Scooby-Doo Fan Site

Movie References

Many Scooby-Doo episodes, even those from the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! series, were written to poke fun at real mystery, sci-fi, and horror movies and their tropes. The more old movies I see, the more I can spot the connections between them and Scooby-Doo episodes. Just for fun, I decided to make this table of movies to point out the connections. The table may not be complete because there are movies that I still haven't seen, and I might have missed a few connections. This site is still a work in progress, and I do take suggestions!

Table of Movies and Episodes

This table has descriptions of the episodes in the series side-by-side with movies that may have inspired the episodes.

Movie Movie Description Series Episode Description Connection
Horror Island (1941) A man in need of money sets up an adventure tour company to take people out to an island castle to search for a hidden treasure and ghosts, setting up some fake scares so that the tourists will be guaranteed to have an exciting time. However, someone else on the island is also playing ghost and is prepared to kill in order to get the treasure for himself. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Hassle in the Castle The gang is out in a boat when they get lost in some fog and crash on an island with an old, abandoned pirate castle. Even though no one is supposed to be there, treasure hunters sometimes come to the island to look for the pirates' treasure, so the kids decide to look around for help and encounter a ghost in the castle. Both the movie and the episode have a supposedly haunted castle with a treausre on an island and someone playing ghost.
The Monster Walks (1932) This is a cheesy old dark house style mystery. A young woman named Ruth returns to her old family home for the reading of her father's will. She seems to be terrorized by an ape that her father kept for scientific research, which seems to roam the secret passages of the house, but the real danger in the house is from the humans. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Never Ape an Ape Man Daphne's uncle offers her and her friends roles as extras in a movie that he's directing about an ape man in an old mansion, but the movie is based on a real legend about an old mansion that was on the site, and it seems to be coming back to life. Apes are actually a trope of old dark house mystery movies, which is something I didn't know as a kid. I can't be sure that the makers of the episode were thinking of this particular old dark house movie, but it does fit with the description of an ape in an old dark house with secret passages.
The Cat and the Canary (1939) A group of relatives gathers at an old Southern mansion for the reading of old Uncle Silas's will to find out which of them will inherit his estate. However, one of the potential heirs tries to frighten the main heiress out of her mind and is prepared to resort to murder, if necessary. Comedy/mystery. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! A Night of Fright is No Delight Scooby-Doo learns that he is one of the heirs of a wealthy old colonel whose life he saved from drowning several years before. However, the heirs are told that they can only claim their inheritance if they can spend an entire night in the colonel's old, haunted mansion. A pair of green ghosts show up to frighten away the heirs. The gathering to read the will and someone trying to frighten the other heirs makes this episode similar to the movie, although there were other mystery movies along similar themes in the 1920s and 1930s. Having the inheritance turn out to be worthless Confederate money was part of another old mystery movie, Murder by Invitation (1941).
The Cat Creature (1973) An ancient amulet seems to have the power to turn people into murderous cat creatures. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Make a Beeline Away from That Feline The gang visits Daphne's aunt, and she tells them that a mysterious medallion is turning her into a cat creature that goes out and robs jewelry stores. Both the movie and the episode have someone who supposedly is turning into a cat creature, but in the movie, the cat creature kills people.
Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) A pair of scientists create a time machine that can transport objects to and from the future. After trading objects with people from the distant future, a radiation-scarred killer comes through the time machine and attacks people in the past. The Scooby-Doo Show Creepy Cruise The gang is on a cruise, and a professor who is on the same ship claims that he has invented a time machine. During a meeting with possible investors, a creature who is brought back in time from the future runs amok and steals the investors' money. Both the movie and the episode feature a frightening creature that has been brought back in time from the distant future.
Westworld (1973) Robots at a futuristic theme park malfunction and begin attacking and killing guests. What's New, Scooby-Doo? Go West, Young Scoob The gang goes to an old western town that has been remade into a resort where people can live out Wild West fantasies, fighting robotic outlaws. However, the robots seem to have gone haywire. Why, and how can they be stopped? The Western theme park in the episode and its robots resemble the Western portion of the theme park in the movie.