25 September 2015 | Argemaluco
Scooby Doo and Kiss!: Rock and Roll Mystery
The film Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park is one of the best worst good bad movies in the History of the world... at least for fans of Kiss (such as me). And Scooby Doo! And Kiss!: Rock and Roll Mystery simultaneously works as an animated pseudo-sequel and an appropriate crossover with the Scooby Doo universe. Needless to say, the screenplay is irrelevant. The "monster of the week" is the Scarlet Witch, but her actions lack of logic and motivation... except for the creation of a "mystery" which must be solved by the "Scooby-gang" and Kiss, who secretly possess supernatural powers associated to their distinctive personalities: Demon, Star Child, Spaceman and Catman. The real names of the band members are never mentioned, but Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer lend their voices to the respective characters, and they do it well; I would particularly want to point out the fact that Simmons had a lot of fun with his work as the aggressive Demon, who initially hates the "Scooby-gang", even though he eventually finds out the fact they are good investigators and might help to save Kiss World, the exotic amusement park based on the music from Kiss. As for the "Scooby-gang", we have Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Mindy Cohn and Grey Griffin lending the voices to their traditional roles. And I would also like to mention some unusual guests in supporting roles, such as Darius Rucker, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith and Garry Marshall; Might they be fans of Kiss, or did they just need some cents for the laundry? Anyway, I appreciated their presence, because they bring personality and enrich scenes which would otherwise be irrelevant. Scooby Doo and Kiss!: Rock and Roll Mystery can't be taken seriously as a "mystery", and maybe, not even as part of the Scooby Doo saga (even though I haven't watched various of its straight-to-DVD films, so making a comparison wouldn't be fair). The attraction offered by Scooby Doo and Kiss!: Rock and Roll Mystery begins and ends with the presence of Kiss, and only the fans of the band will be able to appreciate the uncountable details related to the life and work from that music group (including references to Psycho Circus, the old Marvel comics and the conceptual disc The Elder). Other examples: the names of some characters are straightly taken from song titles (Delilah, Shandi); Chip McGhoo's character is played by Doc McGhee (the group's veteran manager), who doesn't lose the opportunity to satirize the band's excessive commercialization, recommending the most recent Kiss commodity, such as medicinal salts and binoculars. And, of course, we have various classic Kiss songs to accompany some surrealistic "action" sequences set in a parallel dimension equally influenced by H.P. Lovecraft and Jack Kirby (Simmons is a fan of both, so it's easy to guess the inspiration for that design). In conclusion, Scooby Doo and Kiss!: Rock and Roll Mystery is very far from being a great film, but I found it a decent cultural curiosity with enough humor and allusions to keep the fans of Kiss entertained. And don't forget to watch the "easter egg" during the final credits, in which Kiss plays a song of "The Five Ascots" (the character Fred's favorite group) in a doo-wop style very different to the usual rock from the band.