Brandt & Tony Kervone 
Written By: Kevin Shinick 
Story By: Kevin Shinick & James Krieg 
Editor: Bruce A. King 

Starring: The Voices Of: Matthew Lillard, Mindy Cohn, Pauley Perrette, Jennifer Carpenter, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, Paul Stanley, Fred Welker, Darius Rucker, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Gary Marshall, Penny Marshall, Grey Griffin, Tommy Thayer


*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review

Get ready to Rock! Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang team up with the one and only KISS in this all-new, out-of-this-world adventure! We join the Gang at Kiss World - the all-things-Kiss theme park, as they investigate a series of strange hauntings. With help from Kiss, they discover that the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria! The evil duos ghastly plan, to destroy the earth! Can the Gang's cunning and Kiss's power of rock save the day?! Tune in to this Rock and Roll Mystery for some thunderous, heavy FUN!

I already have a hard time reviewing animated films. I can comment but have a hard time reviewing. So think of this not as just a review, but also a partial commentary.

As I decided to watch SCOOBY DOO AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY. I have to say spot on voice casting Mindy Cohn as the voice of Velma. As when she played Natalie in THE FACTS OF LIFE. She seemed like such a Velma.

Though here I have noticed that they have slimmed her down to just be a victim of bad fashion with an over-sized turtleneck and mini-skirt. She is the smartest in the room though.

She is the regular voice along with Matthew Lillard, who played shaggy in the live action film. Only here there is a great guest voice cast. Mostly in cameos, but all fun. Gary Marshall, Penny Marshall, Jennifer Carpenter, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes with those voices and talent you aren't going wrong. Where other then in animation do you get a cast like that. Who are vital

The reason I decided to watch this is that I have been watching the new episodes of the show currently airing on the CARTOON NETWORK. So I decided to give the film a chance. As it involves KISS and an amusement park.

The film as the title infers of course Is filled with many KISS references and inside jokes. Especially about their history and merchandise. Though we also get some performances out of them and some songs to soundtrack scenes they aren't in.

This is easily the best thing KISS has done since DETROIT ROCK CITY. Though as i might be a minority in that crowd (other then normally) we can go with KISS MEET THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK. Definitely the best thing Gene Simmons has done since the reality show. Way better then the movie RUNAWAY with Simmons as the villain with Tom Selleck as the hero. Though kind of equal to his role in THE NEW GUY which was ok. Better then EXTRACT, but back to the point.

Watching Scooby Doo as an adult I have so many questions that never occurred to me watching the cartoons, series and moves as a kid.

They are always called kids. Exactly what age are they supposed to be? College age? past college age? What made them decide to become detectives? Did they flunk out of the police academy amongst other agencies and a security guard force was too much.

Maybe that is how they met which would explain why such a group of different types would decide to work and hang out together. (Yes I know many friendships work that way, but for the sake of argument such extremes deciding to cohabitate and work together seems questionable. As I seek an origin story and haven't not want to see the live action film)

Unless my theory of a college keg party gone wrong to notorious. Leaving scandal In their wake as well as expulsion and they banded together to solve mysteries to try and leave that embarrassment behind. Or they were each others roommates and tried to hook up which didn't work and once Fred was turned down by the police force. Decided to become a detective. With Velma as as she failed the physical part of the exam and longs for Fred, but daphne (obviously modeled on Ann Margaret at the time) didn't trust Velma and Fred alone. So she decided to join in as she can always fund her and them off her trust and well shaggy had the van and decided to tag along since touring with the grateful dead was off. Plus it was his home so really Fred needed the wheels and if he had to borrow It. It was a package deal. As for Scooby's role in all this. Shaggy (in full Bob Denver as Maynard D. Crebbs glory) is his owner in all iterations. (Known and helped along by the immortal at least in my heart A PUP NAMED SCOOBY DOO)

When it comes to SCOOBY. Does his talking skills come up like the difference between Goofy and Pluto in the Disney universe? I mean in this world do all dogs talk? Or only SCOOBY and Scrappy? Was it taught learned it come naturally? If Hanna Barberra's universe is all the same. Then all animals in this world talk and are rarely only just pets and more like pals. Though if SCOOBY is meant to be special. Why isn't he more noticed or others shocked and amazed. As he only seems smarter then the typical dog. Though not for a full fledged human adult.

Plus a van gets them to new locations for their mysteries and allows them to just come upon them. Rather then hanging in a basement waiting on calls. Then having to spend money on advertising and rent.

For Fred this is his version of starting a band after getting kicked out of one. Though he might think he is the star. He still believes in the power and strength of the group and camaraderie. Even if it only helps make him look better. So in essence as a traditionalist he is the Paul McCartney. Though strangely when it comes to the group other then Velma no one else has any viable skills. Fred just is good at putting all things together including the group. He is also the jovial leader and only one who seems to never be scared nor believe in the cover story of the supernatural.

