Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Monster Squad (1987)

Director: Fred Dekker
Starring: Andre Gower, Robby Kiger, Stephen Macht, Duncan Regehr, Tom Noonan, Brent Chalem, Ryan Lambert, Ashley Bank, Michael Faustino, Mary Ellen Trainor, Leanardo Cimino, Jon Gries, Stan Shaw, Lisa Fuller, Jason Hervey, Adam Carl, Carl Thibault, Tom Woodruff Jr., Michael Reid MacKay, Jack Gwillim

A group of pre-teens who call themselves The Monster Squad. and gather to watch monster movies in their treehouse, discover a diary written by Dr. Van Helsing (Gwillim) that talks of an amulet that can send monsters into limbo when the universe reaches the day of good versus evil. Just as well, since Van Helsing's nemesis Count Dracula (Regehr) and his monstrous allies have discovered where the amulet is.

Re-imagining of the Universal Monster films of the 30's and 40's, including Frankenstein's Monster and The Wolfman, was perhaps a labour of love for Dekker and producer Jonathan A. Zimbert (whose only real success was 2010, the sequel to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey), however they bring nothing new to the game and the film doesn't even improve on the visualised effect the monsters had in the 30's and 40's. It's also incredibly violent for a supposed family film, unless its meant for adults who enjoy watching a group of 10-year-olds running around killing monsters.

Many familiar to the TV generation of the 80's may bring up some fun memories while Macht is the only one to raise above the material, though Cimino tries his best. It's a great idea that is lavished in complicated matters and doesn't have the same feel as its predecessor The Goonies. Tom Woodruff Jr., who appears as The Gillman from Creatures of the Black Lagoon, went on to win an Oscar for his visual effects work on Death Becomes Her. A bomb.


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