Stuff I Watch in October: The Monster Squad (1987)

Happy October and welcome! All 31 days this month, I will be reviewing all the films I watch in the month of October. They’re mostly a selection of horror or suspense films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.

Please enjoy and leave a comment!

And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Psycho (1960)
The Haunting (1963)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The Other (1972)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Halloween (1978)
Alien (1979)
The Shining (1980)
Halloween II (1981)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Halloween III – Season of the Witch (1982)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Teen Wolf (1985)
Aliens (1986)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Predator (1987)

Our next film is…

WATCHING: The Monster Squad (1987)

monster squad

DIRECTOR: Fred Dekker, who wrote the story for the great, underrated “House” — and then directed Robocop 3 before returning, decades later, to write “The Predator” with his buddy, Shane Black. More on him in a second.

WHAT IS IT?: It just occurred to me that I have yet to get to the Universal Monster Movie Universe. I’m not sure if I can but, if I don’t, this film pays loving tribute to those films with wit and charm.

THE PLOT: Written by Fred Dekker and the great Shane Black (which led to several “Black and Dekker” jokes in Hollywood), “The Monster Squad” is a film about Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, The Gillman and Frankenstein’s Monster as they all team up to find an ancient amulet which, once in their possession, will allow them to rule the entire planet…and they’d get away with it if it were for a bunch of meddling kids who have seen all the movies and know all the monsters’ weaknesses — and who have formed a club which aims to prevent them from accomplishing their goal of world domination.

monster squad

WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: Someday, I’m going to learn to stop posting this question. They mostly hated it — but, again, with time, the film found a following.

WHAT DID I THINK?: See? I’m one of those people who loves the movie.

The cast in this film was a mixture of relative unknowns mixed with some veteran character actors (accomplished stage and screen actor Duncan Regehr hams it up here as Dracula, for crying outloud) and everyone plays their roles with gusto.

It’s not Shakespeare but the script is never boring and the special effects (courtesy of Richard Edlund’s Boss Film Studios) are damn good considering how low-budget this picture was.

Yeah, the premise is hokey but you cannot claim to love the old monster movies and hate this. It’s just not possible.

This is inspired stuff with conviction in its campiness.

GRADE: B (fitting, no?)

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