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Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (2010 T.V.)
by Kevin Conner
“Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster” is the second of two made for T.V. movies for the Scooby-Doo franchise. Unlike the abominations made for the actual movie theaters, these two movies deserve every bit of praise that could ever be given for a live action Scooby-Doo adventure.
This movie begins as the newly formed gang – Fred (Robbie Amell); Daphne (Kate Melton); Velma (Hayley Kiyoko); Shaggy (Nick Palatas); Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) – leave school for the summer, only to go work for Daphne’s Uncle Thorny (Ted McGinley) as he opens a new resort near the shores of a cursed lake. Good job on location picking, Uncle Thorny! The curse? Well, a long time ago, in an age long past, an evil witch cursed the area. It’s not long after they arrive when an evil frog appears to scare the guests away! But, that’s not all, toss in the exploration of Fred and Daphne’s romance, or lack thereof, along with Shaggy and Velma’s possible romance, and you have a classic Scooby-Doo tale! I would really love to give more information about this movie, but if I did, I would probably spoil some amusing hijinks or a plot point that is better expressed by the characters themselves.
The fact is, unlike the major motion pictures that hit the movie theaters, both of these movies were made with love and care. Fred isn’t blonde, because they found an actor who could play and look the part, not just look the part. That rule of thumb, in fact, dominated the casting throughout this entire movie. In fact, Frank Welker, original and current voice of animated Fred (and Scooby), plays Scooby in this movie as well, unlike in the major motion pictures. Nothing about the cast was out of place, nothing. The cast may ham it up like any good camp show, but Scooby-Doo is about hammy acting and camp storytelling. The love story relationships actually date back to the first two episodes of the original series, while maintaining the perfected comedic timing and scripting of the most acclaimed of the series – “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?”. Even the most die hard hater of the original series would be a liar to claim the “What’s New” line was poorly done.
To explain the love this production had behind it, I must explain the two kinds of love: There is “stalker love”, where you have writers and directors talk about how much they “love” or “hate” the original and want to “change” it to “fit their view”; Then there is true love, where you have writers and directors who will bend over backwards to do everything just like the original, with the only changes being minor and necessary in order to keep the project from floundering, without daring to harm or alter any of the core elements that make the project great!
This production is the latter of the two, and it shows in every facet, every second, and every minute. They even have a very late 1960s style “treat” at the end, and it looks like the cast had as much of a blast making that “treat” as I had in watching it.
I love this movie. In fact, I love both of the movies, and my review for the first of these two will probably read very similar to this one. The fact is, if you love Scooby-Doo, or if you’re a parent who has never really seen Scooby-Doo but can enjoy shows like Adam West’s “Batman”, “I Dream of Jeannie”, “Gilligan’s Island”, etc.., then you will enjoy this movie. From an anecdotal standpoint, my mom absolutely hated Scooby-Doo when it first came out, and still hates the original episodes, but she loved this movie. There is something about how these writers, actors and director managed to pull out all that was great, good and pure in the original series and enhance it for high definition live action. Yes, there are some campy stupid moments, but they never go so far as to be upsetting or force you to turn your head away. Yeah, there is a stumble or two in the script and direction, but it’s barely noticeable, and not worth more than a combined quarter point. I think I’ll take that quarter point off the script, since the direction was so well done, and the stumble was mostly script-side.
If you love camp and goofy jokes, if you love “What’s New, Scooby Doo?”, then please give these two made-for-T.V. movies a try. They suffered under the cloud of those unmitigated motion picture disasters just because they are live action; but their superiority over those disasters is easily seen in the first five minutes. It is truly a treat that anyone old enough to enjoy Scooby-Doo can enjoy, and should not be missed by those who “Doo” enjoy a well done “camp-style” adventure with the Mystery Incorporated gang!
Script: 3 3/4
Overall (rounded up) 4 out of 4
Cast and Production Information
(with many more)
Warner Premiere (presents)
Cartoon Network (presents)