4.12.2009

The Monster Squad (1987): Good times in a Good Year!


I'm not sure if this qualifies as a review. It's more of a collection of my favorites moments and lines.

This must begin with a statement that no one can deny: 1987 was one of the best years…ever! First off, I was born in 1987 so I am already partial to it. Secondly, this particular year brought us some great 80’s “monster” flicks: The Lost Boys, Near Dark, Evil Dead II, Hellraiser, and of course The Monster Squad. There is a specific tone that all of these films share—a feel-good, evil-fighting, kick-ass tone that will never be replicated. (Well, maybe Hellraiser doesn’t quite fit into the feel-good category for most people.)


Badass Mofo's

Sadly, I had never seen The Monster Squad until now. I only wish I could have witnessed something so cool when I was ten. However, this movie does make you feel like you are ten again. I giggled with excitement as Dracula spawned his monstrous minions: the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon (which is apparently Gillman in the credits?), and Frakenstein’s Monster. This leaves you feeling like a fan boy at an anime expo…without the costumes and creepy fetishes I hope.

How come their treehouse is the size of my living room?

The cast of kids is almost as enjoyable as the monsters. The dialogue between them is dated in all the best ways, giving us memorable lines like “Wolfman’s got nards!”, “Scary German guy is bitchin’” and “If we pull this off, I'm gonna’ shit!” Awesomeness. Then, of course, there’s the wonderfully offensive language that would never occur today in a kid’s film, as they call each other fags, faggots, butt love, etc. The introduction of the older, coolest kid, Rudy, is priceless. He skids to a stop in his bicycle, lights a match off his boots, and sports his best James Dean expression. He then proceeds to force a bully to eat a candy bar he stomped on the ground…precisely why we love the 80’s so much, right? Bullies, evil people, and monsters all get what they deserve and we will never feel bad for laughing about it.

Another gem of 1987 is the spectacular one-liners. My favorite (because it’s the worst) happens after they defeat the Mummy and Rudy hollers, “See ya’ later, Band-Aid Breath!” He could have said toilet paper breath, Kleenex breath, but the screenwriter chose Band-Aids?! Of course, there’s also the classic, “Suck on this you son of a bitch!” addressing Dracula, which you knew was bound to happen at some point during the film. This next one doesn’t really qualify as a one-liner, but it was just as amazing as any other line. When Dracula is holding Phoebe (who is like five) by the throat, he screams, “Give me the amulet, you bitch!” And there’s just something about calling a young child a bitch that is so mean-spirited it’s funny.

Fat Kid with a Shotgun! Watch out!

The “goodnaturedness” of this film kept me smiling all the way through. When the boys all laid their hands out to form the monster squad, and we see the dog’s paw join in, I knew I was watching something that could only be made in 1987. When Frankie flies away into the black hole and Phoebe throws her teddy bear to him, my eyes almost collected tears. When Horace blows away the Creature from the Black Lagoon, pumps the shotgun, and declares, “My name is Horace,” I just knew that I shall show this film to my children someday. And I cannot wait for that day.

3 comments:

  1. I am so glad you posted on this movie. I love it, too! I bought it the day it was released on DVD because I had such good memories of watching it as a kid on TV.

    I was born in 1977 and saw this for the first time when I was 10 or 11. Always been a favorite for Billy and me.

    JM

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  2. ROFL I love the shit out of this movie.

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  3. I got a copy of this on VHS with a bulk lot of horror films, having never seen it before (I'm 24) Man do i wish I'd seen this as a kid. One of my favourite movies then was 'The Goonies', the creepy bits in particular, so this would have been gold. better late then never i spose. very cool movie.

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