During the late Eighties and early to mid Nineties there were a rash of coming of age/children adventure films. Some of the more famous ones include The Sandlot, Stand By Me, The Goonies, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and even a remake of The Little Rascals. There is one that always seems to get over looked however, and that is the 1987 film The Monster Squad.
The Monster Squad is about a group of kids who are obsessed with monsters and have a monster club house. Sean, the leader of the group comes across the journal of Abraham Van Helsing and uncovers a plot to destroy the world spearheaded by Dracula himself. Dracula recruits the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Creature From the Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein’s Monster to help him in his quest. All that stands between him and his goal to open limbo with a sacred amulet is a group of children. It is a fun filled romp with some great humor and some cool spooky scenes that can be enjoyed by adults and adolescents alike.
The Monster Squad is a necessity for fans of the old Universal monster movies. It pays great homage to the characters while drawing parallels to the old movies and expanding on themes found within them. Unlike some of the other coming of age films the kids are not annoying or poorly written. Also it does not continually talk down to the audience and expects certain plot points to be inferred rather than blatantly spelled out. The Monsters Squad’s downfall is that it was too scary for the young kids that it was marketed to and too geared towards a younger audience for those familiar with the source material. In effect it pigeonholed itself into obscurity.
Regardless, I encourage you to give this hidden gem a try for a fun Halloween experience and a fun spin on classic tales.
Nicholas Bowlin is a writer and filmmaker in Colorado. Nick is perhaps best known for his movie review web series, The Movie Guru. He is currently working on another web series called Living Jokes