“The Goonies” turn thirty this year, which marks a fun anniversary of one of the most iconic family films of the 1980’s. To this day, the film is considered a masterpiece by many, even brandishing its own sequel coming very soon. I figured why not celebrate “The Goonies” by undermining its legacy and praising its knock off “The Monster Squad,” instead? Ain’t I a stinker? I’ll be honest, while “The Goonies” is a very good movie, at the end of the day I’d rather watch Fred Dekker’s “The Monster Squad.”
It’s harder edged, it’s much more entertaining, has more imagination, and it holds up against the rose colored glasses of nostalgia. Goonies never say die, but The Monster Squad kills the fuck out of monsters and bad guys. Here are five Reasons why I’d rather be in “The Monster Squad” than “The Goonies.”
5. They Piss Off and Beat Monsters
At first when Dracula is intent on committing to his plan of world domination, he kind of laughs off the threat of the Monster Squad. By the time the movie is ending, he blows up their club house, tries to murder a little girl, and is so furious at the trouble they’ve caused him, he’s prepared to slaughter the lot of them before Van Helsing and the adults intervene to help them out. They’re a group of some of the worst monsters incarnate, including the brides of Dracula, eventually realize that they simply pose no real threat to the Monster Squad, and their ultimate hubris is their undoing. Even working as a unit the monsters never beat the Monster Squad. Dracula is infuriated by the time he realizes the group has pulled off opening limbo with his amulet, and you know they bragged for decades about making Count Dracula so mad he began to emit electricity from his body.
4. Frankenstein is Cooler than Sloth
Let’s face it, while Sloth has the more iconic catchphrase and look, Frankenstein is just cooler. He has immense power on his side as well as knowledge of evil, and decides to join forces with good. He befriends the lovely Phoebe, and defends his little friend by tossing Dracula like a cheap rag doll on to a spiked fence post. Bogus, indeed. He also appreciates a good old fashioned naked teenage girl every now and then, as well as a teddy bear to comfort him as he drifts for centuries through the vast abyss that is limbo. He just knows what is worth sacrificing for the greater good. Frankenstein doesn’t want to be a monster. He has the heart of a puppy, and he proves it by helping the Monster Squad until the very end and accepting his fate in eternal limbo.
3. Van Helsing is an ally
Van Helsing gives Sean thumbs up. I would be bragging to my kids forever that not only is Van Helsing a good friend of mine, but he gave me thumbs up. I’d have loved to learn more about the Monster Squad blood line and learn that perhaps Sean was a descendant of Van Helsing. Too corny, but who cares? Either way, it’s a good luck of the draw that the book of Van Helsing ends up in the hands of a group of genuinely heroic kids, all of whom ensure that evil sees its final days on Earth and in our dimension. I imagine the group went on many other adventures after the end of their encounter with Dracula, and Van Helsing’s approval just sealed the deal.
2. Each Member Has Some Kind of Weapon
Each member eventually learns to handle a weapon by the time the movie ends. Sean is good with the stake, Rudy is great with the bow and arrow, stake, and hand held revolver, Horace masters the shotgun, Phoebe has her purity, and Eugene seems to have a keen awareness of dread lurking near and around him. There has to be a reason why the mummy hides in his closet if he’s not somewhat tuned in to evil’s frequency somehow. He also has a shocking ability to pull strings with the US military. Let’s not forget there’s Scary German Guy who has wisdom and knowledge on his side. Patrick does stuff too, I guess. He has wit, or something.
1. Sean is a bad ass
Yes, Rudy is a bad ass. He has the leather jacket, and royally fucks up the wolfman, the mummy, and the brides of Dracula. He also wins the girl. But hey, Sean is the leader, and he keeps his cool in the face of pure evil time and time again. He calls Wolfman an asshole, decides to throw down with the monsters in the town square, finds a virgin to open limbo, manages to stake Dracula square in the heart despite being sucked in to limbo, and wins Van Helsing’s approval as limbo closes up the evil that’s dripped in to the town. Sean’s decisions are wise, his courage is unparalleled, and he finishes his life threatening adventure with a celebratory round of high fives with his team as they live to fight on. Everyone wanted to be Rudy when I was a kid, but I’d much rather be Sean.