My quest for mindlessness movies seems to be continuing into this week. That’s not to say that cartoons are always mindless, but Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare really is.
The gang go to Camp Little Moose when Fred insists that they all be counselors there. When they arrive at his old camp, they discover that the children are all gone after the appearance of “The Woodsman”, a tall man with an axe (go figure).
But the gang decide to stay with head counselor Burt and the three children that arrive by bus that night. Fred tries to make the most of it by sending the kids to Big Moose Lake, a superior body of water on the other side of a dam.
While enjoying the water, Scooby discovers an underwater town. But before he can explore he’s attacked by the Fishman, another character based off a campfire story at Camp Little Moose.
After being chased by the Fishman, the local ranger suggests that the gang pack up and close the camp. They don’t, otherwise it would be a rather short mystery.
One of the counselors from the camp at Big Moose Lake, Jessica, decides to help out Fred and the others from Camp Little Moose. She tells them that strange things have been happening at her camp too. Gear has gone missing, including an RV and sonar equipment. The group decides to split up: one to explore where the missing RV went and the other to the scuba dive in the lake.
The scuba group explore the water and are attacked by the Fishman. They all manage to escape, and one of the campers finds dynamite inside an underwater cave.
The other group head into a canyon, where the discover the RV has been disguised to blend in with the canyon walls. Inside the RV, Velma finds a sonar map of the bottom of the lake. But before they can head home, they are chased by a Specter, yet another campfire story.
After the excitement of the day, one of the campers, nerdy Deacon, leaves camp to supposedly go home. The rest of the gang go to a nearby museum on local history to learn more about the map they saw.
At the museum, they learn that the underwater buildings make up what once was Moose Creek. The town was home to a notorious gangster, who supposedly buried his loot in the town. The dam was built and the town was eventually flooded (’cause that’s a thing), leaving the loot at the bottom of the lake somewhere.
They’re also told that the gangster told his cellmate where the loot was hidden. A note Velma reads from the museum tells them how to find it: something about a summer solstice and the light on a steeple.
They head back to the camp and find that it’s trashed. Though there isn’t too much time to feel bad about it. The dam is blown up, causing the lower ground, Camp Little Moose, to be flooded. The gang and the campers manage to escape, then proceed to explore the now-revealed Moose Creek.
It’s revealed that Deacon (!?) is actually Babyface Boretti, the former cellamate of the gangster. How in the fucking world no one noticed that a GROWN MAN was not a child is beyond me. I guess it’s one of those Clark Kent sort of deals.
Anyway, they discover the treasure. Rebuild the camp to combine both camps. Hooray. And Christ did it feel like it took a long time to get to this inevitable conclusion.
I mean, Scooby-Doo movies have never been watertight with its plots, but this one really takes a few leaps of logic. The culprit is actually pretty stupid – I still don’t really understand how it’s remotely plausible (and yes, I have reminded myself that this is a children’s cartoon).
Ultimately, though, the story is just not compelling enough to make up an 80 minute-long movie. It gets pretty repetitive and boring. This is all pretty standard fair. Definitely not one of the best.