Spook Show Cinema #20: The Monster Squad

The Monster Squad                We all have our favorite movies from when we were kids. The sad and unfortunate truth is that they don’t always survive the test of time. I know people who have lost fond childhood memories because they revisited something from their youth. The movie I always think of when it comes to my youthful days is the classic 1987 film, The Monster Squad.

The Monster Squad is a comedy/horror film written by Shane Black (the guy that co-wrote and directed the underwhelming Iron Man 3) and Fred Dekker. It centers on a group of kids that are pretty much obsessed with monsters. They even have their own monster club which meets in a bad ass tree house! Sean and his friends are given the journal of famed monster hunter Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, and with a little help find out from reading it that some spooky, end of the world type stuff will be going down very soon. Naturally, the kids decide to take matters into their own hands and take on some classic movie monsters. How can this movie not be great?

The Monster Squad is insanely fun from beginning to end. I was thrilled to find it just as awesome as an adult as I did when I was a kid renting the VHS from my local video store (remember when there were video stores that weren’t Blockbuster or Family Video!?) and watching it relentlessly. This is the ultimate kid adventure movie for me. Just imagine how awesome it would be if you and your band of misfit friends got to save the world from Dracula and his monster pals. Your life would only go downhill from there. I wanted to do that so bad that I enlisted my little brother and younger cousins into my own version of The Monster Squad. We had hand drawn ID cards and everything!

The Monster Squad isn’t great just because of nostalgia. It’s well written, the acting is good, the characters are great, the set design is perfect and the monsters look FANTASTIC. There are quite a few folks out there that believe the Duncan Regehr version of Dracula is the best to date. I think if I were drawn into a debate on the matter I would find it hard to argue against that claim. The true gem, however, is the redesign of the Gill-Man. While the Gill-Man from Creature from the Black Lagoon is iconic and will always be the version people think of first, the version seen in The Monster Squad is downright terrifying.

The Monster Squad was a financial bomb. It had an estimated $12,000,000 budget and brought in less than $4,000,000 at the box office. It did hit cult status once it came to video and has been a favorite amongst horror fans ever since. Just to drive home how much I love this movie, I’m going to share a true story with you. In the infancy of my current relationship we watched The Monster Squad because she hadn’t seen it. She wasn’t a fan and I contemplated breaking up with her. So, there you have it. The Monster Squad is awesome.

Keep it creepy,

Mike

P.S. It’s better than The Goonies.

About Mike Mullins

Mike Mullins (@mullinsisajerk) supports Rangers FC, watches way more horror movies than he probably should and has an addiction to chocolate milk.

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