Saturday Morning Mystery, also known as Saturday Morning Massacre, follows a team of four paranormal investigators and their trusty dog. Parodying the popular Scooby-Doo cartoon series, while dodging possible copyright infringements like bullets in The Matrix. The team has just taken their first paid case to investigate the infamous location known as Kyser Mansion. A place surrounded by stories of murder, accidental death, and alleged satanic cult activity. The perfect location to experience something paranormal, after years of cases solved and debunked without a trace of anything other worldly ever being involved. A case that will put the team to the ultimate test and have them questioning their future in the field.
Growing up I loved watching Scooby-Doo. As I grew older and got deeper into the horror genre. I constantly wished for a gritty reimagining of Scooby-Doo to be told. So, needless to say, I was pretty stoked when I discovered Saturday Morning Mystery.
When it comes to capturing the cheesy vibe of the cartoon series, the film does a good job early on. But, in my opinion they make a fatal mistake in having a character mention the Scooby-Doo series directly by name. Now in my head, this means the cartoon exists for these characters. So, instead of feeling like a parody, now it just seems like they are cosplaying the famous characters for some strange, unknown reason. They also choose to make the Shaggy inspired character seen as a guy who would do any drug on the table. Moving away from the loveable stoner dynamic. Early on he brags about taking eighteen pills a day, and it was a completely unneeded line that really ruined the character for me.
Quickly, I found my excitement turning into dread as I slowly watched the running time tick by. The first hour of the film is a really slow build up. Unfortunately, instead of creating tension and taking this time to get you invested in the characters, or even the house itself, it is totally wasted. The story is cluttered with unneeded conversations and time progression montages for the sole purpose of eating up time. Not to mention the completely tacked on and horribly executed romantic sub plots that are introduced, then ditched just as fast. It takes so long for things to pick up, that it really becomes painful at times to push through until the end.
The final twenty seven minutes of this film take a completely different direction, and turns into a more traditional splatterfest. By this time, it is too little, too late though as the entire premise of the movie has just worn out its welcome. Honestly, if this movie was cut back to a running time of 30-45 minutes, and dropped the whole Scooby-Doo aspect. It could have made a spectacular addition to an anthology, just seems like those involved bit off more than they could chew with a feature length running time.
I can’t recommend anyone activity seek this one out. But, if you happen to stumble upon on it in a bargain bin, or on late night television. I’m sure there are worse ways you could kill some time.