I’m A Ghost With the Most: Beetlejuice (1988)

I’m the ghost with the most!

I grew up watching Beetlejuice secretly as my mother hated the titular character. I did watch the TV show, as she didn’t mind that as much but I haven’t seen the actual film in a very long time.

So I was thinking, what better way to start off Horrorfest than to cross off a “Tim Burton” film off my list of things to review with Beetlejuice (1988).

We start off the film with Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) releasing a giant spider outside. How is he not freaked out? It’s GIANT! So weird .

Anyways, Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland are a couple happy to spend their vacation fixing up their country house (to each their own). Barbara’s cousin Jane comes to visit and is trying to sell their home as she has had some really great offers from a city couple but Barb and Adam say no. Really Jane?

If Jane was my cousin we would no longer be on speaking terms. I can’t believe she’s actually sending photos of her cousin’s house to people to try and sell it; that’s right selling a home she doesn’t even OWN! Then she gives a mean dig about Barbara’s miscarriages. RUDE!

As I was watching this, I started thinking cousin Jane reminds me of someone…but who? Then it hit me! Cousin Jane is so much like Mrs. Elton from Emma. I mean think about it: believe she knows everything, makes little dogs to others, writing to find Jane Fairfax a position when she was asked not to! Cousin Jane is Mrs. Elton!

Later the Maitlands go out driving to pick up more supplies for their model town. As cousin Jane clunkly inferred, the Maitlands have tried to have a child to no success and Adam has made the model town his “baby”. When they are driving home they swerve to miss a dog that runs into the road and find themselves dead.

They two don’t realize they are dead at first, until Adam tries to leave the house and they discover that if he does they will be killed by sand worms. They then discover some other odd things like the fact that they no longer have a reflection and a copy of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased. At first they choose to ignore it and try to continue their lives but the house has been sold to a new family, the Deetz Family. Charles Deetz (Jeffrey Jones) is a former real estate developer; his wife Delia (Catherine O’ Hara) is a sculptor; and Lydia (Winona Ryder), daughter from his first marriage, is a goth and an aspiring photographer.

The Maitlands try to scare them out as ghosts do, but Charles and Delia don’t even blink and eye. The Deetz family has their own issues. Charlies recently suffered from a nervous breakdown, his anxiety is off the charts; Delia and Lydia snipe at each other at every turn, and no one seems happy.

Current mood of the film (from a Series of Unfortunate Events TV show)

The Maitlands hang out in the only space that the Deetz can’t get to, their attic. But after Jane stops by to drop off a skeleton key, that’s the first place Lydia wants to head to. She tries to get in, but they keep pushing her out.

The actor who plays Charles, Jeffrey Jones, usually plays terrible characters, but this is the first one I can think of that I actually liked and connected to. He wants to relax, wishes everyone would give him peace, tries to birdwatch but stops as birds are terrible (I don’t like birds), and instead starts looking at everyone’s houses and using his real estate agent eye to inspect them.

Hmm…

Meanwhile, the Maitlands having finally started reading their Handbook for the Recently Deceased, (which contains an ad for Betelgeuse) have crossed over to the afterlife and find it to be a DMV of a horror waiting room. I love all the different “deaths” of the characters waiting. It’s like a mini A Thousand Ways to Die with every “death” you can imagine. The special effects, prosthetics, costumes, etc. are amazing. They really deserved winning that award.

In the afterlife all their who are the DMV-esque caseworkers are those who die by suicide (as seen the Miss Argentina who slit her wrists, the guy who stepped into traffic, and the man hanging). The Maitlands discover that they must haunt the house for 125 years, or else, and return home to try and remove the Deetzs. The Maitlands want to try and hire Beetlejuice, but their caseworker Juno warns against him as he’s a troublemaker and tells them to study their book. She also warns them he is hanging out in their town’s model cemetery and saying his name three times will summon him.