SCOOBY 's skill is even questionable as a dog. Sure his smelling skills come in handy even though him and shaggy have a tendency to run into the monsters of these stories. As decoys or bait and happen upon clues and evidence.

Daphne must be the money Person as well as the eye candy and seduction. She is probably the most expendable one when it comes to skills. Though shaggy would seem to be. Daphne seems important because she believes herself that way. A product of privledge, but cute nonetheless. So she gets away with it. In the end she might just have the girlfriend role. She and Fred seem the most relatively normal of all of the group. The straights.

When it comes to the cases they all seem involve monsters, ghouls and ghosts. why not just regular old mysteries like who stole the businesses money. Or robbed the bank. Rather than haunting a and Benin terrorized by creatures. As there are no guns. None are ever just shots and apprehended. Cops seem to just come late. Are they really detectives or just mythbusters early form of Bigfoot hunters.

Another theory, it could all be because of a drug raid in campus and as shaggy was holding. Everyone in the room was assumed to be sharing in it. So they all got expelled. the thought SCOOBY DOO was created and based on the results of drugs. Either in story or in the man who created their lives and Intake explains quite a bit. I have more origin theories, but I digress. As that could be a book.

I realize wanting more details and getting particular about a cartoon that was meant to entertain kids. Seems a bit anal to obsess and question seriously.

I won't get into the more obvious details as we know shaggy and SCOOBY are thinly disguised stoners. (Hence the constant munchies. As they might look homeless, but they are apparently funded) Which would explain their constant hunger. Plus are the break out's as notice he billing and how the rest of the gang except for shaggy are left out of the other cartoons and movies. This theory is highly supported by the ending of this film. That I thought was going to find and try something new and instead went the old tried and true traditional, but at least presented the formula as something new or different. As at first for the first time since THE GHOUL SCHOOL things seem to be supernatural. Rather than the typical suspect mystery reveal. Though it ends up going that route, but gives the audience a run for it's money.

Just as Fred is the hunky antithesis to shaggy. As Fred is as straight edge as you can get. His look with the ascot. Shows he is old school and dashing. His own leading man look. Reveling against the times to define his own cool. He is the stud/athlete/fraternity president and probably Acapella group captain of not definitively a barbershop quartet baritone member. Now through modern time stereotyping. Some think him gay for the ascot. Though not southern it shows that he is a gentleman. Now as far as not going after the ladies. Well neither does shaggy. His sexuality isn't questioned and if it was. Then there might be some bestiality accusations.

The stoner factor also helped college and high school kids relate or at least think it was cool. The creators needed an audience other then the proven adolescent kid audience. Not to mention Hanna Barberra has a history of making kid entertainment that is strangely subversive for a drunken/stoner older kid market. Was it intentional or did they just luck into it and roll with it. Their niche apart from other cartoons.

Now if it just weren't so family friendly this could be a series like batman. After all it sends a message to it's watchers as well as being heroes to certain audience members. As the day is saved and mystery solved with brains, traps and brawn never with weapons. That could be made more dramatic through live action and exploration. Though the endings might continue to be cheesy. As long as it stays away from too much camp. As the relationships and attractions are the elephant in the room. Easily made into porno films. If you include the dog. You have the makings of a taboo fetish one.

This might all lead to someday writing a unauthorized SCOOBY DOO book or series of comic books. A man can dream can't he?

The film is enjoyable for both new fans and old ones.

The Kiss tour manager in the movie, Chip Mcgoo, is based in name and likeness on real life KISS manager Doc McGee, who also voices the character.

It seems like it might have been a fun live action film. Though no one would be as fit or young. It has a fun and witty script for what it is. Though would be mightily expensive.

In the movie the Starchild paints a picture of Daphne, and a rather deliberating insulting picture of Fred. In real life painting is a hobby of Paul Stanley and he has developed a reputation as an accomplished painter. This is the third time the band has been involved with a production that has revolved around Halloween. The first was The Paul Lynde Halloween Special, the second was "A Scooby-Doo Halloween" in the series What's New Scooby-Doo, and the third was "Scooby-Doo and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery". Paul Stanley has said that like Alice Cooper and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", people often associate Kiss with Halloween.

The Kiss World amusement park shown in the film was based on a real concept. In his book "Kiss and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup" C. K. Lendt, who was one of the band's financial managers, said that during the planning and rehearsal stages of the tour to support the group's latest album Dynasty, Gene Simmons came up with the idea of a portable amusement park, the kind of set up that is put up in shopping mall parking lots, livestock show and rodeos, and carnivals, with all of the rides, games, concessions, and attractions all themed to the four members of Kiss. The park, named Kiss World, would travel with the band and be erected at the arenas where the band would be performing. Lendt looked into the concept and then told the band that such an undertaking would cause them financial trouble. The Kiss World idea was quickly dropped. According to Lendt, the idea didn't last more than two weeks.

Hope this clears some questions up or at least makes you all out there open to the wonder.


GRADE: B-

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