“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.”
I fondly remember renting “Meet Rockula and Frankenstone” quite often from our local videos store when I was a kid, and thankfully the movie genuinely holds up. Like all great comedy series, the Flintstones have had their share of crossovers, and this time they have the misfortune of meeting Dracula and Frankenstone. Or their stone age counterparts, as it were. While it’s not raucously funny as when Abbot and Costello met them, it’s a darn good short movie with the Flintstones doing what they do best.
One of my favorite movie blogs “Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule” recently posted their annual horror quiz in celebration of Halloween, and I was more than happy to take part in it. Their quizzes are usually a lot of fun and ask some interesting questions for their users that allow for an interesting article, so I thought I’d take part in yet another fun Movie Quiz that could inspire some thoughts on my favorite in horror entertainment and fiction. SLIFR is never bereft of interesting questions that cause its players to think hard and long, so I tackled this with immense enthusiasm.
It’s hard to believe almost twenty years ago, the height of superhero movies was “Batman & Robin” with studios not really clamoring to adapt any of the beloved superheroes. It took “Blade” to finally bring some tooth and maturity to the entire sub-genre. One of the more interesting precursors to “Blade” is the dreadfully boring vampire adaptation “Vampirella,” which is a tonally confused take on the pulpy pin up character mostly known for being beautiful and sexy, and not so much for her compelling story lines. “Vampirella” is never sure if it’s campy horror schlock, exploitative vampire softcore, or a stern horror epic. So director Jim Wynorski pretty much lunges for all three on the table, and comes out with this pretty gloomy and dull film.
I honestly can’t think of a better film where the opposite spectrum of film come together so seamlessly, it’s absolutely flawless. Abbott and Costello were always that comedy pairing that could walk in to any situation and find themselves in peril, but teaming them with Universal monsters is a gamble. It’s one that thankfully pays off in to one of the funniest horror comedies of all time. While I tend to like “Hold that Ghost” a little more, “Meet Frankenstein” is spectacular just the same.
“Sexcula” is like one big acid trip. There’s no sense of narrative, tone, pacing, or any kind of semblance of story. The director doesn’t even seem to be working on any kind of script. Take for example the big show where a stripper (glimmering in a spotlight seemingly appearing from nowhere) begins dancing with the castle owner’s pet gorilla. The gorilla is so enticed by the dancing, he attacks and rapes the stripper, and out of revenge, she rapes the gorilla. The two then seemingly die during the revenge rape, and then they pop up taking a bow as the characters in the film applaud. It’s this kind of nonsense that makes “Sexcula” irritating, but oddly alluring. I’d call it erotic and sexy, but the movie is just too stupid to muster up any kind of that flavor.
Kirk Demarais takes a novel idea and turns it in to an original book about—well—novelties! I grew up an avid comic book reader, and in almost every comic book from the eighties I read, there was a humongous page of novelties, gadgets, and tricks that the company in the ads offered to buyers. These seemingly magical prizes ranged in prices of anywhere between five cents, to five dollars, tops. Often times, these massive ads could also be found in hobby magazines, youth oriented magazines, and their promises were huge.
There’s a moment during “Dracula 3D” where I had to look away from the screen and cringe in utter embarrassment. It’s not the scene with the giant mantis, but where Dracula and Mina Harker are pitching woo on the castle balcony in the night. In between the pillars you can see a night sky and moon light so badly composited on to the screen, with atmosphere so poorly made up of blatant CGI, that it’s shocking in its sloppiness. Dario Argento is much better than this. Hell, Asia Argento is much better than this.