The Maitlands try to do the work and scare the Deetz family but are not at all successful as Charles just thinks Lydia is messing around, Delia is knocked out on Valium so it doesn’t even register to her, and Lydia thinks the “haunting” is her dad and stepmom trying to roam the house in sheets as some kind of weird sex.

When Lydia does realize they are real ghosts she isn’t scared at all, as a goth girl she has seen a ton of horror films and is not easily frightened. Instead she charges full speed ahead at this supernatural spooky phenomenon, remind you of anyone? (Like Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey?)

Adam: Well, how is it you see us and nobody else can?

Lydia: Well, I’ve read through that handbook for the recently deceased. It says: ‘live people ignore the strange and unusual”. I myself am strange and unusual.

But seriously, Lydia and Catherine Morland are so similar. They both love gothic and spooky things, their parents don’t understand them, they are both a bit naive, and they like trying to investigate (Catherine Mrs. Tilney’s room and Lydia the attic).

I love how nerdy and not scary the Maitlands are. Like when Alec Baldwin calls the two “ghoulish creatures” it is so hard to not laugh at him. Ghoulish? Really?

The Maitlands decide to “cheat” and try to hire the bio-exorcist to remove the humans, Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton). They say his name three times and find themselves transported to the model town Adam built and dig Betelgeuse up. It’s pretty amazing how they take someone as handsome and charming as Michael Keaton and make him so perverted and oafish. To me Betelgeuse is the equivalent of having to spend your time with Mr. Wattlesbrook from Austenland.

Keaton originally didn’t want the role as he didn’t understand what exactly was asked of him. He only agreed after Tim Burton took him to see Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I imagine he said he wanted a crude and pervy Pee-Wee. (Ironic as how a couple of years after this film pervert would be used to describe Pee-Wee).

Betelgeuse is extremely gross in his behavior. He also looks very odd as if he is a man out of time. Apprantly Michael Keaton came up with not only 90% of the dialogue but much of the character’s look himself; he told the makeup department he wanted a moldy face, electric shocked hair, and clothes from all different time periods.

Like I mentioned before Betelgeuse is an extremely gross individual, basically a human fart and Barbara does NOT want to have him in their house or around Lydia. Barbara decides to send him back home and comes up with her own idea to get rid of the Deetz family. The two possess a Deetz dinner party and force them and their guests to sing and dance to “Day-O” by Harry Belefonte. It is a truly strange and fantastical scene. At the end their plate of shrimps reach out as arms and and grab everyone’s faces.


Tim Burton thought this scene wouldn’t go over well, but turned out to be wrong as it is one of the most remembered scenes from the entire film.

Instead of scaring the away the Deetz family, all this does is make Charles want to turn the house and town into a supernatural tourist trap. In fact all at the dinner party enjoyed it and see it as entrainment not fright.

The Maitlands are at their wit’s end and decide they need help and bring Betelgeuse into play. He decides to step up the scaring and we have one of the creepiest scenes in the whole film, Betelgeuse becomes a snake. It is truly terrifying, those eyes! This scene had been filmed before Michael Keaton was cast as Betelgeuse, so some additional film was shot for the scene using a layer to make it look more like him.

From unknown.

Lydia gets mad at the Maitlands as she saw them as friends and them hiring Betelgeuse has broken her trust in them.

The Maitlands are angry as they don’t want Betelgeuse to hurt the Deetzs, they just want him to scare them away. They say his name three times again and send him back to the model town that Adam built in the attic. Betelgeuse is really upset with their criticism, but decides to party and heads to a strip club in town. I do not remember that scene at all and Adam doesn’t even remember making it.

The Maitlands get called to the DMV and Juno reads them the riot act. They have seriously screwed up as ghosts; befriending Lydia, being photographed, losing their handbook, letting out Betelgeuse, etc. Their caseworker made the strip club to distract Betelgeuse until everything can be straightened out. Juno won’t let them return home until they show her their creepy plan, this scene was always the one stamped in my brain. Terrifying!

