Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006)

2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.

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Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Director Rudy De Luca amassed a career working with and writing for Mel Brooks, so it’s likely intentional that “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like an attempted companion piece to “Young Frankenstein.” It seems to aspire to do so more times than the viewer would like. “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like a pseudo or spiritual sequel to “Young Frankenstein” which is a good element in some instances and works to its detriment in other instances.

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Stay Tuned (1992)

Peter Hyams’ horror comedy was way ahead of its time in 1992, and it’s a film that warrants so much more examination, mainly because of its prophetic view of television. Back in 1992 television was humongous and low income houses were finally getting access to cable television, so naturally there was a lot of ballyhoo about its addictive nature. Speaking as a television junky, “Stay Tuned” was a great bit of satire that also dabbled in to the arena of “So Bad it’s Good.” It’s not laugh out loud funny, but it’s often very clever, and never misses a chance to deliver some kind of word horror oriented pun.

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Fear Pharm (2020)

Dante Yore’s “Fear Pham” is three quarters a really good Halloween horror film, and one quarter an absolutely ridiculous waste o time. It’s a shame because for most of “Fear Pharm,” I was genuinely lost in the engaging concept and entertaining mix of horror and comedy. Yore has a great concept with a narrative that’s mostly smooth and interesting. Yore makes good use of limited scenery while also building entertaining and sympathetic protagonists forced in to an absurd but creepy circumstance.

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The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot about Halloween! (2016)

I had absolutely no idea that the Cat in the Hat had his own animated series on television in America. He was always my favorite troublemaker in the Seuss universe.. The studios have been mining Seuss tales for years for new material and have given us is that wretched live action movie. This time around the animated adventure of the cast and his pals learn about the meaning of Halloween.

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Little Monsters (1989): Vestron Video Collector’s Series [Blu-Ray/Digital]

After spending a long time without an actual release, the Vestron Video Collector’s Series is back with two new titles in time for October. One of the biggies is “Little Monsters,” the 1989 cult classic that’s been considerably out of print for years and been handed some flimsy DVD releases. Now on Blu-Ray, “Little Monsters” is available for a new generation of blooming horror fans. As someone that lovingly looks at “Little Monsters” as a childhood favorite, I’m happy to declare that (despite a tonal change in the second half) the movie has lost little of its luster.

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Happy Halloween, Scooby Doo! (2020)

Who better to celebrate Halloween than the Scooby Gang? “Happy Halloween, Scooby Doo!” is the thirty first animated movie in the long running franchise. It’s a long running franchise that, to its credit, doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. This installment is firmly a Halloween oriented movie, revolving around the idea of fear, and Velma trying to ignore her emotional response to fear in favor of rationality. What she ultimately comes to realize is that fear can be a good thing; it can even help us survive in perilous situations.

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