The Monster Squad (1987)
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Fred Dekker, Shane Black, Stan Winston, Michael Faustino, what’s not to love here?
- I love how this movie wastes no time, it’s right into some vampire killing, magic vortex action.
- One small nitpick, Dracula’s costume is too traditional-looking. It’s like the perfect store-bought Dracula costume.
- I love Sean’s bootleg “Stephen King Rules” shirt.
- The kid who plays Patrick is the same annoying narrator kid from Children of the Corn.
- Jason Hervey is a low-rent Billy Zabka.
- Rudy’s the coolest kid in school, or pretty much anywhere. Much cooler than Rudi from Happy Birthday to Me.
- “We’re at war with Vietnam! It’s in Rambo!” – Phoebe, Sean’s little sister
- As a person of German descent, I’m offended by the kids talking about Scary German Guy.
- So Frankenstein is being transported in a box on a plane. It’s never explained why he’s being transported or how Dracula ended up on the plane. And yes, I call the monster Frankenstein, because A) insisting on saying “Frankenstein’s Monster” makes you sound like a douchebag and B) Dr. Frankenstein created him and gave him life, so he’s technically Dr. Frankenstein’s son, so his name would be Frankenstein. But mostly A.
- Also never understood why Rudy wanted to hang out with the Monster Squad. He should be out getting in knife fights and sword-in-vagina fights.
- Sean’s mom picks up Van Helsing’s diary at a yard sale or something. That’s… awfully convenient…
- So the Wolf Man goes to the police station to fight cops so they’ll lock him up because it’s a full moon, but he just keeps struggling with them. Why don’t they just lock him up? Or why didn’t he rob a liquor store earlier in the day? Or he could have handcuffed his wiener to the stove. Anyway, they shoot him, but he wolfs out in the ambulance.
- And there’s the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Creature all look awesome, but I always thought the Wolf Man’s head looked pretty crappy.
- Sean has a message from Mr. Alucard about Van Helsing’s diary, and within 15 seconds he figures out it’s Dracula. Great pseudonym, Drac.
- The Mummy ends up in Michael Faustino’s closet. How and why?
- Frankenstein’s just a big softy with a soft heart and a dead wiener.
- So every 100 years good and evil battle over an amulet which will help the monsters take over the world unless the Monster Squad stops them!
- Monster battle preparation montage!
- Why did they make business cards?
- Duncan Regehr is a pretty awesome Dracula.
- As my wife points out, how come the Wolf Man’s shirt rips open but not his pants?
- There’s a poster for Sssssss on the Monster Squad clubhouse wall!
- Wolf Man’s got nards!
- Horace burns Dracula with garlic pizza!
- Dracula blows up the Monster Squad treehouse with dynamite. That’s your revenge? Not really worth the attention it will attract.
- “Vampires are racist.” – my wife after Dracula kills a black cop
- They go to the town square to perform the virgin vortex ceremony, which will suck all the monsters back to limbo. It’s Hill Valley/Kingston Falls/The town Elvira goes to!
- They blow up the Wolf Man with dynamite, but he pulls himself together! Even his pants!
- Rudy shoots him with a silver bullet. Rudy’s kind of turning into a cold-blooded killer. And he smokes. Not good.
- Not sure why the virgin who reads the vortex spell has to be female.
- Horace kills the Creature with a regular-ass shotgun. Pretty weak, Creature.
- If Dracula used a gun, this would all be over pretty quickly.
- So after Patrick’s sister turns out to not be a virgin, they use Phoebe, who is a virgin, thankfully, or this movie would be really dark. The vortex opens, and Van Helsing comes out to drag Dracula into limbo and gives Sean a thumbs up, which is bitchin’ for Sean.
- Poor Frankenstein gets sucked in too and Phoebe tosses him her stuffed dog. He just wanted a friend. Maybe it’s you who are the monster, reader…
- Fantastic white-accessible rap over the end credits.
Is It Actually Scary: This is a Shane Black joint, so it’s all about action and not so much scares.
How Much Gore: Really the only gory moment is when the Wolf Man gets blown up. Other than that there’s a little blood but not much.
Best Scene: Not sure why Horace would think that the Wolf Man wouldn’t have testicles, it’s not like they would retract when he transforms, but here’s the proof:
Worst Scene: When the Mummy attacks the kids’ car and they tie his wrapping to an arrow and shoot it at a tree, unraveling him into dust. That part is actually cool, but then Rudy quips, “See you later, Band-Aid breath!” Oof. Should’ve kept that one to yourself, Rudy.
Any Nudity: The Wolf Man’s nards are covered up, but there’s some bra and panties shots when Rudy spies on the girl next door from the Monster Squad treehouse.
Overall: I was 10 when this movie came out, so it couldn’t have possibly appealed to me more. I think I was more stoked about seeing this movie than any other in my childhood, save maybe Jurassic Park. It has everything a kid my age could possibly want: monsters, guns, bows and arrows, treehouses, cool t-shirts, kids kicking ass, girls in bras, Germans, pie, a dog, unnecessary business cards, BMX bikes, and fun! I hadn’t seen this in many a moon and longed to watch it again for the longest time, and when they released it on DVD in 2007 I was thrilled that it still held up, and now I fully appreciate how awesome Stan Winston, Shane Black and Fred Dekker were. What happened to Fred Dekker’s career anyway? Between this and Night of the Creeps he should have had a career at least as great as Joe Dante. What a shame. I guess RoboCop 3 really derailed him. Anyway, if you like monsters and good times, I implore you to see this movie, especially if you were once a boy or always wanted to be.
Score: 9 Wolf Man nards (out of 10)