Back at the house, Charles starts second guessing his decision to move there and even his plans for the tourist town. Lydia is really depressed and contemplates suicide. Before she takes her life, Lydia goes up to the attic to talk to the Maitlands and finds Betelgeuse who tries to convince her to free him by saying his name three times. I remember my friends and I would do this all the time and we were always disappointed when nothing would happen. Lydia is stopped from freeing him by the return of the Maitlands who dissuade her from trying to commit suicide. They also have decided to give up scaring the Deetzs and try to live in harmony.

Charles tries to pitch his idea of a horror town, but his boss is not impressed. But even without “real ghosts”, I’m with Charles! This is a money maker idea! There are so many that would love to go to a Horrortown. I know I would.

Charles’ boss demands proof and they have Otto (the interior designer) perform a seance, but unfortunately he actually starts exorcising them instead. As they are fading away, dying forever this time, Lydia is heartbroken to see the only people who really “get her” “dying” and begs Betelgeuse for help. He agrees, but only if Lydia marries him.

Now why would a centuries old ghost want to get married to a 14-year old? Its not because she is a little girl, but because he wants to be tethered to the mortal world. If he married a mortal, then he will not have to go back to the afterlife but can remain above ground forever. Seeing it as the only way to save her friends, Lydia agrees.

So this next scene wben Betelgeuse comes with the Carousel head and the arms that stretch I’m pretty sure one of my friends had that toy. Like it was crazy how much merchandise there was after this film came out. I think the TV show helped with it, but it was literally everywhere.

To be fair even though Betelgeuse is totally rotten, at least he honors his business contract. He saves the Maitlands and gets rid of all the interlopers. He also changes to a snazzy red suit, gets Lydia a gown, ties up her parents (but brings them to the wedding), and brings in a monster minister.

Time for a wedding!

Keaton is just a phenomenal actor in this, with exaggerated lines and true comedic timing, just perfect.

All try to stop the wedding, but Betelgeuse stops them. But no matter what, Barbara keeps trying. Like he zips her mouth shut, she opens it. When Betelgeuse bolts it, she tries to remove the bolt. When Betelgeuse sends her away, Barbara comes riding in on a sandworm that consumes Betelgeuse and sends him back to the afterlife. Barb is the real MVP.

Time passes and the Deetz family and the Maitlands live in harmony; Lydia loving her new extended family, the Maitlands love having a child to parent, and Charles finally gets the peace he’s been after.

Betelgeuse having “died” again must wait his DMV turn, getting his head shrunk when he tries to cut in line. Oh that Betelgeuse!

So after watching this post Jane Austen I have concluded cousin Jane is totally Mrs. Elton, Lydia is Catherine Morland, and Beetlejuice is Mr. Wattlesbrook. Agree? Disagree? Comment below!

Also with the Austen connection, I guess this should go on my Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans and Catherine Morland’s Viewing List? What day you? Yay or nay?

For more Tim Burton films, go to Peculiarities, Monsters, and Time Travel.: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

For more Winona Ryder, go to I Just Killed My Best Friend. And Your Worst Enemy. Same Difference.: Heathers (1988)

For more Michael Keaton, go to A Man Dressed as a Giant Bat, Psychotic Deformed Man Wrecking Havoc, and a Zombie Cat Woman…A Batman Christmas: Batman Returns (1992)

For more ghosts, go to Ghosts or Madness?: Turn of the Screw (2009)

For more Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans, go to You Have Thirteen Hours in Which to Solve the Labyrinth, Before Your Baby Brother Becomes One of Us…Forever.: Labyrinth (1986)

For more from Catherine Morland’s Viewing List, go to A Legendary Jewel Goes Missing, A Country Manor Full Of Secretive People, Which Guest is the Thief?: The Moonstone (2016)

Happy Halloween Darlings: Horrorfest IX

It’s that time of the year again! Time for another Horrorfest, 31 days of horror, mystery, monsters, etc.

