Saturday Morning Massacre
Director: Spencer Parsons • 88 min.
11/10, 10:30 p.m. • Jengo’s Playhouse
$10 ind. ticket
Remember Scooby Doo and the fresh-faced kids driving around in a stoner van, solving mysteries and exposing people for the frauds that they were? When you were watching their adventures, did you ever want to see them bloodied, beaten, and murdered horribly while trying to solve a case? If you said “yes,” then you are the target audience of “Saturday Morning Massacre.”
All the basic archetypes of the Hanna-Barbera classic are there: sweater-wearing serious guy (Adam Tate); smoking-hot eye-candy (Josephine Decker); socially awkward stoner dude (Jonny Mars); cute nerdy brains of the operations, replete with short skirt and knee-high socks (Ashley Rae Spillers). They even have the dog.
Detective work isn’t exactly paying the bills, and the gang is deeply in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy when they get a call from a client with a case too good to pass up. It seems a bank-owned property may or may not be haunted by satanic cultists. With everything on the line, the kids head out in their groovy van to try and solve a mystery that might be slightly more complicated than their past cases.
Soon enough, the story devolves into a typical haunted-mansion scenario. Our likable gang of mystery detectives are being slaughtered at the hands of some nasty killers. There’s no Scooby and Shaggy running through doors doing a hallway gag, but we do get to see Fred’s disembodied head.
“Saturday Morning Massacre” feels like a very novel and clever premise, but the movie never fulfills the promise completely. It’s wonderfully gory, and there is real effort by the cast to legitimize the scares. Still, this one felt a little bit labored. Once you get past the novelty of the set-up, the film becomes a by-the-numbers slasher.
The cast is game enough. Kudos to lead actress Ashley Rae Spillers who walks away with the lion’s share of the accolades for “Saturday Morning Massacre.” She’s an exceptional little spitfire and makes for a very sexy, very spunky Velma. Plenty of blood and plenty of sadistic violence for fans of terror cinema.