Title: The Monster Squad
Genre: Horror Comedy
Studio: Tri-Star Pictures
Release Date: August 14, 1987
Members of a monster fan club meet Count Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Mummy and Gill Man, and attempt to save their hometown from Count Dracula and his army of monsters.
I was just a bit younger than the kids in this movie when it first came out, and I probably watched it a dozen times. But I haven’t seen it since the late 80’s. So my first thought with any movie from the 80’s is, does it still hold up? And this one, in my mind, does without a doubt. It has all the cheesey goodness one would want, with a low body count, that one would expect of a PG-13 movie in the 80’s.
Being a kid who loved horror movies, this situation was a dream for me. I lived out in the country so the closest neighbor with kids my age was two miles down the road. Needless to say, I didn’t have any friends nearby that I could have formed a Monster Squad with.
The parts that I remembered after all these years were when Phoebe first met Frankenstein’s monster, and when she was playing dress up with him. I imagine those struck such a chord with me because as a young girl I would have loved to have done this.
Some of the things I noticed that I am sure I didn’t even stop to think about for a second as a kid were at the beginning when a female vampire is sucking a possum dry, and I think there was an armadillo running around in the scene. I just really thought these were strange animals to choose. And when I was looking over the credits, Charly Morgan comes up as Vampire Bride with possum.
The fake bats hanging from the ceiling and bouncing around were adorable. And Ryan Lambert, who played Rudy, reminded me a lot of Corey Feldman, who as a kid, I also thought was adorable.
Now for the things that I wouldn’t have even thought about when I was younger, but really stuck out to me as an adult, were how many times at the beginning they used the word faggot, and they weren’t talking about a bundle of sticks. Also Horace was called Fat Kid, even by his friends. In this day and age with bullying being such a hot topic, if you watch this with your kids, you just keep it in mind when you watch it.
A few other things were an open flame by Phoebe’s bed. Her mom had put it there telling her as long as it burned, the monsters would stay away. Open flame next to the bed, not the best idea, but hey, we survived that and a lot worse in the 80’s.
Also, the black police officer, and I think he was the only black person in the movie, got killed by TNT. It made me think about Scream 2 where Jada Pickett Smith remarks about the black character always getting killed.
In the 80’s I remember divorce being a big topic. Sean, the leader of the Monster Squad, had parents who were going to marriage therapy and were on the verge of divorce. But after slaying monsters together (His dad’s a police officer, and the mom sees the monsters towards the end) it looks like they will be one big happy family.
In regards to if you should watch this movies, as their principal says, “I dig it, man!”