WEIRDO’WEEN #17: The Monster Squad [1987]

weirdoween2015As most of you know, I’m a fairly big fan of Monster films. Frankenstein stands as one of my all time favorites, and the Universal Monster films are something that deserve all the love they got when they were first released. [I’m even trying to collect them all on Blu ray. Slowly] If you had friends who liked the same topic, such as films, as well, chances are; you’d probably make a club dedicated to said topic. It could be about anything really: comics, movies, video games; you get the idea. Can you imagine a club dedicated to monsters! Now, that would be an awesome club to be part of: but what would you name it? Monster Madness? The Miniature Monsters? Oh I got it! Why not: The Monster Squad? Wait..that’s probably already taken.. In light of us trying to figure out a monster club name, let’s talk about a monster movie from the late ’80s that has not one but four different monsters in it – and the kids who try to stop them! That movie, is none other than The Monster Squad!

weirdo'ween-#17The Monster Squad was directed by Fred Dekkar, a man you probably recognize as the Director of another 80s classic horror, Night Of The Creeps. The Monster Squad though, follows in the tradition as a horror-comedy film about a gang of grade-school kids who save their town from Dracula and his band of goons. Although it’s a fun film, The Monster Squad is no doubt, a much more enjoyable movie than Night Of The Creeps.

In the movie, The Monster Squad refers to a tree house club of five kids who call themselves horror fanatics. They have comic books, magazines, and posters scattered all over this little tree house of theirs. Unbeknownst to them, their enthusiasm toward the genre they love so dearly, would suddenly come in handy as their town in abruptly invaded by Dracula [and a few other memorable horror villains] in their most classic form. According to the story we’re given at the beginning of the movie, Drac is terrorizing the town only because he’s trying to locate a powerful amulet which has the potential for ruling the world type business. It’s when no one else believes the kids, or when no one else is powerful enough to stop them using traditional crime fighting methods [if we can be honest, arresting the Wolfman didn’t work out as effectively as the cops hoped], it’s up to The Monster Squad [with the help of Frankenstein, who decides to switch sides!] to save the day! The film is filled with great scenes as well, especially with memorable characters. Take Boo Radley for example, he’s a strange recluse of a man who all the kids fear without knowing why. [he’s just an old man who lives a few houses down from the kids] in one particular scene, when we learn that Sean, the leader of The Monster Squad, is given a book [that his mother got from a flea market?] that can explain why the monsters are reappearing in modern 1987, he has no choice but to seek the man’s help. As it turns out, the book is in German, which definitely confirms that the team of kids need Boo Radley. Not only does this “scary man” speak the language written inside, he kindly offers to help them get through the important passages in the book! Also, it happens that he knows what monsters are.. If you’re going to watch this with a younger audience, you probably will need to explain to your kids what the numbers tattooed on the scary mans forearm are..moving on.

you can’t say this isn’t the coolest group of kids ever.. I’d join their club!

The Monster Squad was done in the most positive light possible – it didn’t talk down to kids and put them in control when the adults wouldn’t believe them that Monsters were taking over their town. Plus, there were other monster references besides the scary ones! The children, kids and teens cast in this film were adorable and cast properly: there was the smart leader type kid who was obsessed with monsters, your typical “fat” kid, – who’s known as fat kid – the adorable little girl/sister type who wants to be a part of everything her older brothers and his friends did, and shy little boy who was really the coolest of them all! Shane Black, who was a popular screenwriter of the 80’s, knew what he was doing with this one; and Fred Dekker directed his young group really well. The movie never felt silly, it was a believable kids’ world where kids were the heroes of the day, and the parents were thankful they were..cause let’s be honest, the parents had no clue what to do.

By keeping the film true to all the rules of the classic Universal Monster films, which is the main reason why this film works so well. Dekker manages to ensure that the film will appeal to two of the major horror audiences; fans of the classics that will appreciate the plot and humor, and younger kids, who are bound to get a kick out of the characters and their witty dialogue. It’s something, for everyone. Be warned though, the film is very short, running at just over eighty minutes, but it has enough to keep everyone satisfied, with enough screen time for all the different monsters. What made this movie so special is it felt like we were seeing a “what if” The Goonies took on the old monsters.. Not to mention, the movie has arguable one of the coolest lines in film history; “Wolfman’s got nards!”, It’s a very 80s movie, but it’s all part of it’s charm.

So check out The Monster Squad! It’s the perfect blend of monster madness and child like wonder. It also includes a ton of references to older horror films, so it really is something for everyone! It’s cheesy, but in the best way possible, so if you’re looking for gorier films; you’re going to be missing out on this one! But, If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #18! – STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

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