So I started Horrorfest back when I first began blogging. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it, the direction I wanted to go in. Since I like to watch scary movies every day in October, I decided to review them, and I had so much I fun I continued every year.

I know some people aren’t interested in it or would think it has nothing to do with my blog’s title, but you know who would love it and be so into horror films?

When I started this, I used a lot of stills from the movies I was reviewing and ended up with a a bunch of photos I couldn’t reuse for future posts. Since then I try to add less, unless I think I can use it for future posts or that it is crucial to the story. Instead I reuse old photos and I try to caption each photo with what film it came from, but at times I forget.

from Clueless

Over the years I have established a set of rules and annual films categories.

Rules are there must be at least one film or TV show episode:

  • From every decade (1930s-2020s)
  • At least one Alfred Hitchcock
  • At least one animated film
  • One made by Disney
  • One Stephen King film
  • One made by Tim Burton
  • One starring Vincent Price
  • And one in some way is Jane Austen related

The Jane Austen one is the hardest to do, although two years ago I had several. There was the Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans  Alta MarAKA High Seas, “Death By Persuasion” from Midsomer Murders, Rebecca, and Strong Woman Bong Soonalong with the film that led to Sense and Sensibility (1995) being made-Dead Again

Two years ago I finally reviewed Northanger Abbey (2007), which started a new tradition, #CelebrateHalloweenwithNorthangerAbbey, something I will be continuing every year! So be sure to join me!

Another tradition I added a few years ago is dressing Jane up in costume every year. Last year I did Jane as a Ghostbusters.

This year I did Jane as Batgirl but I’m not 100% happy about it. Hope you all enjoy it though.

Well, I hope you enjoy this year’s picks-so far we have ghosts, monsters, gothic tales, vampires, mummies, and more!

For the original Horrorfest, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

For Horrorfest II, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

For Horrorfest III, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

For Horrorfest IV, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For Horrorfest V, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For Horrorfest VI, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For Horrorfest VII, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For Horrorfest VIII, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For Horrorfest IX, go to Time for You to Awaken, Master. Time for You to Go Out: The Return of the Vampire (1943)

For Horrofest XI, go to No Haunt Me Then!…I Know That Ghosts Have Wandered On The Earth. Be With Me Always…Drive Me Mad, Only Do Not Leave Me in This Dark Alone…I Cannot Live Without My Life! I Cannot Die Without My Soul.: Wuthering Heights (1939)

Ghosts, Ghouls, and Gothic Fiction

So here ends another Horrorfest: 31 reviews of films and/or TV episodes that are mysteries, horror, film-noir, suspense, monster movies, thrillers, etc.

It amazes me that have been doing this ten years already.

Wow!

I only started doing this because I already would watch something for Halloween every day in October (and annoy my friends by doing so); and it was a real easy leap to blog about it. I know some people don’t think I should as it has “nothing” to do with Jane Austen. That may be true, but I do know one character who would enjoy Halloween and Horror films.

Every year I start off with a little planning: first film, last film, etc.- And everything else is just whatever I happened to watch.

I also did my second annual Celebrate Halloween with Northanger Abbey.

And of course our Annual films:

  • A movie or TV episode from every decade from the 1930s-2020s
  • Jane Austen with Northanger Abbey (1987)
  • Alfred Hitchcock with Vertigo (1958)
  • Animated Film with Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
  • Disney with The Cat From Outer Space (1978) and Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire (2000)
  • Stephen King with The Shining (1980)
  • Tim Burton with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
  • Vincent Price with “Ship of Ghouls” from The Love Boat (1978)

This year I reviewed the following:

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Ramrod (1947)

Vertigo (1958)

Munster Masquerade from The Munsters (1966)

The Cat From Outer Space (1978)

Ship of Ghouls from The Love Boat (1978)

The Shining (1980)

