Scooby-Doo And KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery (2015)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 9/7/15
Cast: Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer, cameos by Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Penny Marshall

"Where's my KISS defibrillator?"

This one is really way out there. It's Halloween, and the Scooby Gang decides to go to KISS World to see a free concert that the band is putting on. Daphne tricks Fred into going under the pretense that there's an unsolved mystery at the KISS oriented theme park, since he hates rock and roll (he prefers listening to The Ascot Five). Poor Fred. And to make matters worse, Daphne has a HUGE crush on Starchild (Paul Stanley). Conveniently, there just happens to be an unsolved mystery at the park, as a supernatural being called the Crimson Witch shows up and threatens to close the park and cancel the concert. KISS isn't too keen on having the kids snoop around, but Starchild takes a liking to Daphne and convinces the others to tolerate their presence. What follows is sheer insanity, with Shaggy and Scooby constantly getting into trouble, musical chase montages set to KISS tunes, Japanese anime styled magical girl transformation sequences, space aliens, alternate dimensions, a KISS planet ruled by Penny Marshall, hallucinogenic drugs, greedy promoters, romantic rivalry and male posturing between Fred and Starchild, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes as park employees, and more KISS gags and in-jokes than you can imagine (some of which are pretty obscure).

Despite all of the genre mashing craziness, it all fits together surprisingly well. At this point in their career, KISS has become a shallow and pathetic caricature of their former greatness, but they realize this and aren't afraid to play up to it. The writing is impressively smart and cleverly self aware, striking a fine balance between self-deprecating parody and mythological reverence, and highlighted with a sharp undercurrent of world weary corporate cynicism. Paul Stanley gives a noteworthy performance as he truly embraces the B-movie cheesiness of the whole affair, while Gene Simmons just grunts and growls his way through the show like a grumpy old man. The animation is good and incorporates a lot of classic KISS imagery, along with general rock and roll psychedelia. If you have any appreciation for Scooby-Doo, KISS, and/or pop culture parody, it's definitely a trip worth taking. Or as Gene Simmons puts it, "Well done, pathetic scum."