With Halloween just five day away, I decided to do something special for the holiday. And what's more special then five straight days of Halloween reviews. Starting today and ending on Monday, Halloween night, I will release 5 Halloween related reviews. So, let's kick of Halloween 2011 with Dreamworks Spooky Stories.
A special Halloween DVD release, Dreamworks Spooky Stories is a collection of three Halloween related TV and Direct-to-DVD specials based of of Dreamworks Animations characters.
The first story is Scared Shrekless, an anthology of three parodies of famous horror movie done with Shrek characters. The connecting story is that Shrek, Donkey, Puss In Boots and Gingy all go to Lord Farquaads supposedly haunted castle to see who can last the longest without getting sacred. This part of the special does have it's funny moments, however the jokes are mostly predictable (save for a funny remake of the "Welcome to Duloc" song from the first movie).
Gingy's story is a spoof of not only The Bride of Frankenstein, but also zombie movies. The Bride of Gingy follow Gingy as he has the Muffin Man make him a wife who starts to smother him. The story is the weakest of the three, as it has very little to do with The Bride of Frankenstein. It also is pretty predictable and only kinda funny. It's really just a time waster.
Puss and Donkey's story, Boots Motel, follows, you guessed it, Puss and Donkey checking into a motel with a psycho in it. Again, this story has very little to do with the movie it's spoofing. However, it is very funny, with Puss and Donkey fight constantly ramping up as the story goes. The climax that involves a giant waffle and spray bottles of water is hysterical.
The third and final story, The Shreksorist, follows Shrek as he babysits a "possessed child". The best of the three, the story is a good parody of the The Exorcist and is very funny in it own right. Overall, Scared Shrekless is not a Halloween classic, as the story don't all hit their mark, but it is a mostly enjoyable bit of Halloween worth checking out. It's 4 out of 6.
The second story really has no purpose being here. The Ghost of Lord Farquaad (or Shrek 4-D repackaged) follows Fiona getting kidnapped by Lord Farquaad's ghost and Shrek and Donkey racing to save her. This was obviously a cash-in when it was Shrek 4-D and it's still a cash-in today. The short film is way too lame to be really enjoyable. The jokes were all done better if the other movies, the story is rushed and stupid and the characters are all poorly written. For example, immediately after Fiona is kidnapped Shrek yells at Donkey for making a joke and not rushing to save her. But, just a few minutes later, while Fiona is still kidnapped mind you, Shrek goes out of his way to play a trick on Donkey just for fun. Can't you just tell we're dealing with people who worked hard on this story? Overall, The Ghost of Lord Farquaad is a lame, unnecessary bore. It's 2 out of 6.
The third and final Halloween tale included is Monsters vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space. If you (like me) loved the original movie then this is going to be a very welcome edition to any regular Halloween viewing. The story follow the monsters as they face off against mutant pumpkins that are eating a town's Halloween candy. It might sound goofy, but trust me, it is. And it is great. Once again the characters are very funny and the short captures the spirit of Halloween and B-Movies very well. Though Susan does get shoved to the side most of the time. Overall, Monsters vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space is a very fun short film that will get you into instantly Halloween spirit. It is 6 out of 6.
In the end, how much you want to buy Dreamworks Spooky Stories (or watch it on Netflix Instant) depends on how much you liked the previous movies. Of the two Shrek tales, Scared Shrekless is a mildly amusing offering, while The Ghost of Lord Farquaad is really lame. Monsters vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space, however is a lot of fun and perfect for Halloween. Overall, Dreamworks Spooky Stories is 4.5 out of 6. Now if you'd excuse me, I have to do the Time Warp again.