Labyrinth (1986)

The Monster Squad (1987)

Northanger Abbey (1987)

The Stepfather (1987)

Heathers (1988)

Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

Murder in High C” from Murder She Wrote (1995)

True Crime (1996)

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire (2000)

Death on the Nile (2004)

Twilight (2008)

Turn of the Screw (2009)

Twilight Saga, New Moon (2009)

Twilight Saga, Eclipse (2010)

Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part I (2011)

Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part II (2012)

Mysteries & Meddling Kids: Austin & Ally (2015)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

The Moonstone (2016)

Kong, Skull Island (2017)

The Open House (2018)

Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019)

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

By the way if you love ghosts, ghouls, and gothic fiction you should definitely get this shirt that MadsenCreations and I created.

All Right, We Got No Choice. Call the Ghostbusters.: Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

What the hell is going on? It’s pandemonium out there!

Yes, I know. We’re working on it!

Great. While you’re working on it, I’m going down as the mayor who let New York get sucked down into the tenth level of hell! All right, we got no choice. Call the Ghostbusters.

Do you love the Ghostbusters? I do! In fact this year I decided to dress Jane up as one for Halloween.

And I can’t do that and not review a ghostbusters film.

As I reviewed the first one a few years ago I decided to take a look at Ghostbusters 2. I haven’t seen it in a really, really long time. I watched it year ago and unlike Ghostbusters which I can watch over and over again; Ghostbusters 2 was a film I saw once and never wanted to see again. I can’t remember exactly what I didn’t like about it, but I remember it not being as interesting as the first film.

So let’s take another look and see if I was right to ignore this film or if it is worth a rewatch. And for those who have been following me on Instagram know that Flat Jane joined me in my rewatch.

So the first thing I notice about my DVD and the main page is that Ernie Hudson’s character, Winston, is missing from both. How come ? He’s now an established member of the team. Why is he left out? I don’t like that one bit.

So it has been five years since the original film. Every Ghostbuster has been sued for messing up the city (even though the mayor gave them full reign), as no one believes in them or ghosts. Yes they saw a giant marshmallow man get blown up and no one remembers it,. They also all have to work side jobs as Ghostbustsrs is sinking. Winston and Ray do kid’s parties, Ray has a bookstore, Peter has a TV program, and Egon was rehired by the university. They never say what Winston was planning to do to make extra money.

But that isn’t actually where the film starts. It starts with Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) pushing her baby down the street, pausing outside her home, and her baby being carried away. She follows and is way too calm for her baby being whisked away.

She should have been screaming at the top of her lungs.

The film plot is that all the Ghostbusters are “split apart” until something brings them back together and I didn’t like this story line. I hate when they do that as the whole reason you want to watch is you like seeing them together.

So instead of being a cellist, Dana Barrett is an art restorationist. Why is she doing art restoration instead of music? How is that even possible? Like for her to study for her degree and be able to reach the professional level to be working at the Metropolitan museum of art in New York, that isn’t something you can just “pick” up as a pause to your cellist career. It seems like a really strange shift and doesn’t make any sense at all. This is a chemical study and science degree and she’s working on Gaugin-it’s not something you just pick up and that position is not easy to come by.

Dana goes to Egon and asks for his help. He and Ray come over (missing Winston again)!and Venkman joins in as well. Ray and Egon go to investigate the room and they leave Venkman with the baby. Which is dumb, he’s the last guy I would trust with a baby.

I mean he shakes the baby-he should notnbe around kids.

They try to figure out what is happening and go to where Dana’s cart started moving mysteriously. They get weird reading and start digging in the street. This is like the only funny part of the film as the police stop them and they pretend to be working the lines.

The send Ray in and he finds a pneumatic River. When they pull him out he hits a pipe and the whole city is plunged into darkness.

