Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island & Zombie Women of Satan

Posted: 10/09/2011 in Movies

Part 2 of Zombie Movie Night Octoberganza was a Family Friendly Saturday Night featuring Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island and Zombie Women of Satan. OK, so maybe it was only 1/2 family friendly. After a lackluster Friday night, I was a bit worried that a 1998 direct-to-video Scooby-Doo romp and a deliberately trashy boob-fest might not be up to the challenge of saving the ZMN October festivities.

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

I was never a huge Scooby-Doo fan. I didn’t dislike the franchise, I just never had strong feelings about it one way or the other. But, I heard that this particular tale featured actual zombies (not just guys in monster suits as is usually the case with the Scooby-Doo clan). I thought it might be a nice chance to include some more members of the family in ZMN. So my brother, 10-year-old niece, wife, and 2-year-old daughter sat down to see how Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne make out on Zombie Island.

The movie starts after the gang has been split up for an unspecified amount of time. You can’t go around solving latex-mask themed mysteries forever, I suppose. Daphne now hosts a television show with Fred as her producer/cameraman. Velma runs a bookstore specializing in mystery novels. Shaggy and Scooby are working customs at the airport, confiscating and devouring any contraband food stuffs (and presumably any contraband marijuana). Tired of uncovering fraud and old dudes in costumes while investigating the supernatural, Daphne decides that she wants to find a story involving honest-to-goodness ghosts and hauntings. Fred reassembles the team to surprise her and tag along. The crew’s search brings them to a haunted house in New Orleans, where the ghosts and zombies seem pretty real.

THE GOOD: The story here is really pretty good. There are typically Scooby-Doo hijinks, some genuinely funny, some just sort of cliched and goofy. The movie actually goes pretty dark at points, featuring zombie tourists, Civil War soldiers, and pirates. There are also some pretty nice zombie scenes with the undead rising out of the ground and chasing down our heroes.

THE BAD: The story gets a little weird towards the climax and diehard Scooby-Doo fans may be turned off by the fact that the monsters are real and not disguised citizens as is customary in traditional Scooby-Doo lore. Not being a much of a Scooby-Doo fan, it didn’t bother me in the least. I’ve also read some reviews that this movie is too scary for kids. My niece jumped a few times, but my daughter appeared unfazed and I’m sure that they’ll both sleep just fine tonight.

THE ZOMBIES: Zombie Island features real, honest to goodness zombies. They rise from their graves and out of the swamps of the Bayou. Of course, there’s no blood or guts to be found (C’mon, what do you expect?) and the zombies just sort of stomp around and occasionally tackle people, but they do look pretty menacing for a children’s cartoon.

THE VERDICT: I had concerns going into this one. Could this actually be counted as a zombie movie? Would it be too soft on zombie content? Would it be unbearable for adult viewers? It turned out that none of these concerns were warranted. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is legitimate zombie fare and should be enjoyed by zombie fans and Scooby-Doo fans alike.

Current ZMN Rank: #29 out of 57

Zombie Women of Satan

Ok, now that the kids are all put to bed let’s take a look at Zombie Women of Satan. You gotta be prepared for what you’re getting into before you watch a movie with a title like this. I was thinking trashy over-the-top nudity and gore. ZWoS delivers on those and in a really good way.

A family-run cult (Dad, a son, and two daughters) is recruiting young women to hang out in their underwear and traipse around in the woods. The father of the family cult is kept busy, experimenting on the girls, turning them into zombies and feeding them to his cannibalistic, crazy, (zombie?) wife. As all this is happening a traveling freakshow/circus stops by to be interviewed for the son’s website. A rock singer traveling with the group recognizes one of the cult members as her estranged sister and embarks on a mission to find her. This task is made more difficult when all of the girls on the compound ingest fruit punch tainted with zombie blood and end up becoming raging zombies themselves.

THE GOOD: ZWoS is really fun. There’s a lot of crude humor and exploitative nudity (a number of the girls not looking so hot), but it’s all done in a pretty entertaining way. There are a number of laugh-out-loud moments, most of them delivered by the circus performers Pervo the Clown and Johnny Dee Hellfire. ZWoS features some pretty nice performances; not incredible acting by mainstream movie standards, but you could tell that all of the actors were having fun and embraced the ridiculousness of the film.

THE BAD: There are some scenes that push the limits of taste a bit (human on zombie sex scene, anyone?), but even those are done with tongue so firmly in cheek that it’s hard to hold it against the film. You expect a movie of this motivation to push the envelope as far as possible. There are also some truly head-scratching moments, the least of which being a 5 minute, taking a dump in the woods montage with no effect on character or plot.

THE ZOMBIES: The zombies in this case are all pretty ladies (some prettier than others) running around in their underwear, mostly topless. Most of the ladies were turned by drinking zombie blood, though the characters can also be turned by zombie bites. The zombies are more in line with running, infected zombies than your standard Romero shamblers.

THE VERDICT: If you can efficiently put your sense of decency aside, then you should have no trouble enjoying ZWoS. It’s a wacky, fun ride and it really nails the ridiculous, crude humor it was going for. This is definitely one worth checking out.

Current ZMN Rank: #18 out of 57

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