Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ESSAY: Who's S-S-Scared?: The Scooby Doo Gialli

The second issue of the Fang of Joy fanzine is hot of the presses (indeed, actual presses [of a sort] were involved this time!). Included within it, among fine pieces from Jose Cruz, Simon Wright, Brad Hogue, one Richard Glenn Schmidt, and many others, is a zine-exclusive essay by yours truly on a particular sub-subgenre of Italian horror-thrillers that I've christened The Scooby-Doo Gialli. Check out the first few paragraphs below and then watch a trailer I've prepared in order to get your further pumped up for your forthcoming purchase. (Is this the first time anyone has bothered to make a trailer for an essay? Is my pat on the back traveling through the post to me as we speak?):

"On Saturday morning, September 13th, 1969, American CBS stations aired “What a Night for a Knight,” the first episode of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The series would run for 25 episodes, concluding on Halloween of 1970. Each adventure more or less invariably found the meddling teens and gluttonous Great Dane of Mystery Incorporated breaking down in some remote American township and catching wind of a supernatural baddie haunting the area. After much spooking, munching, chasing, and sleuthing, the gang would discover that the supernatural villain of the week was no such thing: it was, instead, always a human in an elaborate costume, scheming towards some money-making human end.

Then, in the early-to-mid-1970s, several Italian and Spanish giallo horror-thrillers—with titles like The Red Queen Kills 7 Times, The Etruscan Kills Again, and Murder Mansion—employed a similar structure on the silver screen, incorporating faux-supernatural menaces into their convoluted plots as cover for nefarious inheritance schemes and psychosexual serial murder. Sure, you’d be hard pressed to spot a van full of adolescent gumshoes anywhere in these films, but the preponderance of red-haired leading ladies and sandy-maned, ascot-wearing pretty boys is certainly suspicious.

Was it merely a coincidence that these faux-supernatural gialli began cropping up immediately after Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! concluded its run on television?

Well, probably..."

Read more by purchasing Fang of Joy Issue #2 for a low, one-time payment of $6.


  1. Excellent work sir! I really enjoyed reading this and it's given me some food for thought. I think I've seen all the films you mention except The Red Queen Kills 7 Times, so I look forward to checking that out and man, I really need to find a better copy of Murder Mansion. Don't get me wrong, those Mill Creek packs are great value for money but after three viewings or so their print just doesn't cut it any more for me.

    You've also got me eager to watch some Scooby-Doo this Halloween season as I haven't watched any in what seems like an aeon.

  2. I've just ordered a copy and can't wait to check it out. It looks like a great little zine. I'm especially eager to read your essay on Scooby Doo Gialli! Great trailer, by the way. :)