From Clueless

The painting goes to life when it is being restored and possesses Janosz the head of the art restoration department. The ghost tells Janosz he needs a child and Janosz decides to get a baby. It’s really weird and not a clear plot point. Why wouldn’t he want to possess a child that can talk? One that isn’t as easily killed? In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when the anointed is a child they wait until he’s 8 years old.

New York decides to put the Ghostbusters on on trial because they are crazy as ghosts don’t exist and blah blah blah. But how could they forget 5 years ago there was a giant marshmallow man who attacked the city. Like seriously!

This storyline is really dumb. I now remember again why I don’t like it.

They ask Louis to be their lawyer and he tries hard to help them but he’s not a criminal lawyer, he’s an accountant. The judge is sentencing them when ghosts come out and everyone runs scared, even Winston (who showed up to support them) and the judge wants them to do something and Egon tells him why don’t you tell the ghosts you don’t believe in ghosts.

That line is gold and that is the second good scene of this film.

The guys suit up to fight the ghosts and again Winston is missing. Why they keep doing him dirty? How come they keep leaving him out?

It’s really makes me mad that Ernie Hudson is hardly in this film. I mean in the first it made sense as he just met them but now he is established and a part of the group. I mean they purposely showed him at the trial, why not use him? He shouldn’t have run away as he’s not afraid of ghosts, he’s a ghostbuster. I’m starting to wonder about this? I mean this whole film is like a giant scene of Where’s Winston? And I don’t like it one bit.

So now we have a montage where they are famous again and everyone believes them and wants them. It’s basically a regurgitation of the previous film, not as funny though, and very disappointing for a studio that had been developing a script for five years.

Back to the original plot, Dana is restoring art and tells Peter that the painting of the creepy guy who needs the baby, I never remember his name, freaks her out as she feels it is always watching her. Peter doesn’t do anything about it, but I’m like he should listen as she is sensitive to these things as she was possessed by a dog beast creature. If she had spoken to Egon or Ray, they would have immediately gone over there.

She is about to give her child a bath and something that looks like a giant tongue comes after her in the bathtub, again we, and another reason I don’t like this movie.

After she runs to Peter he calls the boys and immediately Egon and Ray go to the apartment and the next day head to the museum to take pictures and see what is going on with the painting. The develop the paintings and see it is possessed by a spirit.

The spirit tries to kill them, but they are saved by Winston who comes saves the day by charging in with the fire extinguisher.

Yay!!!

They go down to the river again to see where it leads and how come the ghosts be calling out our Winston that he will die?Rude! There are two other dudes there. The trio decide to resurface for their proton packs and I can’t believe these seasoned Ghostbusters went to a River of ghost slime without proton packs.

Poor Winston also gets hit by the ghost train and thrown in the river. So not only does he have barely any scenes, but in each one they treat him horribly.

They trio finish and go to see Peter and Dana on their date and explain what is going on and they play like rap music over which is weird? Like do they even know how to movie?

So they get committed for being crazy, even though they just proved to everyone in our earlier montage that ghosts do exist. This makes me so angry, this plot makes zero sense!

Janosz and the spirit steal the baby, ghosts start appearing everywhere, and they bring the Ghostbusters out to help fight. They decide to bring Lady Liberty to life to help, and you know who’s idea that was?

Winston’s! Winston is super important and should have been in the film more.

This movie is just a huge disappointment. The plot was bad, the whole film made no sense, and they cut Ernie Hudson out. I love the first one, but this film is just not that good.

