The Monster Squad (1987)

monster squad poster 1987 movie review
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice creature designs

So-so story

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Monster Squad

Studio: Tri-Star Pictures

Genre(s): Horror/Comedy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): August 14, 1987

MPAA Rating: PG-13

monster squad monsters

I’ve gathered all of you here today for…well…I don’t really know why or how I gathered all of you…Let’s be monsters!

Dracula (Duncan Regehr) has risen from his grave and summoned his allies the Wolfman (Jonathan Gries), the Gillman (Tom Woodruff Jr.), Frankenstein’s Monster (Tom Noonan), the Brides of Dracula (Mary Albee, Brynn Baron, and Julie Merrill), and the Mummy (Michael Reid MacKay) to aid him in stopping any potential attempt to banish him from Earth forever.  The Monster Squad is a club that loves their monsters, but they soon realize that their town is facing a potential threat from real monsters.  Sean Crenshaw (Andre Gower), Patrick Rhodes (Robby Kiger), Horace (Brent Chalem), Eugene (Michael Faustino), Rudy (Ryan Lambert), and Sean’s tagalong younger sister Phoebe (Ashley Bank), could be the world’s last defense against some of the history’s greatest monsters!

Directed by Fred Dekker (who cowrote the script with Shane Black), The Monster Squad is a horror action-adventure comedy.  The movie was released to mixed to positive reviews but gained a cult following over the years.

monster squad mummy

So pretty much you can just unwrap a mummy and you’re good.

I can desperately remember wanting to see The Monster Squad when it was in the theater but also missing out on it.  I rented and watched the VHS a few times and enjoyed the movie as a fan of monsters.  While The Monster Squad is a flawed movie, it is a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously while also not always taking kid friendly shortcuts in the story.

The basic story is pretty lame and thrown together.  It makes sense for Dracula trying to stop himself from being banished to limbo, but how and why he summoned the other “monsters” to this small town to get the amulet doesn’t make much sense.  The movie is fast, and in the overall picture, not much happens in it.  The kids learn about the monsters, they get the amulet, and then they vanquish the monsters…there are only a few episodes of conflict or suspense in the story.

monster squad my name is horace fat kid brent chalem

I’d watch an action movie called “My Name IS Horace!!!”

The movie is obviously modeled after The Goonies which was another childhood classic (in fact Mary Ellen Trainor plays both the mother in The Goonies and in The Monster Squad).  Like The Goonies, the characters are a bunch of misfits (trust me…kids who like monsters in middle school would not fit in), and they are facing off against adults who just happen to be monsters.  The stand-out kid characters would probably be Horace aka “Fat Kid” played by Brent Chalem who tragically passed away at 22 from pneumonia and Phoebe played by Ashley Banks who channels her E.T. Drew Barrymore (E.T. also hangs heavy over The Monster Squad’s plot).  Everyone’s favorite 1980s mean kid Jason Hervey also appears…playing a mean kid.

monster squad wolfman has nards

The Wolfman has nards…do you?

The special effects of The Monster Squad are actually pretty good.  The Stan Winston designs still pop (minus some of the chroma key bat stuff) and in particular the death of the mummy is memorable as it unravels during its attack.  The movie had to use “fake” classic monster movies due to Universal’s rights to the characters…some of the designs weren’t as good, but some were better (the gillman for example shows you can have a character not be completely computer animated while still improving on the original).

The Monster Squad is goofy, light-hearted fun.  It also echoes a time when kids’ movies made for kids allowed kids to be a little more foul mouthed and kid-like (like The Goonies and The Bad News Bears).  The movie will probably resonate more with kids or people who saw it as kids, but if taken not too seriously, everyone can enjoy.  There has been talk of a remake, but plans for the remake thus far have been scrapped.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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