50/50 Review #18: The Monster Squad.

Along with The Goonies, which I reviewed on last year's 60/60, this was one of those 80s kids' flick classics that I was kind of ashamed I hadn't seen. Well... now I have. The film follows a handful of young friends (not gonna bother with the actor names since they're all no-names) who are really into monster movies and trivia. But one day, Dracula starts gathering together all the classic monsters, including the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the wolfman, the mummy, and Frankenstein's Monster (Tom Noonan), in order to find Van Helsing's diary and an ancient amulet that will give them the power to rule the world. So it's up to the Monster Squad to stop them before it's too late.

This film a little "darker" than anticipated. Then again, Goonies caught me off guard with the same thing. What surprised me most about this was the fact, you know... people died. And not only did some people die, some completely random, innocent characters were given some pretty terrible demises. How would you like to be a totally random person sucked into an everlasting void of limbo and suffering? Others also got their heads crushed, necks broken, etc. Craziness. Another aspect that caught me off guard was the father in the movie. It seems in so many 80s or early 90s kids flicks, the dad is either non-existant, a doofus, or an a-hole. Here, he's a pretty cool guy, and I really liked that about this movie.

Yeah, there were some little things (inconsistencies and logic issues) that bugged me, but I tried to just let them go considering this is an 80s kids movie--you could tell due to all the Pepsi, by the way. I tried to just take it for what it was, and it was OK with me in the end. Well, maybe not the very end. The last couple minutes really bothered me, and I can't get over the extreme cheesiness of it all (from Dracula's final demise onward). I mean, there's cheese (which the movie has quite a bit of), and then there's too much cheese. The ending was too much for me.

Still, you can't hate a movie this cool. It has fun characters, to start. And Rudy, the "badass teenager" character, is pretty cool as he should be. And bringing together all the classic monsters is just fun in a way Van Helsing couldn't pull off. I particularly loved the third act, when the writing gets especially 80s awesome. There are a lot of fun, quotable lines thrown in, including some killer one-liners around some death scenes. Then again, the movie was co-written by Shane Black, so you knew that had to show up eventually. I think on the whole I would have benefited most from having seen this as a kid to have the nostalgic factor, but I still enjoyed myself. It's definitely not perfect, especially without nostalgia goggles, but it's still too hard not to like.

I Am McLovin!

(P.S. Rather coincidental that I review this the day after Dark Shadows, a film that also has almost every type of supernatural monster in it.)


  1. That was exactly what I said! You needed to have seen this movie as a kid, then forget about it for like 20 years, then rediscover it and be like "OH FUCK I REMEMBER WOLFMAN'S GOT NARDS!!" But I'm glad you liked it enough. I should've made you watch a different movie in this spot, but at least you got around to it.

  2. You were ashamed? Shit, I grew up in the 80s and somehow this flick totally passed me by - I don't even think I had heard of it until not all that long ago...and I still haven't seen it.

    Had to skip over the details since I'd like to go in as cold as possible, but nice to see you dug it pretty well. The premise sounds pretty cool.

    1. Well, you didn't grow up with "horror," either, so... that could have a big part to do with it. It's not great, but it's hard not to like and at least appreciate.


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