Fred Dekker’s “The Monster Squad” is the assembly of many eighties tropes, even conjuring up the aesthetic of a novel series one might have found tucked beside “The Hardy Boys,” and “Babysitters Club.” It’s Amblin, Spielberg, Universal and everything else we loved about the eighties, and while it can in many ways be considered a take off on “The Goonies,” it watches so much better over time. Even better is the script by Shane Black allows for interesting and complex preteen heroes, all of whom have their spotlight, as well as their own personal struggles. Like Spielberg, Black introduces a potentially broken home with main hero Sean, while this extraordinary situation allows his family to re-unite for the fate of him and his little sister.
Halloween has come early this year! Lionsgate has graced horror fans with a ton of really interesting documentaries from the History Channel and A&E Network in America. For folks that always wanted to know the “Real” story behind “Frankenstein” and “The Wolfman,” well this is where you can turn. Truth be told, the entire double disc DVD set garners an array of forty five minute documentaries, with the Frankenstein topic taking center stage. With all three documentaries clocking in at 178 minutes in length, it’s a treasure trove for individuals that love Frankenstein and Mary Shelly. Featured in the first disc is “In Search of the Real Frankenstein,” “Frankenstein,” and “It’s Alive! The True Story of Frankenstein.” Oddly enough while all three documentaries can sometimes become repetitive, they offer up a unique look at Frankenstein with different angles and approaches.
“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 guess there’s not much you can do when you cross a children’s cartoon series with a monster traditionally known for mauling people to death. That said, “Meet the Wolfman” is probably the weaker pairing in the Chipmunks animated movies, mainly because the writers don’t do much with Laurence Talbot and his ability to transform in to the wolfman. It only makes sense the Chipmunks would eventually come across Laurence Talbot, but I think there could have been a much more entertaining result to come from his meeting them. Talbot is played more as a menacing presence that moves in next door from the Chipmunks.
Director Ron William Neill’s “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman” is a sequel to “The Wolfman” and a prequel to “Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” One of the many future crossovers for monsters, Neill’s movie is often incoherent, but at least delivers on the promise of the wolf man meeting Frankenstein. They only do battle for about four minutes in the finale, but technically they cross paths, so your expectations should be low for this sequel. The reasoning for bringing the characters together stretches all ideas of logic and suspension of disbelief. So “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” is really a process of asking the audience to willingly ignore its inconsistencies and wait for the monsters to meet up and fight.