Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Monster Squad

Some people have told me that Monster Squad doesn’t hold up over the years. Those people are what I like to call, wrong.

Yeah, it’s campy, but it was campy in 1987 when I was ten. You know what else it was in 1987 that it still is today? A lot of fun.

Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, House, Robocop 3, prolonged obscurity) takes a bunch of kids, the bad guys from classic horror, some Stan Winston monster effects, and the resulting mash-up is a blast.

Dracula is back and plotting to take over the world. And who can stop him? A wily band of pre-teen misfits known as The Monster Squad, that’s who, fuck-o, and don’t you forget it. They may not have pubes, but they certainly have nards enough to man up and go toe-to-toe with Vlad, Wolf-Man, the Mummy, and the rest of his fiendish crew.

Dracula is a tool, Frankenstein’s monster is misunderstood, the Mummy is just a skull wrapped in toilet paper, and Wolf-Man just wants to be free from his curse so he doesn’t hurt anyone. “Scary German Guy (Leonardo Cimino) is bitchin’.” Not to mention a pie obsessed, concentration camp survivor (which Cimino is in real life—this is one of two on-screen instances where he flashes his real-life tattoo). You know he’s not going to puss out when it comes to facing some evil douche in a cape.

It was a kinder gentler time, where a young girl could befriend a giant monster constructed out of reanimated body parts, where you could make silver bullets in shop class during one of the prime preparing-to-fight-evil montages of the day. Gotcha and T&C Surf Designs gear abound. Have you ever seen garlic pizza used as a weapon with such prowess? Thought not.

Admit it, when you were a kid you wanted their fort, you wanted your friends hot sister, you wanted to fight monsters and save the day when no adults believed you. You, like them, just wanted to be important. Your parents were getting divorced, too, and you wanted something huge and earth shaking that would make them forget about fighting all the time and stay together forever. You had a friend named “Fat Kid,” there was a house in your neighborhood where no one trick or treated on Halloween, and you were a potty mouthed little shit, just like them.

Yeah, there are some questions. How did Van Helsing’s diary and a magic amulet wind up in small town middle-America in the hands of twelve-year old with a “Stephen King Rules” shirt? Where did Dracula get that bitchin’ hearse? Why is the Creature from the Black Lagoon so damn easy to kill? Who the fuck cares? The movie is less than eighty minutes long. You don’t have anything better to do for eighty minutes. You know you don’t.

“It was boss. I saw Dracula and kicked Wolf-Man in the nards.” That pretty much sums it up.

1 comment:

Lishism said...

Don't forget the other writer, Shane Black. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Baby, and Lethal Weapon.

And dude, I'm still like those kids. I still want the tree fort, the hearse, and I date a guy we call Fatty. My dreams of becoming like monster squad are coming to fruition...