For more Ghostbusters, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For more ghosts, go to No Haunt Me Then!…I Know That Ghosts Have Wandered On The Earth. Be With Me Always…Drive Me Mad, Only Do Not Leave Me in This Dark Alone…I Cannot Live Without My Life! I Cannot Die Without My Soul.: Wuthering Heights (1939)

For more horror-comedy, go to Something’s Out There and It’s Killing People! And If It’s Monsters, Nobody’s Going to Do a Thing About it Except Us!: The Monster Squad (1987)

For more ‘80s films, go to You Have Thirteen Hours in Which to Solve the Labyrinth, Before Your Baby Brother Becomes One of Us…Forever.: Labyrinth (1986)

Zombie Pirates and Werecats: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

So every year I review an animated film, and here we are with Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

I am such a huge Scooby-Doo fan and I remember being so excited when this came out, it was also interesting to see that it was going to have real monsters! I mean in the older films like Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf or The Ghoul School, 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, etc. had monsters, but this was a world where monsters didn’t “exist” and now there was going to be some! My six year old self was super, super excited to watch this on TV and I was not disappointed.

Last year I reviewed Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers, a truly horrible film about werecat people. It doesn’t surprise me that an animated Scooby-Doo film has better Werecat people. Yes, this low budget animated film is the far superior one.

Plus no dead cats!

So this film picks up after years have passed and the gang has ended their crime solving days to do other pursuits.

Fred is a cameraman for Daphne’s show, which investigates paranormal things and uncovers the truth. I think it is cute that Fred loved Daphne enough to move from being the frontman of the group to taking the behind the scenes role. They are adorable and I don’t like that people keep trying to put Daphne and Velma together, it is Fred and Daphne all the way.

Velma had opened her own mystery book shop, which makes sense. Although you think with all the technology she figures out and the mysteries she solved she would go into movie making, technology creating, or even mystery writing. But maybe she likes running a shop instead. After all, having a bookstore does sound like fun.

Shaggy and Scooby work as airport security, especially customs as they like to take food away from the customers. I can see it.

It is Daphne’s birthday and she is wishing for a real mystery to solve instead of it always being a man in a mask. Fred wants to make her feel better and brings the mystery machine back from the grave and gets the gang back together for a cross country ghost trip. He’s so sweet!

But no “real” monsters or ghosts are found.

They are in New Orleans, bemoaning the fact that there are no real monsters when they are overheard and approached by a Lena Dupree. She is a cook on Moonscar Island and shares that there are mysterious occurrences on the island and it is believed to be haunted by the ghost of the pirate Morgan Moonscar. The gang decide to go along with them and meet Jacques the ferryman who reminds me a lot of the Captain in The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Once on the island they meet Simone Lenoir, the owner of the chili pepper plantation, where the gang all stay.

There are some weird things going on at the plantation, like a chill in the air, which they replay to later see a ghost caught on camera. Then Shaggy sees a confederate ghost in his room. Velma thinks everything it fake while Shaggy is scared and Daphne hopes it is real. Velma also discovers that the plantation is created from pieces of the pirate ship, which is puzzling to her. Typically people would use woods from ships to create houses and homes, as any ready wood would be used. But this is odd as why would pirates agree to it? They would need their ship to continue their adventures? And who were the people who built it? How were they able to take that wood from the pirates.

Mystery, you say?

But even with all the strange and unusual things happening, I would be down to go to Moonscar Island, or should I say Meowsca Island as it is full of cats. Cats are everywhere and Simone and Lena’s favorite creatures. If I lived here this is how it would be, it would be like 101 Dalmatians but 101 cats. It would be like Aoshima Island.

Thats me

The only problem with all the cats is that even though Scooby has never had any serious doglike behavior before and has never chased cats in any previous episodes or films that I can remember, in this he cannot stop barking and chasing the cats. It gets so bad that he and Shaggy are banished to the mystery machine.

Later Shaggy and Scooby are chased by Zombies, all kinds of Zombies as in from all different time periods. As a kid when I first watched this I remember us commenting on the ghosts/zombies and how they are supposed to be from the past, then why are there modern people too? One guy is in a big Hawaiian shirt and camera, looking very much like a ‘90s tourist. When did he get turned and how come Lena and Simone didn’t mention anything about those confederate and modern zombies?

