Saturday Morning Massacre (2013)

Only many, many years later did Hanna Barbera begin presenting the Mystery Machine gang with actual supernatural threats once their audience matured. But even when facing actual zombies, and demons they were never really in actual danger. Director Spencer Parsons completely dodges copyright infringement while cleverly spoofing the iconic cartoon show with his own version of Scooby Doo. This time he offers up a more realistic group of crime solvers in a world where crime is very dangerous, and the police kindly ask them to “fuck off” whenever they solve a case on their own.

Even the police hate these damn meddling kids in this universe. Though the movie never quite outright states it, any receptive audience members will catch on to what Parsons is trying to accomplish. And he pulls it off wonderfully. He offers imagery that’s familiar but just original enough to where no one can really accuse him of breaking the law. There’s a group of four young people, a large van that travels the country, their large trusty dog, and their leader, a bookish and spunky young detective draped in a bright red sweat shirt who basically solves the crimes on her own most times. After solving a crime in the opening that doesn’t quite result in the pat on the back the group thinks, group leader Gwen and her trio of crime solving friends are recruited by a local estate owner to come and investigate strange goings on at a local school house in the middle of the country.

The group hasn’t exactly made a name for themselves and are about to go homeless, thus Gwen accepts. The group arrives at the school house and are welcomed within the confines of the estate with odd happenings and unusual evidence of satanism. Soon, what begins as routine ghost hunt, transforms in to something so much more heinous and blood soaked than they ever imagined. While the film does ride on the fact that it’s lampooning the Hanna Barbera cartoon, it also works as a horror film fueled by its own sense of tension and suspense. You never really know what the group are investigating when they get to the schoolhouse, and director Parson’s plays with our expectations and anticipation more times than not, offering plot twists, that are often surprising and very funny.

Ashley Rae Spillers is very good as the team leader Gwen, while the rest of the cast provide solid performances tasked with bordering imitations of the “Scooby” gang as well as establishing them as their own entities in this world. The environment is harrowing and becomes more and more violent the more the film progresses. Thus “Saturday Morning Massacre” works as a funny little wink at fans wondering what a truly scary blood soaked Scooby Doo movie would look like. Director Parsons offers up a fun and creepy horror entry that succeeds great storytelling and thick tension, not to mention chaotic splatter when the shit hits the fan. I love a good horror film, but I love a creative horror film even more.

Now Available on Video On Demand.