Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Friday, July 27, 2007

After twenty years,The Monster Squad is back in action

I got a great surprise this week as I looked over the current list of DVD releases. Seems that someone decided to give The Monster Squad a special two-disc anniversary edition.This little known movie came out in the late 1980s and did some time in theaters and on the cable channel circuit(where I first saw it)but has pretty much been persona non grata on the DVD market until now.

The plot of the film is pretty much a combo of The Goonies and Scooby Doo,with some old school Creature Feature vibes poured into the mix. A group of misfit kids team up to stop a group of monsters,lead by Dracula(Duncan Regehr)who are looking for a magic amulet that can pull all of the forces of evil into limbo. Naturally,Drac would like nothing better than to smash that sucker and set off a reign of darkness there.

The movie was made by Tri Star and they were under major pressure not to copy any of their monster designs from the Universal Studios films(they even had to tweak a few names like calling one monster "Gill Man"). Some of the monsters were played by actors who went on to more notable cult movie roles,like Napoleon Dynamite's Uncle Rico(John Gries)as the Wolfman in human form and Tom Noonan as a very sympathic Frankenstein's monster:

With a movie like this,folks have their favorite goofy lines and kickass moments. Most of the Monster Squad fans loved the part where two of the boys are facing the Wolfman and from a swift kick to the crotch,discover that"Wolfman's got nards!" My favorite bit in this movie is when Dracula tries to spot the amulet ritual by grabbing a cute little five year old girl by the chin(a virgin was needed to say the magical chant and yes,they could only find a little girl at the last minute),lifts her off the ground and hisses""Give me that amulet,you BITCH!" Just the way that Duncan Regehr delivers that line,in total scary seriousness,cracks me up.

Monster Squad was directed by Fred Dekker,who also made a much more gruesome horror comedy movie,Night of the Creeps(which I did see in a movie theater near me). Both films share the same earnestness of the characters who don't do the obvious wink and nudge approach to the unearthly menance out to get them.

Dekker also co-wrote the Monster Squad script with Shane Black(NOTC was written by Dekker alone),which accounts for some of the love and care given to this mix of genres. NOTC is also not currently available on DVD but perhaps with this new release of Monster Squad,it could perhaps see the light of day soon.

So,if you haven't seen this fun little kiddie fright flick before,just add it to your Netflix queue or check it out at your local video store. I know plenty of the diehard fans are rejoicing here and why not join the party?

DVD Trailer:

Original Film Trailer:


ErinPaperbackstash said...

I have the soundtrack but that's about it.

lady t said...

Having the soundtrack,nice! I think that I remember Monster Squad having a special theme song played over the end credits(where "Scary German Guy" is listed-that cracks me up that they didn't even give him a proper name!)but I could be wrong there.