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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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)