Combustible Celluloid
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With: Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Grey Griffin, Mindy Cohn, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Jennifer Carpenter, Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall, Doc McGhee, Pauley Perrette, Rachel Ramras, Darius Rucker, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Tony Cervone
Written by: Kevin Shinick
Directed by: Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 72
Date: 07/21/2015

Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery (2015)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Detroit Rock Scooby

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

There's something so very satisfyingly campy and culty about this teaming up of two decades-old icons, neither of which seems to have lost any of their popularity over many generations. By now we know that Scooby-Doo has returned in many forms since his TV debut in 1969: different cartoon series, as a puppy, live-action feature films, direct-to-video films, and even puppets. Meanwhile, the rock band KISS, whose first album was in 1974 and probably should have faded away around 1979, has endured, with new members, and with and without makeup.

KISS has been involved in the movies for some time. They starred in a so-bad-it's-good movie called KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978), and their music has graced and inspired movies like Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (1991), Dazed and Confused (1993), Detroit Rock City (1999), and Role Models (2008), not to mention TV, video games, comic books, toys, pinball machines, and other stuff.

It's even more satisfying just how weird the new Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery really is. KISS had appeared as a musical entity in an earlier Scooby-Doo Halloween episode, but now the band members actually voice themselves. Except that they're not exactly themselves. They are now superheroes of a sort, with bizarre powers: Demon (Gene Simmons), Starchild (Paul Stanley), Catman (Eric Singer), and Spaceman (Tommy Thayer). (Original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are not here, sadly.) Scooby and the gang: Shaggy (voiced by Matthew Lillard), Daphne (voiced by Grey Griffin), Velma (voiced by Mindy Cohn), and Fred (voiced by Frank Welker, who also voices Scooby) head to a new KISS theme park. Daphne is nursing a crush on Starchild (and looks hot in her own Starchild makeup), making Fred jealous, and making for some very funny confrontations.

Unfortunately the park is being haunted by the Crimson Witch. But while Velma insists that it's just another person in a mask, the gang gets unexpectedly whisked into an alternate dimension filled with weird colors and swirling madness. (It's the kind of movie that could be screened on late Saturday nights, as well as Saturday mornings.)

Adding to the weirdness is the rest of the voice cast: Darius Rucker, from Hootie and the Blowfish (!) plays a monster, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes play park workers, and Penny and Garry Marshall play parts as well. Overall, it's probably not the smartest, funniest, or sharpest of the Scooby movies, but it's definitely the looniest and the most flat-out awesome.

Warner Home Video released a two-disc set with a DVD, a Blu-ray and a digital copy. The sound is strong enough to blast classics like "Detroit Rock City," "Shout It Out Loud," and "Rock and Roll All Nite" from your home speakers. (Sorry fans, but the writers could not figure out a way to fit "Beth" into the narrative.) Bonuses include two 1970s Scooby cartoons, a quick featurette with the actors, and a short blooper reel.

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