Adamantium Bullet

31 Days Of Horror: THE MONSTER SQUAD

For the next 31 days, we here at Adamantium Bullet will be reviewing one horror film a day leading up to Halloween. Each film will be horrific, terrifying, chilling, pulse-pounding, or flat-out awful. All will be endured in honor of the season. Expect SPOILERS. Welcome to Adamantium Bullet’s “All 80s” edition of 31 DAYS OF HORROR.

In this episode, J Bryant and AngieBee discuss the 1987 cult classic THE MONSTER SQUAD starring Andre Gower, Ryan Lambert, Tom Noonan, Jon Gries, and Duncan Regehr.

Count Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Gill-Man, the Mummy, and Frankenstein's Monster are in hot pursuit of a mysterious amulet that will allow their return and only The Monster Squad, a group of movie-loving neighborhood kids, can stop them!

Twenty-three. Not too bad considering THE MONSTER SQUAD is usually dismissed as a silly little kid’s movie.

The Wolfman (played by Jon Gries when human, Carl Thibault when wolf) was blown up with dynamite, crawled around for a bit in pieces literally pulling himself back together, was shot multiple times by the police, and was finally only taken down when Rudy (Ryan Lambert) tagged him with a silver bullet. Wolfman is basically the “Jason Voorhees” of THE MONSTER SQUAD. Just when you think he’s down for the count, he springs back to life, ready for another round.

No NAKEDNESS, but Patrick’s sister (Lisa Fuller) does trot about in her undies for a bit. It’s PG-13 trotting with a twenty year old actress playing a teenager so don’t get too excited.

Almost all of the SIGNATURE MOMENTS in THE MONSTER SQUAD, in our opinion, are centered around The Wolfman. From the his gnarly transformation sequence to his reassembly after being blown up with dynamite to Horace’s infamous/famous “Wolfman’s got nards!” line, every MOMENT with Wolfman is a SIGNATURE one. That said, I am quite fond of Van Helsing (Jack Gwillim) dragging Count Dracula (Duncan Regehr) into a centralized black hole portal thing and giving Sean (Andre Gower) a thumbs up as he does so. Goofy moment, but it totally works.

Why did The Monster Squad wait until dark to try and stop Count Dracula? Why didn’t they go during the daytime when he was at his weakest, or even possibly asleep? It made no sense for them, especially since they claim to know everything there is to know about monsters, to try to stop him at night.

THE MONSTER SQUAD was released in 1987. That’s important to know going in. In all fairness, it’s not like you wouldn’t know this from all the fashions and filmmaking choices on display, but you kind of, sort of, maybe need to know this was released in 1987. Filmed in 1986, if we’re getting technical. Why get technical? Well, you see, this film is loaded with all kinds of shit that just isn’t okay nowadays. Hell, it wasn’t okay back then, but it was more okay back then than it is today. We are talking kids being casually homophobic, kids smoking, kids using firearms to kill people/creatures, kids slut-shaming another kid to do their bidding, and one of the kids in the movie being constantly referenced to as 'Fat Kid'. Just loads of stuff that’s not okay, but you, the viewer, will have to either ignore or get over in order to properly enjoy this film.

> According to director Fred Dekker, Shane Black's first draft of the screenplay was so huge that the opening of the film featured Van Helsing accompanied by zeppelins and hundreds of men on horseback storming Dracula's castle. Dekker stated that this sequence would have cost more than the final budget of the film.

> The scene where Dracula lifts Phoebe up and she screams was done in one take. Duncan Regehr wouldn't wear his red contacts or fangs around the five year old Ashley Bank because it scared her too much. For the scene, director Fred Dekker just told Ashley to scream once the platform raised her. When she asked, "When?", Dekker told her, "Oh, you'll know," and proceeded to shoot. The terrified scream you hear when Dracula opens his eyes is Ashley's genuine scream of fright.

> According to the director Fred Dekker, the film was cut by 13 minutes because some executives didn't want it to run more than 90 minutes.

> Liam Neeson was considered for the role of Count Dracula.

> The climactic scene in the town square was shot on the famous Clock Tower set from BACK TO THE FUTURE. There are numerous times when you can see the clock tower in the background.

> The USELESS KNOWLEDGE portion of this review was sourced from IMDB.

Posted by J. Bryant

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