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The Groove Goolies: The Saturday Mourning Collection

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    Ian Jane
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  • The Groovie Goolies: The Saturday Mourning Collection

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    Released by: BCI Eclipse
    Released on: October 24, 2006
    Director: Various
    Cast: Various
    Year: Various
    Purchase From Amazon


    The Film:

    Sometimes, childhood memories are best left as that - memories. Many kids growing up in the seventies and even into the eighties will remember The Groovie Goolies. Although the series didn't last that long it was re-run for quite a few years and a cult following his sprung up around it in the last decade or so if the bootleg DVD-Rs that had been popping up at comic book shows and movie conventions were anything to go by. Upon rediscovering the series, however, it becomes painfully obvious that this is a show best enjoyed by kids rather than by adults hoping for a nostalgia rush.


    There isn't really much of a plot to the series, instead each episode contains a bunch of gags and jokes and bad, bad, bad puns as well as two musical numbers where the lead characters - Count Drac, Frankie, Bella La Ghostly and Wolfie - all get up and rock out. These four Universal Monster knock-offs all live together in a castle called Horrible Hall where they poke fun at one another and generally just goof off. There's really not much more to it than that.


    The sixteen episodes included in the set and spread across four discs are: When I Grow Up,/Population Party/Lights Out/Goolie Garden/Monster Trio/Feed The Ghost Some Garlic/Frankie/What's In The Bag/Goolie Picnic/Where You Going Little Ghoul/Gool School/Save Your Good Lovin' for Me/Darlin' Darlin'/Shadows/Witches
    Brew/Goolie Swing.

    While the pun-based jokes are, as mentioned, really, really bad, thankfully the characters are pretty cool looking and the music is fun. If you're able to sit through seventies kiddie show fodder like The Bug-A-Loos can appreciate the music then you shouldn't have too much trouble finding something to love about The Groovie Goolies. Those looking for more creative humor with a live action twist, better writing and freakier monsters are advised to check out the Canadian live action The Hilarious House Of Frightenstein instead. The two series have a fair bit in common (both feature Universal Monster knock-offs living together in a big old castle and both contain musical numbers and corny puns), the main difference being that Frightenstein still manages to be both funny and oddly compelling whereas it's very hard to take The Groovie Ghoulies for more than one episode at a time.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    BCI has given the series a very strong fullframe transfer (which is as it should be) that really does a nice job with the material here. Colors are bright and bold, print damage has been almost completely eliminated, and there's as much detail as anyone has a right to expect to see.


    The no frills English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack is clean and clear and free of any hiss or distortion. The music sounds nice and punchy and the dialogue is properly balanced against the sound effects and the score. No alternate language dubs have been supplied (do any even exist?) nor are there any subtitles or closed captions provided.

    First up, as far as the supplements go, are a pair of audio commentaries provided for the first two episodes on the first disc. The first track features producer Lou Scheimer, writer Jack Mendelsohn, author Darrell McNeil and moderator Wally Wingert, while the second track substitutes McNeil for monster authority go-to-guy, Bob Burns. If you're at all a fan of the series, these tracks will no doubt appeal to you as they do a good job of peeling back the layers and looking underneath to see what the series is all about. The cover where the ideas came from, who did what, merchandising tie-ins (or the lack thereof), and more and they do it all with a nice sense of humor and a pleasant lack of attitude. Both tracks are laid back, casual but very informative the way all good commentaries should be.

    From there, we're treated to a forty-six minute long documentary entitled Goolians: A Docu-Comedy, which follows Wally Wingert and Daniel Roebuck posing as the two ultimate fans of the show out to uncover its history. They drive around Hollywood in hopes of contacting people in the know and wind up interviewing writer Jack Mendelsohn, producer Lou Scheimer and even super-fan Alice Cooper! Pop-punk band The Groovy Ghoulies show up and talk about how the show inspired them, which adds some value as well. The comic relief from the two co-hosts is as groan-inducing as the comedy from the feature episodes, so expect to have some trouble getting into this one as the two guys do get their fare share of screen time but thankfully when they're off camera and we're actually learning about the series this piece is pretty interesting.


    Rounding out the extra features is a three minute Groove Goolies Get-Together Sing Along bit which allows you to sing along with the theme song by way of some subtitles for three minutes, an eight audio recording done during the commentary sessions where Scheimer talks about how Filmation was born, a couple of fantastic image galleries, and, for the DVD-Rom equipped, scripts for each of the sixteen episodes in this set are provided in Adobe Acrobat PDF format as well as the series' Bible. Each disc features animated menus and episode selection and the four discs sit nicely inside a gatefold package that is housed inside an attractive slipcase. A booklet of liner notes by Shawn Sheridan are also included inside the package.


    The Final Word:

    While BCI has done an exceptionally nice job on remastering this series for DVD, the content provides only mild laughs. Monster fanatics will probably enjoy the cartoon for what it is but the puns get really old, really quickly. That being said, even if it's hard to take the show for more than one episode at at time, there's a certain naive charm to be found here that gives the Groovie Goolies: The Saturday Mourning Collection some inexplicable appeal.
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