Hmm…

So Daphne is thrilled that these could be real, while Fred and Velma are still not convinced. Fred thinks Lena is so sweet and charming, and starts thinking that Beau-the very handsome broody gardener that made both girls give a second look at him-is the one behind it. Velma starts thinking it is him as well as she finds his behavior suspicious.

They have this scene when Velma is questioning him and you think he is going to hurt her, but it turns out that he saves her. Even so, Velma is still uncertain about him.

Hmmm…

Meanwhile that evening, Daphne and Fred capture a zombie and think that it is fake, but when they try to remove the head, they discover that it can’t come off. Now a lot of people will probably think it was rude of Fred to try after Daphne failed, but I have never been anywhere where something is locked or unable to be opened and other people, even though they see it is locked, they always has to give it a try. When the two realize that it is real, they also scream in terror, run, and of course drop the camera in quicksand hiding all proof of real zombies.

One thing Scooby-Doo always gets right in their films are the soundtrack. This one is great as usual as their terror time song is catchy and fun.

Scooby and Shaggy are running and they fall into a cave. There they find these little dolls made out of wax that look just like Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Beau. They do the most relatable thing anyone would do in their situation and play with them, but what they don’t realize is that the dolls are actually voodoo dolls. So everything they do, such as having one friend smack another in the face (again super relatable), cause their buds to actually do that. They end up stopping when they hear bats and run scared from the cave. As they are running around, the rest of the gang plus Beau head off to keep investigating.

They go into the house and and find a secret passageway to the cave. Lena comes running and tells them that Simone was dragged away by zombies, all want to help but Velma who keeps staring at the ground. They go follow Lena and come upon the voodoo dolls and a perfectly fine Simone, all of which Velma knew as she noticed there weren’t any dragged marks on the ground but footsteps.

Simone and Lena reveal that they are Sleepwalkers, no just kidding- but they are similar in that they are werecats. They came to the island with a group of others to worship their cat god and lead peaceful lives, but were attacked by pirates. Lena and Simone were the only ones to survive and they made an exchange to the moon goddess to rid change themselves and destroy the pirates, but didn’t realize that they will now always be werecats. They need to drain the life force of people every harvest moon to survive. They also turned Jacques the ferryman to help bring tourists on and use them to survive.

They made the voodoo dolls of them but not of Shaggy and Scooby as they believe Jacques could handle them. As they control the figurines and their real life counterparts, they are interrupted by a terrified Shaggy and Scooby running amuck and causing them problems.

Aahhh!!

After a classic Scooby Doo run around, they end up getting captured. The three werecats prepare to destroy the gang + Beau, but just as it looks as if all hope is lost, it turns out that they did too much messing around and the ritual time has passsed. The three werecats turn into dust and blow away in the wind.

In the end all is well on island and the gang wonder how will they tell the police what happened? Who would believe them?

But in a surprising twist, Beau reveals he is an undercover police officer, sent to the island to investigate the disappearances. He is at a loss of how to convince the rest of the police force of what happened, but Daphne sort of saves the day by asking him to be on her show. I mean it still sounds crazy, but the Mystery gang are established people so I guess it will all work out?

They all leave the island which is now free form evil and at rest, or at least until the sequel in 2019.

Zombies!

So I loved this film. It was so much fun and I remember that having “real” monsters was such a big deal. It still is just as good and I rewatched it with my niece who also loved it.

No Facebook cover for this film as I couldn’t find an image large enough that I liked.

For more Scooby-Doo, go to Goofy Ghosts and a Treasure Hunt: Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)

For more animated films, go to In the Spa House of the Spirits: Spirited Away (2001)

For more zombies, go to Holy Crap, Leonard’s a Zombie: Epidemiology, Community (2010)

For more ghosts, go to No Haunt Me Then!…I Know That Ghosts Have Wandered On The Earth. Be With Me Always…Drive Me Mad, Only Do Not Leave Me in This Dark Alone…I Cannot Live Without My Life! I Cannot Die Without My Soul.: Wuthering Heights (1939)