Hiya creeps and ghouls! Before we start this rad review, your ol’ pal Daniel XIII has a confession to make; sports and The Ouija Board Kid don’t exactly mix…I know, you’re all completely shocked right? So why am I making such a confession? Well it’s because recently I had a chance to view “Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales – Field of Screams”, the new 2 disc DVD collection that focuses entirely on sports themed episodes of everyone’s favorite crime-solvin’ mutt! Well fiends, I am absolutely overjoyed to tell you that you need zero knowledge of those accursed athletics to enjoy this release!
To kick things off, Warner Bros. home Entertainment have created a brand-new 22 minute cartoon entitled “Scooby-Doo! Ghastly Goals!”. While I have admittedly been out of the loop as to what the Mystery Inc. gang have been up to since about, oh 1985 or so (when they were rubbin’ elbows with ol’ vivacious Vincent Price in 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo), I am happy to report that absolutely nothing has changed (ok, one thing has changed, Velma uses a tablet and a Google parody named Giggle to do some research on the featured creature of the piece). The characters dress, act and for sound pretty much as they always have, and to this horror kid that is a wonderful thing! Too often when new iterations of classic characters are produced, the temptation is to update and alter them almost beyond recognition, which can be jarring. It was great to just throw this on and immediately get right into the action as if nearly 30 years hadn’t past since I followed the show.
So, what does this adventure involve? Well, our heroes find themselves in Brazil, where they quickly run afoul of an ancient creature named Eshu (picture if the late H.R. Giger’s alien design was a lobster that got boiled). Before you can scream “Gooooaaallll!” the gang is knee deep in a mystery involving everything from a super bouncing formula, signed soccer balls, an oblivious official that refuses to cancel an event due to a monster (think the mayor of amity Island in Jaws), and of course Danny Trejo (well not him personally, but your pal and mine Machete does provide voice work for the feature). All in all Ghastly Ghouls will provide you with a touch of the warm nostalgia, while introducing new viewers with the tropes that make the series work so well.
As you may have surmised from the title of the DVD (or my previous post about the collections upcoming release), this release contains 12 other episodes of horrific hijinks spanning decades of the shows existence, many of which I vividly recall watching as a young cartoon lovin’ creature. In particular the episodes “The Demon of the Dugout” and “The Ghost That Sacked the Quarterback” set me adrift on the gentle, sun dappled waves of an ocean of nostalgia, and apparently I have forgotten not a single word of the theme song for 1976’s “The Scooby-Doo Show”, but “The Warlock of Wimbledon” and “The Creepy Case of Old Iron Face” are my stand out favorites in this collection. “The Warlock of Wimbledon” is an episode that I had a vague recollection of from my youth, but viewed through adult eyes it amazes me how much it brings to mind the films of Pete Walker, in particular The Comeback (both were released in 1978 and both feature a celebrity staying in a mansion with supposed supernatural goings-on) Although I’m 100% certain that this was not the intent, it’s awesome all the same! “The Creepy Case of Old Iron Face” on the other hand has always been one of my all-time favorites due to Alex Toth’s truly incredible design for the villain of the piece; a whip wielding pirate in an iron mask riding mechanical sharks…in the haunted world of Daniel XIII it simply doesn’t get much better than that fiends!
So, to sum it up, this collection is great to both introduce new viewers to the creepy and colorful world of Scoob and his pals, as well as a way to take a quick sentimental trip through the aether of memories past for those of us that want to feel a bit of that ol’ Saturday morning magic!
“Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales – Field of Screams” can be purchased here!