‘The Monster Squad’

 

The Monster Squad (1987)
Directed by: Fred Dekker
Written by: Shane Black and Fred Dekker
Starring: Andre Gower as Sean Crenshaw
Robby Kiger as Patrick
Brent Chalem as Horace (The Fat Kid)
Michael Faustino as Eugene

Tagline: “Call them for a monster-ous good time!”

By: Jason Plissken

Pre-Screening Memories: I haven’t seen The Monster Squad since I was in high school, but since it had “Monster” in the title, it was required viewing. I would scour the TV listings every week, checking for what creatures would be featured for the week. This one sounded like the Mother Lode, in that it featured all the classic monsters from Universal Studios: Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The movie came out in 1987, but I didn’t see it until it came on HBO about a year later. My memories of the film are pretty vague but I did learn a number of things from watching it:

  • I remember the movie was corny but still able to keep my attention. There were several little details about the kids in the film that I wanted for my childhood: to battle monsters as a young kid, a really cool treehouse (that was two-story, no less!), and a neighborhood girl like Patrick’s sister (played by Lisa Fuller, which was really the height of her film career, unless you count Teen Witch).

  • I thought that it was really cool that the main character, Sean Krenshaw (played by Andre Gower), was able to watch a nearby drive-in movie from his roof. I could not have cared less if I could not hear the dialogue, just watching it would have been enough to occupy me. I could do the whole Mystery Science Theater 3000 thing, I suppose, and make up my own dialogue.

  • I remember Fat Kid declaring that the “Wolf man had nards.” Childish, I know, but ‘nards’ is just a funny word.

  • It was the first time I heard sex referred to as “dorking.”Again, I was a kid, these things were endlessly fascinating to me.

  • I remember a World War II bomber loaded with Dracula’s coffin in the
    beginning. At the time, it seemed perfectly plausible for the ancient tomb of Nosferatu to circle over middle America for no apparent reason whatsoever.

I remember having a fondness for the film in the way it handled its leads, not treating them as typical “Hollywood” kids, in much the same way that “Stand By Me” and “The Goonies” seemed to. They never seemed to talk down to their targeted audience.

Will the exclusive “Monster Squad” still allow membership to Jason now that he’s an old guy? Find out in the podcast here:

Or download it here.

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