Wicked Wednesday: Archie’s Weird Mysteries ep 1.1 “Attack of the Killer Spuds”

I watched the premier episode of Archie’s Weird Mysteries nearly a month ago. The intention was to write about it here before I left on my annual summer trip to Wisconsin.

If you couldn’t tell from my lack of posting this month, that 100% didn’t happen. But despite all the time apart from each other, I can recall “Attack of the Killer Spuds” pretty well. Mostly because it really lives up to it’s name: this show is really weird.

Archie’s Weird Mysteries was a US/French co-production originally airing from 1999-2000. It took Archie and the gang through a mystery-of-the-week-style romp. Clearly a soft predecessor to later Archie releases (Archie vs Predator, Riverdale). From the episode title alone, it’s pretty clear that an admiration for 50s b-movies is in every aspect of this show. “Attack of the Killer Spuds” was one part Attack of the Killer Tomatoes with a side of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

After Jughead wins a radio contest, he receives a curious-looking potato trophy from the radio DJ. Soon the spud somes to life and makes a clone of Juggie. This evil clone leaves Jughead in a vegetated state. He spreads the spuds around, slowly creating clones and turning everyone else into mindless beings.

So it’s up to Archie to defeat the evil spuds when they take over all of Riverdale. He and Dilton Doiley team up to take down the radio tower that’s sending microwave transmissions to the spud army. After climbing the tower, Archie is able to defeat the giant spud leader. The town of Riverdale returns to normal and the spaceship carrying the potato aliens flies away.

This show wears its inspiration on its sleeves, and clearly has a lot of fun doing so. It’s pretty strange seeing Archie reimagined as a hero. He’s usually such a hopeless buffoon. But everyone else here is pretty by-the-numbers classic Archie Comics. Just throw in a dash of Scooby Doo and I guess you’re halfway to a show.

I had intended to watch all the episodes of Archie’s Weird Mysteries (there’s fourty of them). But I…don’t think that will happen anymore. While this is a cute show, it felt really long for something with a 20-minute run time. Perhaps this wasn’t the best episode to start with? If anyone is a mega fan, hit me up.

This certainly won’t do the job for anyone looking to fill the Riverdale void until October. And it’s definitely not better than The Archie Show. But I think anyone who watched this show as a child will find revisiting it fun. For the rest of us, we can watch for the references.

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